Thought I would describe a few problems I've been having with my gaming rig for about a year now. Feel free to share your expertise!
Built a pretty decent computer about a year ago... Shortly after I had alot of hard freezes+BSOD combinations, assumed it was the RAM and RMA'd it. System felt stable for a while but then I continued to get more freezes, much less frequently. Upgraded RAM a few months later, then the system seemed even more stable, with hard freezes almost never occurring, but rather, once in a while, the computer would lock up for around 15-30 seconds (numlock responded) would unfreeze and windows (not the onboard mobo sound) would let out a beep. I also tend to get random restarts, but not too frequently.
After watching Speedfan, I ruled out that it most likely would not be temperature related, as the core and GPU barely reaches 50*C while playing Battlefield 3.
Also, tried reseating the ram and putting them in different slots to see if stability would increase, but it seemed as though every other combination I used in seating the RAM would not allow the computer to boot with a red solid DRAM light on the mobo. The timings on the RAM should be fine, and stability increases if I set the RAM voltage a tad higher. I am trying to rule out what the problem could be... perhaps another bad RAM, however the windows memory diagnostic doesn't seem to report any errors. Which makes me believe the root of the issue lies in the ASUS motherboard.
Please share your thoughts! Open to troubleshooting techniques! Not sure if this helps, but the event viewer reports a Kernel Power event ID 41, which seems like a generic code for 'shut down without warning'. Here are the specs:
AMD Phenom IIx4 965 Processor 3.4 GHz
ASUS M4a87td EVO mobo
2x 4gb G skill sniper low voltage RAM (1.25v)
Corsair 650 watt PSU
Gigabyte NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460
I will try memtest+86 as soon as possible... As for the BIOS update, I am not current because I'm unsure of the steps I need to take to perform a bios flash using the ASUSupdate program. Seems easy enough, however, there also seems a high probability to mess something up indefinitely in the process. Graphics drivers are updated and the chipset is as well.
DO NOT update your bios unless it fixes a problem you have.
But over time, motherboards can uncover issues with some types of ram, and the fix is in the bios.
Read what is fixed by the update and how to do it safely, and recover first.