I am building a simple cab to play the old school vertical games - Pac Man, Galaga, etc... My challenge so far has been with the graphics. The 1.2 GHz P4 with 384 MB RAM is more than adequate to run Pac Man, but the sprites were blocky. I ran dxdiag and verified DirectDraw, Direct3D and AGP texture were all enabled on the system. (Win XP SP2.) I messed with hardware acceleration in Windows, resolutions, refresh rates, you name it. I tried all the settings in MAME - enabling and disabling D3D, Ddraw, HWstretch, triple buffering, etc... I updated the drivers for my video card too.
Finally, I tried a different AGP card. The one I originally had was "powered by ATI", the one I swapped in was an NVIDIA card.
Thats all it took. Both AGP cards have a modest 16MB of RAM, but the NVIDIA card displayed my Pac Man just like it was on an arcade monitor, warm and fuzzy, but the ATI was cold and blocky.
Of course, the rub here is the NVIDIA card has something else wrong with it, there is a tremendous amount of interference on the screen. I tried physically cleaning the connections because it looks kind of like a monitor when one of the VGA pins is bent, but no luck. I'm stuck with my ATI card and crappy sprites. Anyone have any advice on how to proceed so I can have my warm and fuzzy sprites back? Is there a magic setting that I am forgetting to tweak?