doralsoral, I do not have a new cpu, it is about a year old. Most of the other details you asked I mentioned above. A similar problem happened in Mandrake 10 but I think that was because I was running music with cpu sucking visualization, email, many downloads, lots of instances of different programs, gaim, etc at once.
I have been fooling with my network and DNS settings recently. It is hard to tell what did it because I have been fooling with a lot of different settings. I just got an HP LaserJet 4100 printer on a Windows XP computer working from my own by manually telling the print manager where it was located and its share name because I can't seem to get my network working perfectly (I don't know how to set mount points in gnome or manually in samba very well). I have been messing with my keyboard's keycodes and I accidently ruined my spacebar for about ten minutes. I've been downloading and attempting to install many programs, some of which I have corrupted or broken right after installing them successfully. (One being amule if anyone knows how to stop it from minimizing on load or hiding upon minimizing).
I might try to change my network settings if no one else has any suggestions for me. My computer hasn't frozen so far today (20 min. so far) so maybe it will just fix itself.