Strange findings but in my case it boils down to the 7185 driver does not work for me.
After nightfliers report of having a working 7185, I did a clean install. When it came to the X portion of the intall... I chose "auto" for the screen res. I've never tried that before as I know mine is 1280 x 1024. I selected 24 bit for the depth like I usually do. When it came time for driver, I chose "expert", then 7185, and finished the install.
After finishing the remaining install and configuring, I booted into a beautiful desktop. The configure nailed it. Everything was nice looking. I opened up a Terminal and typed "mc". It ran without locking me up. I ran glxgears, the framerate was an acceptable 822 or so. I goofed around a while trying to break things and it didn't.
I checked out my xorg.conf and it looked great. My monitor wasn't the actual brand name this time, but it was the right manufacture and model. And most importantly all the right specs were listed. I backed up and labeled the xorg.conf, switched to init 2 and ran VASM.
I went through the usual hardware stuff, selected "auto" again for screen res, but this time selected the nvidia legacy driver. The installer fires up and I noticed it was the old 7185 again instead of 9639 as I expected. So I let it run it's course and went to init 4. KDM was big and ugly, and it booted me into a big, ugly and fuzzy desktop. I compared xorg.conf's to find them very different. I backed up and labled that xorg.conf and then reverted backed to my earlier backup. I did the cntrl+alt+backspace to restart X. KDM was still big and nasty, and the booted desktop was the same. Even with the good xorg.conf. So I did a complete reboot and all was pretty again.
So I opened Terminal and ran mc, opened another running glxgears, opened the Nvidia X server settings application to show driver hardware information, opened Gimp and made a nice screenshot to share. Then I closed out everything, found my screenshot with Thunar, and right clicked and selected "view with GQview". The system froze just like before. Hard reboot. Tried the same thing again. Freeze. Hard reboot, Tried Terminal + mc, sucess. Tried right click in Thunar > view image in GQview with my screenshot, freeze.
I'm done. Hard reboot TUI > VASM > X stuff > Expert > 9639 nvidia driver.
So far everything is beautiful and stable. I checked xorg.conf and my monitor section is generic again:
VendorName "Monitor Vendor"
ModelName "Monitor Model"
But it's running nice and that's what's important.
And... even though it's not the latest nvidia driver for legacy, I have the same new sexy splash screen I noticed with the newest driver. So that confirms that in my case, simply selecting nvidia legacy while doing a VL install got me the old 7185 driver every time.
So far all is good with the vlnvidia 9639 setup for my machine, using the same xfce that comes with the beta cd.
I'll keep you posted if anything changes. Sorry such a long post, I'm trying to include any detail I think "might" be valuble.
Timer block looks the same on my machine as shown in posted image.... But. It is overlapping (downwards) 50%