Rage Pro Tweaker
Introducing The Rage Pro Tweaker
The Rage Pro Tweaker is a nifty little utility written and copyrighted by Neil Banfield that allows users of Rage Pro based graphics cards to manipulate some of the cards drivers as well as overclock the cards graphics engine and memory.
The "Tweaker" adds a new tab to your display properties which allows you access to many different settings - as shown below
It allows users to customize the cards 3D settings to increase performance
And even allows for tweaks in OpenGL based applications.
but, by far the most intriguing is the ability to overclock both the Rage Pro Graphics Engine, which is set by default to 75MHz by ATI. And the Frame Buffer Memory speed which defaults at 100MHz.
The average user probably has no real need to overclock any part of their computer. However, as games have become more power hungry and demand more from your computer, some people try and find that extra bit of performance from their computers.
Overclocking your graphics card works by increasing the speed of various components in your card. On the ATI Rage Pro this is the memory and engine speed. By a bit of playing around you can change the settings decided by ATI to some faster values.
By making the parts of your 3D card run faster, the games you play will also run slightly faster IF your CPU is not the bottleneck.
Why not Overclock?
Overclocking means increasing the speed of components. This makes those components give off more heat and potentially reduce their life. This may result in your graphics card not lasting as long as it should. This might be acceptable to you as the rate at which 3D cards become obsolete is very fast. So having your card fail after a year or 2 is a fair exchange for getting more speed out of it while it is not obsolete.
I tested the Rage Pro Tweaker on a Tyan S1590 Trinity AT100 mainboard with the AMD K6-2 333MHz CPU, 64MB PC100, WD Caviar 33100 HDD, and the ATI All in Wonder Pro 8MB AGP x2 graphics card. The results were fairly impressive.
By disabling- Vsynch, enabling Block Write, increasing the cards memory speed from 100MHz to 108MHz and the Rage Pro Engine speed from 75MHz to 90 MHz, my 3D Winbench 98 3D winmark scores increased from 722 to 762 (a 40 point increase). Below you can see the increase in the Final Reality 1.01 Benchmark with the same settings against default values.
As you can see, the tweaks can make a good deal of difference in your scores.
When using an ATI Rage Pro based card the following are the maximum values you should ever even consider
Memory = 115Mhz (15Mhz more)
Engine = 100 - 105Mhz (25-30 MHz more)
I have not tried with these values so I cannot say if they work. However if you find any other overclocker for the ATI Rage Pro that lets you exceed these values then I should point out that these maximal values came from a trusted source and exceeding them may gain little but cause major damage.
Neil Banfield, in his gracious response to my petition to make the Rage Pro Tweaker available to visitors to The Super 7 Hardware Guide, has assured me that an even more in-depth version of the "Tweaker" is nearing completion and will be available very soon at his website.
Until then the Rage Pro Tweaker is available for download here. Simply click on the link below...
Yes, I'd Like to Give it a Whirl... Zipped Format - 260k