Okay, sorry about the delay on this -- PAX East and all that. 0.930 now has the following:
* Put in a new setting in the Graphics tab of the game: Extra GPU Load (FPS Boost On Some ATI Cards). Valid values are from 0 to 5000.
** Due to a bug in either the drivers or the firmware of certain ATI cards (most specifically ATI Mobility cards, but it may not be limited to just them), if a game gives too low of a load on the graphics card then the card will not fully engage. If you listen to the card, you will literally not hear the fan spin up, and your framerate in the game will be abysmal because the card "isn't even trying," so to speak. However, with a game that is higher-load, the fan would spin up and your card would perform great, and you'd wonder what sort of bad code these lower-load games must have to run so slowly.
** Since we can't fix the problem in the drivers and/or firmware for these ATI cards, we've provided a handy way for you to increase the load the game puts on your card. Increasing this slider just wastes GPU cycles, but by doing so it can actually trigger your card to wake up and start doing its job. Running two "My Little Ponies" videos on loop in the background is also reputed to work just as well for doubling or even quadrupling your framerate. But when you use an external program like a video player to accomplish this, that program and AVWW wind up having to compete for the bus to the GPU and thus you get worse performance than what you could if you use this slider in AVWW itself.
** And of course, if later ATI gets their drivers fixed then you'd want to turn this setting back down to 0 in the first place because that's how you'd get the absolute maximum performance out of the game. Most cards that are affected by this bug should be easily getting 80-90 fps and are instead getting 15-30 when the card doesn't turn on.
If you have time to check that sometime in the next couple of days (after this comes out tonight), that would be much appreciated on my end! I'm able to slow my own game to a measly 40fps using this, so that's something at least.