GTX 480 SLI instability!?

I'm currently running two GTX 480's in SLI, an ASUS ENGTX480 and an MSI N480GTX M2D15. A few weeks ago, the MSI card was somehow bricked during a driver update, and i just got the replacement from MSI. My issue is, now that I have the cards installed and configured in SLI in the Nvidia control panel, they are quite unstable. The screen will go black during a game, or in one case right when I clicked on a youtube link, and when I reboot the computer as soon as I type in the password the screen goes dark and i have to do another hard reset. The only solution has been to boot into safe mode and reinstall the drivers (266.58). I have been using driver sweeper to remove the drivers before i reinstall them, and from what I can tell it's a total piece of junk, it doesn't remove all the driver files and whenever i try and get updates the thing crashes.

Anyway, after reinstalling the drivers for a fifth or sixth time I decided to run a quick run in 3DMark 11. It went through the first part with the subs just fine, but in the second it started to struggle, and died right when it turns toward the temple and you hear birds rustling (sorry I can't be more accurate >.>).

What do you guys thing the issue is? I'm considering booting with only the MSI card and seeing if it's still unstable, at which point I'll call up their customer support and tear them a new one, so to speak. After my issues with my original MSI card, I'm really not trusting their company...

Any help/ideas would be appreciated!
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  1. Yeah, try it with one card. If it doesn't work with one of the cards, you'll know where the problem is and you can RMA it.
  2. I just tested the MSI card, it ran through 3DMark 11 (performance mode) and Unigine Heaven (DX11, Extreme tesselation, 8xAA, 16x antriscopy) without any issues, then I ran MSI kombustor (DX11, 1920x1080, 32XQ CSAA) for 30-45 minutes, and everything went fine. Then I went onto facebook, and as soon as i tried to watch a youtube video, the thing crashed. So when I rebooted with that card, as soon as I typed in my password the computer would crash again, so I just put in my ASUS card and that issue went away. I'll now do stability testing on the ASUS card, though I'm pretty sure there won't be any problems.
  3. What are the volts on the 12v rail? What model psu do you have? Also give older drivers a shot as I am not convinced regarding the quality of the current drivers.
  4. So I just finished testing the ASUS card, and it had no problems. I'll put the cards back in SLI and re-run all the benches, perhaps the issues have worked themselves out.

    I have an ABS majesty 1100 Watt, 80+ gold certified, not sure what you mean when you say how many volts on the 12v rail...
  5. Well yesterday I put the cards back in SLI, ran the benches, and everything worked flawlessly, but today when I booted the computer, as soon as I typed in my password the damn screen turned black and the computer locked up. I'm going to remove the drivers and install the 197 ones as previously suggested. Anybody have another theory?

    Update: it would appear that the system is just as unstable with the 197 WHQL drivers as well, and I suspect the MSI card. I went into afterburner to check out the clocks/mem clocks/mem usage of the two cards, and the MSI card was running a mem clock of 135MHz... I was confused so I changed the clock to 2000MHz, which should be stable, as I run an 800 core/1600 shader/ 2000 mem OC all the time for things like benches, and at that point the computer BSOD'd. Now it's hanging on the starting windows screen...

    Update of update: Windows disabled the card because it apparently "reported problems." Wow. Looks like I get to waste even more money shipping this POS back to MSI for a replacement. I'll be sure in the "special requests" section to say "give me a brand new card that actually works ffs"
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