silly question here, but do you have a rotating/alternating desktop background? Are there any high quality images there (lets just say 2560*2048 pixels)? I had a problem with mine, took me a couple of hours to solve, but windows cycled through the desktop background folder, I had a few files in there that were 9megs up to 128+ meg for photos and other jpg, tiff etc.etc. and when windows went to set them as the background, it froze for a few mins (with the 128+ it might as well have crashed cos it took nearly 15 minutes to render one of the effin images) but while I was playing it crashed the game. so long story short I removed the images over 9megs but left a couple in that were 5000*5000 pixels that displayed correctly but when I was playing a game it still did the same for those. Once I resized them down it worked perfectly.
no OC, underclocking the gpu through MSI Afterburner didnt do the trick.
memtest revealed no problem.
i have since completly wiped everythign and restarted, after useing driver sweeper in safe mode to remove every trace of Catalyst 10.4, i reinstalled catalyst 10.4
the crashing in allmost every game stopped(or i was just lucky, i didnt play over 1-2 hours in each)
EXEPT - in battlefield: Bad Company 2... i still get numerous crashes, sometime just as i load into a map, other times 10-30minutes into a game.. i have yet to manage playing a full hour with no crash..
i might need to move this to the graphic card forums.
unless soemoen have more ideas for me to check
i'll be moveing the question to graphic cards forums
-thanks everyone for replying even though it didnt solve, i am grateful for the help