RivaTuner is a freeware tweak utility for NVIDIA and ATI based video cards. I have been using RivaTuner for a while to reduce the fan speed of my video card to decrease the noise level. I configured it to decrease the fan speed to 25% in 2D mode which includes all applications such as word processing and internet surfing. This is the lowest setting that is possible and it did reduce the fan speed so that the fan noise become near silent when I'm working on the desktop.
Once a 3D application is started the fan starts spinning faster to cool the video card. RivaTuner users may use several other settings in the program to overclock their video card or create custom settings for certain applications. I'm personally using it only to reduce the fan speed but hardcore gamers who need every fps they can get will find the overclocking settings as useful.
To be honest, I did not check all the settings that you may alter in detail but it looks really complex and complete. From refresh rate to AGP transfer rate, everything seems to be at place and accessible if you need to tweak a certain value.
Update: Rivatuner has not been updated since 2009, and we suggest you check out the excellent MSI Afterburner program instead. It is based on Rivatuner and compatible with all recent Nvidia and AMD video cards. The MSI in the name should not confuse you, as it is compatible with cards from other manufacturers as well.
The software offers to do everything that Rivatuner can do, like changing fan speeds or overclocking the video card, but also cool additional features like recording game videos or taking screenshots.
Especially the game recording feature is excellent, letting you record game videos in full HD if you so desire. It works in this regard similar to the popular Fraps, only that it does not cost you a dime to use.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.