Thank you for the Nidia link.
"I could give better help if you asked questions I knew the answers to"... No problem Skip, after all that's we are all here for... to help and learn.
I just wrote today because I didall my testing configuration on the Celeron System which I assembled for my brother as an upgrade from his Athlon system.
And here are my discoveries.
First, I tested the 128MB Ati 9200SE on the problematic Celeron system. I used an updated driver from www.hippofiles.com for the ATI 9200SE. To my surprise, I experienced exactly the same problem I had with the FX5200. The game started out pretty well with great frame rates and then after a re-run, the game crawls down and become unplayable. Even after several re-runs and tweaking, the problem persists.
I concluded that the problem may not be in the video card and its driver. It must be on the mainboard or processor.
I then assembled the Athlon XP 1600+ with 512MB Ram, 8G HD, 128MB FX5200. I did a fresh install of Windows XP. Installed all drivers including the updated driver from Nvidia (NVIDIA Forceware 175.19 WHQL XP). Installed CS 1.6 too.
The first time I ran CS1.6, it was no surprise to me that it delivered great frame rates. What came next, surpised me. After several re-runs of the game, I was stunned that I never (not a single one) experienced a slow down which I experienced on the Celeron system.
This supported my initial hunch above that there's no problem with the Video card and its drivers. There must be something wrong with the celeron system BIOS settings maybe? or is it really no match for AMD Athlon for this game?
I immediately finalized my brother's system to be AMD Athlon XP 1600+ with 1GB ram, 128MB FX5200, 40GB Hard disk. Installed everything from scratch including all drivers and updated driver from NVidia (NVIDIA Forceware 175.19 WHQL XP). The result was a dream machine.
Meanwhile, I will be experimenting with the Celeron system (with the 128MB ATI Radeon9200SE, 8GB Harddisk, 512MB Ram). I will find all possible tweaks tofind out what's holdingit to produce great frame rates flawlessly.
I will post reults later.