PC restarts in select games

I have a problem where a select number of games end up with PC freezing for a few seconds then restarting. Skyrim and Arma II in particular. These games are both high end graphics games with large open spaces. What's interesting is that these two are the only ones that do this. GTA IV, Battlefield 3 and Witcher 2 do not cause a problem. I think this problem is hardware related, but I am not sure which component is to blame. My gut feeling is that it is either the motherboard or memory. Something about Skyrim and Arma II code that uses memory or data flow in a way that causes my system to crash.

My current specs are
Mobo: ASUS M4A78-EM; had to flash BIOS to install CPU
CPU: Phenom II 965
4 GB DDR2 memory
PSU: 600 Watt Corsair GS600
GPU: Radeon 6870 driver 11.1

Thanks for any assistance
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  1. I'm having a similar issue. Battlefield 3 is flawless, but whenever i play Skyrim, the computer randomly restarts. No blue screen or momentary freezing, it just blacks out and throws up my BIOS screen.

    I think its bad coding with certain hardware, since I've had no problems with everything else that I've been running.

    Mobo: NF980-G65
    CPU: Phenom II 1090T
    Gskill RAM 16GB DDR3
    PSU: 1000-watt Rosewill
    Video: GTX 470 x2 (in SLI) AND 9800 GTX+ for PhysX

    The only similarity i see in hardware is the CPU, everything else is different. I seriously think there's a coding error. Do some tests on your RAM, but i don't think its failing, since you'd have problems with more than just those games (i think)

    I found this via Google trying to find a solution to this. Its rather annoying.....
  2. I tried replacing ram, but the problem remains. Sometimes after such a crash (but not always) the Event Viewer displays this WHEA error:

    A fatal hardware error has occurred.

    Component: AMD Northbridge
    Error Source: Machine Check Exception
    Error Type: HyperTransport Watchdog Timeout Error
    Processor ID: 0

    Considering that I had to flash BIOS to get the 965 AM3 processor working, it's possible that the motherboard just isn't fully compatible with my CPU, GPU or even the power these two require.

    I ordered an expensive AM3+ mobo, and if the crashes also happen with the new board, I'll swear off AMD for good.
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