Ok, so my Leadtek 8800GTX card crapped out and I went through Leadtek's RMA service and received a new card. I installed the card and got the system running to a virtually fresh install of Windows 7 x64 (barely anything installed). I installed some games and tried to play, lets say Modern Warfare 2, with the video settings the same as I always played, pretty much maxed out. The video performance was so terrible it was unplayable. Intense stuttering (video and sound) when viewing basically any "action". The performance was equally terrible in Crysis at the same video settings I used to play at. 3dMark06 scores went from 11xx to 50xx compared to before the "new" card. Even something as simple as watching a Netflix watch instantly movie in fullscreen and when the track bar pops up or down the video and audio stutter like crazy. I've tried reinstalling video/audio drivers, go with no audio drivers at all, reinstalled Windows 7, kill as many processes as I can, and I still get the same results, terrible video performance. Is it possible the card could be bad and causing this problem or could it be something else? I'm all out of ideas. On maybe a related issue, any overclocking software I've tried (ATI Tool, RiviaTuner, Nvidia's System Tools), none of them can successfully overclock the card. Basically the clock speeds reset to factory or to "0" depending which software I use. Keep in mind this is also my second refurbished card from Leadtek. The card before this the video driver would crash (which I've never even see happen before), then I got crazy lines all over the screen (even in BIOS) and the driver failed to even start. Any ideas would help. I'd really like to not send it back and wait another 3 weeks for a new card.
Fixed it. Turns out the card wasn't seated properly because of a screw from a water block that hit the clip for the memory making one side of the card not all the way in the PCI-e slot. Interesting that the card would perform virtually flawless and even boot up without all the proper connections. Sweet! I don't have to send it back.