Terrible Performance w/ single card on MSI K8N Diamond Plus!

I'm pulling my hair out over this guys/gals. Please help!

First off, my specs:

MSI K8N Diamond Plus SLI
Athlon X2 4400 Dual Core
GeForce 7900 GTX
Antec TruePower 2.0 550W SLI PSU
Crucial 2GB DDR 400

Okay. My question is in regards to SLI/single card configurations on this motherboard. I am trying to run a single Nvidia 7900GTX video card on this SLI motherboard and am having some SERIOUS issues.

First off, I've checked the benchmarks for the 7900GTX with certain games, namely Oblivion, so I know what the card should run on max settings. I've also checked benchmarks of the 7900GTX in relation to the ATI 1900 XT and they are very similar on this game and many others.

With a single card (my 7900GTX), I'm averaging half the FPS my friend is w/ his 1900 XT, and we have very similar overall specs (except he has a single card motherboard instead of SLI). To benchmark, we then swapped his 1900 XT in my motherboard and his frames dropped in half, just like my 7900 GTX was performing.

In other words, swapping his card into my motherboard sliced his frames in half of what he was getting on his single card setup.

So--the obvious question I have, is: Does my motherboard support optimized performance for single cards? I have read all the way through the user manual front and back and been through the bios several times and see no way to configure the PCI-E slots for single card/SLI configurations. Yet, I'm getting half the performance I should be getting out of a single card setup.

Another tidbit: whenever I'm gaming and I swivel the camera to intense graphics, my framerate drops in half (from 75 to flickering between 37-38 according to fraps) in the blink of an eye. My refresh rate is set to 75 on my LCD. In other words, it seems to me as if my system is trying to split the workload of the card into two parts and expects that I have a second card installed and SLI enabled (which I don't, that I'm aware of.)

I have tried everything I can think of to try and fix this problem. I've installed/uninstalled every ForceWare driver for the 8x.xx series. I've formatted the hard drive and reinstalled windows. I've switched virus software products (I'm now using Avast, instead of Norton.) I'm at my wit's end with this computer and just need an answer from somebody who has a clue what's going on with my setup!!

Thanks in advance!
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More about terrible performance single card diamond plus
  1. make sure you put the card into the primary PCE-E slot (the one closest to the proccesor0 because the secondary slot runs at 1x when sli is not enabled
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