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I have a Dell laptop that's a few years old, and am connected to a second monitor. I'd like to be able to play various Steam-Linux games on that laptop, but for a lot of the games I try to start (Minecraft [not on Steam], Rogue Legacy, Dwarfs?!, Starbound, others I'm sure I'm forgetting) it seems that when I start them, xorg kicks to 50% of my top processes (dual-core), the game jumps to something in the 30% range, and everything jitters and slows.

I have the feeling that if I could go full-screen-gaming I could avoid some of that overhead, but I don't know how to do that. Usually, when everything slows to a crawl, I Ctrl-Alt-F1, top, and kill xorg or the game process, then jump back to my Ctrl-Alt-F7 desktop, and am functional again, but not gaming.

When I start up Steam it tells me it wants to update my nvidia drivers, but when I tried that I was unable to start games at all.

What I'm really interested in is best practices for how to go about running Linux/Steam powered games on a laptop. I'm cool with using just one screen, and not alt-tab-ing anywhere; I just want to play some games.

In case it matters, no wine involved.

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