I had to download the Nvidia-Linux-x86-173.14.22-pkg1.run driver from the Nvidia archives.
that antique driver is NOT supported in the X11 in opensuse 12
you HAVE to use the opensource "nouvau " driver
also that is used BY Default on opensuse 12
if you change it out with the .run driver
YOU must rebuild the boot image to use the nvidia driver
seeing as the 173 driver is not supported any longer in x11 .....
also searching the nvidia site your Gforce 8600 GT uses the 310 driver
and NOT the 173 for the very old gforce5 card
you might want to read the opensuse documents on the nvidia driver
there is a "one click" install
Usinf the ".run" is called " the HARD way"
and for new users i would Recommend "The repository way"