Question PC Hard Freeze when playing intensive games + watching video(twitch/netflix)


Dec 7, 2015
Okay so i'll do my best to explain this. It's been driving me insane for a couple of days as I have no idea what the problem is. This has been going on for about a week or so now.
Mobo : ASRock Z370 Taichi ATX LGA1151 Motherboard
CPU: Intel Core i7-8700K 3.7 GHz 6-Core Processor
Cooler: CRYORIG H7 Quad Lumi 49 CFM CPU Cooler
RAM: Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 16 GB (4 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory
PSU: EVGA G3 750 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply
GPU: Evga Geforce 3080 XC3 Ultra (Also tried old 1080TI)
I use Evga Precision OC to control fans. I have GSYNC turned on.
I never overclock.
When playing Warzone/Overwatch/Civ 6/Total War Warhammer 2, I tend to watch movies or twitch on chrome when playing.
FPS/Game Performance is all fine.
Within 2-10 minutes, the video i'm watching will start to buffer(like I have lost internet connection) This is the first symptom. The game on my main screen is still running completely fine at this moment.
So naturally, I alt tab from game to refresh page to fix video. I click refresh on chrome(also happens on microsoft edge), it stops responding.
This replicates with every program I have open.If I click Discord next, I can move it or click it once, then stops responding.
Eventually windows does the same, ctrl+alt+del doesn't work, start button doesnt work. It's like the system just slowly stops responding, eventually ending with windows not responding and PC frozen.
Only thing I can do is move my mouse.
Have to manually power off/on.
There are no events in the event log besides the ones produced from manually shutting off machine. There are some warnings, but no critical errors.
Some things i've noticed :
This only happens when playing more intensive games. I can play league of legends just fine with videos open.
This only happens when watching videos on my 2nd monitor and playing a certain game at the same time.
There have been times where I could quickly alt tab back into the game before the inevitable freeze. And the game performs just fine until the system freezes. I've been able to stay in a Modern Warfare game after the video starts buffering on my 2nd monitor, for maybe a min, then that freezes too.
When the system is frozen I can usually still hear anyone in discord + in game sound effects, so the game itself isnt even frozen. If I attempt to talk back in discord they do not hear me.
The crashes are predictable but unpredictable. I've tried making changes and thought I fixed it because I wouldn't get a crash for 10 min, then it would eventually crash anyway.
The crashes are somewhat different depending on the game. Civ 6 it usually takes a little while and crashes when there is more activity on the map, just freezes randomly. Call of Duty will just crash randomly anywhere, could be 5 min could be 1 min, sometimes I can continue playing once I notice a crash coming on. Warhammer will last no longer than 10 min and the first symptom in this game is the in game sound STOPS, then 5 seconds later, game freezes. In overwatch, first symptom is video freeze. If I DONT alt-tab, I can play for maybe 2-3 min, If I DO alt tab, everything freezes, cant alt tab back in.
I've had task manager and resource monitor open on 3rd monitor to see if anything changed during crash. Only thing I noticed is all activity for CPU/GPU just drops to idle because the game isn't responding. If I clicked either window ONCE, it would freeze. If I DIDNT click either window, they would still be updating and reflecting live data (temps etc). Eventually it would freeze as well even if I didnt click it.
This doesn't happen just with twitch, also happens with netflix/hbo max etc. It's any video on 2nd monitor through browser. I haven't tried any other methods of watching videos(external blu ray player etc)
I have 0 issues doing anything else on my PC. Browsing/watching video without game/playing game without video/anything else, it works just fine.
What I've tested:
Ran Memtest overnight: No errors
Ran Furmark: No errors no crashes
Ran Prime95: No errors no crashes
Ran OCCT stress tests : No errors no crashes.
Ran 3D Mark: No crashes
Ran Userbenchmark: All Hardware running at or above average.
Plugged in my older GPU (Evga 1080 TI FTW) problem persisted.
Reinstalled windows twice.
Updated all drivers/Clean install drivers/DDU install drivers
Made sure bios was up to date version
Checked Temps with HW monitor
GPU being stressed was 76C max
Disabled Nvidia HD audio (saw something somewhere about it+ I have sound card)
Ive stared at the temps during the crashes and there is nothing alarming.
Did sfc /scannow - No issues
Did chkdisk - no issues
I'm really not sure what else to do here, i've tried everything I could think of, im starting to think it's a hardware issue, but its weird how it only happens when I'm watching a video. To me personally it feels like a GPU issue, but it can't be because the problem also occurs with my other GPU, right?
Feb 1, 2021
Is there a chance that you are using a Samsung 970 Evo Plus NVME ssd?

I have similar issues and for now, I am suspecting the SSD.