Long story short: I’ve been experiencing frequent blue screens with my 8 month old homebuilt computer for the past 2 months. I’m running Windows 7 x64, with this RAM on an Asus M4A79XTD EVO MOBO.
The blue screens occur at all times – sometimes when I’m gaming, sometimes on boot, sometimes when I’m in Windows but not running any non-background programs. Additionally, the computer typically has troubles rebooting following the blue screen. It’ll freeze/restart again during its first attempt to restart after the bluescreen, then bluescreen again during startup repair following the failed boot. At this point I can usually get into startup repair ok, and I’ll typically try to do a system restore. It will generally freeze during the system restore, but will boot up normally after that restart. This exact sequence of events has happened at least 5 times, however there have been 2 or 3 occasions where I’ve been able to boot up on the first time following the bluescreens.
I’ve monitored my graphics card and MOBO temperatures and have never experienced any temperature excursions. I’ve also reformatted and clean installed 3 times. My best guess at this point is that it’s a RAM problem, but the evidence is mixed.
The best evidence for it being a RAM problem is that stability is improved when I reduce the RAM frequency. Crash frequency dropped from once ever few hours to once every few days when I reduced it from auto (presumably 1333mHz) to 800mHz. I’m still getting the bluescreens at 800mHz, though, and I can’t crank it down any further.
Evidence against it being a RAM problem includes the fact that I’ve torture tested the computer using Prime95 blend for 24hrs on three separate occasions and not had any problems. I’ve also tried running three separate RAM sticks (all the same G.Skill model) individually and all of them have had the same problem.
At this point I’m not sure how to proceed. Should I buy RAM from a different manufacturer, with different specs? Should I try RMAing my current RAM again? Should I RMA the graphics card? Should I RMA the MOBO? (I’d rather not do this since I’m running OEM Windows, and it’ll probably be a PITA to get it reactivated on a new MOBO)
Please advise. This computer has been my white whale for the past few months.