Okay, so I built my first PC recently and have been having some issues with some of my games on it. Three game in particular- Sonic Generations, Dirt3 and Skyrim. At some random point (usually between 5 minutes to 2-3 hours) the game hangs (it does NOT crash to the desktop) and stays frozen until I press the reset button on my case. Any music or sounds playing at the time turn into a loud clicking noise that repeats really fast. What's weird is there's rarely any consistency with the crashes, there are times it crashes just minutes after I start the game, other times I can play for hours and it's fine. I have looked all over the multiple forums and google searched as much as I could and have yet to find a solution. Here's what I've tried so far:
-checked temps of my video card, the highest I've seen was from GPU-Z and it was 59C
-remove and reseat videocard, I've tried both PCIe slots, no difference.
-ran memtest for 4 hours, no failures
-ran Prime95 for 24 hours, no failures
-updated my BIOS, checked for updates on every driver in my device manager
-I did modify my bios settings a little; I changed my RAM voltage and timings because the default was not what was recommended for it.
I heard that it is possible that memtest doesn't always give a fully conclusive result, so I'm thinking of trying to run each stick one at a time to see if one is bad. Also, I'm using an old IDE HDD from my previous PC (because of the insane cost for hard drives lately) that I heard might be the issue, although I really doubt it, since a failing hard drive would mean I would have difficulty booting up, plus I should be getting crashes outside of my games as well. Oh, and here's my specs so you all know what I'm working with here:
-AMD Phenom II x4 970
-G.Skill Ripjaw X 8GB (2x4GB)
-ASUS M5A88-V EVO Motherboard
-WD IDE 200GB HDD
-HIS Radeon 6850
-OCZ ZS Series 650W PSU
All of the games that are having crash/freeze issue play perfectly fine, I can run everything at max settings with little to no framerate issues, there's no lag anywhere they just randomly freeze and I can't ctrl-alt-del, only reset the whole system. I can play somewhat older games like Oblivion and Spore for long periods of time and have never had a crash with them. Ironically, all 3 problem games are from Steam, and they're the only ones I have from Steam. Anyways, if anyone has any further suggestions, I would be very appreciative. My PC would be perfect if it wasn't for that one issue, literally everything else runs like a dream, even the games themselves, up until they randomly crash.
*edit- I should also add that I am running Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
@ nekulturny- I changed my RAM voltage and timing settings in BIOS because the default voltage was 1.4, while G.Skill recommended 1.5, so it wasn't a major change. I read somewhere that RAM can cause system issues if not set correctly in BIOS. Same with the timings; default settings was 8-8-8-26 while G.Skill recommended 9-9-9-24. And I'll have to check out TigerDirect, I hardly ever go there anymore, I usually have had better luck with Newegg.
@ scottbmpls- Yeah, did all that. Updated every driver in device manager, downloaded the latest version of Catalyst for my GPU, and I did flash my BIOS to the latest release.
Ran Memtest on both sticks of ram one at a time and came up with no errors, I also reset my BIOS settings to default. Despite this I'm still getting crashes on my games. This is getting a little frustrating... :-/
So I found a Seagate HDD on Bestbuy.com for a reasonable (compared to what they have been) $80 for 500GB. I've never used a PC with a Seagate HDD before, but they're supposed to be right on par with WD, or at least it seems so. I kinda would prefer to stick with WD, but unfortunately it seems Seagate tends to be a little cheaper. Any suggestions?
Hmm.... this be end up being a me being stupid moment....
I was looking inside my case and I noticed that my video card, (HIS Radeon HD 6850) has one 6 pin power cable that becomes two 4 pin molex plugs. Only one was plugged in... maybe my card just wasn't getting enough power? Well, we'll see... I plugged it in to a spare female molex plug from my power supply. Here goes O.o
*EDIT- Well, that wasn't it. I've also put in a new hard drive, but it crashed again today. Again, it's still only when I've got games running. What could it be?!?!