Question Nvidia GTX 1050 - Intermittent black screen and display failure

Sep 20, 2020
I've been struggling with an issue for the last couple of months. My screen will go black, and my display will indicate no signal. Most often the display will reappear ~5 seconds later. I typically search and lurk and iterate through solutions to find my fixes, but I am at the end of my rope here. I'm hoping to find a solution that will get me through the next ~3 months until I might be able to find a GTX3070. I'm not positive this is a gpu issue, but that's where the failure is apparent so I've been working that angle the most.

650-WATT Thermaltake SMART Series SP-650P
asus z170-a-atx motherboard,
intel i3 6100
Crucial CRU817000 8GB DDR4 UDIMM 2133 MHz
asus nvidia GTX 1050,
asus vs278Q-P 27" display
Windows 10

Some random details
sometimes happens on desktop
more likely happens in games (tested w/ borderlands2, destiny2, civ6. when it happens in borderlands2 it's normally recoverable. civ6/dest2 game will crash.
sometimes goes weeks with no problem
sometimes happens every minute
sometimes comes back with no intervention
sometimes win+ctrl+shift+B will bring display back
sometimes stays dark and I have to hard restart system

Attempted solutions
uninstalled gpu by way of device manager, let system refind/install
updated gpu drivers (
altered 3d settings on nvidia control panel - prefer max performance, vertical sync off
cleaned case, gpu, board, cpu. reapplied cpu thermal paste (silicone based, all I had onhand); reseated gpu
installed cpuid hwmonitor; sometimes power limit on gpu hits 1; unsure if this is a problem; temps peaks ~76 cpu, ~72 gpu; idle temps ~33 cpu, ~33 gpu
changed from dvi-hdmi cable to display port cable
reapplied arctic silver cpu thermal paste, cpu temp now peaks ~70
installed msi afterburner; when next blackscreen (bs) happened, I noticed I had reverse 'spikes' of gpu temp to 0, gpu mem clock to zero, fan speed to 0, no load limit to 0 - I assume while the bs occurred the gpu monitoring signal was lost for the duration
decoupled power limit and temp limit
set power limit to 107
nvidia control panel - openGL rendering GPU - set to GeForce GTX 1050; refresh rate set to 59 hz
drop gpu core clock -120 mhz; drop gpu core clock -400 mhz
drop gpu memory clock -502 mhz [WHITESCREEN - had to restart system]
drop gpu memory clock -64 mhz; drop gpu memory clock -129 mhz; drop gpu memory clock -210 mhz [WHITESCREEN - had to restart system]

What should I try next? (I don't have a secondary system to swap components around)
Think this is likely hardware issue? gpu? or maybe mobo, ps, or something else?
Know any software/methods that might help me track down the core issue?