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I'm running an older Dell XPS M1730, using Ubuntu-Gnome 14.10 and an Nvidia M8700 graphics card.

With the Nouveau drivers, the system is stable although a little slow (the graphics are running through llvmpipe), but if I use any of the Nvidia proprietary drivers, the system becomes unstable: the graphics freeze. The system remains operational, and often switching to a tty and back to graphics mode restores the graphics for a while.

Things I have tried:

  • Ubuntu 14.10 / Gnome, Nvidia 304, 331, 340, Bumblebee
  • Ubuntu 14.10 / Unity, Nvidia 304, 331, 340, Bumblebee
  • Mint 17.1 (utter failure)
  • Ubuntu 14.04.1 / Unity, NVidia-331
  • Nvidia-331 / Ubuntu 14.04.1 has a known bug reported on Launchpad
  • Nvidia-340 / Ubuntu 14.04.1
  • NVidia-304 / Ubuntu 14.04.1 - this one seems to be working, although the machine sometimes freezes when Google Chrome is being used.

Overall this appears to be a kernel issue between this particular graphics device (the 8700M) and the kernel - I have not been able to find any logs indicating a crash or halt, and little other information other than the current problem with kernel 3.13.0-45 and nvidia-331

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  • Why do you require Nvidia graphics card drivers if the Nouveau works? – Tim Feb 12 '15 at 17:07
  • Without the use of the GPU, Ubuntu is unbearably slow. I would need to move to Lubuntu for general computing, and this still would not solve the issue of video playback (the computer is for my son) which also suffers without the GPU – Charles Green Feb 12 '15 at 18:17
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The standard Ubuntu NVidia drivers generate some problems on slightly older and slightly newer NVidia hardware.

If you want more then the standard Ubuntu repository drivers, install the xorg.edgers PPA. As the xorg.edgers group ask not to give installation instructions directly without linking to their page, this is the best I can do for now...

If you don't know what a PPA is or need some guidance about rolling forward and backward of driver versions after reading their page, leave a comment below.

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