Crap card crap performance
From looking at RealNC's xorg.0.log he's got a Radeon 9550...I also googled and looked at someone else xorg log (arch related ) and his card was loading twice the vram so I'm thinking NC's card is the SE version...slowest crappiest r300 card released..trying to run kde 4.6 ..Good Luck with that. Can you try running XFCE ?
Nasty upgrade(s) too..it's looking for the fglrx module and failing to load it..It also loads the RadeonHD module(unloads later) could at the very least blacklist them. I wonder what the xorg.conf looks like, and if there are still remnants of the ATI proprietary driver still in the system.
Buy an agp 3650 ..probably find one dirt cheap or if the University's IT department can spring for a bit more get the 4650 like Q suggested.
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety,deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
Ben Franklin 1755