PC freezing when gaming

Hi fellas,

I'll try to provide as many details to my problem as possible to give you the best idea about the situation I'm in.

So, I have recently decided to get a new PC, since my 10-year-rig is long in the tooth and I even bought an i5-8400. However, I plan to wait on Intel's budget 300-series motherboards, as well as Nvidia's Pascal GPUs before proceeding further.

So with a lot of spare time and some spare cash, I decided that the next best thing would be to provide a little upgrade for my old PC just to get me by for several months. The original configuration was as follows (please don't laugh too hard at it):

Gigabyte GA-EP43-DS3L motherboard
Intel Pentium E5200 CPU
Gigabyte Radeon HD 4550 512 MB GPU
4 x 1-GB DDR2 800 MHz Kingston RAM
1 x 1-TB WD Black HDD
2 Fans (not sure about the size, must be either 80mm or 92mm)
1 x DVD-RW Drive
FSP Group 350W PSU (not sure of the exact model, but it's irrelevant for the topic at hand)
Currently runs on Windows 7 Ultimate 32-Bit

Now, first I set out for a better GPU and got my hands on a MSI GTX560Ti 1GB Twin FrozrII OC.
After a little research I found out that my old PSU would be useless, so the next thing was to find some bargain unit which would remain on my old PC after buying the new one next year. In the end I got a DEEP COOL DE-530 (which doesn't provide 530W, but a rated power of 400W; 530W is peak power).
I next bought 2 pieces of 2GB DDR2 800 MHz by TeamGroup ("Elite" it says on their coolers I think).
And finally, an Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 CPU was purchased.

Here's what happened next:
The PSU was the first thing I tested and with the old configuration it ran just fine, no problems whatsoever.
Next, I installed the new pieces of RAM in place of 2 of the old ones in order to give myself 6GB of RAM (which I later found out is impossible under a 32-Bit OS). However, the first attempt at installing the new RAMs was unsuccessful - the PC just went into a -PowerUp-Work 5 seconds-Restart- loop, so I then switched the RAM sockets and did my best to clean up any dust in there. Suprisingly for me, it actually worked and Windows started up.
Next up, GPU - kinda smooth, the GTX560Ti requires 2x6-pin PSI-E power cables, which the new PSU did not provide. However, I got around this by using the original 6-pin with another MOLEX-to-PCI-E cable that I had from my old PSU. In the end everything powered up and at this point games were running visibly better without any crashes or incidents (not withstanding the fact that the CPU was a massive bottleneck at this stage).
So, the next day the CPU arrived and I was pretty excited. I checked my BIOS and it was already up to date and ready to receive the Quad Core. The only problem was that I only had the old cooler of the E5200 at my disposal, so I mounted that on (I can actually get my hands on a stock Intel cooler that came with an i5-6600 if necessary).

So, I power up the upgraded PC, games run extremely well (by the standards of a man, who played on a 10-year-old rig anyway) and then 10-20 minutes in, the PC just freezes at a certain stage of a game and the only way to fix it if it's a more modern game is to hard-shutdown it. It also did the same trick when I tried it on the CoD 4 MW (not-Remastered version), but it managed to pull itself out of it (well, just enough to go to menu and hit exit without shutting down, but the game itself was still unplayable with 3 frames per MINUTE).

So, we obviously have a problem and from the research I've done so far, it could be from any one of the new components I've installed, even though the problem only surfaced after the CPU was changed.

So, here's a list of steps I currently see as possible solutions.

1. Clean install a 64-bit Windows 7 to take advantage of the more RAM installed.
2. Problem lies withing RAM compatibility, so I can remove the new RAMs installed and see how it behaves with the old 4GBs (or procure 8 GBs of matching RAM sticks).
3. CPU does not get cooled well enough with the old cooler from E5200 (switch to a better cooler)
4. CPU is actually defective.
5. GPU is defective (personally, I rule this option out)
6. PSU does not provide adequate watts for my new set up with only 400W of constant current (Get a better PSU, however I wouldn't want to break my pockets for a side show, so please don't recommend premium brands. This is actually the last step I'm willing to take towards fixing the problem, but if all else fails I suppose it must be done, or everything else has been a waste of money)

Could you guys let me know if I'm missing any steps and if you would consider the order above the optimal route, or if you would rearrange any of the steps I plan on taking towards resolving this issue?

If you'd like some further info on my set up, I'd be happy to let you know.
Reply to mihailt
3 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about freezing gaming
  1. 1| The stock cooler of the latter generations of Intel's processors will not drop onto the LGA775 socket simply because of the mounting holes being differently spaced.

    2| Your entire system will need a PSU that can deliver at least 500W of power and for the sake of relevance you're looking at a 550W unit for headroom's sake.

    3| What drivers are you on?

    4| Where did you source your copy of Windows 7?

    5| Are you mixing and matching rams on your platform? Best just list your current specs with all the additions, this wall of text is nearly incomprehensible.
    Reply to Lutfij
  2. Best answer
    Well the PSU is really only a 350W unit, that's 350W on the 12V rail if it actually put out 350W.

    As far as cooler goes there are ones available that are good and will work with your MB and CPU. Look for the Dynatron K987 92mm Ball CPU Cooler, good cooler for what you need. The intel i5 6600 cooler won't work with a Core 2 Quad.

    Not sure what's going on with the memory you are using, you need to get a good dual channel kit DDR2 800.

    Looks like you are trying to cheap out as much as you can and the result is you are creating more issues then you are solving.

    Cooler here:

    PSU here:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    Power Supply: SeaSonic - S12II 520W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($37.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Total: $37.99
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-12-07 10:42 EST-0500
    Reply to jankerson
  3. Thank you for the replies, Lutfij and Jankerson. Sorry, it took me forever to actually write the follow-up, but ultimately the issue was with my Windows. At the time it was a pirated copy downloaded from a torrent site.

    After running multiple hardware checks, it turned out all my components were okay and after installing a proper copy of Windows 7 64-bit everything started clicking into place. It should hold me out for a few months until the budget Intel 300-series chipsets come out, as well as the NVidia Volta mid-range.

    Once again, thanks for your input. As I have set my sights on several of my future PC components , I'll post another thread where we can discuss the build.
    Reply to mihailt
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