Any gamer worth their salt knows that a game is only as good as the screen it is played on, and being able to tweak the graphical performance of your machine is a sure fire way to make the computer as good as it can be.
RivaTuner takes away all the painstaking work of tuning up your system and brings everything together under one roof. The program works to break down the controls enforced by computer manufacturers to let you control the clock, memory speeds, fan speeds and easily overclock or underclock your GPU.
Any beginners looking to dive in and improve the performance of their GPU are advised to take a good look at the Read Me file before even attempting to use the features. Much like other diagnostic programs, tweaking done by novices can have an extreme effect on the GPU and it’s not unheard for the video adapter to be destroyed completely – so make sure you're confident that you know what you're doing!
Upon opening the program you are met by the Main tab that asks you to select the tweak target, if there is more than one installed, and below this is a list of driver settings that can be tweaked if they are supported by the selected display adapter.
The Settings tab lets you control how RivaTuner acts on your computer, including being able to send it to the tray when closed, set the language, and whether it opens on startup. This tab also includes hotkey settings.
Advanced users will get a lot of mileage out of the Power User tab, where even the smallest detail related to the display can be tinkered with. It’s here that you can set the colours, fan speed and refresh rate, and experts will come across overclocking/underclocking under this tab, along with the key monitoring options that are crucial when performing an overclock or underclock.
RivaTuner, although primarily made for NVIDIA cards, also has limited support for display adapters based on ATI RADEON 8500 and other newer ATI GPUs plus selected AMD cards. It is available for Windows versions dating back to 98 and comes completely free-of-charge.
Verdict: An excellent tweaking program for display and video card experts to take full advantage of the graphical power locked inside their machines.