Assembled this new build over the weekend:
MB: GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H
CPU: i-7 3770K
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB DDR3 1600
GPU: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7970 OC 3GB 384-bit GDDR5
PSU: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro Gold 1000W
HS: Noctua NH-D14
SSD: Corsair Force Series GT 240GB
Build was smooth, windows load and all updates smooth, temps normal, no o/c yet, only tweaked ram timings. Drivers are current, directx 11 installed.
After everything was updated and running, I installed and ran 3Dmark 11 basic. I didn't even let it finish because during the first graphics test it was maxing out at 7 FPS.
I took the 7970 out and hit the pcie slot with some compressed air. Re-seated the card, uninstalled and reloaded the driver, but same results.
I don't know what these numbers are worth or what they are measuring, but I also noticed that the windows experience index graphics measurements were 4.4 (graphics) and 4.9 (gaming graphics). All the other three measurements were where I'd expect (7.7-7.9).
After a few more gpu re-seats, driver re-installations, and a re-load of windows, the problem persisted.
Then I decided to try the card in the pcie x8 slot. Surprisingly, my WEI graphics measurements went up to 7.7 and 7.9, respectively, and running 3DMark got me around 30FPS on average and a score of around 5000 on 'Performance'. Not very good at all, but not unreasonable from the x8 slot. The physics and combines scores were where they were supposed to be...graphics was pulling it down.
I tried it in the x16 slot again but got the same results as before.
The 3D bios alludes to a place where I can check the status of the pcie slots and even disable them, but I could not for the life of me find anything like that.
I'm going to call gigabyte when I get home from work this evening to see what they have to say, but I thought I'd check here and see if there's something you all can offer me. I'm really hoping that this is something dumb that I'm missing or doing wrong.