Ok, I understand there will be skeptics who read this, but it works for me. And, I have seen almost 300% improvement in some scenarios. First, the background:
I have a Tyan 1854S mother board with a P3 1gig Intel processor.
My video card is a GeForce Ti 4200 and I have 512 megs of ram. It is, in short, a fairly conventional, and by today's standards an outdated machine. I had been getting in the upper single digits, mid teens in most cases. Some aircraft, notably, Geoffa's Debonair were simply unflyable with an exterior view frame rate of about 4 to 5. The new version of the Stratocruiser was also difficult, especially in exterior view, and at a busy airport, impossible.
Earlier today, while scanning around, I came across a web site that was discussing viatech chip sets. I have tried in the past to upgrade, usually to face a lockup which I think was related to the agp driver. Let me add that I am no techie, by any stretch. I am merely familiar with the terms, but do not have a whole lot of background and am not sure what much of the alphabet soup of initials used in computering even means.
Anyway, I decided to try again, so I downloaded the latest drivers from the viatech web page...1448 is part of the designation. I rebooted, did a dxdiag test, and the whirling cubes were wild, with somewhat mixed imagery. Realizing the something was clearly different, I booted up fs2002. When I picked a plane, my computer locked up. I did a cold reboot, but went into setup on a hunch and completely disable agp x 4 in the chipset section. Then, I saved the setting to cmos( more arcane initials) and rebooted. Then, it was on to fs2002...and what a shocker. I was getting frame rates in the upper teens, even low to mid 20s depending upon aircraft and view. The Stratocruiser was like a brand new baby, flyable, viewable, lovable...if you have a taste for whales that fly. True, with all sliders maxed, I was back to the low teens from exterior view, but, there were no hesitations, no stutters, and no blurries. After a test flight that was completely satisfying, I loaded up the Debonair, another craft that for all its bells and whistles, was beyond the capabilities of my computer. Bingo! I had complete control, exterior views went from 4+fps to the low teens. I have not tested any of the stock aircraft yet, which have always given me decent frame rates. But, I will do so and expect some great results.
One more note...just to experiment, I went back into dxdiag, and disabled agp. FS images remained sharp, but it seemed as if frames lagged a little bit. I reopened dx diag and renabled agp, and was completely satisfied.
So, I don't know if this will work for you, but if you want to experiment, disable agp in setup, but leave it live in dxdiag. Maybe you'll be as pleased as I was. I invite your comments and responses.
Thanks for reading through my mini white paper.