your describing exactly the same problem that I have too.
My config :
ASUS Athlon Dual Board 2*MP
SUSE 8.1 with 2.4.19.SUSE compiled for ATHLON SMP
I have tried the RPM's and the SRPM's. When switching from the
"nv" driver to "nvidia" the screen turns black and you'll have to reboot the machine with ctrl-alt-del.
Since mid december I am struggling with that. Today I will try it with a new monitor that has better frequency range.
Of yource if that is the reason I will post it.