Greetings gentlemen and thank you for your time. I am in most dire need of support. After much turmoil I finally got my new computer booted. I had a motherboard/PSU conflict and have since finally fixed it by replacing my MSI P965 Platinum with an Nvidia Nforce680i SLI.
My current set up:
Intel E6600 Core 2 Duo at stock 2.4 Ghz 4MB Cache
2 Gigs Patriot DDR2800 PC 6400
Nvidia Nforce 680i SLI Mobo
Nvidia Geforce 8800 GTX
Big Typhoon CPU Fan
Sata 500 Gig Hard drive
1 17 dollar dvd reader
WINDOWS VISTA 64 Bit Home Premium Edition
Now I installed Vista and proceeded to download all the updates. The stock Mobo drivers that came with my Nvidia 680i mobo wouldn't take because they were 32 bit, so I used Windows Update to update the motherboard drivers. I then proceeded to install Nvidia 8800 GTX drivers from the CD that came from PNY. Then I installed the newest 158.18 Drivers for Vista 64 bit Edition from Nvidia's webpage.
I ran company of heroes with all effects maxed out with no AA at 1024x768, expecting amazing results. I got approximately an average of 15 FPS. Thinking this odd I checked steam to see if HL2 and CSS had finished downloading. I tried to play either game but the menu screens would instantly crash once booted and I had to console to exit the game. Then I finally got 3D Mark 06 to work after redownloading it. I got about 3000 marks... and comparable to my old AMD64 3800+ 2x6800GTs SLI, that is just horrid. My heart caves in as 3D Mark compares my score to other systems with the same hardware. I'm about 12,000 points away from what the average user reports for the exact same system specs.
We have similar computers except for a few different things. The first being that you're using Vista Home Premium 64-bit and I'm using Vista Business 32-bit. I believe the 32-bit video drivers are more mature than the 64-bit drivers. Which could possibly be part of the reason I am having no problems in games. I get over 300 fps in Counter-Strike:Source as an example.
Another thing that's different are the drivers you installed. I had so many problems with the motherboard drivers, I ended up not using them and used whatever Vista gave me. I never had a problem since in that regard.
I also didn't install the video drivers off any CD that came with the video card. Instead, I went to the www.nvidia.com website and downloaded the latest video drivers there.
If you are going to use the motherboard drivers, I recommend getting the latest motherboard and video card drivers off the manufacturers' websites (or nVidia website in the case for the video card). Uninstall any old drivers you may have, and install the motherboard drivers FIRST then the video card drivers. Don't install the video card drivers first then the motherboard drivers. That only caused more grief for me and caused the nvidia control panel to crash on me everytime I booted Vista.
158.18 are the newest drivers. I just reformatted, installed the chipset drivers from nvidia's website, then proceeded to follow the directions (which consisted of telling microsoft's auto driver download service to piss off and just waiting for the machine to reboot). The same problem still exists.
When I took my computer to the shop for the original motherboard/power supply conflict I had them put in the new motherboard that was compatable with my Enermax Infiniti 720W power supply (that was the more expensive of the parts). Turns out that p965 from MSI is incompatible with Enermax power supplies. The only way to find that out was to test the board on numerous power supplies, which I didn't have access too, so I had to cave in and let them do it. They told me they could sell me an Nvidia 680i, the board I originally didn't buy because it was a tad pricey. Anyway their price was insane and I could only get the warranty if they did the install. I wasn't 100% convinced that a new motherboard would fix all my problems so I went ahead and paid the fee to have them install the motherboard, so that in the event that it still didn't boot I wouldn't be stuck with it.
Turns out those idiots at the computer store failed to plug in one of the two PCI power connectors that go to the 8800GTX. They even plugged them both into the card but somehow forgot to attach one of them to the PSU, so I didn't find the mistake until taking everything out and redoing it all on the hardware side.
Thanks to everyone's help!
PS: Is it possible to hurt an 8800GTX by running it through graphics tests with only 1 of the two power connectors attached? If so I'm gonna kick their damn door down!
Your card shouldn't be hurt by insufficient power for a short period of time. That was a really good post because I had never heard that issue before - interesting problem with solution. I'd never had the guts to not connect full power to see what the GPU would do.