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Several months ago I was playing Minecraft and listening to the radio on my Windows 7 desktop when the screen totally froze and the audio began slurring, eventually descending into static then silence. I restarted my computer and everything seemed fine. Several days later, I had the issue again while playing Minecraft. At first it was by no means an annoyance and rarely occurred when I played Minecraft. Fast forward to now, I recently purchased a new game on Steam called Wargame: Airland Battle. It's much more graphically intensive than Minecraft and rather than experiencing this issue once every month or so, I've been having it occur 5 or 6 times in one day sometimes.

I don't know if the issue is getting worse or graphically intensive games trigger the issue, and I genuinely don't know what to do.

The desktop I use was built by my brother and is several years old. It has an Nvidia 8800 GTS graphics card. So far I've played with Airland Battle's graphical settings with no effect. I've also done a clean install of the graphics driver and done a cursory search of my desktop's innards. I have also begun monitoring my GPU's temperature and have found that temperature doesn't seem to affect the issue. I've had the freeze happen at 65 degrees Celsius (which I'm told is a fine temperature for a GPU) and had it happen in the mid seventies. I've also noted that the time spent gaming has no effect on when the freeze occurs. Sometimes I can play for fifty minutes with no freezing, sometimes just a few seconds, sometimes two hours. I found a thread on the Nvidia forums where several other people with the 8800 GTS or similar cards reporting the exact same issue. However, those folks along with myself have found no antidote. This whole issue is very annoying and I hope that I will be able to find a solution quickly.

Here is a Dxdiag readout of the desktop in question:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8iuv6lpcw58ihng/DxDiag.txt

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To attempt to define if it is a heating issue or some software issue (or other) You could test for some time with way better cooling, like opening the side of the computer case, and putting a large house fan (even running low) there. Adjusting the fan speed on the GPU card manually, and increasing the cooling on the cpu. Remember there are very important "Chipsets" on motherboards they get hot and need cooling also. If it is less likely it is hardware, it is easier to find what it is. –  Psycogeek Aug 8 '13 at 2:19
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You could bench the system with GPU Caps Viewer ozone3d.net/gpu_caps_viewer and more specifically Furmark ozone3d.net/benchmarks/fur to see if indeed the issue is related to stressing the video card. If while performing a stress test and playing Audio the problem reoccurs, then you've localized the issue. If however, the problem doesn't occur, the issue might be related to gaming (audio+video) and playing audio separately. Mind you, your wording of the question implies the problem happens when you game and play audio not from the game. –  Bon Gart Aug 8 '13 at 4:26

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