I have the same problem. On Ubuntu 12.10, using the driver provided by ubuntu (304.43) I am forced to use the native resolution 1920x1200 (xrandr lists only that resolution). If I create an xorg.conf and write in “AllowNonEdidModes” as above, then xrandr gives me a longer list of options, but the screen simply shows black if I try to use any of them. No crashing/hanging, simply black display and it displays correctly again if I set the resolution back to 1920x1200 (typing xrandr command blind).
I have tried installing drivers 310.32 and 313.09; both have the same issue.
Other ubuntu users with the same problem: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=12474035
…and Fedora: http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showthread.php?t=285494
Bug report attached; I had to rename it with ‘.jpg’ to avoid the error mentioned above.
Update: If I run the command
(this forces use of xrandr 1.1 protocol) I can see a full list of resolutions available. Furthermore, I can use this to change the screen resolution. Unfortunately, the desktop environment requires use of xrandr1.2 in order to respond to resolution changes properly, so this is not actually a workable solution (the resolution changes, but the desktop does not resize; no applications are aware that resolution has changed). It is clear, though, that the nVidia driver is aware of these resolutions and is able to use them, but apparently is not correctly communicating them via the xrandr1.2 protocol.