Computer Freezing during games UNLESS I restart beforehand

Like I said in the title - my computer had been freezing during games/rendering, and a couple of times doing other things like surfing the web. I started noticing that if I started playing a game fresh after booting, my PC wouldn't freeze for the 5 or so hours I was playing that specific game. If however, I were to close that game and launch another game, or any other demanding software, my pc would freeze within 15 minutes. The same goes with if I were to boot my computer and leave it idle/use chrome for about 15-20 minutes - it will definitely lock up within minutes of launching a game.

I've reformatted my computer since and the problem still persists.

Any Ideas to my strange problem?
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  1. What are your computer specs?
    It sounds to me like, to many processes running at the same time. so when you start a game = overload.

    Go to task manager and check to make sure when, you end a program, it actually stops.

    http://www.iobit.com/gamebooster.html

    That program can help you shut down all the process that you don't need for gaming.
  2. Sounds like memory issue: When you start another process, different memory is used, hence the lock up. You can test it with memtest from www.memtest.org
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