Computer Freezes at random times (graphics card?)

I've been having this issue for a while now but recently it's been getting worse so I'm trying harder to figure it out. When my computer freezes, everything just stops being resposive, my mouse won't move, no sound and I have to to a hard restart. I just decided a couple days ago to try using a different graphics card (geforce 620) on the off chance that could be the problem and I haven't had a freeze up since. The thing is I want to make sure the cause is actually the graphics card and not something else that is fixed by putting a less power hungry card in from my normal (radeon 7870).

I feel like it could some issue with my Mobo or PSU as well just because the way it freezes doesn't seem like it's the graphics card alone but I just want to check with other people before I spend a bunch of money on parts I don't need to. If anything I want to lean towards my Mobo because it isn't a high end one and it's about the oldest part of my computer. My PSU is fairly new and should put out plenty of power to the card and if I remember right I replaced it at one point after I got this card because I noticed random freeze ups. At that point they didn't happen more than once a week.

I've kept a close eye on temps to make sure that wasn't an issue and my card never goes above 55c and CPU never gets hot. I do notice the heat sink on the North bridge gets a real toasty and don't know if that's normal or not.

Here are my system specs:
CPU: AMD FX-8350 4.0GHZ
GPU: MSI Radeon R7870 Twin Frozr 2GB GDDR5
PSU: Rosewill HIVE 750W Semi-modular PS
Motherboard: Asrock 970 Extreme3
Ram: G.skill Ripjaws X series 8Gb (2 x 4Gb) DDR3 2133
SSD: OCZ Agility3 240Gb
HDD: WD Green 500GB 7200RPM

Any help would be appreciated.
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More about computer freezes random times graphics card
  1. have you ran memtest? run that if it comes back with errors then open your case, take out one stick make sure you have one in slot1(closest to cpu)
    run memtest do the same thing with the other stick, also are your sticks running at 2133 and what voltage are you using?
  2. I ran memtest for a solid 7 hours with both sticks about 3 days ago and it came back with no errors during that time. I'm running the sticks at 1866 at 1.6V because I heard that the FX CPUs don't like ram above that setting without some overclocking and with the issues I've been having I didn't want to jump into overclocking anything without fixing the problems.
  3. One thing I forgot to mention and may be important, if I run the prime95 in Windows 8.1 (windows 7 as well before I upgraded) it runs fine at first and makes it to the 2nd test but then it freezes up and I have to hard restart. I've watched both my CPU and GPU temps and those are not getting high when this happens. Nothing fails before this happens and there's nothing in the logs giving me a clue. I just tested it with the GT 620 in the system and it freezes up with that as well which really makes me think it has to be something other than GPU. This is the only way I've found to force my computer to freeze up. Every other time it freezes it's been at completely random times and not always while it's under stress, sometimes while I'm just browsing the web and others right when I launch a game.
  4. run repair install from windows disk as there may be corruption in your installation to rule this out. you have another psu you can try in your sustem? have you ran an antivirus to check for virus or malwarebytes to check for malware?
  5. The thing is I just recently upgraded to windows 8.1 from 7 a few weeks ago. The freezing happened back when I had 7 as well as now with 8.1 so it seems like more of a hardware issue to me. I have a virus check that runs every week or so and it has never found anything. I don't have another PSU to try right now.
  6. do you do you have your fsb overclocked? or if you have your system overclocked try going back to default clocks restarting and see if your system still freezes it is most likely a psu issue. you can test the card in another system to rule it out but if you have the latest drivers it is most likely not the card.
  7. I went in a made sure everything was set to default clock speeds as well as set the ram to 1600 which is what the motherboard sets it at if I don't manually OC it. With the GT 620 card it takes awhile but it still freezes up while running prime95. It's still a fairly instant freeze with the 7870. I realize the PSU is not a great brand so it could easily be that but it's only 6 or so months old so it really seems like it went out fast. I almost want to say it could more likely be the Motherboard now just because it's a rather cheap one and it's older than anything else in the system. I've been thinking about upgrading it for a while now so I may end up just updating that just because I want a better one as it is. Then if that doesn't fix the issue get a new better brand of PSU and hopefully that's it. Good thing I just got my tax return so I can use that money to fix this.

    Another thing to note is that I just had the thought to try running prime95 with the small fft test instead of blend and so far it's run for 30min without freezing. I'm going to let it run for a while longer just to make sure. After a bit of research it seems like this could be an issue with HT or a NB issue possibly? I've tried raising the voltage on the NB and upping the HT frequency with no luck before but I'm didn't go very far because at the time I wasn't sure how far it was safe to raise them. Could this be a failing motherboard or something with my setting in the bios?

    Btw thank you for all the help so far.
  8. Best answer
    you can try using default settings in your bios to see if it clears/improves the issue. the only reason i dont think it would be the graphics card is that it happens at random times. so try using default settings in your bios. im leaning more toward a psu issue or you would be noticing strange post beeps/error codes with mobo so try reverting your settings and see if this helps but if you have another psu you can test in your setup do that as well
  9. I've pretty much given up on the notion that it was my graphics card now that it froze up even with the other card in my system. Maybe it was just a fluke that it worked so much better with that card in it. I've went and reset my entire motherboard to back to default and plan to keep the ram set to 1600 from now on. So far no freeze up and prime95 ran for a while without any issues. I'll probably work to tighten up the timings on the ram once I know for sure everything is stable but it seems to me my CPU/Mobo were just having issues with the 2133 speed and even a bit when it was set at 1866. I'll probably try messing with the cpu/nb volts and maybe I can get up to at least 1866 but probably won't bother for a while as long as everything's stable, considering I came pretty close to throwing my computer out a window with these issues. >.< Time to take a nice break for working on computers and just be glad of the fact that I didn't impulse buy any parts for the shear reason that I didn't want to deal with my current setup anymore.
  10. well im glad its working better for you now and if you get any other problems just come on back
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