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Its a bit of a long shot, but go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Maxis\SimCity 4 Deluxe .. find Graphic Rules.sgr and open it with Admin privileged in notepad. Find stringMatch cardIdentity "ATI, Radeon" and delete that line. It instructing to neuter the performance of Radeon lines. Normally its not an issue as cards are now AMD Radeon, but its possible that card is identifying itself only as Radeon.
You can easily check which card SC4 is using, nativgate to the installation directory of SC4, inside is a folder Apps, look for a file YOURCOMPUTERNAME-config-log.txt. Open this and it will tell you which graphics card is being detected and used by SC4. If it's not your Radeon card, you need to manually add this to the .sgr files. Actually, even if it's detected right, you may indeed suffer from problems if you don't manually add the card and specify it as a "fast card". Instructions on that are here.If that doesn't solve your problem, then the drivers in use are the problem. Can you fix that problem? Well it depends, sometimes newer drivers work better. But with legacy software, often older drivers work better. Sometimes compatibility layers are removed to enable better support for newer hardware. But it's all down to the driver, if you can find/install one that works fine with SC4, you can fix it. Otherwise, you will either have to live with the problem or use software rendering. You say that crashes? It shouldn't, since software rendering doesn't use your GPU, it's basically a last-resort option to run the game if all else fails.There is one last possibility here. If you have an in-built Intel or ATI GPU, perhaps getting SC4 to run with that would work out better. In the case of an Intel GPU, usually built in to modern Core i series processors, it should work if you have the right driver revision.