Nvidia+Via+AMD BSOD XP Advice please

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I put myself together this computer in the fall of last year and have had virtually no problems that i can think of. here are the specs.

Athlon XP 2100+
MSI KT333 mobo
Geforce4 TI4600
512 Kingston DDR
Audigy platinum (internal)

From what i can remember through the fog of time the first mobo i got from the store simply wouldnt boot, okay, replaced it (mmm warranty) and away I went. I had playing certain games (Hitman 2 in particular) what i thought was a heat buildup problem, i got some arctic silver and applied it to my CPU and voila no more random restart problems. The MSI mobo ate itself alive around january and i upgraded to a Gigabyte 8x agp board so i had overhead for upgrading my processor later as well. i had few problems untill recently (about 3 weeks ago) I did a standard reformat and install of XP that i do fairly often, in the XP install i got several BSOD's before i finnaly got through. At this stage i was somewhat worried. After i got into windows all seemed well, untill i tried to play any game, at which time i would get an instant restart 30 seconds or more into the game. I disabled auto restarts in windows so i got BSOD's instead, and received errors of
poked around several forums online and updated every driver on my board as i could think of. I took out my audigy and am instead using the onboard audio of my mobo. No difference. Many places point to incomatiblities in the components listed in the topic. Others point to memory problems. I decided to play with my memory, lacking another stick of DDR to test however all i could do was switch slots of my memory stick. here is where it gets confusing.

Slot 1 (closest to the CPU)
The one i have been using mostly since the beggining. When the stick is used in this slot i get a BSOD within half a second of running any 3D app.

Slot 2
With this slot the BSOD's are fewer and further inbetween. however still highly annoying, i can get about 20 minutes of play out of my system.
BSOD : Fault_in_nonpaged_area
Random driver faults (kmixer.sys is one of the ones that comes to mind, there are about 6 or 7 various .sys that come up randomly)

Slot 3 (furthest from CPU
Used it for about an hour to test
BSOD : Fault_in_nonpaged_area

The true conundrum is what component is to blame? The heat going down on my CPU seemed to stop the errors for a few weeks, only to return at a later date. I have tried severley underclocking my GPU with no visible results. I have run MEMTEST under DOS from a boot CD with my memory in the first slot and had it pass with flying colors. I have the option to upgrade my video card to a Radeon 9700 pro but i dont want to do that if i dont have to.

Sorry for the novel but the problem has been ongoing and only now has it reached proportions where i cant ignore it any longer. Please help!
Exasperated i just removed my heatsink from my CPU (again) cleaned out the heatsink compound that was there and reapplied a small amount. Now it is working again. just played some Medieval total war with the memory in slot 1 with no problems. this is seriously annoying me....
Add on an hour of GTA 3 and Half life DOD in D3d mode respectivley and no crashes. Could it be a bad memory stick after all? (maybe the heat from the CPU is making it trip out?) or a bad CPU....
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