From Streaming to Crashing: Decoding PC Instability with Top-Tier Games


“Why does my PC, which handles web browsing and video streaming flawlessly, crash when playing certain high-demand games? Despite being equipped with an AMD Ryzen 5 3600 CPU, AMD Radeon RX 5700 graphics card, and 16GB of DDR4 RAM, it shuts down abruptly during games like Baldur’s Gate 3, Total War: Warhammer II, and Fortnite, even on the lowest settings. However, it runs less intensive games without issue. Extensive hardware testing has ruled out overheating or power supply issues as the cause. Could this be a software-related problem, and if so, how can I pinpoint and resolve it?”


When it comes to modern PCs, the ability to multitask between everyday activities like web browsing and high-definition video streaming is a given. However, the transition to gaming—especially high-demand games—can sometimes reveal underlying issues that aren’t apparent during less intensive tasks. This is the case with a PC equipped with an AMD Ryzen 5 3600 CPU, AMD Radeon RX 5700 graphics card, and 16GB of DDR4 RAM, which unexpectedly crashes during graphically intensive games despite passing all hardware stress tests.

The PC in question handles low-intensity tasks with ease but crashes when running games such as Baldur’s Gate 3, Total War: Warhammer II, and Fortnite, even on minimal settings. This sudden shutdown and restart phenomenon is perplexing, particularly because less demanding games run without a hitch.

The Diagnosis:

Extensive hardware diagnostics have been conducted, including temperature and power consumption monitoring, as well as stress tests for the CPU, GPU, and RAM. These tests have effectively ruled out common culprits like overheating or power supply deficiencies.

The Possible Culprit: Software Issues:

Given the hardware’s clean bill of health, we turn our attention to software as the potential source of the crashes. Software issues can be elusive and multifaceted, ranging from driver conflicts to operating system bugs.

Pinpointing the Issue:

To narrow down the cause, consider the following steps:


Check for System Updates:

Ensure that your operating system and all drivers, especially the GPU driver, are up to date.


Verify Game Files:

Use the game platform’s verification tool (like Steam’s ‘Verify Integrity of Game Files’) to check for corrupted game files.


Background Applications:

Close unnecessary background applications that may be conflicting with the game’s operation.


Operating System Logs:

Revisit the Windows Event Viewer and Windows Error Reporting post-crash to look for any warnings or errors that could provide clues.


Selective Startup:

Perform a clean boot to start Windows with a minimal set of drivers and startup programs. This can help identify if background services are causing the issue.

Resolving the Issue:

If pinpointing the issue proves challenging, consider the following:

  • Reinstalling the Game:

    Sometimes, a fresh install can resolve hidden conflicts.

  • System Restore:

    If the issue began recently, reverting to a previous system state might help.

  • Consulting Forums:

    Gaming and tech forums can be a treasure trove of information, as other users may have encountered and resolved similar issues.

  • Conclusion:

    When hardware diagnostics fail to uncover the reason for PC crashes during high-demand gaming, it’s time to delve into the labyrinth of software. By systematically ruling out variables and seeking community wisdom, the elusive answer to a stable gaming experience may just be a few troubleshooting steps away. Remember, patience and persistence are key in resolving software-related gaming woes. 🛠️

    This article format provides a structured approach to addressing the question, offering both diagnostic insights and practical steps towards resolution. It’s tailored to inform and guide users experiencing similar issues.

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