Hi Mythstatic and other forum users,
I'm having the exact same problem.
My system specs are:
processor i3 530
mobo intel dh55tc
ram 6gb, 1333mhz
psu corsair 650tx (recent)
video card xfx hd4890
display samsung b2030 (1600x900 @ 60Hz)
hdd segate 500gb
optical drive 2 lg DVD-writer
my problem started couple of months ago, one morning i tried to start l.a.noire and the computer froze as it was loading the game graphics. thinking something went wrong with the same files i tried other games like nfs the run and cod mw3, but all caused similar problems of frozen display and then hanged computer.
the odd thing is when the display froze then if i press the restart button, sometime the system restarts and other time i have to long press the start button to make a forced shutdown as restart button did not respond.
now if i had to make a forced shutdown, then when i start the system next time, there was no display on the screen and the video card's fan starts to run at its highest rpm as if the system is under very heavy load but in reality i was only booting the system.
so initially i thought the video card is faulty, so i took it to a xfx service center, and they cleaned the fan, and tested with for about 30-35 mins with gpu-z and playing cod mw2 and the responded fine without any problem, so i thought the psu was the problem (i had the coolermaster extreme power plus 600w) and also hearing all the bad review about this psu i finally replaced it with corsair 650tx 2 days ago.
this time with new psu i started playing gta-4 with high settings, for near 3 hours i was able to play without any problem, but then suddenly the problem started, my display froze and computer hanged. i was able to warm restart and again started gta4, this time i was able to play only for 5 mins before the same thing happened and this time i has force shutdown as system was not responding on restart button. and when i restarted the old thing of video card's fan moving at abnormally high rpm and no display but the pc was booting normally, so i again force shutdown it and restarted and it started normally but playing any game now causing this blackout and freezing problem.
could you please help me with some diagnostics with which i may be able to pin point what could be the problem.
my guess its the video card, but then why it was able to run straight 3 hours i cannot fathom, and could it be caused by heavy dust accumulation in the card, the card is covered by a plastic casing, can't reach inside without breaking the cover