Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 52

Thread: Past-proof PC?

  1. #21
    ServBot (Level 11) Edmond Dantes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    3,476
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    15
    Thanked in
    15 Posts

    Default

    Using a Laptop for Win9x gaming? No. Screw that. I did that before, it turned out to be a costly mistake.

    The problem with it is that one benefit of Win9x is the very fact that it has native DOS support, but that's all moot if the built-in sound and video (sound is more likely to be an issue here) isn't something that the game recognizes--whcih its very likely to be something not Sound Blaster compatible. This was precisely the problem I ran into, and it even affected things like the Windows port of Doom, so its not limited to just DOS games.

    Frankly this is something that makes me think laptops would be bad for WinXP gaming as well--you have no control over what hardware is in a laptop. Besides which, do you really want to play your FPS games with a trackpad for the mouse? If you want to game and have everything be optimal, you need a desktop.

  2. #22
    Cherry (Level 1) Guntz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    221
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    It's not easy, but it's no harder than getting serious into obscure home consoles.

    Regardless of laptop you buy, if it has Win9x driver support, it will for sure have General MIDI support, that accounts for a decent portion of newer DOS games. Doom, Doom II, Duke Nukem 3D and many other games will all work even if your computer has no proper Soundblaster-16 support.

    Like I said, if you stick to machines old enough to have a P3, P4 or PM, it will work very well for most Win9x gaming. There do exist laptops with Soundblaster support, but they're hard to find. Believe it or not, similarly to how it's satisfying to custom build an older PC, it's satisfying to track down a laptop model with everything you want. It's kind of like shopping for a vintage car, it's all part of the hunt.

    I've heard many people complain that keeping an old desktop isn't practical due to space requirements. That's what a laptop is for.

    Come join us on Micro-64

  3. #23
    Pretzel (Level 4) Gamevet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    991
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    3 Posts

    Default

    Guys, he's not looking for a PC to run old DOS games. He's looking for a PC that will pretty much run games from Windows 98 to Windows in 2015.


    Quote Originally Posted by Raconteur View Post
    As most PC builds discussed here tend to focus on Win 95 or DOS era, I thought it would be best to start (yet another) thread.

    I’m curious about building a “past-proof” machine covering games from the late 1990s to 2015; a rig that would be most suitable (nearly flawless) for games released between 1999-2013.

    My main questions are:
    [LIST][*]Can ONE machine cover these 15 years well (1999-2013)? Is it possible?


    To clarify, I’m not looking for the cheapest build possible, or the best bang for the buck, but a build that will run most 1999-2013 games accurately (and to their best potential). Unlike most builds out there on the net, I don't care to future-proof this machine at all. I want to past-proof it.

    Thanks for any feedback!

  4. #24
    ServBot (Level 11) Edmond Dantes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    3,476
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    15
    Thanked in
    15 Posts

    Default

    I think part of the problem though is that its looking like he'll need two computers, and one will have the potential to cover the earlier era anyway so he might as well go for it.

    I remember asking something similar on Vogons and that's pretty much what they told me.

    Here's that topic: http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=41593

    It might help him, but essentially what I remember is that you'll need an XP machine for games from 199-2007-ish and then everything past that will need a second machine.

  5. #25
    Cherry (Level 1) Guntz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    221
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamevet View Post
    Guys, he's not looking for a PC to run old DOS games. He's looking for a PC that will pretty much run games from Windows 98 to Windows in 2015.
    That's not really possible. If you have a 2015 PC running Windows 10 and capable of running Steam which is a massive resource hog, you're going to have a very difficult time running anything from 10 years ago and older. Sure, some popular games can still work on Windows 10, but many more had trouble even with Vista and 7, those games usually don't work on 10 because it has even less legacy support.

    The problem stems from whether the game in question once relied upon Windows 9x, which was only ever partially supported in Windows NT over the years. Windows 2000 was pathetic, XP was vastly improved but still not a complete replacement. Vista, 7 and onward kept reducing 9x support. The problem got worse when 16-bit EXE support was dropped thanks to the move to 64-bit. Even some (supposedly) 32-bit 9x games don't work properly anymore.

    DOS is very easy thanks to DOS box. Win9x is a bitch and a half by comparison. Your choices consist of legacy support built into Windows 10 (which isn't very good), a Virtual Machine running XP or Windows 98SE/ME (requires an obscenely powerful PC, to the point of just being a waste of money and hardware) and lastly an older physical PC (I highly recommend this).

    Yes, not everyone likes older technology ruining their modern lives, but if you want to play Win9x games, you'll have a tough time getting them to work on PCs from this decade.

    In case anyone doesn't know, Win9x and NT are not the same thing, at all. Win9x is built on top of MS-DOS and consists of the Win32 API, the 16-bit subsystem and the MS-DOS Manager. It is essentially a heavily modified front end for DOS, think of it as the Genesis and 32X. Windows NT is a completely unrelated OS that has no subsystems or underlying DOS-like architecture, its Win32 API is also entirely different. One complaint I often hear from Win9x fans is WinNT has no emergency backdoor for fixing the OS, due to the lack of DOS.

