This How-to is for people who want to change the refresh rate and/or resolution for their monitor

**i have only tried this on nvidia cards

**use this info at your own risk, i will take no responsibility for damaged hardware

First we want to get the modeline for our desired resolution and refresh rate, to do this we head to www.sh.nu/nvidia/gtf.php

At the top of the page is a table, input the settings you want into it, for example, i want to run my monitor @ 1280x1024 85refresh rate, so i enter into the first box marked X: 1280 in the second box marked y: i enter 1024 and the 3rd box i enter 85 (my desired refresh rate)

then i click the Generate modeline button and the output is as follows:
# 1280x1024 @ 85.00 Hz (GTF) hsync: 91.38 kHz; pclk: 159.36 MHz
Modeline "1280x1024_85.00" 159.36 1280 1376 1512 1744 1024 1025 1028 1075 -HSync +Vsync

open a new terminal and type the following:
sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf_backup
sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

in the xorg.conf document find:

Section "Monitor"

and at the bottom of this section copy and paste the modeline you got from the website you visited, mine looks like this:

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Generic Monitor"
Option "DPMS"
Modeline "1280x1024_85.00" 159.36 1280 1376 1512 1744 1024 1025 1028 1075 -HSync +Vsync
EndSection

now save the file and restart x by pressing ctrl alt and backspace

if it takes you to a command prompt just log in and type startx

your monitor should now be running at your chosen settings

note: this is my first how-to so i would appreciate any feedback on it from you experts, i am still a linux newb but this is a small problem i managed to figure out and hope it can help others like the community has helped me.