About a month ago, I built a computer (specs listed at bottom). I made certain to research the compatibility of all the components and check that they will meet the minimum requirements I have for the system (PC gaming). But whenever I start a game, within 1 minute of being in the game (not including pre-rendered video), the audio and video will stutter then the screen will go black and the audio will continue to stutter until reboot. If I open Task Manager and close the game before it goes to a black screen, I do not need to reboot and the computer continues to function normally. This occurs across 2 different games (Crysis and BioShock 2) and occurs regardless of the graphics settings (High versus Low).
I have uninstalled and reinstalled the drivers for the video card and all drivers included with the motherboard. I have searched for the latest driver updates. I have tried running the games with the latest video card driver and a previous version. I have reinstalled Windows 7 clean and then reinstalled all the drivers. Despite this, the problem persisted.
I checked all the wiring. Everything is plugged in correctly (8-pin and 24-pin motherboard sockets, 2 6-pin on video card, etc.) I made certain that the memory modules and video card are seated correctly. I reseated the CPU heat sink and reapplied thermal paste.
I tested the CPU temperature with RealTemp and, under full load, the CPU never exceeds 76C on any core. I ran Memtest86x and after 3 passes, none of the memory modules returned any errors. I ran 3D-Mark Vantage Pro and both the CPU and GPU completed all the tests with a 3D-Mark score of H11111. I am a little confused how the computer can run a 3D processing test successfully, yet fail every time I try to run a game.
I have emailed the video card manufacturer (XFX), the motherboard manufacturer (ASUS) and PSU manufacturer (OCZ). After a conversation with XFX, I RMA'd the video card thinking that would solve the problem but it did not. The response from ASUS was that I should breadboard the computer and test each component individually to see if an error occurs. If that fails to isolate the bad component, they suggested I RMA the motherboard. OCZ has not yet returned my email. I wanted to get a second opinion about what to do, so I thought that I would ask here. If I breadboard my computer and still cannot find the problem, could it be the motherboard? Or could it be the PSU? And is there any way I could test one of those two components? I would like to aviod RMA'ing another component without being certain it is the cause of the problem. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Antec Performance One P180 Silver cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
OCZ Z-Series OCZZ650 650W ATX12V2.2/EPS12V2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Active PFC Power Supply
ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor
XFX HD-585A-ZNDC Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) XXX Edition 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16
OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 92mm Fluid Dynamic CPU Cooler
Arctic Silver Ceramique Thermal Compound
OCZ Vertex Series OCZSSD2-1VTX30GXXX 2.5" 30GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3250318AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
SAMSUNG Black Blu-ray Combo Drive - Bulk SATA Model SH-B083L/BSBP LightScribe Support
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Thanks for the quick response. Windows 7 came pre-installed with Direct X 11. I went to the Direct X site and downloaded Direct X 9c. I ran the installer, but the only version that shows up is 11. I attempted to play both games, but the result was the same.
As near as I can understand, by running the installer, I update the libraries used by DX9, but that only applies when the specific application is DX9-compatible. The games say that they are compatible with DX10, so would they ignore DX9 and attempt to use the later version? Are you suggesting that I uninstall DX11 and then install DX9? Or is there a compatibility mode that I can run them in that would be exclusively DX9?