Last Wednesday, the 11th, Nvidia sent a driver update to my machine and since then I’ve been forced to run Mate instead of my preference for Cinnamon. However, I didn’t notice a problem until the following day after I had rebooted. After the reboot and logging into to Cinnamon I first noticed that it was taking an unusual amount of time to load the Cinnamon environment. When it finally loaded is when the headache started. Moving the mouse just a little bit caused the whole desktop to freeze, and it didn’t end there. It would freeze for about 2 minutes and then allow me to work again for about 5 seconds and freeze again for 2 minutes, rinse and repeat. Just so I could get out of the environment in a decent time I had to Ctrl-Alt-F1 to get to a terminal so I could send a shutdown command. It was then that I tested the other environments and found that I did’t have any issues with Gnome, Gnome Classic, and Mate. I then started browsing the Linux Mint Forums searching for recent updates to Cinnamon thinking Cinnamon was the issue but at the same time having that minor itch in the back of my head that I had remembered only updating Nvidia. I found this thread here and found that others were having issues with Cinnamon too, again, thinking Cinnamon was the issue. I started using Mate as my working environment until I found the cause and could get a fix.
Finally, someone posted in the thread yesterday an article that finds the Nvidia driver the culprit after all. Here is the article from Phoronix. If you read the article you’ll notice it list a few cards that are affected, mine is one of them; I have the GeForce 8800GTX. Now I have to wait, while using Mate when I would rather be using Cinnamon, until Nvidia fixes the driver issue.