Going to get this in before this thread gets completely axed due to an unfortunate statement by the original poster:
You really should NOT be seeing performance drop with HLSL under any semi-modern card, as others have said. You should probably open a new thread on this particular after this one gets the axe.
You may feel that HLSL doesn't matter that much to you, but having a "broken" setup to debug helps other people out who may be experiencing similar problems.
Edit: In fact, I'm going to go on record as pointing to my earlier laptop testing. Even the i5-2430m with nVidia onboard was having no issues with HLSL, so clearly something needs to be investigated.
Try checking the MAME manual at http://docs.mamedev.org
Edited by Firehawke (05/23/12 01:02 AM)