When Gaming Freezes: Investigating the Causes Behind Specific Game Crashes


Here are my PC specifications for reference:

  • CPU: AMD 7950x3d
  • RAM: 64GB DDR5 6000
  • GPU: AMD 7900xtx
  • Motherboard: NZXT b650e
  • PSU: EVGA 1300w gold
  • SSD: Inland Performance Plus 2TB and 4TB
  • OS: Windows 11 Pro”
  • This

version is structured to emphasize the unique problem with the two games and seeks expert insight into the possible causes. It also neatly presents the PC specs which might be relevant to the troubleshooting process.


The `DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILURE` error involving `ntoskrnl.exe` is a notorious issue for Windows users, particularly when it manifests during gaming. This error is indicative of driver incompatibilities or power management issues that cause the system to crash to a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). The fact that this error occurs exclusively while playing Counter Strike 2 and Helldivers 2, despite the system being equipped with high-end hardware, suggests a specific conflict with these games.

Given the PC specifications:

: AMD 7950x3d

  • RAM

    : 64GB DDR5 6000

  • GPU

    : AMD 7900xtx

  • Motherboard

    : NZXT b650e

  • PSU

    : EVGA 1300w gold

  • SSD

    : Inland Performance Plus 2TB and 4TB

  • OS

    : Windows 11 Pro

  • The system is more than capable of handling demanding games. Therefore, the issue likely lies not with the hardware’s ability to perform but rather with how the software interacts with the hardware.

    To address this issue, consider the following expert recommendations:


    Driver Verification

    : Update all system drivers, with a focus on the GPU driver, to the latest versions provided by the manufacturers.


    Game Software Updates

    : Ensure that both Counter Strike 2 and Helldivers 2 are updated to their latest versions, as patches often resolve compatibility issues.


    Thermal Management

    : Monitor the system’s thermal performance while gaming. Excessive heat can lead to system instability and crashes. If overheating is detected, improve the system’s cooling.


    Power Supply Check

    : Verify that the PSU is delivering consistent power to the system components. Fluctuations in power supply can cause instability.


    Hardware Testing

    : Conduct stress tests on the system to identify any potential hardware failures.


    System File Integrity

    : Use Windows’ System File Checker (SFC) to ensure all system files are intact and uncorrupted.


    Background Applications

    : Close any non-essential applications that may interfere with the games’ operation.


    Memory Reliability

    : Test the system’s memory to rule out RAM issues, which can cause various errors including BSODs.


    Storage Health

    : Check the SSDs for errors or signs of failure, as they can contribute to system crashes.


    Clean Boot

    : Perform a clean boot of Windows to isolate any software conflicts that might be causing the crashes.

    If these steps do not resolve the problem, it may be necessary to consult with the game developers’ support teams or seek professional technical support for a more in-depth analysis.

    In summary, the `DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILURE` ntoskrnl.exe crash is a complex issue that requires a systematic approach to troubleshoot. Regular updates, careful monitoring of hardware performance, and awareness of software interactions are crucial for maintaining a stable gaming environment. Through methodical examination and the elimination of potential causes, the root of the problem can be identified and resolved.

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