Your computer is almost identical to mine, except I have Win7. I don't have a problem playing GalCiv3 with mostly high settings - everything is very smooth.
You don't mention which GPU you are using. GalCiv3 will use the default one, which might be the Intel HD 4000. I know from experience that it is not as good as the 650M. To determine what GPU is being used, do the following:
- Right-click on the desktop.
- Choose NVIDIA Control Panel.
- On the left side, choose Manage 3D settings.
- In the middle, choose the Program Settings tab.
- Wait for it fill the list with programs on your computer.
- Find Galactic Civilization III in the list and select it.
- See what the preferred GPU is for it.
- If it shows Integrated Graphics change it to the NVIDIA GPU.
- Close the control panel.
This should allow you to play without a problem.
For whatever reason it's frame rate jumps up and down like a yoyo often going below 1fps and interfering with audio performance (sounds like static whenever it slows down).
I also get this sometimes exactly as you described it. I have had it since I installed GalCiv3, but I sometimes get it on other programs. I have no idea what causes it. It seems to be something related to the graphics driver. I sometimes get a message that the graphics driver has recovered from an error. My only suggestion is that you shut down your computer, restart it and hope for the best.