Graphics/Video issues while on YouTube/Internet

Ok, here is a crazy one I've been bashing my head against with no luck. Randomly, while on the internet and mainly youtube fullscreen, my monitor will flicker a few times and then go to a grayish screen that will prevent my pc from functioning until I hard reboot. Sometimes the audio continues behind it, sometimes it doesn't. It doesn't happen 100% of the time and I have tried to purposely duplicate it. Seems "most likely" to happen when I launch a browser, go to a youtube favorite and immediately go full screen. BUT, it has happened while on a regular internet page (it crashed the first time I wrote this). I have done some troubleshooting so far:

-thought it was gpu drivers, updated and rolled back...same issue
-thought it was Chrome...issue persists on IE and Firefox
-it's not overheating...issue is as likely to happen as soon as pc boots as it is after ive played 4 hours of games
-I don't "think" the GPU is dying...issue has never happened during a game
-I thought it didn't like my dual monitors...issue happens with one plugged in and I've had duals for months now, this started a couple weeks ago
-ran anti virus and anti malware
-not a power issue, had this same setup for 6 months with no issues

I will take any ideas for further troubleshooting...I am at my wits end!

-i5 3570
-Asus P8B75
-AMD R9 280x Black Edition
-16GB Ripjaw ram
-128 SSD and 2TB HDD

Thanks in advance!!

My two cents: maybe it's the RAM or the HDD? Try running vendor-specific HDD diagnostics and an overnight Memtest (long enough to thoroughly test all your RAM, I had to do 2+ passes on 32 GB of RAM overnight to get a failure). If you've ruled out the rest of the hardware, that's all I can suggest.

this started a couple weeks ago

Well, you might want to think back to that time period; did you add any software or make any configuration changes, right in that time frame? It could be a hardware problem, but a software bug could also cause that symptom.

I honestly don't know what that could be, on a hardware basis. Gaming is much harder than video decoding, so if it were power or overheating, as you mention, it seems like it would happen faster there. I was thinking it could be something wrong in the video-decoding circuitry, but if you get the error while gaming, too, then that's not as likely.

Oh, but a different thought... do crashes happen during regular gameplay, or are they linked to in-game videos in any way?

Thanks for the quick responses.

Will try the ram test...@bubs I never thought playing video would tax it that much, but it's worth a try. NEVER happens when gaming, no matter if its cutscenes or general play, so far it only happens when in a browser window, and most of the time when watching video in the browser

Thinking back, the last GPU driver update came with that "gaming evolved" app from AMD, the one linked to Raptor...could that be an issue? Maybe it changed a the heck would I figure that out though...

Thinking back, the last GPU driver update came with that "gaming evolved" app from AMD

Well, my experience with ATI (now AMD) drivers has never been all that great. It was pretty good for awhile with my 5870, but then started to degrade. I don't think their QA process is especially good (or else they just ignore their QA people, which happens.) So a driver or ancillary software problem would not surprise me in the least.

What you could try is absolutely removing any traces of AMD software from your system, and then reinstall exactly the drivers you were using before the crashes started, just to see what happens.

Add/Remove Programs is probably enough, as they've improved their installation infrastructure a very great deal over the last few years. But if you're still crashing after removing everything AMD-related, and reinstalling what you had before, try another deinstall, and then running Driver Sweeper to pull everything out. If another install after Driver Sweeper runs is still failing, then it may be hardware, after all.