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Thread: Building a classic gaming PC?

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    Default Building a classic gaming PC?

    I'd like to build a PC for classic gaming, but I really don't know where to start. Anybody have any guides or advice I could use?
    I still haven't beaten DOOM


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    Lots of advice was given in this topic, including me listing what my Mazinkaiser (which I built to be pretty much all-purpose from DOS to Win98SE) was made of.

    People will all have different answers of course--some will say get a 486, some will swear by Dosbox, but everyone's view is worth considering and figuring out what you, yourself, want.

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    Agreed use the thread.

    I think I went both ways on that one anyway.

    If you're after real purity and don't mind paying up for some parts if you can't source them locally a good solid 486 (say a DX66) with a decent amount of memory, a large(for the time) hard drive, a SVGA/VGA card, and the other basics would be a good bet. But if you don't have the funds, space, or capability to assemble a 20+ year old computer DOSBox while not perfect is very viable and runs most stuff thrown at it, and it can handle Win 3.X and 9X as well within it.

    You just need to know if you go the old PC route what you want it to be able to run. Some old games don't speed throttle well if at all. So if you wanted a game that only runs nicely on a mid-tier 486, you don't want a Pentium 100, but if what you wish to run has no problems, maybe a little more wouldn't be so bad so you could both do DOS and Win98SE level stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    Lots of advice was given in this topic, including me listing what my Mazinkaiser (which I built to be pretty much all-purpose from DOS to Win98SE) was made of.

    People will all have different answers of course--some will say get a 486, some will swear by Dosbox, but everyone's view is worth considering and figuring out what you, yourself, want.
    Thanks, I'll check it out!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanooki View Post
    Agreed use the thread.

    I think I went both ways on that one anyway.

    If you're after real purity and don't mind paying up for some parts if you can't source them locally a good solid 486 (say a DX66) with a decent amount of memory, a large(for the time) hard drive, a SVGA/VGA card, and the other basics would be a good bet. But if you don't have the funds, space, or capability to assemble a 20+ year old computer DOSBox while not perfect is very viable and runs most stuff thrown at it, and it can handle Win 3.X and 9X as well within it.

    You just need to know if you go the old PC route what you want it to be able to run. Some old games don't speed throttle well if at all. So if you wanted a game that only runs nicely on a mid-tier 486, you don't want a Pentium 100, but if what you wish to run has no problems, maybe a little more wouldn't be so bad so you could both do DOS and Win98SE level stuff.
    I currently use DOSBox, but I want to get into older PC stuff. Thanks to both of you!
    I still haven't beaten DOOM


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    Quote Originally Posted by PrimordialHelios View Post
    I'd like to build a PC for classic gaming, but I really don't know where to start. Anybody have any guides or advice I could use?
    I'd like to find someone to build one for me! Lol

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    Building it isn't the problem, it's finding someone locally to do it unless you're ok setting a parts budget, having someone remotely make it, then having it shipped and accepting things could happen in transit.

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    It really depends on what you're considering to be classic. Pure DOS games? Or mostly Windows games from the mid to late 90's? For pure DOS games getting an early PC would be ideal, but it would be harder and more expensive to do. Finding an older Windows 95 or Windows 98 computer would be much easier, even for free if you dig around enough for one. Right now old Windows XP computers are the easiest to find.

    The biggest thing that I find noticeable with playing old games is the display, if you're playing older games on a newer computer the graphics will be upscaled so they'll look a bit blurry. Getting a graphics card compatible with older resolutions and an old CRT compatible with those resolutions will be the most important thing for a classic experience, at least in my opinion.

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    What kind of machine you put together really depends on what games you want to run on it. A machine made to run Baldur's Gate and Diablo II will not do a great job of playing older DOS games, while a machine meant for Space Quest III and Ultima VI will do a lousy job at Windows stuff. This is why most people just go with DOSBox or pre-wrapped GOG releases, as they don't want to have 4 different computers to cover different eras in PC gaming.

    If you're starting off with literally nothing, I'd recommend asking friends and family if they have any old computer stuff they want to get rid of. You'll almost certainly be able to get some useful hardware for free, and then see what you can do with it. Try installing some older operating systems, mix and match some of the hardware and see what the results are. Once you come to some idea of what you want in the end, and what gaps need to be filled, then you can start looking for specific parts.

    --Zero

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