Posted 23 July 2013 - 11:59 PM
Hello and welcome,
Now on to the bad news; Ubuntu is based on Debian, who will not use non-free drivers, period. (This is why you can find 3rd party non-free repositories for so many things...but they tend to be poorly managed and range from helpful to crap.) The Debian non-free branch; "The non-free archive area contains supplemental packages intended to work with the Debian distribution that do not comply with the DFSG or have other problems that make their distribution problematic."
That said Debian, and therefore Ubuntu, have a open source replacement for Nvidia called Nouveau. These drivers, based on card models, work well for most things but little to NO support for games has been developed. 3D OpenGL is required for most games to work and very little support is in place. You might get lucky if you try to track down all the doc's and guides for setting this up but it's a bumpy road at best and after all is said and done you probably won't have much to show for it.
A better option for gaming is to use the Nvidia drivers packaged by Nvidia themselves. Most of the time the packages install okay. You might have to read some logs and trouble shoot things a bit. Such as removing all the old drivers, Nouveau or non-free. Black listing drivers and trying your luck with either no Xorg.conf or creating a new custom Xorg.conf. If you get the Nvidia package to install clean and work it tweaks nicely and looks great and supports OpenGL, or GLFX I think, don't recall at the moment.
However every time I do a kernel upgrade or dist-upgrade I find the darn drivers aren't supported again and the kernels won't/can't compile even with the Nvidia source installed, part of the package options.
I run a dual 1920x1080 monitor setup, 3840x1080, which is okay under Nouveau drivers but excellent with Nvidia...until updates, security patches, or new versions are installed/required and then things are fubar'ed for a few days until I can either switch drivers and remove all the old stuff again and/or the new kernel is updated/tweaked to support Nvidia/Nouveau.
NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-319.32.run - is the current stable version you probably will need to DL.
NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-325.08.run - is the bleeding edge driver package. (At least it was last week when I DL to review.)
It took 4 days of me fighting to get Nvidia updated and running only to have me give up and roll back to the current Nouveau offering...which wasn't available for a few days. To many missing/not yet updated support files and Nvidia doesn't play by Debains rules so their package installers don't always hook in right or clean things up when installed.
If you really want games with a Nvidia card you need to use their installer package or it won't work, at least not well and not for long. But if you do install the Nvidia package make sure you don't upgrade/dist-upgrade until you know your kernel and driver are both supporting each other in the new release. I usually save the last kernel after an upgrade for this reason but further updates usually make it useless after a few days unless I wait again.
Another example of this Debian vs non-free would be FireFox. Debian doesn't support FireFox, do to a icon/logo registration, so they reverse engineered it and the clone IceWeasel is now used. "The Firefox logo is trademarked, so Debian doesn't consider it to be Free and will not include it as part of its distribution."
Anyway, which ever you choose to do back config files up before making changes. Make a system image or backup before you start. And install htop if it isn't already as you will need to open a TTY and stop the running "x" session so the drivers can be removed and replaced. You need to login as root to do this and install the Nvidia driver package or it will complain and quit.
I've had it go smoothly once in a while and get it all setup in a few hours. I hope you have the same luck.
I've done this back and forth