Autodesk Maya problems - degraded performance in user level

Hello everyone,
We run a CG animation studio - we use Autodesk Maya for our CG animation.

We made a decision to convert our production floor into OpenSuse. We have about 20 workstations running licensed copies of Maya 2008 complete.

Each workstation has the following config:
Q6600 Quad Core 2.4GHz
nVidia Geforce 8600GT graphics 512MB
Opensuse Version: 11.1
NVidia drivers: latest downloaded from nVidia site

Maya works perfectly with OpenSuse with 3D acceleration and excellent performance. Character Rigs are easily animated, etc. - but when I log in as ROOT

Now, when I log in as a user authenticated from our Active Directory, and load up Maya, we have 2 problems:

  1. frame numbers in the conmmand center are missing
  2. more importantly, 3D performance is terrible. We can’t even rotate the viewport with a medium complexity character of 15K polygons.

nVidia control panel settings have OpenGL acceleration set to Max performance for both logins

Basically, when we log in as root, things are working perfectly in terms of 3D performance, but when we log in as a user, things dont work well. I have a feeling it may have something to do with permissions.

Any advice on these two issues?
thanks in advance !