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1080p movies cause freeze/crash

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Intel E8500 Core 2 Duo @ 3,16ghz
Asus P5E64 WS
2048mb OCR DDR3 @ 1333mhz
Asus Geforce GTX 280
2x Seagate Barracuda SATA2
Windows XP Professional (pretty streamlined, minimum services running etc. Just to let you know it's not totally bloated (like my parents) (I mean their computer)

My computer freezes/crashes/locks up whenever I watch 1080p movies.
The freeze can be described as an instant lock where sound freezes to a high pitched beep, screen freezes (but monitor does not shut off), and computer is completely unresponsive. It is not a

matter of 100% cpu load, it's totally fu.. frozen. I usually hard restart at this point.

The movies are in mkv/x264 format, they can run for 5-15 minutes before the crash.
It also happens sometimes with 720p movies but not often. Also sometimes when playing games, but not nearly as often, almost never.
I can reproduce it with 1080p movies 100% of the time.

About the PSU, I sold my 700W PSU and got a Thermal Take 1000W PSU, problem persists.
About heating, The GPU did seem hot so as an experiment I put the case up by an open window covered by a mosquito screen. Fans have ample access to cool 10C air, problem still persists.
About the HD cables, I exchanged them, I put the HDs in compatible mode, problem persists.
About the drivers, had the problem for a while so multiple NVIDIA drivers have been used.
About the media player and codecs, tried multiple players, not sure about the codecs but I tried VLC and mplayer which both come with codecs (eg no extra codecs needed) and I've also tried CCCP

(a codec pack) with a stand-alone player, and problem persists.

Forgive my english, I'd be happy to clarify anything.

Thank you.

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