Ubuntu 10.10, with the Compiz desktop effects enabled, is a formidable user interface. One minor issue is that the graphics refresh ignores the vertical sync by default, leading to some tearing and visual ugliness.
There are three settings that I used to fix this up, with a marked improvement in visual quality. Note: With vertical sync enabled, the UI might feel just a few milliseconds more sluggish than before, because it will wait slightly until the next sync pulse to refresh. This takes a little getting used to, but the overall improvement in the feel of the UI can be worth it. e.g. No more flickering!
Setting 1 is the “Sync To VBlank” item in the CompizConfig Settings Manager:
Setting 2 is in the “X Server XVideo Settings” panel of the NVIDIA X Server Settings control panel.
Setting 3 is in the “OpenGL Settings” panel of the NVIDIA X Server Settings control panel.