PC Freezes +audio stutter while gaming (no BSOD/error)

MOBO: MSI 970A-G46
CPU: AMD FX 6300
GPU: AMD R9 270X
RAM: Kingston HyperX 8GB
PSU: Cooler Master RS-700-PCAA-E3
OS: Windows 10 64-Bit (Build 10586)
(Sorry if I missed anything)

So, here's the dealio. Built this thing with mostly new parts plus a couple of hand-me-downs (the PSU and MOBO), and it worked beautifully for the first several months. However recently, it's started to act up, locking up in games. It seemed to be a heat issue, so I changed up the airflow and that helped a bit. Started acting up again, and I took off the side cover and set my big ass-desk fan up to cool the whole thing. That helped for a while again, but it's now acting up almost all the time, in every game.

When I play games, I monitor FPS and GPU temp. When the rig was newer, it would freeze if the temp reached something above ~60º. Now the temp doesn't seem to matter, it'll just freeze without any predictable behavior.

When the pc freezes, there's no black screen, no BSOD or error message, it just freezes on the current frame, and everything becomes unresponsive. Fans and lights are still going like nothing happened, but there's a god-awful stuttering sound that comes out from the last sound byte being played.

I've looked up possible culprits, and the only thing that seems to come up consistently is the MOBO. A search of "MSI 970A-G40 freezing" brings up a number of results. Apparently the damn thing has problems handling voltage that should be within its max, but it just decides to heat up and lock up on me (or something like that). I don't have any links on me right now (I was dumb and haven't been saving them), but I can try and find them if you guys want.

Oh, also, if I don't have the fans running high enough, sometimes my PC will freeze while just browsing or even sitting idle. Which doesn't make sense since the temperatures don't seem terribly high (I can double check other temps as well).

Very recently, something interesting happened: I got the frozen frame and sound, but it reverted back to normal. This has happened once or twice. The first time, I got a message saying that my "Graphics driver stopped responding and has recovered."
Could that mean a faulty/deteriorating GPU?

So far, I've tried:
- updating drivers and BIOS
- adding fans and working on airflow.

I haven't done stress tests yet, since I'm not super hardware savvy and I am unsure how to go about that (I'm more on the software side of things).

I realise the obvious answer is to try a new MOBO, but I am a terribly financially unstable music student currently making $0 CAD (does that equal negative USD?) so that is (at least currently) out of the question. So, any ideas or advice would be great.

Thanks anyone and everyone.

Update 1: I ran memtest86+ overnight, got 3 passes no errors.

Update 2: Ran Prime95 for 4.5 hours, ~27 passes no errors.
7 answers Last reply
More about freezes audio stutter gaming bsod error
  1. Make/model, on that psu?
  2. Sorry, I thought that's what I posted. Where can I find it if it's not that?
    Does this help?
  3. Sorry I missed that. Mostly on at work, so sometimes I miss things. That is not a very good PSU. Tier 1 and 2 are recommended ones to get. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-2547993/psu-tier-list.html

    That motherboard is well known to have VRM issues. From a quality standpoint, those two pieces of hardware are your weak links.
  4. your hard drive could play a role too.
    is it new or 4-5 years old?
  5. I have a 350GB about 4 years old(?) and a 1TB. Don't have models on me at the moment, can get them tomorrow.

    I strongly suspect the MOBO as well. Same with the PSU: both of which were given to me used.

    Any tips for testing these?
  6. Quick update:
    I've gone ahead and tested with memtest86+, Prime95, Furmark, and Unigene Valley. No errors in any of them.
    GPU temp was stable around 57C in Furmark, 47C in Unigene.
    I also double checked all the connections to make sure nothing's loose.
  7. Still crashing. Is there any hope for the system or will I need replacement parts? How will I know if it's the MOBO or PSU?
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