So I've had the Intel DX58SO2 desktop motherboard and Intel Core i7-940 CPU for over 2 years now. I had been using it as a Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, and using another system to RDP in to. Recently, I decided to convert it to a gaming system. So I upgraded my graphics card and started interfacing with the system directly.
I started playing games like StarCraft 2, Diablo 3, Team Fortress 2, and so on. Not very graphically intensive games. I started noticing that after a certain amount (what seemed to be random) amount of time, my system would freeze up. My first instinct was that my system was overheating. So I opened up my case and felt around to see if I could find out what was overheating. What I found out was that my GPU was often VERY hot to the touch. My first instinct after that was I thought there was something wrong with my GPU (EVGA GeForce GTX560).
So I borrowed a friend's GPU, an AMD ATI Radeon card (I can't recall the model, but it was something released about a year ago). I also used the old GPU from my still operating, old system (EVGA 8800 GTS). Neither of these cards have a history of overheating. In every case, the GPU seemed very hot to the touch. So I determined there's nothing wrong with the GPU, but something else.
To further prove that the GPU is not to blame for my system freezing, I've noticed my system freeze when I'm simply watching YouTube videos. Yes, I know that browsers these days do take advantage of GPU processing power, especially for playing video, but I mean YouTube seriously should not be causing my system to freeze.
My next step for troubleshooting was my CPU. I had been using the stock heatsink (which came with the CPU), with the stock thermal paste (that is pre-applied at the factory). I thought maybe my CPU was generating too much heat now that I'm using the system for gaming. So I purchased a Therlamtake Frio Advanced which has an enormous heatsink and 130mm fans on both sides. I actually had to remove the fan on the far side (inner-most) because it would have been physically interfering with my RAM. So I thought that wasn't a big deal because it has an enormous fan and heatsink, no problem. Still my system froze up.
Then I thought maybe my case didn't have proper cooling because I was using a pretty small case and only had a single fan in the back of the case. So I purchased and installed the Cooler Master Sniper (previously was using the Cooler Master Elite 330). This new case has manual auxiliary fan control on the case, has a 200x30mm fan on the front (directly in front of the HDD bays), on the side panel, and on the top of the case, in addition to a 120x25mm in the rear of the case for exhaust from the CPU. Once again, system is still freezing up.
At this point, I'm extremely frustrated about just throwing money at this problem to fix this freezing problem and obviously none of it is making a difference. On top of that, I'm not even overclocking any of my components. So I started monitoring my system temperature with software (I wish I had done this first). I noticed that none of my components were really that excessively hot, with the exception of 3 different items, called SMIOVT4, SMIOVT5, and SMIOVT6. All 3 seem to register the same temperature no matter what, so they're tied to each other in some way. At idle, with my just running my operating system without doing anything computationally or graphically demanding (just using a web browser and Excel, these 3 different components read 94 degrees Celsius. That is very alarming to me as I don't believe any component inside a computer system should ever be that hot.
What are the components SMIOVT4, SMIOVT5, and SMIOVT6? I can't seem to find any worth references to these components on the Internet.
Are there any other system software monitoring and diagnostics tools you'd recommend that I use to figure this out? Preferably a motherboard diagnostics tool.
At this moment, I'm leaning towards pointing at my motherboard as the culprit that it has a defect that is causing this, but the other potential culprit I suppose could be my CPU having a defect. Although in my almost 6 years working as a systems analyst, I've never come across a bad CPU, but have had plenty of malfunctioning motherboards.