So, a few months ago I fired up Civilization IV and as I was playing, the screen suddenly lost its image and was replaced with something that looked like static. The static pattern covered the entire screen. I was able to bring back the game image by minimizing the application and then bringing it back. This technique has always worked to correct the issue and 9/10 times it does not happen again for the duration of my gaming session. This problem usually occurs within the first 5 minutes of starting a game and when I correct it, everything returns back to normal.
Fast forward a few months and I have definitely noticed a noticeable increase in the number of applications that now have this problem including Medieval Total War, Counterstrike, Company of Heroes, etc. The problem always seems to occur when I am playing a game and never while I am doing non-system intensive tasks. In addition to this graphical glitch, recently my computer has also developed an occasional problem when I first fire up the computer and try to connect to Internet Explorer, the computer freezes and I have to restart.
Are these two problems related? Could either one of them be related to my graphics card or could this be a memory issue? I built my system in August, 2006:
Mainboard : Gigabyte 965P-DS3
Chipset : Intel P965
Processor : Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 2400 MHz
Physical Memory : Corsair XMS2 DDR2-SDRAM PC2-6400 (399 MHz) with timings 5-5-5-18@400 Mhz, I believe. 2048 MB (2 x 1024 DDR2-SDRAM )
Video Card: Nvidia Corp GeForce 7900 GT (256 MB), the one made by EVGA
Hard Disk : Seagate 300GB Internal Sata 7200 RPM 16MB 3.5IN 3GB/S
DVD-RomDrive : HP DVD Writer 740b SCSICdRom Device
Monitor Type : Samsung SyncMaster - 19 inchs, 931 BF
Network Card: Marvell Semiconductor (Was: Galileo Technology Ltd) Yukon 88E8053 PCI-E Gigabit EthernetController (Copper)
Operating System : Microsoft Windows XP Professionnal 5.01.2600 Service Pack 3
DirectX : Version 9.0c (July 2007)
PSU: 550 W Athena
Well the game issue seems like your psu is acting up or your gfx card, test the card in another system to see if the problem exists and test another card, something that uses the same amount of power, in your pc. Also try a driver update.
I have no idea about IE though, try firefox?
Sounds like either a PSU or memory problem to me. Is the memory running at the manufacturers specified voltage? Have you run Memtest86+? If you haven't, you should run it for at least 8 hours to rule out the memory as the problem. If the memory passes Memtest, my next guess would be the PSU.
It could also be the GPU, but since it sometimes happens during general use, I doubt it. I believe EVGA cards have a lifetime warranty, however.