I've built this gaming Micro-ATX rig a week ago and it's been running smoothly until just last night. Now every time I run a demanding game the computer freezes with tiny blue artifacts. Details and remedies I've tried are right after the specs:
My build is based on Brandon402's "Big Mini" Micro ATX Gaming Build with slight modifications (in bold)
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked 4GB Video Card
Case: Fractal Design Arc Mini MicroATX Mini Tower Case
Power Supply: Rosewill Capstone 550W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B3ST/BLK/G/AS DVD/CD Writer
OS: Windows 8
It's been running smoothly with max settings @1080p on the games I played during the week (namely, Skyrim and DmC... haven't tried some of the heavier games like Crysis yet). But last night while playing the comp froze with a lot of tiny blue square/linear artifacts. No CTD, no BSOD. Just froze like that for a few seconds before going black screen and unresponsive.
One more thing: after the problems started I had a systray notification saying that the "display driver has stopped working and has recovered". It happened only once though.
I thought it might be a GPU driver issue, so I updated. It still crashed with the same blue artifacts.
Next I disabled the GPU's HDMI audio feature. Still crashed.
Event viewer showed "Kernel-Power error 41" every time it freezes.
I did 2 passes on memtest86+ with no errors.
FurMark caused a freeze right after it finished (benchmark test @ 1080p, burn-in and max AA) albeit without the blue artifacts. Max heat was around 60C-70C @ 99.9 power. I caught a glimpse of the score before it froze. Something around 960.
I should mention that testing on default settings caused a crash only once or twice with a score around 2000.
I can't seem to pinpoint the problem. It worked fine for a whole week and I've been using the same settings the whole time. The freezes just started last night and they keep happening a few minutes into any game I launch.
Could it be the PSU? I'm not sure if a 550W is enough for a pre-OC'd GPU.