Jumped ship to ubuntu

So I decided to ditch windoze altogether and installed ubuntu 13.04 on my old acer laptop (Core 2 Duo, Nvidia 9600M GS, 3 GB ddr2) which is my primary rig right now :'(

I have used Ubuntu in the past so I'm familiar with some of its features and some noob commands. Got the Nvidia drivers (304) working through Software centre> Additional drivers method. Installed Steam and played TF2 since it's the only game I can play on this laptop. The performance was piss poor, and I mean really laggy and low fps it was unplayable even with all details at low and resolution turned down to minimum. (My laptop's native is 1280*800)

I read around the forums and realized that the old nvidia drivers are crappy and that I should install the latest drivers which is 331.20 right now. So, I went ahead and downloaded them and ran chmod +x NVIDIAblahblah.run

sudo ./Nvidia....run (All this on the tty console)

big mistake. Right off I got a warning that said I already have old drivers installed but it also assured it will be uninstalled before installing the new drivers so I ignored the warning. Ended up tainting the kernel and spent some hours trying to solve this problem to no avail. Today morning I did a fresh install of 13.04 and installed 331.20 with success. 

Now I'm downloading steam once again to check if there is any increase in performance. I just want TF2 to be at least better than it was on windows. :D

Installing proprietary drivers automatically taints the kernel. Ubuntu is also pretty crap.

Try opensuse for your first real distro, then move to Arch when you're more comfortable.

If you want Arch, but dont like CLI, Antergos is great. It even lets you choose which Desktop environment you want. With a PC old like yours is, you do NOT want unity. It will run much faster, and more smoothly on xfce.

Thanks. Installing xfce 4.0 now. If things still don't improve, I will move to openSuse. You are right Ubuntu is pretty crap, it doesn't work well and because of that I get disheartened and move back to windoze. 

After instaling xfce 4 and tinkering around with the nvidia x settings, fps is still low. The major problem is there seems to be some kind of lag when I move the mouse, there is half a second's delay. Even when I'm just looking at a wall, the problem is still there. I'm playing on the same servers I used to play when on windows so you can rule out ping issues. 

the ubuntu back-end actually is quite fast, you might want to try xubuntu kubuntu lubuntu or mint (i.e. ubuntu based) if you do not wish to leap to far from the familiar.

I tryed lubuntu 12.04 on my old core2 duo 2.4ghz desktop with a Nvidia gefroce gts 8800 640mb 4gb System Ram.

TF2 runs smoothly

+1, Ubuntu Core 13.10 is pretty fast, you just can't trust Canonical with anything anymore, community versions are much better and safe to use.

It's working! FPS is smooth after I turned off Vsync and multi-core rendering. The mouse lag is also gone, I'm glad I patiently stuck with it. But now VAC is not running and steam fails to sync with the servers. Also, my Caps lock button is permanently lit up from boot. Pressing it does work NORMALLY but it's lit up all the time. weird 

@flufflymace What is your resolution and details settings?

I might migrate to opensuse or some other distro in the near future. Which do you recommend? I'll keep you guys updated

Resolution is 1080p and details settings are unchanged from default, so i guess medium. I don't fiddle with settings unless it's not smooth  (I grew up with DOOM & Wolfenstein3D , for me everything looks amazing nowadays) the nvidia driver version is 295.xx with a community diy patch to fix a crashing bug (if i remember correctly).

As for what distribution to use , i mostly use debian stable for servers, and ubuntu-based (which is forked from debian) for everything else. The reason for that is because it's really easy to use. (I'm not a professional sys-admin fiy, i just "manage" the IT for a very small NGO on the side, for charity purpose.

There also is the rpm-family like Fedora & opensuse... which differs quite a bit from the debian-way. I would say they are both equally good, My advice is to pick a side and stick with it for now.  You can still do the distro hopping later on. My philosophy is to know a few things really well, rather then having superficial knowledge about everything.

So your caps-lock led is lit up during the bios-phase as well ? (it's not doing the usual quick test flashing and then stay off) if so short out the bios battery-holder-pins (after you removed the battery) to reset your bios.

If not,

then you can use the setleds -caps command from within a console. Press Ctrl+Alt+F1 to get to a console and press Ctrl+Alt+F7 to get back to the GUI.

I think you have to be logged in as root, sudo will probably give you a permission error.

I can't test this because i don't have a keyboard or laptop with caps-lock leds, so please read the documentation for setleds before you mess with stuff as root.