I don’t have much experience with Nvidia but it seems that the drivers require manual intervention upon each new kernel release in order to work properly. I imagine that if you were you running kernel 3.14.4 on Ubuntu, Fedora, etc. you would have similar issues. Most users that I have interacted with say that nouveau is more stable with no real noticeable performance loss. But I’m also not a “gamer” so don’t take my word for it
I’m not a gamer, either, but I’ve found the Nvidia drivers deliver preferable 2D performance on this machine.
A very long thread at Nvidia’s development forum, running for months snce last autumn, contains reports about this 'black screen" behavior from many Arch and Arch-derivative users, along with a sprinkling from other distributions. They cover a range of kernels from 3.9 to the current releases. (That’s in line with my own experience. I’m currently using Ubuntu with their 3.13.0-24 kernel and Nvidia 331.38 with no problems; ditto on Fedora)
The consensus of the thread seems to be that something specific and different about Arch’s kernel configuration is responsible. Nvidia, however, has posted to the thread saying a kernel ACPI bug is responsible and that they will not patch their driver to accommodate it. Perhaps, then, differences in kernel build configs between Arch and other distros account for this problem affecting users of Arch and Arch-derivatives.
Whatever the cause, the problem is real and primarily impacts Arch.
In many respects, it is similar to a problem of about 3 years ago when the combination of a specific Nouveau release, kernels in the 3.2 series, and certain Nvidia cards would lock up and fail to a black screen when X attempted to launch. I wasn’t able to use any Nvidia drivers until the 3.3 kernels.
Pity. The new Antergos release is lovely.