Okay, I'm writing this full well knowing there may well be no fix.
After extensive searching, I have come to a few conclusions. I'll try to keep any relevant information upfront. This is difficult as the system tends to crash before error reporting, so there is nothing of interest in system crash reports.
The issue is that the system consistently crashes when attempting to do gaming. If I shut off all other software, I can manage to run some lower-end stuff, but anything that takes advantage of over what seems to be 10%-ish of my hardware risks a crash.
- The basics of my configuration: X299 Aorus Gaming 7 mobo, i7-7820X CPU (Skylane), 16GB DDR4 memory, 500GB SSD, and Geforce GTX 1050.
- I had trouble installing before, but that was fixed with a manual update to the Mobo BIOS. Since then, installing and running the basic OS was no longer the problem.
- Never had any noticeable big problems with the GPU either, though I heard it could cause problems at that version.
I eventually suspected the CPU exclusively, which has held up. Basically, the intel-microcode package did not update the microcode, until I found a newer version of the package that wasn't the one in the given 16.04 repo yet that did have a slight version update, as it held the 11/17/17 package microcode update.
.. and after that update, I had my first ever error output from the consistent crashing I have experienced. It did last longer with the update, but it still crashed as usual. I just managed to get a tiny bit farther in my games than before.
[ 0.091890] mce: [Hardware Error]: PROCESSOR 0:50654 TIME 1514670880 SOCKET 0 APIC 2 microcode 2000035
So I get the impression that my problem is I have a CPU model of the Skylane line that is known to cause issue, but it's too new for microcode fixes. Turning off hyperthreading had no affect either.
So what I want to know; is there anything at all I can do about this?
I've tried all the fixes I could find for the Skylane CPUs (which mostly just kept repeating different methods of turning hyperthreading off and that you should install microcode updates.)
I've just been digging at this for awhile when I have the spare time and desire to play my games, but the farthest I've gotten is my first concrete error report, because the syslog sure hasn't had anything.