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So far I'm running the default novau software and have not tried installing the NVIDIA's software via "Additional Software". I have dual-monitor setup and so wanted to know whether there is going to be some noticeable improvement by installing the proprietary software?

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The proprietary nvidia driver will give better performance.

Personally I use the nouveau driver with dual monitors as the open source drivers are not so slow that I find I "need" the nvidia driver.

If you are having a problem , first try configuring your resolution in system settings under display

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If that does not work, you can use xrandr, I wrote a blog about how to to this here, although you can also see man xrandr

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Does the nouveau driver work for you with 12.04? What card do you have? – Matt Joiner Jun 8 '12 at 3:26
yes, nouveau has been working well for me for several years now. GeForce 7600 GT. Not sure of the card on my laptop. I do have an older card that has a problem with both nouveau and nvidia drivers =( – bodhi.zazen Jun 8 '12 at 12:20

Under Ubuntu it's surely the easiest option; i have an Nvidia GeForce 7000m and with the latest version of the drivers i can easily switch from the various dual screen options, so i warmly suggest you to use that. If you want open source drivers it's up to you but i'm not sure they're fully compatible with Ubuntu as what i understand.

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Using Ubuntu 12.04 (Beta) and dual monitor will work out of the box when using the nouveau driver. Including all the compiz stuff you would expect with Unity or Mutter with Gnome 3

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Nope. Didn't work for me (12.04, 8800GT). The installer automatically installed the proprietary driver. If I revert to nouveau, it looks like ass and screws up. – Matt Joiner Jun 8 '12 at 3:04

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