Problem with games crashing

I hope this is the right place to post this :-P

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
-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
5 answers Last reply
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  1. I'm not convinced the Hard drive isn't to blame. IDE, its a dinosaur, and it doesn't take much shock to damage them. And no, it isn't necessarily going to have problems booting up.

    And define what you mean by modifying the voltages of the RAM. I wouldn't mess with voltages personally if I could help it.

    I got a 500GB Western Digital 6GB SATA a couple weeks ago for 90 bucks from TigerDirect, considering back in the day I paid more than that for a 40GB drive, I'm not complaining lol.
  2. I don't see any mention of your drivers, you may want to go through and see if they are up to date. Also check the BIOS version and see if that needs updating. Good luck!
  3. @ 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... :-/

    *EDIT 2*
    So I found a Seagate HDD on 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?
  4. Bump

    No thoughts or ideas? Anyone?
  5. 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?!?!
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