I have to believe that a solution to this issue (I have a Gateway MC3414 with exactly the same specs, results, and problems as Chris) has been found by now?
If not then I am sad that I bought the hype about NVIDIA unified drivers. The really sad thing is that this new notebook was supposed to be an audio workstation for my non-profit music program with at-risk youth. But without sound it is nothing but a fancy paperweight with some NVIDIA logos on it. I would really hate to have to launch a negative campaign to educate all my students and associates to stay away from NVIDIA products.
But I am also hoping that someone knows the solution to this problem. I have spent 2 weeks about 2-4 hours a day trying various distros, and various versions of alsa and trying any hint of how to fix it I could find to absolutely no avail and have reached the same conclusion as every other MX34xx linux users I have found all over the net. It's quite sad.
Description of the program: