Question PC freezing, but coming back up

Jul 16, 2019
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TLDR: PC freezes randomly for 10-20 seconds with sound glitched, but never crashes/turnes off/BSOD's, always comes back on and works for a few more hours/minutes/seconds before freezing again.

System:

- Motherboard: ASUS PRIME H270-PLUS MINING
- CPU: Intel Pentium G4560
- RAM: Patriot Viper Elite gray (2x4GB) DDR4 2666 (running on 2400 due
to MB restrictions)
- SSD: Kingston Now A400, 2,5" - 480GB
- GPU: GIGABYTE R9 270X 2GB
- PSU: EVGA 450 B1 - 450W
- Windows 10 Home 64-bit


The PC freezes from time to time. It seems to happen more often when gaming, but it happens when using browser or just Windows too. Sometimes it doesn't freeze for hours, but usually it happens on average every 5-10 minutes in-game and less frequently in Windows.

It stays frozen for about 10-20 seconds and then comes back on, working normaly until the next freeze. So far it has never crashed or displayed any error whatsoever. There are no graphical anomalis, the picture just freezes. But there often are sound anomalies, meaning the in-game music will loop for a few second before the whole system freezes and the sound is often looping even while the system is frozen. Interestingly when this pre-freeze sound thing happens, I can stil move my mouse and the game still runs, even displaying in-game information when I mouse over it, but once I click something, it immediately initiates the freeze (if I don't click anything, the freeze happens after a few seconds anyways).

The freezes seem quite random in-game, I've been unable to trigger them by doing system-demanding actions and they happen even when I'm not doing anything and the game just runs on its own. I've tested them in Crusader Kings II (low demanding game with avg. 140 FPS) and Dishonored 2 (high demanding game with avg. 40 FPS). There is no FPS drop before the freeze (I have FPS counter displayed), no evident performance issue. Everything runs smoothly until it doesn't run at all. In Windows they do seem to be related to my actions as it almost never happens when doing low demanding actions like typing this post - it freezes only when I actually click something, usually Windows related like file explorer, Start panel or taskbar. When trying to locate something that might cause it in BIOS, it even froze in BIOS. However in this case it didn't come back even after a minute and I had to hard reset, thankfully nothing broke and the PC booted up normally.

Now what might be the issue? I'll go through my thought process:

1. Motherboard - in my eyes most likely, especially after the freeze in BIOS. But wouldn't the PC crash, freeze permanently or not even boot up if MOBO was the problem?
2. CPU - quite possible? I'm no expert, but I feel like temporal freezes would fit CPU problem better than MOBO problem.
3. RAM - probably fine, I ran the Windows memory test with no errors.
4. SSD - maybe? But the freeze in BIOS probably rules it out?
5. GPU - definitely not as the freezing continued in the same manner after I took it out and used the Intel integrated GPU instead. Also there are no graphical anomalies and the picture sometimes still moves when the sound anomaly already began.
6. PSU - maybe? But once again, I think the PC would crash if PSU was the issue.
7. Windows - another possibility? I believe the system was freezing from the moment I put the PC together and installed Windows, but less frequently and in much shorter durations so I didn't pay much attention to it back then.

I've ran all the basic Windows diagnostic on RAM and SSD and Intel diagnostics on CPU. All the drivers are updated. No bloatware, no unnecessary programs or utilities installed or running in the background. I've also done some basic troubleshooting like deleting temporal files, changing some power management settings etc. as I've read in some internet post. If the sensors are correct, there is absolutely no overheating in any component. Unfortunatelly I don't have an option to test individual components in a different PC.

All parts except the GPU are new and I put the rig together myself about 5 months ago, used it for about a week and then not until July again.

Thank you for your time and any suggestions or help in finding out what the problem is.
 
Welcome to the forums my friend!

Can you confirm if the issue still occurs in safe mode?
Do you have latest BIOS installed?
You say you ran RAM and CPU tests and all were OK? What SSD test was ran?
What CPU individual core temperatures are you reaching under load? (not just the whole package)
What GPU temperatures are you reaching under load?

The PSU is poor quality also, so this could well be a factor to consider.
 
Jul 16, 2019
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I didn't test it in Safe mode yet. It's apparently not that easy to get into Safe mode in Win10.

BIOS is up to date and has been the whole time.
About the tests I ran:
  • RAM - Windows Memory Diagnostics. And I tried putting them into different slots on the motherboard.
  • SSD - basic Windows test in Properties->Tools->Error checking. And CrystalDiskInfo.
  • CPU - Intel Processor Diagnostics Tool
No errors in either test.
Plus I ran Performance Test from Passmark on CPU, GPU, SSD, RAM - with average to above average result (for each component) and no freezes during the tests.

As for maximum temperatures:
  • GPU - never above 75°C
  • CPU - OpenHardwareMonitor doesn't report it, but a motherboard app claims about 55°C (which seems wrong, but I guess that's what Pentium CPUs are about). Intel tool claims 61°C. Unfortunately there are no measurements for each (of the two) cores separately.
This is after an hour of gaming:



This is immediately after a freeze. Notice the weird things Windows reports:
 
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