This is my tips for anyone who has similiar hardware to me..
With these tips & settings my PC plays game very well, especially Morrowind, CMR3, GTA3 & Vice City
Athlon XP 2200+ at 166 FSB thoroughbred A
Twinmos 2 X 512MB 2700 Cas 2.5 166 DDR
Radeon Powercolor evil commando 9700NP 128MB Bios 8004
Q-TEC 550W Dualfan PSU
Before trying any of these settings please be aware i dont take any responsibility if anything go's wrong, sorry
Please use these below BIOS settings as a guide
Change anything you are not happy with, but stick to it as much as you can (If you want to see similiar performance to my pc).
Load Optimized Defaults
(This will put all BIOS settings to a optimised state decided by the manufacterer)
But remember to write down you're settings before doing this..
System Performance - Enabled
Memory frequency - 100% (Only if memory and CPU have are the same speed i.e. 133-133) Nforce 2 mb's are supposed to work best when the memory and FSB are insync.
Memory timing - Optimal (Use Expert if you know the exact timing of your memory)Optimal is the safest setting as it uses the memory manufacterer's recommended settings.
These two settings below are used to reduce EMI (electromagnetic interference). If you're overclocking it is a good idea to disable them..(If you arent then leave enabled)
FSB Spread Spectrum - Disabled
AGP Spread Spectrum - Disabled
AGP Aperture Size - 64MB (Varys depending on amount of System & Video ram)64 seems best for radeons in my opinion, tested on games and 3dmark2003 nice reduction in stuttering.
AGP Frequency - 66MHZ (You can try higher i.e 80mhz but it can cause instability)
AGP 8X - Enabled (No noticable difference to 4X but if you can have it on without problems then leave on )
AGP Fastwrites - OFF (Causes instability, very little improvement in video speed with it turned on)
CPU Thermal throttling - OFF (Because it lowers speed of CPU when it thinks its overheating)
System BIOS Cachable - OFF (Old not needed for modern pc)
Video RAM Cachable - OFF (Old not needed for modern pc)
MAC Lan (Nvidia) - Disabled (Saves IRQ, unless you use lan)
ONCHIP 1394 - Disabled (Saves IRQ, unless you use firewire)
Onboard Serial Port 1 & 2 - Disabled (Gives back IRQ's)
Game Port Address - Disabled
(Only cause i have a USB joypad, gives me back an IRQ)
These two settings below are connected, but i noticed with both turned off my pc is more responsive and there is less stuttering, two side effects are when the pc is shut down it still needs to be turned off at the wall, and you do lose IRQ's as well.
APIC MODE - Disabled
ACPI Function - Disabled
Assign IRQ for VGA - Enabled (On all newer videocard they need a separate IRQ so disabling this option is a real no no!)
PCI Latency Timer (CLK) - 64 (Improves performance with anything in PCI slots and also Soundstorm, but older components can hate having latency altered, so take care)
This is the hard(Tedious) bit, my recommended updates and drivers for XP...
I recommend doing a completely new install of XP for this..(So you can see improvements and it does cause problems with existing installation)
Make a Restore point, or use a program to ghost the drive then start the next few steps..(Recommended!)
Install XP service pack 1a (Has performance and bug fixes also includes USB 2.0 drivers for nforce2)
Install Direct X 9.0b (most up to date, no difference to 8 or 9 though, but 9500-9800 need directx9 to run)
Install HD fix (MS messed up with service pack 1a, you need this to reduce stuttering and HD lag, definetly works!)
Install Latest Catalyst drivers 3.6 & Control panel 3.6 (Once again fixes bugs in drivers for radeon, but i personally use 3.5 now as i have had problems with them )
Go into Device manager and there should be a mention of USB drivers but they will have an exclamation mark next to them, use the update driver button and let XP find the drivers then restart again.
(The USB 2.0 driver are included with service pack 1, installed earlier)
Install the Nforce 3.44 chipset drivers (Nice increase in sound quality and EAX support with these drivers )
Sorry your gonna have to search www.google.com for these drivers.. hard to find most people have reverted to 2.45 but i use 3.44 with no problems on Epox 8RDA+
Set the settings for display to what you want
(i personally use 4XAA, 8XAF, Vsync 'application preference' and Truform 'always off' all the rest on high)
Set Display onto 'Default Single Display'
Go into Smartgart and turn Fastwrites OFF and then restart.
(Dont be too greedy and set your videocard settings too high as even though a 9700 or higher is fast, you also need a monster PC to run games at 1600x1024!)
Change Virtual memory settings to a fixed size i set it at 1534 myself (i.e. min 1024 max 1024)
(This is just my personal experience, virtual memory seems too complicated, anyone who can suggest any better settings please let me know?)
And hopefully it will be running a lot better
For troublesome games that dont like Antialiasing or Anistrophic i.e. Splinter cell, CMR2 e.t.c. use this great program that make's custom settings for each game (Very useful)
I'm sorry about the long post, but lots to explain I hope to help some People with this
I also turned the icons off in the lefthand corner for Soundstorm and ATI, the catalyst drivers dont like icons in the bottom right corner they cause stuttering! (Drivers still need work)
(This also has recommendations from tech9, curio and the people who frequent Rage3d & now Hexus forums )
If anyone has any tips please feel free to post them, will help us all out