I wonder if anyone can offer advice. I received a new 680-L about ten days ago. Using the factory default clock and voltage settings, it would crash during games. I got it stable by underclocking the core by about 100 MHz. I then switched to LN2, again using factory defaults, and it crashed during the video assessment part of the WinSat evaluation! I re-flashed LN2 with 80.04.28.00.3A, and it became stable (in games) at factory defaults. I have not run any synthetics yet. But the core clock will not take even a 20 MHz OC, no matter what I do with voltages. (I'm using AB 2.3.1. with the profile edit to make the sliders actually work.) I ran TDP up to 300%, increased core voltage offset to 100, played with aux/PLL voltage (up and down), and nothing worked. I'm just glad it's stable without underclocking now. It hits 1202 MHz under load, and 1.2090v (according to AB, so whatever real-world voltage that corresponds to), and never draws more than 40% TDP. Temps stay below 64C under load. Interestingly, it will take a nice mem OC: +700 works just fine on the re-flashed LN2 (have not yet tried mem OC on standard BIOS).
The system has been rock solid for a year. I have an i7-3930K OC'd moderately to 4.4 GHz, running on only 1.1300v VCore even with HT enabled. (I hate fan noise, so I never OC aggressively.) I have 16 GB DDR3-1600 running at 1860 MHz with timings of 1t-12-12-12-24-120-12 (tight as stock for 1600 MHz on this RAM) at only 1.5000v. And my old GTX 560-Ti (OEM) ran at 900 core and 2400 mem stable as can be with only 1.0500v. So the system's 875w PSU is hardly a PoS, and should easily power this card.
I have tried toggling PhysX between the CPU and GPU (the 3930K with HT enabled can handle parallel tasks well enough to do PhysX quite nicely); toggling CUDA processing on and off; toggling PCIe gen-3 support on and off in system BIOS, and using/not using the nVidia gen-3 support patch; clean-installing various nVidia drivers (306.97 whql and 313.96 beta work best for me); enabling/disabling HT in system BIOS; moving the card to a different slot; toggling HPET off and on; re-flashing the system BIOS with the new card installed; and re-installing Intel's chipset drivers with the new card installed. I went so far as to re-install Windows 7 with the new card installed (using the 'upgrade' option, not a clean install -- the card isn't worth *that* much bother).
Have I missed anything? Should I return this thing? I was so happy and excited when I ordered it, and now I am truly disappointed and feel ripped off. MSI markets it as an enthusiast's card, and it won't run properly at its default settings.