Question What steps should I take to find which hardware is causing my problems?

drambit

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Lately, for about a year now, when I play any video game, there will be intermittent stalls. What usually happens is my monitors look frozen for about 3-4 seconds (it used to be more like 16 seconds), do something glitchy looking, then go back to normal, with AMD giving me a driver error afterwards.

I'm assuming that my video card is dying, I've had it for 6 years now and I've used it a lot over the years. It would make sense, but I mentioned this problem to someone recently and they said "that sounds like RAM to me, 100%". I did a full pass of memtest, but I don't know if it checked all my ram and it had no errors. I reinstalled all my drivers fresh recently and it didn't stop the problems.

I want to figure out with some degree of certainty which part is causing my issue, I don't want to buy a brand new video card and still have the same issue.

What steps should I take to really figure out which part is causing my problem?

OS: Windows 10 Pro
Mobo: MSI Z97S SLI PLUS
CPU: Intel Core i5 4690K
HDD: Samsung SSD 840 EVO 120GB
GPU: AMD Radeon R9 290
RAM: HyperX Fury DDR3 1866mhz 8GB
PSU: Thermaltake Smart 750W
Case: Corsair Carbine 200R
 

drambit

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A failing PSU might do that as well, and Thermaltakes aren't all that reliable. Be nice to try another PSU of reputable quality
Conveniently I have another one available right now too, I'll try swapping it. Brutal that I actually already swapped it recently just to check if that one had failed because it was part of a broken computer, and it worked fine, turns out the video card had died completely in that computer, but I never thought to try gaming with it to see if the problem would go away. I'll try it.
 

drambit

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With a GTX 760 in the same computer I have been playing games quite a bit for a couple days and not experienced a single hitch or crash at any point. I will do the reverse soon.
 

drambit

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Update: After trying about a week of gaming with my original PC and a substituted nvidia video card I did not have a single crash at any point. Now after about a week of gaming with my R9 290 in a substitute PC, I also am not experiencing any crashes. I suppose this kind of rules out that there is a major hardware problem with the video card.

Still I don't understand how it could be this severe of a driver problem. Multiple times I carefully wiped all the default windows video drivers, prevented windows from updating video drivers automatically, and then completely clean wiped the old AMD drivers, replacing them with new ones, none of this made the problem go away on my old machine.

Baffling.
 

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