So, for the last couple months I have been running into frequent (and frustrating) full crashes on my PC. I built it a couple years ago, and have had no problems of this sort until moving into a new apartment. Even after moving into the apartment, I did not experience these crashes until a few months after I had moved in.
The crash always happens in the same fashion. I'm playing a game when the video completely cuts to my monitor. Audio is still playing, and if I'm in voice chat I can occasionally continue talking to the person I'm in the channel with, but after a bit the audio starts to loop and I lose the ability to communicate over chat. The audio will continue looping in this manner until I do a hard boot of the system.
This can occur as soon as the game boots into the game engine (it never occurs in menus), or take as long as an hour to manifest.
This crash does not occur in every game. Originally, it only occurred in Overwatch. This lasted about a month before the crash stopped happening in Overwatch, and started happening in many other games including: Dishonored 2, XCom 2, Resident Evil 7, Borderlands 2, and Pillars of Eternity. I have not tested other games to see if the crash occurs in other places. Pillars of Eternity stands out as especially odd, since my PC runs Overwatch without issue.
What I have done so far:
I have attempted to monitor heat of the GPU and CPU and noticed no noticeable spikes during crashes. Watching the Task Manager, as well, shows no noticeable spikes in usage before crashes occur.
I have reinstalled Windows 10, and wiped both hard drives. I did not have a system restore set before this started happening.
I have purchased new RAM to replace my previous 2 sticks of 4gb RAM.
I have installed an additional fan to manage heat in the case.
I have attempted to swap out the graphics card and RAM in a friend's PC, but it was difficult to know whether or not the computer was performing better without testing each situation for at least an hour- which I feel a bit guilty making him sit through. If people think this is my best bet though, I can check with him about swapping out parts again.
I have rolled back graphics card drivers as well as making sure everything is up to date.
Motherboard: GIGABYTE Z170-HD3-CF (A little over a year old)
CPU: Intel Core i5-6500 (Less than a year old)
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 (A little over a year old)
RAM: Kingston HyperX FURY Black 8GB 2133MHz DDR4 (Less than 6 months)
Hard Drive: WD Blue 1TB SATA 6 Gb/s 7200 RPM, Samsung 850 EVO - 500GB (Both less than 6 months)
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 750 (A little over a year old)
OS: Windows 10 x64 (Original Installed OS, Purchased from Retailer)
What I've considered:
Faulty GPU seems the most likely. I've not had the card very long (a little over a year), and I've had no issues with it before now, but it seems like the most likely culprit. Haven't thought of a way to test it though, outside of just running it in another build for over an hour on a demanding game.
Processor is another possibility. I've had the processor an even shorter time than the GPU, but there was a period of time where the fan cooling it came unplugged. I believe it was only for a day or two, and it seemed to turn off automatically as soon as I started any games, but I do worry that it could be damaged.
The outlet in my room is the last possibility I've considered. Might go out and get something to check the voltage on it. Not sure what a healthy number is and will have to see what kind of wattage is needed for my power supply.
So yeah. This has been going on a while and it's very frustrating. I'm willing to pay to replace whatever is the problem, it's just a matter of figuring out what part is causing the problem. Please let me know if you can help. I'm at my wits end here.