I think I've hit "the wall" for framerates on my video card. It's an ATI Rage Fury Pro VIVO, running under Windows XP.
When running GT2 under ePSXe, I can hit 60FPS but not when racing (in other words, during practice, etc.). Draw other cars onscreen and the framerate becomes very erratic, dropping to below 20 sometimes, making the game very slow. This seems to be independent of screen resolution - it happens at 640x480 and below, not as bad when running the lower resolutions. Higher than 800x600 the game is playable but not very realistic, as the car response is very slow (great for learning, though, because when practicing a track you have a lot of time to react).
My setup, is as follows: Asus CUSL2-M with a tweaked BIOS(allows AGP to stay at 4x when overclocking), Celeron 800, 512MB ram, ATI Rage Fury Pro. The Celeron 800 is a newer stepping (cD0) and runs happily at 155FSB (1240MHz). ePSXe is using Petes latest D3D driver (simply AWESOME!) and the Eternal plugin. Even when I set Pete's plugin to "fast" the framerates drop when multiple cars are onscreen (and the screen gets ugly!)
So is my frame rate limited by my GPU or CPU? I thought it was the GPU, but got confused by the fact that it only gets marginally better when I drop the resolution. I also tested different overclocking settings, running the 800 at 133 FSB (1064MHz). This made very little difference, though the frame rates did drop a bit, only a couple of FPS was lost.
If you've read this far, Ii thank you. If you have any knowledge to share with me about my framerate issue, I thank you even more.
Should I just bite the bullet and get a GeForce? I think even an MX400 would whoop my ATI, right? And if I'm a really good boy, Santa and my credit card could get me a GeForce 3ti200 or Ti500..... or do I just need to get a "real" PIII processor for my mainboard? I'd rather not spend a ton of money on the video right now, as I am trying to save enough to build an AMD based system sometime early next year.
Anybody got an idea?