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Thread: Past-proof PC?

  1. #41
    ServBot (Level 11) Niku-Sama's Avatar
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    Did i see stone one suggest installing windows me for legacy support?

    Why would some one do this?

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    Cherry (Level 1) Guntz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gamevet View Post
    I'm well aware of that. My i5-2500k only has 6MB of L3 catch, compared to the i7-2600k's 8 MB. My Q9650 has 12MB of L2 catch compared to the Q6600's 8MB and will perform better than the Q6600 at the same clock speed, but the Q6600 was still no slouch.

    That Celeron I have performs somewhere between a P3 and a P4. There were older Pentium 4s that had as little L2 catch as that Celeron. It was good enough to run the likes of Halo and Star Wars: Empire at War with an FX5200 Ultra. It wasn't a gimped as a lot of those Celerons were, especially the laptop versions, but the laptop Pentium M was gimped as well.
    Some Celeron-brand CPUs are definitely usable, they just tend to be pointless when better CPUs for any given socket are easy enough to get.

    The Pentium M is hardly gimped, it's based on the Pentium III and is therefore a good CPU. Obviously, it's not as good as a C2D or other newer CPUs, but if you want to use something older than Windows XP, you're at the mercy of that all important driver support. C2D systems (laptops in particular) rarely have full Win9x support.

    Quote Originally Posted by Niku-Sama View Post
    Did i see stone one suggest installing windows me for legacy support?

    Why would some one do this?
    Because Windows ME (OEM version) is good?

    For years I bought into the Windows ME urban legend too, but then I actually tried it. I downloaded an OEM install disc, installed it on a few different systems and found it to be an excellent OS. It boots faster than Windows 98 SE, it has more built-in drivers, it has USB mass storage support built in, it has a faster and more refined Win32 layer and still has the 16-bit subsystem and MS-DOS manager for legacy support. I highly recommend Windows ME for systems too new for good DOS support, but too old for Windows XP. As in, anything with a Pentium M, or even a good Pentium III / 4 system.

    All that Windows ME really lacks is Real Mode DOS, which over the years I found to be not very useful due to a lack of drivers in pure DOS when you are depending on WDM drivers for your system. After using Windows ME for almost a year, I can conclude the common complaint "Windows ME has trouble starting, running programs and shutting down" is a complete lie. Windows ME is no more unstable than Windows 98 SE, in fact I'd say it's better. If Windows ME is unstable on your system, so will Windows 98 SE, which means you need a different system. Windows ME works beautifully on intel chipsets, it helps if you download the right chipset driver from Intel's site.

    I grabbed Windows ME from here. Be sure to get the OEM Full version, I've tried the retail disc and for some bizarre reason, you can't boot it from the BIOS.

    https://winworldpc.com/product/windows-me
    Last edited by Guntz; 11-08-2016 at 02:08 PM.

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  3. #43
    ServeBot (Lɘvel 11) RP2A03's Avatar
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    While I do agree that WinME gets a lot of undeserved hate, it should be noted that at least some older Maxis games such as SimTower and SimCity 2000 have a memory leak when running in WinME, but not Win95 or Win98. If I am remembering correctly this also affected SimEarth, SimLife, and I think (maybe) SimCopter.
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  4. #44
    Pretzel (Level 4) Gamevet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guntz View Post
    Some Celeron-brand CPUs are definitely usable, they just tend to be pointless when better CPUs for any given socket are easy enough to get.

    The Pentium M is hardly gimped, it's based on the Pentium III and is therefore a good CPU. Obviously, it's not as good as a C2D or other newer CPUs, but if you want to use something older than Windows XP, you're at the mercy of that all important driver support. C2D systems (laptops in particular) rarely have full Win9x support.
    Here's where things don't make sense though. You will be graphics bound with that laptop, before you are ever CPU bound. And for the record, I just dusted off my old Dell Latitude D610; it has the 1.73 Ghz Pentium M with 1 GB of system memory. It has Windows XP Pro and the games I played on it were the original StarCraft, Railroad Tycoon 3 and the original Fallout. I've also used it for MAME, ZSNES and K-Fusion. There's no way that thing is running anything 3D from early 2000s. I do have an IBM Thinkpad T60 that I refurbished and gave to my wife several years ago. I've never tried gaming on that Centrino Duo based laptop.

    The only reason I have that old HP Pavilion with a 2 Ghz Celeron is because it was only @ $400 in 2002. Like the laptop, it was graphics bound before I ever got close to overwhelming the CPU. Unlike the laptop, I was able to upgrade the GPU over the years from a Geforce 2 (64MB) to a Geforce 4 MX440(64Mbb) to an Geforce FX5200 Ultra (256MB). It ran Halo, Half-Life, Star Wars Galaxies, Star Wars: Jedi Knight, Sins of a Solar Empire, The Elder Scrolls 3: Marrowind, Doom 3 and Grand Theft Auto Vice City. The Intel integrated graphics (64MB) ran 3D games like crap.
    Last edited by Gamevet; 11-08-2016 at 07:29 PM.

  5. #45
    Cherry (Level 1) Guntz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RP2A03 View Post
    While I do agree that WinME gets a lot of undeserved hate, it should be noted that at least some older Maxis games such as SimTower and SimCity 2000 have a memory leak when running in WinME, but not Win95 or Win98. If I am remembering correctly this also affected SimEarth, SimLife, and I think (maybe) SimCopter.
    Hmm, yeah I have noticed that occasionally with Windows ME, but it's only worse if you have more than 512MB RAM, not that any version of Win9x has ever needed that much RAM.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamevet View Post
    Here's where things don't make sense though. You will be graphics bound with that laptop, before you are ever CPU bound. And for the record, I just dusted off my old Dell Latitude D610; it has the 1.73 Ghz Pentium M with 1 GB of system memory. It has Windows XP Pro and the games I played on it were the original StarCraft, Railroad Tycoon 3 and the original Fallout. I've also used it for MAME, ZSNES and K-Fusion. There's no way that thing is running anything 3D from early 2000s. I do have an IBM Thinkpad T60 that I refurbished and gave to my wife several years ago. I've never tried gaming on that Centrino Duo based laptop.

