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System freezes - black screen

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Last response: in Memory
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December 2, 2012 2:17:03 PM

First time poster here so forgive me if I say/ask something stupid.
I've just completed my first ground-up computer build and so far everything is awesome except for one nagging issue - every now and then the screen will go black and the system freezes. After a little research, I think I've determined that it's likely a RAM issue. So I ran Memtest86 on it overnight the other night and sure enough, I got a few red error lines. Based on the errors reported, I couldn't determine which sticks were bad. I'm not sure if the program just doesn't report which chip is bad or else I'm stupid and I wasn't reading the error lines correctly. Either way, I've got two pairs of RAM installed that are different brands so I figured I'd try to isolate the issue by removing one pair and running Memtest86 then swap them out for the other pair and run the test again to figure out which stick was bad. The RAM stick are:

2x4GB G.Skill Ripjaws F3-12800CL9 DDR3-1600
2x4GB Corsair Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 DDR3-1600

So I ran the Corsair chips through 1 cycle of Memtest86 - no errors.
Then I ran the G.Skill chips though 1 cycle of Memtest86 - no errors.

WTF.

After checking out a few more things, I noticed that by default, the Corsair chips are not running at 1600mHz, rather they are set at 1333mhz. I can change the settings in my BIOS to make both pairs run at 1600mHz but I wonder if my freezing issues are a result of the RAM having different specs. Right now I've turned down the BIOS settings so that both pairs are running at 1333mHz but I'm wondering my freezing issues are more likely from either a.) compatibility issues with the 2 different brands of RAM or b.) I actually do have a bad chip and I need to let Memtest86 cycle through a few times for a few hours on each chip to find the error.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Oh, the rest of my system is:

Mainboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77MX-D3H
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570 Ivy Bridge
GPU: MSI R7770-PMD1GD5 Radeon HD 7770 1GB
HDD: Seagate Momentus XT 500GB 7200RPM Hybrid Drive

December 2, 2012 2:18:31 PM

I should also note (not sure if it matters) but so far every time the system has locked up, it's been while my computer was hooked up to my 42" Samsung plasma TV via HDMI. I'm not sure if it's just a matter of time before it locks up while hooked up my LCD monitor or if perhaps it's the video card/output that's somehow screwing things up and maybe the memory issue is just a red herring.
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