The opterons aren't overclocked, running at default 2.6 (2642).
The xfx cards came at a default of 570/1550 but they ran full bore (warm) the whole time since the bios of the cards was set to stay at the 3d speed.
Took nvidia ref bio 2, modded it to the same v and speed, gpu, mem etc setting of the xfx and now it runs slower (stock) in 2d mode and shifts to 570/1550 in 3d mode.
So... the system is still STOCK.
I've been playing with the mem timings as well as the afr sfr settings. I've got it up over 23,000 in 3d mark 05 but I still feel like something is dragging. Any suggestions? (other than overclocking, I want it optimized before I overclock)