First up: All other games, from Doom3 to Rise of Legends to Oblivion are working perfectly without any issues.
mobo: DFI LANPARTY UT nForce 4
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+
memory: 2GB (1GB x 2) Corsair Twinx DDR 400
vid cards: 2 EVGA GeForce 7900GT in SLI
OS: WinXP Home SP2 fully updated
Vid drivers: tried two sets. First the 84.21 drivers from the nVidia site, then the 91.31 betas. Same exact behavior on both.
Here's the problem: No matter what setting I choose, no matter what options I choose, the display is wonky, it flashes and there are rolling lines and static all through it. If I start a game, then ESC out to the menu and choose a new resolution, the lines go away and the display is normal. I can crank the options up to the highest settings at this point and play for awhile...it inevitably crashes. That will either be resolved by fixing the display problem or I'll worry about the crashing later.
Here's a screenshot of what the game *thinks* it is displaying to me (click them for larger versions):
I grabbed my camera to illustrate what I am *actually* seeing:
If I look around, the lines mostly disappear save for a 1" strip at the top of the screen, unless I look at the sky, when they tend to come back. Also, moving sometimes makes them mostly go away. They never resolve completely unless I change resolutions. Any ideas? I've tried messing with the render mode...doesn't matter.