Question Constant 'application' freezing under load, I think I know why?

Throw pc into lake and start over?

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Nov 20, 2019
This is my first ever post on Tom's Hardware so I don't know if there's any post etiquette or anything.

For the past year I have been trying to diagnose why my PC has been freezing/crashing games randomly. During game play, after anywhere from 1-30 minutes. The game will freeze and/or crash. If it is frozen, sound will still play in the background and if I hover my mouse over, for example settings in a menu I can still hear the "clicks/sound effect" even though my screen is frozen. Usually I can still alt+tab and I can always Ctrl+alt+Del. So my computer is never frozen but just the game's window is frozen on a single frame. I can still interact with the game but the visual output for the game is frozen, making me suspect it was a gpu problem.

my pc:
I7-7700K (No overclock for the past year)
MSI Z270-a pro motherboard (Not an SLI board i know)
2x8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX ram 3200 DDR4
Two 1080ti's in SLI with a HB SLI bridge (both on stock clock speeds/settings)
EVGA 750w G3 gold psu
NZXT S340 Elite so airflow + temps wasn't a concern
(If you need any more info let me know and I will reply :D)

I have the latest windows 10 updates, the latest bios (7A71v16 for my mb), the latest gpu drivers and I have tested my ram sticks individually and they're both fine. I've reinstalled windows at least 4 times and no files are corrupt/damaged or missing and the health of my SSD is perfect. On every fresh install of windows, on multiple Hard drives and one SSD, the problem persisted. Usage is also very low during operation and during crash (usually well under 20% at most). Also nothing looks like it may be overheating or "thermal throttling", everything is well withing operating temp. Everything has been reseated and nothing is unplugged that shouldn't be, I also blast all the dust out of my system with compressed air a couple times a year so dust shorting something isn't a concern.

Things I have tried :
  • Reinstalling windows with reformatting the drives beforehand
  • Reinstalling the game on different drives
  • Tested each ram stick
  • Updated GPU drivers
  • Updated bios to latest version
  • Ran everything as admin
  • Changed power management modes to prefer max perforamance
  • Changed the virtual memory to 12gb max (Returned to normal after this didn't work)
  • Excluded files that were in use from windows defender (only anti virus I have)
  • Even turned real time protection off for a bit to test
  • Reseated ALL hardware
  • Checked every cable in the computer
  • Cleaned out the PC
When I built this computer, I had no intention of getting a second 1080ti. Hence why I bought a 750 watt psu and I didn't buy an SLI compatible motherboard . With a single 1080ti, a 600w power supply is recommended and with SLI 1080ti's, an 850w psu is recommended. Great source for psu requirements depending on gpu(s):

I don't remember when I only had a single 1080ti, if this problem persisted but when I tried going back to a single 1080ti for testing purposes, the games still froze/crashed so that stumped me since I thought it would be a power issue and/or motherboard not supporting SLI issue.

Sorry for the long post but this has been a day's worth of discovery in a year of constant crashing. ANYWAYS my question/dilemma is that I have a motherboard that doesn't officially support SLI (also has one 16x slot and one 4x slot) and I have a psu that isn't rated for my setup. There was definitely a lack of research when I decided to pick up a second 1080ti but my question is, are the symptoms I am experiencing possibly caused by the motherboard not being rated for SLI (and having a 16x and 4x) and a PSU that isn't rated for my setup?

I've obviously been using both gpu's in SLI for over a year with the 750w psu that isn't rated for it and a motherboard that ins't rated for it and I don't believe I have caused any damage to any hardware but I obviously am not an expert.

This boxing day i'm considering picking up a Z270 board that supports SLI and a 850w or 1000w power supply just to see if that would solve my problem. I could totally be looking in the wrong direction while trouble shooting my pc.

Thank you so much for reading my post. I hope after a year of having this problem, I can finally fix it. I will also be very active on this post until I fix this issue so any responses or advice you guys have would be greatly appreciated! thanks!!
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This is my first ever post on Tom's Hardware so I don't know if there's any post etiquette or anything.
Rules of conduct for each thread and their respective section can be found at the top of each forum section.

The problem to me is more of a two fold issue. Your PSU was made to run beyond it's specs when the system was taxed then is the matter about the board being a lower tier board with no support for SLI. You should be back on your feet with a robustly built Z270 chipset board and a PSU that can deliver at least 850 for the entire system(without any overclocks).
Nov 20, 2019
"The problem to me is more of a two fold issue" That's what I was thinking. I'm going to be doing some extensive testing with a single 1080ti and SLI to see the results, and i'll post them here or maybe edit the original post to include them for any future people that may be searching for an answer to their problems too.