    The only reason I have that old HP Pavilion with a 2 Ghz Celeron is because it was only @ $400 in 2002. Like the laptop, it was graphics bound before I ever got close to overwhelming the CPU. Unlike the laptop, I was able to upgrade the GPU over the years from a Geforce 2 (64MB) to a Geforce 4 MX440(64Mbb) to an Geforce FX5200 Ultra (256MB). It ran Halo, Half-Life, Star Wars Galaxies, Star Wars: Jedi Knight, Sins of a Solar Empire, The Elder Scrolls 3: Marrowind, Doom 3 and Grand Theft Auto Vice City. The Intel integrated graphics (64MB) ran 3D games like crap.
    I don't play graphically intensive games. The closest to that would be Serious Sam First/Second Encounter and Jedi Knight II. I'm happy if a computer can run Age of Empires 1. I am a very low-power kind of user. A new 2016 PC in my hands would be wasted.

    I buy older laptops to exercise nerdy activities like proving Windows 9x can be installed on them, seeing what they are capable of and on occasion, dedicated use. I think a WinME netbook would be really sweet. Every now and then I also get laptops with exotic features, such as a Dell Latitude D600 with a 15" 1920 x 1200 monitor. This is a Pentium M system btw, with an Nvidia GeForce 4200 chipset. As expected, it's not really designed to do HD games, but the high resolution is great for things like internet and light photoshop work.

    Why laptops? Because desktops take up a lot of space, which I don't have. It is also ends up being costly to obtain desktop parts online, which is my only option. Laptops are far cheaper comparatively speaking, are portable and don't take up much space. My favorite part is the "luck of the draw" aspect. Because laptops often had multiple hardware configurations, not to mention so many makes and models exist, it's exciting to hunt down a laptop with everything you are looking for.
    Last edited by Guntz; 11-09-2016 at 12:07 PM.

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  6. #46
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    If you have certain games in mind check and see if they have fan or official patches for Windows 7+. There are more than you could imagine. I would go with the two machine option. i5 or i7 with 970gtx if in the budget will play just about everything maxed at 1920x1080. I would go with Windows 10. I think almost everything from 2007 (vista) will work, and some older stuff randomly works. Core2Duo with XP for the second machine. Should run most other stuff. May even make a boot disk for DOS gaming, but DosBox will work on either machine. I have not tried a VM in awhile but it was too much hassle and graphic cards were not supported well enough.


    If a game does not run, search the web - someone may have found/created a solution.

  7. #47
    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
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    Actually I'd avoid Windows 10. It has some compatibility problems between the switch up from 7/8.1 to it. I had some stuff that 10 would just laugh at and blue bar over and throw the wall up over that 8.1 was happy and fine with. I get loathing on the 8/8.1 interface as off tablet/phone it's awful, but that's what "Classic Shell" is for so you can re-skin the whole OS to be like 7 or even XP if you desire.

  8. #48
    ServBot (Level 11) Niku-Sama's Avatar
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    I've never run into any old software problems on 10

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    I ran into a few, but it was stuff that already was a little bit touchy about win7/8 and they just wouldn't load up at all in 10. It's older stuff though, which seemed to apply here being a past proof PC. I'm talking 90s stuff like Sim City 2000 for windows for example.

  10. #50
    Cherry (Level 1) Guntz's Avatar
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    In case anyone cares to know, I tried WinME on the Thinkpad X40 and the Intel Graphics driver couldn't properly allocate system memory for video use, so I've gone with good old Windows XP instead, works very well as expected.

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    Pretzel (Level 4) Gamevet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niku-Sama View Post
    I've never run into any old software problems on 10
    My capture device doesn't work with Windows 10. Luckily, I kept Windows 7 on my C2Q rig.


    Quote Originally Posted by Guntz View Post
    In case anyone cares to know, I tried WinME on the Thinkpad X40 and the Intel Graphics driver couldn't properly allocate system memory for video use, so I've gone with good old Windows XP instead, works very well as expected.
    You can't go wrong with Windows XP for older hardware and software. It's the perfect operating system for a dual-boot setup.
    Last edited by Gamevet; 12-10-2016 at 08:50 PM.

  12. #52
    Cherry (Level 1) Guntz's Avatar
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    Yes, XP SP2 is fantastic, but not on every system. You shouldn't use Windows XP on anything less than a Pentium M (overclocked P3) or a Pentium D (dual core P4). It's just too heavy on original Pentium 3 and 4 CPUs.

    XP Service Pack 3 is an entirely different beast, the extra 4 years of updates over SP2 makes it even slower on legacy systems. Don't use it on anything less than a Core 2 Duo.

    The only other downside to XP is its Win9x support isn't perfect. Sometimes it's nice to install Windows ME and get full access to Win9x, Win3.1 and MS-DOS support legitimately. Though if you can only pick one OS for your Pentium M laptop or low end C2D desktop, XP is an excellent choice.

    One other bit of wisdom. If you have an older PC running WinNT of some variety, ALWAYS max out the RAM. It's so cheap now. Insufficient RAM was a common factor is sluggishness back in the day. If using Win9x of some variety, don't go more than 768MB RAM unless you have that rare RAM patch for Win98SE.
    Last edited by Guntz; 12-12-2016 at 12:08 PM.

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