Computer Will Freeze, Lock Up During Game Play

So i just bought a new gaming desktop this year. It was $1300 and i'm very disappointed, i bought 500gb of hard drive space and only 9 out of my 46 games work with it. Mostly because a lot of the games were made before 1998. I'm only asking about 3 of the games that i've managed to get working: civilization 3, civ 3 play the world, and civ iv/beyond the sword.

Problem: all of the games start and will play normally but at certain times during the game-play the computer will freeze, lock-up, or just kick me out of the game for no reason. It happens at different times in each game. In civilization 3, i can play fine for the most part but if i accidentally scroll too fast on the map it just locks-up or freezes and i have to shut it down with the task manager. In civilization 3:play the world i can play to the end of a game with no problems but as soon as it switches to the results screen after the game it kicks me out to a black screen and then i have to go into the task manager to turn it off and start over.

In civ iv, about halfway through any game it will just shut down everything and take me back to windows. There doesn't seem to be any particular action that triggers it. As far as i know these games should be compatible with vista, could these issues have something to do with the operating system hogging too much memory? 

Hope to get an answer soon, it will save me many headaches trying to fix this alone.

Comp specs: (if you need more of these let me know)
-Windows vista home premium 64-bit
-2gb ram

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