Game Issues with Radeon HD 5870

In December of 2009 I custom built a new computer. For the longest time, I was having issues out of it where memory wasn't clocking to the level it was supposed to, and simple things like Youtube would cause a lot of stuttering with the video. I would also have complete system crashes when using sound or video editing programs. Eventually, I figured out that it was the motherboard that had an issue from day one. I got the motherboard replaced under warranty, and I haven't had any of those issues since then.

However, I'm have a new issue. I haven't played many games with my system since I've had it. But now I'm playing Guild Wars 2 and X-Com: Enemy Unknown (From Steam). If I have AA turned on pretty much at all, the games seem to crash with a pretty high regularity. If I turn them off, I can get a good few hours between crashes, but they still happen.

Sometimes the games just crash out. Sometimes the entire OS freezes, and I have to reboot the system in order to get everything back up and running again. It's an extremely annoying problem, and nothing I've tried seems to make much of a difference. Sometimes I can get through 4 or 5 hours without a crash. Other times I may have a crash every hour.

While I do have the ocassional system crash maybe once a month or so, I don't appear to have any huge problems with anything besides games. So I'm thinking that the problem is linked with the GPU somehow. At idle, I'm running at about 69 Celsius. I only recently started paying attention to the temperature. At the time of my last crash, I reached 88 Celsius.

I'm running a Corsair Enthusiast Series TX950 (CMPSU-950TX) 950W power supply, which from the research I did prior to building the system seemed to indicate would be more than enough for my needs.

The only thing I can think of that could be a potential problem is that my video card BARELY fits into my case. Like it could literally be no bigger and still fit. I'm thinking that it's possible that because it's in there so tight, it's possible that it's not getting proper airflow, and it might be over heating as a result.

The biggest thing that makes me think it's a temperature issue, is that when my system does completely lock up, it sounds like a jet when I start it back up. As if all of the fans are trying to cool things down as fast as possible.

Any ideas as to what might be going on? I'm willing to spend a bit more money to fix things, but as of right now, I'm not really sure which direction to head. More fans? A bigger case? A new video card? I would hate to have to replace my video card, as I'm not sure what the modern day equivalent to my video card is, but it's probably on the edge of my price range.
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  1. Sounds like a driver issue to me Saberj.
    i have a 5870 and run it @ 900 & 1300mhz and temps to get high, my highest is 85' in GPUZ but thats not a prob, toasty yeah but not dangerous. I've never had any issues because of it anyway.
    I'd get a driver wiper freeare program and remove the drivers and re-install it.
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