hey guys, i thought i'd go ahead an post some free programs and a couple of tweaks that you can use that will give you some extra (and free) speed on your computer. keep in mind: i've tried and tested out all of this stuff to make sure this stuff is legitimate and that it actually does something for you.
First things first, you have to know what you already have on your machine. For this, I recommend the PC Wizard. It will give you all kinds of information on both your hardware and software setups. I highly reccommend this program as the information it gives you is absolutely vital if you want to do any serious tweaks.
PC Wizard 2005
The next one lets you do two things for your machine: it tweaks the official video drivers and it lets you overclock your video card. If you haven't guessed it already, its the Omega Drivers. They may be third-party drivers, but they work better
than either the Forceware or Catalyst Drivers. Also, the overclocking feature on these drivers is very simple to use.
Note, if you use the overclocking feature on the Omega Drivers, don't go overboard with the overclocking as it can sometimes be very easy to overheat your graphics board. I reccommend doing a slight increment of around 20-40 Mhz increase for both the core and memory to be on the safe side. You can probably take it even higher than that, depending on the card, but don't press your luck too much.
If you feel too squeamish about using third-party drivers but still want to overclock your card, then I can still point you in the right direction. Note: both methods that I'm going to suggest have built-in features that allow you to safely overclock your card without overheating it.
For ATI users: ATI Tool
For Nvidia users: you don't have to download anything. Overclocking is already built right into the Forceware drivers but with one noticeable drawback: you'll have activate that part of the drivers yourself through Windows Registry Editor.
NVidia has even built overclocking settings into its latest drivers. To enable them, open the Windows Registry editor by going to Start, Run, typing regedit, and pressing Enter. Navigate to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/NVIDIA Corporation/Global/NVTweak/," right-click the right pane of the editor and choose to add a new DWord called coolbits. Edit that entry and give it a hex value of 3, then close your Registry editor. The NVidia tab (Figure 5) under your PC's advanced display properties settings will now feature a "Clock Frequency Settings" page that allows you to adjust memory and graphics chip clock speeds for your board. Click the "Detect Optimal Frequencies" button if you want the utility to try to find safe overclocked settings for your graphics board.
I'll probably add some more stuff a bit later (since I've tested out a lot more tools than just those). Until then, enjoy the extra speed.