Refresh Rate Forcing: Desktop res vs. Gaming res issues

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Okay. This is a bit complex to explain, but bear with me.

My desktop is set at 1280x1024, and I use a program called RefreshLock to force a refresh rate of 85hz (the max safe number for my monitor). Now, this works fine and in all my display properties or vid card settings dialogs, it shows 85hz and that's fine. I play games at 1024x768, however, and presumably my monitor handles up to 100hz in that setting. Now, my vid card is prone to refresh rate tearing, so I almost ALWAYS have to use vsync to keep my games running nicely.

Of course this should, in theory, cap my games off at 100fps, as refreshlock is smart enough to override any resolutions specific to their own needs (i.e., when the monitor goes to 1024x768, it is smart enough to change the refresh rate...or at least it's supposed to be.)

I started to wonder today when I checked my framerate in World of Warcraft--which never, EVER passed beyond 85.0. I play the game in 1024x768, so theoretically, it should "fluctuate" up to the ballpark of my 100hz refresh rate at that resolution. But it doesn't. It never goes above 85, ever. Which leads me to believe that it is keeping my desktop's 85hz refresh rate.

Does this mean my RefreshLock program is somehow not dynamically changing my refresh rate? It is a pretty cheesy program--not like powerstrip or any of the other "power user" progs out there.

To summarize:
DESKTOP: 1280x1024 @ 85hz.
GAMES: 1024x768 @ 100hz.
PROBLEM: Games seem to retain desktop's 85hz rate.

Any tips/pointers on this? It sucks to sacrifice a good chunk of framerate like that if it's not necessary.
 
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According to your system specs, you're using a Radeon 9700. With the 9000 series, of cards, you can tell your driver to use a specific refresh rate at any given resolution.

To do so, go to..
Control Panel-->Display
Display-->Settings Tab.
Click "Advanced."
Click "Displays" Tab.
Click "Monitor" Tab.
UNCHECK"Use DDC Information."

Under "Maximum Resolution," go to your gaming resolution, 1024x768.
Under "Maximum Refresh," change it to your gaming refresh, 100Hz.
Click "Apply."

Voila.

Sidenote: There are any number of programs which let you do this easily, but in any case--your eyes aren't going to notice the change from 85 FPS to 100 FPS. In fact, increasing it may worsen your perception of the computer's performance, as you won't be able to see the differences between slight variations, you will be able to see the computer going from 100 FPS to 30 FPS more dramatically than 85 FPS to 30 FPS, and so on.
 
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Well, that worked pretty well except when I set the resolutions you said it made my screen unbearably huge (looked really sharp but seemed like it was in 320x240). Unchecking the DDC thing seemed to help, though.

My logic with the whole thing was, a loss of 50fps is a lot less ugly going from 100 to 50, then from 80 to 30.
 

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