First post, by YCH
I recently bought a new ATi All-In-Wonder Pro graphics card (which features the Rage Pro chipset) with the understanding that it's more or less the fastest ATi card that can run the super old Mechwarrior 2 ATi Rage edition. I read that the Rage I and Rage II chips aren't really good options and left the Rage Pro. Rage 128 and later do not support the short-lived ATi CIF API used by this version of Mechwarrior 2.
I got the video card, installed it and boy immediately I noticed several differences from the 3Dfx version. Firstly, much lower resolution. But in other ways, it looks nicer! For example, the "Mesa Desert" Trial of Grievance map is nicely gloomy and textured in the ATi version compared to the 3Dfx version. The really bad news the ATi version chugs like hell in some maps where the 3Dfx is just consistently smooth. Chug as in <10fps which I find very weird since my PC is more or less overkill for this game I would think (1GHz PIII, 128MB RAM). It doesn't *always* chug though...if you turn off enough effects like Textured Sky and Textured Ground it's okay but then it looks butt ugly.
In an effort to get it running smooth, I tried various things like changing out different versions of drivers, and later even reformatting my PC, install a fresh copy of Windows 98SE with only the AIW Pro (sans my usual GeForce and Voodoo2 cards). Still no luck and the game chugs like hell. Even tried using different versions of ATI3DCIF.dll that I could find from the internets to no avail.
One weird thing I noticed is that the ground in the ATi version appears to have no mip-mapping applied at all. Thus the ground shimmers like crazy due to texture aliasing. I looked at the only online Mechwarrior 2 ATi Rage screenshots I could find and there it looks like mip-mapping is used! Could this be a clue to the slowdown?
See here for the someone else's screenshots where mip-mapping appears to be working:
More here: http://daxin.netfirms.com/mw2gallery.htm
And here is how it looks on my PC; note shimmery ground (please excuse the photo; it's not a screenshot but I haven't bothered to find screencap software for this)
EDIT: WTF I just noticed that in this training mission the other person's Mech is a Timberwolf. In all my years playing this game I've never piloted a Timberwolf in this Wolf Clan training mission. It's always a Firemoth.