3 - Windows 2000/XP
"Optimal" Refresh rate under Windows
9X/ME was a very convenient setting. It allowed
your monitor to work at its peak. However, that
setting is no longer available under Windows
2000 or XP. Why? Well, that is a question that
I have yet to see Microsoft answer. Instead,
many users are forced to live with eyestrain-causing
60Hz refresh rates. You can set the refresh
rate for your Desktop, but that could change
when you entered a game. If VSYNC was enabled
in that game, then more than likely, your framerate
would be capped by the value of your Refresh
has been a lot of finger pointing at Microsoft
as well as video card manufacturers (especially
NVIDIA) over this problem. The simple fact that
Microsoft removed the "Optimal" setting
seems suspicious to me.
what can users do? Well, until Microsoft or
videocard manufacturers address this problem,
there are a few ways to go about it. The first
way would be to edit the nv4_disp.inf file yourself
BEFORE installing the drivers. Here are instructions
I picked up from G256.com.
Rate Fix By: Typedef Enum - Source:
I can now confirm that this fix does, indeed,
work. Many thanks go out to this page. I was
essentially doing the same thing. However,
you cannot fix this "post-install" (at least,
the 3 times I tried doing it *after* installing
Essentially, here's what you do. Again, this
is for Windows XP, and I'm positive the same
thing will go for Windows 2000. One thing.
The service is now NV, not NV4 (in the registry).
1. Remove drivers via control panel (add/remove).
3. OK, when you boot back into Windows, the
OS will install some GF3 drivers, and it will
Get rid of it...Just to be safe.
4. Extract the driver EXE using Winzip/WinRAR.
Put it into a temp directory, and then use
your favorite text editor, and load up the
5. Now, what you want to do is simply go into
the file, and modify the appropriate entry
for your gfx. card. I have a GeForce3, so
I'm looking for: NV20_Modes
The only thing you want to do is use the appropriate
refresh rate for a given resolution. So, for
me, 1024x768x16 AND 1024x768x32 would require
me to set the mode line to "100 Hz". This
is what it would look like.
HKR,, NV20_Modes,%REG_SZ_APPEND%, "16 1024
768 100 0"
HKR,, NV20_Modes,%REG_SZ_APPEND%, "32 1024
768 100 0"
That's it! Do this for each and every resolution.
Save the file, and then manually install the
drivers as you would normally do. It should
be of no surprise as to why some of the tweak
applications are failing to enable certain
NV0A_Modes = TNT2 Aladdin
NV10_Modes = GeForce SDR
NV10DDR_Modes = GeForce DDR
NV10GL_Modes = Quadro GeForce
NV11_Modes = GeForce2 MX SDR
NV11DDR_Modes = GeForce2 MX DDR
NV11GL_Modes = Quadro2 MXR
NV11M_Modes = GeForce2 Go
NV15_Modes = GeForce 2 SDR
NV15BR_Modes = GeForce 2 Ultra
NV15DDR_Modes = GeForce 2 DDR
NV15GL_Modes = Quadro 2 Pro
NV20_Modes = GeForce 3
NV4_Modes = TNT
NV5_Modes = TNT2 Vanta/Pro
NV5M64_Modes = TNT2 M64
NV5ULTRA_Modes = TNT2 Ultra
NV17_Modes = GeForce4 MX
NV25_Modes = GeForce4
editing .INF file is not for everybody. You
can also download drivers that have already
been modified. These altered drivers already
have the .INF fixed to support additional refresh
is good place to look for them. Since I don't
like others messing with the drivers I'm going
to use, I prefer to pass these up.
you could use a third-party utility like NV
Refresh Tool, MultiRes
There is also one for ATI cards called ATI
RefreshFix. You could also use a full-blown
video utility like PowerStrip,
however that is overkill if you are only concerned
with Refresh Rates. Personally, I use RefreshLock,
it's simple and gets the job done. Here is what
RefreshLock looks like
Microsoft and/or videocard manufacturers decide
to address this problem, users will have to
resort to the methods described above to correct
the problem themselves.