New build going crazy on me... (troubleshoot Q)

Before I start, I'm not sure if i'm in the right category, if I'm not, Mods feel free to move this thread.

Hello Tom's Hardware community, I come to you full of frustration. My relatively new build, (new parts, put together 2 months ago), is going haywire on me...

First off, parts:

ANTEC Earthwatts 380W

Second, problem:

So for the first few weeks the system ran beautifully, I even tried OC'ing a bit to 3.5 GHz CPU and 2.4 GHz CPU-NB. Of course I crashed it numerous times in the process, but it didn't seem to be negatively affected. After I settled for those specs, it ran perfectly fine for another few days, until ,mistakenly, I bumped the CPU cooler a bit harshly while connecting a fan inside (the computer was on, yes I know I am an idiot). When I bumped it, it froze and restarted. Scared the hell out of me. And I noticed from then on that the screen would freeze with lines (artifacts) once the CPU reached a certain temp that it would run fine in before the bump. (monitored with speedfan).

No problem, I simply upped the CPU fan settings and it ran perfectly for another few weeks. And then one day I had to reinstall Win7, and after the install, the comp. would freeze in the same manner as before but at even lower temp. So I removed the CPU cooler and reapplied the therm paste properly hoping it would help. It didn't. And as the days went by, the comp would freeze more and more often. I underclocked it to 2.5 and 1.8, respectively, and it worked fine for a few days, as long as I didn't put it under 100% load for more than a few seconds. for ex: watching an HD youtube vid would freeze it. but using word and browsing email was fine.

And today it froze once more. Only now it barely gets past POST and freezes. sometimes it freezes immediately once in POST, sometimes even before getting in POST. If I can get in POST and monitor the CPU temp, the cpu just stays at a constant temp and not doing anything, it just suddenly freezes out of nowhere. (again, with artifacts on the screen).

So what could be possibly wrong with it? PSU? CPU? MOBO? Integrated graphics on the MOBO?

Its beyond me, im a noob. Please, anyone who has any idea, help me out.

Thank you in advance!
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  1. Best answer
    Man I would have not got the Biostar board imo. Have you tried to run the system out of the case and minimize down to one stick out ram and see if it works.
  2. For some reason I'm not sure if it has to do with the ram, but if you say so I'll give it a try when I can. For now My HDD is hooked up to another comp because I have a term paper due tomorrow. no time to hook back up.

    But thank you nonetheless for the response!

    I don't think I can RMA the MOBO as I already cut the serial number off the box (rebate). Christ I hope the manufacturer will help me out.
  3. In the end, I'm pretty sure it was the mobo, but i'm also pretty sure it went bad because of my persistent overclocking (and crashing), and the harsh bump I gave it, and it being a pretty cheap board. But newegg reviews of it aren't necessarily worse than comparable mobos (price-wise).

    I hate to admit it, but I think this was simply a case of OC'ing-eager-newbie meets not so durable $70 board.

    Oh well, at least I gained some valuable experience off the whole ordeal. ended up RMA'ing it BTW. Newegg let me. So Newegg = kickass (most of the time)
  4. Best answer selected by svaric2.
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