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PC freezes when playing videos & games

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 18, 2012 3:41:45 AM

Hey everyone,

Let me start by posting some of my PC specs:

PC Type: Dell XPS 720 (purchased 11/2007)
OS: Windows 7 64 bit SP 1
PSU: 1 KW
Mobo: Dell 0YU822 (I'm assuming it's an Intel chipset but could be wrong)
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
RAM: 8GB DDR2
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 v2 1gb (brand new)

Frequently when I play a video (even on youtube) or try to play a video game on my PC, the screen will turn a pinkish, purpleish hue, with little vertical dots appearing on the screen, and, after 2-3 minutes, will freeze up entirely. Even keyboard commands (e.g. ctrl + alt + del) won't function.

Background:

I first starting experiencing this problem in early February. I simply assumed then that my old GeForce 8800gt was dying and replaced it with a ATI Radeon 4650 pcie ddr2 1gb card. The card worked fine for everything but gaming. Older games, like IL-2: Forgotten Battles ran fine on high settings, but the card couldn't handle games like Crusader Kings 2 or EU3 on anything but 1024x768 resolution. At higher resolutions, the driver would "crash & recover", and sometimes the system would freeze up following one of these driver crashes.

After a month of this, I decided to buy a better video card that was more comparable to my older & better 8800gt, so I purchased a Nvidia GTX 460 v2 from Newegg. Everything was just dandy for 2 whole days until last night, when I began experiencing the aforementioned pink screen of death while watching a video on YouTube. It also happened while playing EU3, which is hardly a graphics-intensive resource hog.

Solutions tried thus far without results:

1.) I downloaded GPU-Z and ran it while gaming to see if my GPU was overheating while gaming or watching vids. It's not. Temps never got above 42c, and the fan speeds consistently hovered between 50-60%.

2.) Carefully & thoroughly cleaned the interior of my case to rid it of all dust.

3.) Uninstalled video drivers & did clean install....several times.

4.) Tried several older versions of NVIDIA drivers.

5.) Reformatted my hdd.

6.) Inserted my video card into a different PCI slot.

7.) Checked connections between PSU & vid card (several times) & between vid card & monitor to ensure good connectivity.

8.) Ran Memtest86. It completed 2 successful passes (2 hours) before I stopped.

9.) Ran memory test in Windows 7 to see if RAM was bad. It passed.

I'm at my wits end. I have Googled the hell out of this problem & have tried just about everything to no avail. The only thing I can think of is that maybe my monitor is the source of the problem. Unfortunately, I don't have a second monitor to test & before I spend between $150-200 on a new one I want to be sure. However, if it was the monitor, wouldn't my screen turn pink ALL the time, and not just while watching vids or playing games?

It could also be my mobo. As listed above, it's a POS Dell assembly line model. However, as is the case with my monitor, I don't have a second one of those either to swap out. Ditto for the PSU.

At any rate, any help or advice that anyone here can offer me will be greatly appreciated.

Update:

I just ran FurMark 1.92 for 30 minutes with no problem. It stressed the hell out of my video card (temp 76c, Fan 80%). If it is my video card that's the problem, I don't understand how it can survive such a rigorous test like this. It would be like asking a corpse to run a marathon.

Again, any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
March 18, 2012 6:44:30 PM

Second Update:

I just played Skyrim for 2 hours on high settings with no ill effects. That game used to make the fan on my old 8800gt scream like a stuka dive bomber, but it ran as smooth as silk on my new GTX 460 w/ no noise. I'm completely & totally at a loss.
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March 18, 2012 7:45:34 PM

You still never mentioned what PSU you have.
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March 18, 2012 8:05:54 PM

I did. It's listed above. I have 1kw (1000 watt) PSU. It's a Dell 720 XPS built in 11/2007. The name of the PSU manufacturer is not on the side of the PSU, just the wattage & some other technical mumbo-jumbo. This looks like a typical Dell assembly line job.
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