For overall system performance improvements, please try the following:
From the Windows Desktop-
Defrag your hard drive.
Start->Programs->Accessories->System Tools->Disk Defragmenter
Set virtual memory minimum settings to 500+ MB
Right click on the My Computer icon on the desktop
Select Properties from the menu
Click on the tab labeled advanced
In the box labeled performance, click on the settings button
In the window that opens up, click on the advanced tab at the top.
A box near the bottom of that window will be labeled virtual memory
Click on the change button
Click on Custom size and set initial size to 500+ MB if you have the space, and set the maximum size around 700MB.
Front End Settings Menu-
Set your game resolution to 800x600.
Under Graphics Quality, click best performance.
LOD Index Modifier slider to min.
Rear Clipping Plane (fog) slider to min.
Uncheck the box labeled speech.
Move the # of voices slider to the best performance setting.
From Within the Game-
By pressing F2, toggle to Normal View. It is designed to maintain best performance throughout the different levels of zoom.