When I tried to update from Ubuntu 12 to Ubuntu 14 I got a warning message against updating stating that your machine does not have 3D support for running the unity desktop environment. My graphics card is a relatively new NVIDIA card, so this should not be a problem:

lspci | grep VGA
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GK107 [GeForce GTX 650] (rev a1)

In trying to troubleshoot whether or not I have a problem (either currently or if I update), I tried looking at the solutions to this answer on refresh rates (eyes also hurting from staring at the screen) and got an error message.

xrandr: Failed to get size of gamma for output default
Screen 0: minimum 640 x 480, current 1600 x 900, maximum 1600 x 900
default connected 1600x900+0+0 0mm x 0mm
   1600x900        0.0* 
   1024x768        0.0  
   800x600         0.0  
   640x480         0.0  

If I try to set the refresh rate I get an error message:

xrandr -r 75
Rate 75.0 Hz not available for this size

I get this same error message for any value. I also tried using compiz to set the refresh rate based on this answer. However, this does not seem to do anything (both extremely low and extremely high values do not perceptibly change the screen). When I try to go into the driving setting in the menu item NVIDIA X Server Settings for the proprietary driver, I do not see any options at all, let alone options for things like refresh rate. I am using the proprietary NVIDIA driver (331-updates). Also if it is relevant I previously had an issue where at startup the GUI would not boot and it would say “The system is running in low-graphics mode”. This solution fixing a broken xorg file fixed that problem. If relevant, my xorg file now looks like this:

Section "Device"
        Identifier      "Configured Video Device"
        Driver          "vesa"

Section "Monitor"
        Identifier      "Configured Monitor"

Section "Screen"
        Identifier      "Default Screen"
        Monitor         "Configured Monitor"
        Device          "Configured Video Device"

In short, I'd like to know whether my graphics driver is having issues, if so how to fix it, and how to change my refresh rate.

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