Nightmare Game Crashes

Could someone out there please help me with some serious game instability issues, which are driving me crazy!
I recently decided that it was about time i upgraded my PC, as my old faithfull AMD K62 550 was just not up to much anymore, so i built a whole new system, something i am beggining to seriously regret! due to the fact that i have not been able to play a single game without it crashing out! Normall windows usage including internet, watching movies etc. is fine, and for the short time that games do run they look amazing, no glitches or slow downs at all. Then all of a sudden it will just crash, sometimes saying somthing about a minidump, with the error 0x000000f (or something similar), or just quitting to my desktop.
My System:
AMD Athlon64 3200+ CPU
Gigabyte K8T800pro MB
512MB PC3200 400mhz DDR RAM (not sure what make)
80gb Maxtor SATA150 HDD
MSI GeForce FX5700 128MB VGA
SoundBlaster Audigy Sound Card
Cooler Master Wavemaster Case
520w SuperFlower Quad fan psu

I started off by installing windows 2000 pro. But after reading about conflicts with the ACPI on some systems running 2K, i have now installed XP pro. This has not solved my problem however. I have installed all the latest drivers for my hardware (chipset,sound,graphics etc..) to no effect. I've tried altering bios settings such as AGP apeture size, no effect. I've tried under clocking my graphics card, no effect. I dont think its a heat problem as i have many fans and rarley see a cpu temp. over 45 degrees C. Could it possibly be a RAM or Graphics card problem, and how would i test this without replacing them? is there some kind of utillity available to do so?

I would REALLY apreciate any advice you could give me, as the main reason i built this system was to play games and thats the one thing it wont do! Its driving me MAD!!!!!
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More about nightmare game crashes
  1. Run your minidump hex values (and/or error message) through some google groups.

    I would also try testing your ram (individually).

    If your PC randomly crashes while idle, or at any other time, it might be a bad CPU (i've seen that before), so you can probably rule that out.

    It's a tough call, but you might have to isolate it via trial and error. Pull out your peripherals one by one and keep testing until a pattern changes. Swap your vid-card with a different one (make sure you blow out your video drivers correctly). etc etc.

    gl, crashy computers blow.
  2. Thanks for the advice Esso, i'll give it a try. I have tested my ram with a couple of utilities i downloaded, and they didn't find any errors, but i don't know if that proves anything. As you say i doubt its the cpu (fingers crossed!) as windows ect. runs perfectly. Unfourtunatly i dont have another 8x vid card to swap it out with, is it worth maybe buying a real cheap one just to test it or are there any utillites that would save me the cost :)
    Also, i have noticed that with this ACPI thing my vid card seems to be sharing an irq with several other devices, and i cant seem to change it. My bios says that if i change from ACPI my os will not boot, i tried it anyway and it didn't. Any ideas on weather this might be the problem?
    Again, many thanks for all your help.
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