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I encountered crashes during gaming (like Doom etc.), meaning freezed image and sound. A bluescreen wasn't even shown and I had to turn off power. These crashes occured during workload, but no overheating nor real heavy workload (no oc).

I reinstalled the os, first gfx driver installation went without a problem and I had no crash for enough time to say it was fixed. After some time I updated the gfx driver and during installation my pc crashed (this has happened before the time of reinstallation too and may be the original cause). After this one crash I encountered again multiple crashes during gaming. Interesting thing: I installed a diagnostic program that is saying what caused the crashes. It said that the first crash was cause by the nvidia driver, but the crashes after that by windows os.

The mainboad was checked and is not damaged. My hardware is:
GPU: Asus GTX 970 Strix OC
CPU: Intel i7 4790k 4GHz
Mainboard: Gigabyte Z97P-D3
Memory: G.Skill DDR3 2x8GB (F3-2133C10D-16GXM)
OS: Windows 7 64bit on SSD

I dont know what driver version was responsible for the crashes, but I think that this is not important since that has happened at multiple different times (also my pc is currently split into multiple pieces).

PS: I did not find the exact memory identification (F3-2133C10D-16GXM) in the mainboards compatibility list. Is that really important or just a recommendation since DDR3 and the mhz are already supported?

EDIT: No black screen, just a freezed image. For whatever this detail is key.

EDIT: Memory tested and no error found.

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Try setting the fan-speeds on your card manually with ASUS GPU Tweak. This appears to be a known issue with that card.

Fix for Black Screen Crash - ASUS GTX 970 Strix

ASUS GPU Tweak II

  • Did not work I tried as much as I could but no config seems to do it. I kind of came to believe now that the CPU is the problem, but I am not really sure and I will give up myself and give the whole setup to where I bought it. – MisterSincere Dec 18 '18 at 21:11
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If as you said some of the crashes are related to ntoskrnl instead of nvidia driver, there is a posibility of the gpu not being the cause of the problem. I would check the ram with something like memtest prior to boot to discard another potential source of your problem: https://www.memtest86.com/

You can also try downclocking your GPU a little, about 100mhz on both core and VRAM, to check if the problem solves, some factory overclocked models usually dance in the point of a needle in regards to stability. If it is fixed, you can try to keep "stock OC" raising voltage a little bit, but at least you will have the problem isolated.

As Reeves stated, another posible cause of the problem is too much heat, specially in VRAM, which usually has not even a heatsink in old Strix cards. A more aggressive fan curve can be a solution in this case. I personally like MSI Afterbuner better than your card manufacturers software. It works with most custom models too.

  • Sounds like good adive that I will try as soon as my mainboard comes back from testing. But how could this corellate with the fact that the crashes only appeared after an initial crash during nvidia driver update installation? – MisterSincere Nov 6 '18 at 18:59
  • Maybe it was just luck, maybe the newer driver made your GPU perform a bit better and demand a tiny bit more resources for the rest of the system, but these are wild guesses. I'd just test everything, component by component, just to be sure. I still think the GPU has high chances of being the faulty one though. – Igb Nov 6 '18 at 21:17

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