Problem description: I will be playing a game and both my monitors will go black. Sound and other programs like ventrillo continue to work for around 10 seconds and then the sound starts stuttering and everything freezes. At this point I have to cut power and restart the computer.
The timing of the crashes seems random: sometimes after playing for a few minutes sometimes hours. It can be days between crashes or as little as an hour. Overall it averages out to 3-4 crashes a week. I can see no trends to the time or the frequency of the crashes.
This problem has only ever occurred while playing: World of Warcraft, Civilization 4, Colonization (the remake), Dominions 3, and Galactic Civilizations 2. It has never occurred in any other games, web browsing or watching video. The only common factor I can see is that all of these games I play in windowed mode, but I can't see how that would cause a problem.
If I'm doing something important I will play turn off windowed mode, and have not had a crash occur in windowed mode. However due to the timing of these crashes I cannot say for sure it would not happen.
This computer was build just over a year ago, and has been running fine until these crashes started. These problems started about 4 months ago. I had made no hardware changes since the initial construction of the computer. The most recent format was about 3 months before problems started.
First I re-installed the games in question.
Next I made sure that graphics drivers were updated.
I ran Microsoft's memory test tool with no results.
I have formatted.
There is no error message in the windows event log, only the notice of " The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first."
I have checked the temperature of my system. CPU/HD and most others hang out around 35-40 C under load. GPU temp is 65-70 C under load. This does seem hot, but the crashes are happening in older and not very intense games, while newer more intensive things like Bioshock 2 and Mass Effect 2 have never had a problem.
Self built 12 months ago, working fine until 4 months ago.
Operating system: Windows 7 64 bit.
Antec p182 case
Intel Core i7-950
EVGA GeForce GTX 285
CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Ram
EVGA x58 MB
CORSAIR CMPSU-620HX 620W PSU
At the suggestion of another forum I tried unplugging several fans and my optical drive on the chance it was a power drain issue. I also tested the computer with each stick of ram alone. Crashes continued in both cases.