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I see there are more nVidia video card problems again. I have a slightly older nVidia video card. On both computers the SuSE, Mandrake and Red Hat installation programs automatically configured with my two nVida cards.
At one point I installed a different nVidia card. I was using Red Hat at the time and during bootup it noticed the change and automatically changed made all the necessary changes for me. When I then later reinstalled the original nVida card, it once again automatically made all the necessary changes. If I ever upgrade to a newer card I hope it will not be a pain like that to install like yours.
Some versions of Linux use Xconfigurator to alter video settings which would probably include the refresh rate and resolution. Not all versions use Xconfigurator. There are two other similar programs that are sometimes available. I forget what they are called but they could most likely be used to change the refresh rate.
So w00t, here is another thought about altering your refresh rate. The maximum and minumum refresh rates on most versions of Linux can be set by editing the XF86Config file which is lcoated in the /etc/X11 directory. Below is what the max and min setings look in my XF86Config file. I have not yet learned how to set it to a specific value. Using a setting that is faster than what a video card or monitor supports can occasionally damage monitors. I prefer to use a refresh rate different than what Windows uses for each resolution because I can then use the buttons on my monitor to adjust screen size for that refresh rate. When I then boot up into Windows it's adjustments in my monitor then end up being stored seperately.
HorizSync 30.0 - 97.0
VertRefresh 50.0 - 160.0
Another interesting setting in that file is the one below that seems to control resolutins you can choose by pressing CTRL-ATL-PLUS (use the + key on the numeric keypad). Below is what is in my file. The first one is the default setting which I use on my 19" monitor.
Modes "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
The file can be manually edited although most people let the programs we mentioned earlier do the changes for them. Before messing with something like that it would probably be best to make a backup copy of the file. I do not know anything about installing the drivers themselves and can not help you with that. I mostly use Red Hat so I hope what I said is also true of Mandrake. I like Mandrake real well by the way. I do not know if any of the above helps.