Symptom: Sometimes when I play games for a long time, my computer just randomly crashes to the desktop.

Random crashes in games can be the result of a few different problems. Typically, it's a heat issue, a driver issue, or a problem with the game. The first thing you should do is check for a patch for any of your games that are crashing. It seems like common sense, but frequently we receive complaints from people trying to run games that have been patched three or four times. Once you've updated your games, you need to update your videocard and chipset drivers. Get you videocard driver from the company that manufactured your card's chipset, either ATI or nVidia. You should also check for newer drivers for your motherboard's chipset whenever you update your videocard drivers. Outdated motherboard chipset drivers are one of the main causes of general system instability. If you've updated all your hardware, but are still having problems, you may have a heat issue. Open your case and look at your AGP card. Is there another card right below it? If there is, you should consider moving that card to another slot. A card directly below a high-end videocard can disrupt airflow enough to cause overheating issues with today's top-of-the-line videocards. If freeing the neighboring slot doesn't alleviate your problem, try adding a fan that fits into one of your PCI slots and exhausts hot air from the bottom of your PC.


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