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After hours of changing parameters, rebooting, and game fail I turned all power off to the cpu, pulled the GUP card out (ever so slightly) reseated it, wiggled a few power cables, and blew dust off the beast. System is now stable (just saved around $2000 by doing some dusting). May have been dust, may have been loose connections, may have been inventive cursing, whatever it was it is fixed.
don't blow it out with can air. hopefully you have a much stronger burst of air to blow out everything. Hook up the compressor but hold it away or reverse the vacuum air direction. Take it outside when you do this. you will be amazed at the dust that puffs out.