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XPS L702X sudden lag issue

Hello, I purchased an XPS L702X a couple years ago, an it has been a great laptop until recently

i would be able to play Fallout NV with no issues, everything ran smoothly

however a few months ago, the screen lags every few seconds.  this also happens in MS word, etc, not just games I've re-installed windows, updated drivers, checked HWmonitor (hasnt gone above 78C for CPU and around 70 for GPU) did the driver sweep, scandisk, didn't defrag since windows said its only 2% fragmented

i am really at a loss as to what is going on.  oddly enough, playing videos is just fine. (this isn't an internet issue, it happens when playing offline.  haven't tried playing online lately)

I have the 3gb GT555M with newest drivers.  also tried uninstalling and going back to the original drivers.  no dice.  i have two 500GB HDDs installed, one was JUST formatted and sits completely empty right now, and the other is all OS/software at about 60% full

it ran fine for about a year with both HDDs in use.  I ordered a 250GB SSD, but i feel like that isnt going to help whatsoever either

I am at a loss, i posted this in general hardware because im not sure what the actual issue is.  if there are any suggestions i haven't tried yet, just list them an i'll go down the list until it works right again...

not sure if this is relevant, but even on offline MINECRAFT it lags like crazy whenever i get close to anything in the game that moves (animals, enemies, etc.  in fallout, as soon as the cursor gets close to a menu option it skips and the cursor ends up on the other side of the menu)

i am going to remove the empty HDD today to see if that would make a difference (dont know why it would but i'm out of ideas right now)

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