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It's strange because I've had Diablo III for a couple weeks now and I've been able to play it just fine without any performance problems. Starting today though, I've experienced some serious performance problems. I can play for at most a minute, during which time the computer will get hotter and louder, until the frame rate completely drops off the map and I'm forced to quit. It's a similar story with HD youtube videos.

I tried letting the computer just sit idle and cool down, but that doesn't seem to fix the problem. Only restarting seems to fix it, but that only gets me another minute of play time before I need to restart again.

Update

Forgot to mention

It's a mid 2010 Macbook Pro 15" with 8 GB of ram

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Which model mbp are you using? –  soxman Jun 3 '12 at 0:24
    
Anecdata, but this has been a sign of a dying HDD for me in the past. –  LessPop_MoreFizz Jun 3 '12 at 4:28
    
Whether it's a 13" or bigger makes a whole lot of difference I think, considering the different graphic chipsets. –  yusf Jun 4 '12 at 10:21
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1 Answer

This sounds to me as a problem with the graphics processor getting overheated. I burned two of them playing WoW.

Replacing the thermal paste, cleaning the fans and using the laptop in the right place (not holding it against the legs, in bed, or using it on a glass table) made a great difference.

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You should also consider buying a laptop cooler. –  yusf Jun 4 '12 at 10:19
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I tried a couple of those, too, and are pretty useless for Mac laptops. As the air of the laptop cooler's fan, having no way of entering the laptop, will just hit the bottom side. –  Thecafremo Jun 4 '12 at 10:26
    
Should still lead some heat away from the bottom surface, no? If not, a proper laptop stand that elevates the bottom surface should at least provide some less heat. –  yusf Jun 4 '12 at 11:29
    
Won't do as much as expected, barely noticeable, actually. And for the laptop stand, yes, that would help too, but won't do a great difference, either. –  Thecafremo Jun 4 '12 at 11:49
    
@Thecafremo "will just hit the bottom side." Erm, that's kind of the whole point ;) –  username Jun 4 '12 at 15:33
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