|PCI card...the HD 5450, it was slanted. When the metal panel (I'm assuming that's the lock on the back end you're referring to) was tightened down the card itself was at a slight slant. When I removed--it even looks a little warped. When I propped it up straight it had a slight bow to it. |
I went through the BIOS six ways from Saturday on Monday morning, everything was as it should be. Integrated onboard graphics were disabled, driver was uninstalled. I had the most up-to-date ATI driver for the HD 5450, and tried a few older versions just in case...all yielded the same results.
On a whim I went to microcenter, had some store credit. Picked up an EVGA GTX 460 that was on sale. Also picked up a new power supply (Corsair 600GS) which was also on sale. Opened it up, swapped the PSU & card, booted up, installed driver--and the system hasn't flinched since (knock on wood). I pressed it pretty hard, temps were down & everything is running as smoothly as I could possibly ask for.
Thanks for all of the input, I greatly appreciate it.