For anyone who can help, I very much appreciate your time!
To begin, my system specs are listed below:
- Intel core i7 7700k CPU
- Zalman CNPS9900MAX-B CPU cooler
- Corsair Crystal 570X ATX mid-tower w/ 6x SP120 RGB LED case fans
- Asus ROG Strix Z270E motherboard
- 32GB (2 x 16GB) Corsair DDR4-3000 Dominator Platinum Series RAM
- Zotac Geforce 1080 ti AMP! Extreme edition
- Samsung 960 EVO 500GB M2 SSD
- WD Green SATA 4TB HDD
- EVGA Supernova NEX750G 750-watt PSU
- Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
I built this system about 6 weeks ago, and everything was running smoothly until one week ago (up to that point, I had been using the PC primarily for work - Office, Excel - and gaming - Doom 4). To the best of my recollection, the sequence of events was: 1) I installed the latest GeForce drivers (382.53) after being prompted by GeForce experience (note that I had consistently used Geforce experience up to this point with no issues), and 2) some Windows updates were installed. No issue seemed to manifest that day (I continued using the PC after the drivers were installed, playing Doom 4 as normal, then chose the "shut down w/ Windows updates" option). The next day, I began noticing a broad-based micro-stuttering issue and audio distortion (i.e. it sounds like the audio slows down considerably while taking on a metallic/robotic tone), with the issue noticeable regardless of what I was doing (i.e. using Windows normally, trying to watch a YouTube video, trying to play Doom 4, though the issues appears pronounced when opening up a program (i.e. a browser window, an installer executable, etc.). The broad stuttering and audio issues were consistent; however, there were also inconsistent problems, which were: 1) my computer would hang during startup (this would occur perhaps 1 of every 5 startups, with the screen turning black and/or going into sleep mode as Windows began to load), 2) loading Doom 4 would cause my machine to freeze, 3) spontaneous restarts (error 41 according to event viewer, associated with the geforce driver), and 4) this only happened once, but I received a message during Windows bootup that my disk needed to be repaired (once it was repaired, I lost my Windows profile, with Doom 4 disappearing).
Since then, I have tried both software and hardware-focused remedies. To begin, I wiped my M2 SSD and did a clean Windows 10 install, which didn't help. I noticed that as soon as I installed Geforce drivers, the issue re-appeared, even though I avoided installing HD audio, Geforce experience and the 3D drivers. I then began testing each hardware component individually, using spare components I have from prior builds. To begin, I replaced my 1080ti GPU with an old 960, but the stuttering/audio issue remained. I tried replacing my RAM with a stick of old DDR4-2166 4GB RAM I had, to no avail. Today, I removed my M2 drive from the system, replacing it was an older Corsair M2 128GB drive, and doing a clean Windows install, which didn't help. I have also tried disabling my onboard sound and using a PCIe Asus Xonar DSX soundcard, but again this didn't help. I have also tried booting with only my M2 SSD enabled (I disabled the other HDD), but this didn't help.
So at this point, the only three components that remain untested are the CPU, motherboard and PSU. I am increasingly at a loss, though I am hopeful there is something I'm missing here. My apologies for the length of this post, but I wanted to be comprehensive, and am hoping someone here can assist me. Many thanks!