Bad PSU, Motherboard, or RAM?


Apologies if I'm posting this in the wrong forum. Recently I've been having a lot of strange hardware issues with my 3 year old PC. I have:

Intel DG33FB Motherboard
Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz
Corsair DDR2 XMS2 1 GB x 4 (4GB total RAM)
Cooler Master 500 W PSU
ATI Radeon HD 5550

OS: Windows XP X64 Professional

First my old 320 GB HDD started failing periodically. By that I mean that sometimes the system detects it and most times is doesn't. When it does detect it, it works perfectly, no excessive noise / grinding, no crashes or anything.

Then my 3 year old ATI Radeon HD 2600 started acting up. After a while the screen would just freeze. If a song was playing in the background it would play to the end but everything on screen was just frozen, mouse and all. Upon rebooting everything would start up normally, and work fine for a while before freezing again.

I replaced the card with a new ATI Radeon HD 5550 last week and now the system is giving me all sorts of different BSODs. The video card also gets really hot to the touch, the back of the card actually feels sticky (melting plastic?). I removed the card and ran off the motherboard's integrated video and it seemed ok for about 10-15 min then again the BSODs started.

I have also noticed that the system in general seems to give off a lot of heat; the RAM in particular feels hot. Speedfan reports that ICH/MCH run at around 82 - 86 c.

I can't seem to get a handle on what the issue is. HDD and two video cards seem to have been messed up so I'm leery of replacing anything else and risk having it blown until I know what the issue is. Could it possibly have something to do with the PSU? Or maybe the motherboard or RAM? I know that bad RAM leads to all sorts of instabilities / BSODs, but it seems like the system is running way too hot, which is causing hardware problems. Interestingly, this configuration ran flawlessly for three years, and I haven't ever overclocked or tweaked the BIOS settings. Any suggestions to fix this would be most appreciated. Thanks!
3 answers Last reply
More about motherboard
  1. If you think it's a RAM problem, try using only one stick of RAM and see if it still overheats.
    82-86 C? Is that the idle temp?
    And do you have an case fans?
  2. Yes 82 - 86C is the idle temperature. I have 2 case fans, one next to the CPU and one for the HDDS. Will try using one stick of RAM, but have been using 4 for the last 3 years and never had any problems.
  3. Anyone?
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