While most distros will come with drivers that will support nVidia cards and chipsets, portions of the vendor drivers remain closed source for competitive reasons and are unable to be distributed under the GPL. So, to truly get the best performance out of your nVidia gear under Linux, you need to visit the nVidia driver page.
nVidia now provides Linux drivers for both video cards and nForce motherboard chipsets on 32- and 64-bit platforms as well as FreeBSD drivers for video cards. The downloaded file is a binary file run from the command line that will compile the driver into your kernel. It will also provide a readme file that will explain what, if any, modifications may need to be made to your X86 configuration file.
I’ve installed the driver on both Red Hat 8 and 9 with no problems, and while tweaking the X86 config may sound scary to newbies, it’s really a piece of cake as the readme file makes it very clear. Of course, one should always make a backup of the original, just in case. When you see the nVidia splash screen when X starts up, you know you’re in business.