    I'm seriously tempted to list one of my Dell Latitude D600s fully loaded with drivers, games and all that good stuff, just to prove that retro PC gaming can be a thing too.

    Come join us on Micro-64

  6. #26
    Pretzel (Level 4) Gamevet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    991
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    3 Posts

    Default

    He doesn't need Windows 10 Guntz. Windows 8.1 would do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    I think part of the problem though is that its looking like he'll need two computers, and one will have the potential to cover the earlier era anyway so he might as well go for it.

    I remember asking something similar on Vogons and that's pretty much what they told me.

    Here's that topic: http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=41593

    It might help him, but essentially what I remember is that you'll need an XP machine for games from 199-2007-ish and then everything past that will need a second machine.

    That'a why I suggested a dual-boot system. I did that with a Q9650 and a couple of GTX 460s in Sli back in 2010. I would run older stuff like the original StarCraft (DX8)with the Windows XP side, and games like Crysis 2 on the Windows 7 side with DX11.
    Last edited by Gamevet; 10-20-2016 at 01:34 PM.

  7. #27
    Cherry (Level 1) Guntz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    221
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    If he wants his computer to have any future-proofing, he'll want to use Windows 10. But yes, 8.1 will also work.

    Your dual boot suggestion has a fatal flaw, in the form of UEFI and GPT. These are modern replacements for BIOS and MBR, respectively. If you see the term "Secure Boot" in your PC's "BIOS" settings, then you have a UEFI-equipped PC. It's being marketed under the pretense of being more secure, all that's really happening is soon you will have no choice but to use Windows 10 (or 8.1 for a limited time). You won't get older Windows or Linux due to Secure Boot. Even if you disable Secure Boot (which may not be possible in the future), you will still have to deal with the headache that is GPT. Windows 7 supports it, but GPT is difficult to work with. Windows XP has no support for GPT.

    If you want to avoid UEFI and GPT, you will have to use older, "outdated" hardware. If you want the latest and greatest, you are again restricted to Windows 10's legacy support, a Virtual Machine program or a 2nd older physical PC, much like how we all keep original consoles.
    Last edited by Guntz; 10-20-2016 at 01:55 PM.

    Come join us on Micro-64

  8. #28
    Pretzel (Level 4) Gamevet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    991
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    3 Posts

    Default

    He didn't ask for future proof. He cuts it off at last year.

    I also ran that dual boot with an Asus p8-z68 Pro board with a 2500K in 2012. Honestly, he really doesn't need Windows XP. He can run 2 Windows 7/8.1 partitions, with one using the older versions of DX for compatibilty for those late 90s and early 2000 titles, and the other operating system with the more up to date DX drivers.
    Last edited by Gamevet; 10-20-2016 at 02:18 PM.

  9. #29
    Cherry (Level 1) Guntz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    221
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Actually, his cut-off is 2013.

    The way I see it, being a fan of vintage hardware and software, playing Windows 9x games on WinNT should be considered the same as backwards compatibility on home consoles. For example, the PS2 can play a lot of PS1 games, but not all. I think the Salamander Deluxe Pack doesn't work on the PS2, there's also a Colin McCrae Rally game that isn't PS2 compatible.

    Why do I say this? Because Win9x and WinNT aren't the same thing. It's why WinNT doesn't have perfect legacy support. It's good, but not complete. In the context of playing late 90s Windows games, setting up a PC with Win98SE or ME should be perfectly acceptable and not be stigmatized. It's pretty much the same thing as setting up a PC for pure MS-DOS.

    Come join us on Micro-64

  10. #30
    Pretzel (Level 4) Gamevet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    991
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    3 Posts

    Default

    He bumped it up to 2015 in post #2.

    http://forum.digitpress.com/forum/sh...=1#post2041945

    I wouldn't run those old low-Rez 2D games on an LCD. They look really bad on a 1080p display.



    Alright. I've read up on GPT. It's not a big deal, if you backup your boot drive. I don't even care about it myself, because I don't partition my drives anymore. My main rig has 3 SSDs and an HDD and my secondary rig has 1 SSD (boot) and 2 HDDs for storage. I didn't even partition the drives (windows will automatically allocate a partition for recovery) to do the dual-boot system back then. I used two 500 GB HDDs with one being the XP side and the other being the Windows 7 side.

    http://www.howtogeek.com/193669/what...oning-a-drive/
    Last edited by Gamevet; 10-20-2016 at 05:55 PM.

  11. #31
    ServBot (Level 11) Edmond Dantes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    3,476
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    15
    Thanked in
    15 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamevet View Post
    That'a why I suggested a dual-boot system. I did that with a Q9650 and a couple of GTX 460s in Sli back in 2010. I would run older stuff like the original StarCraft (DX8)with the Windows XP side, and games like Crysis 2 on the Windows 7 side with DX11.
    There's still a potential hiccup with that though: the hardware.

    Let's say you have a very advanced video card that handles Crysis 2 like a champ.... but then, oops, the Windows XP partition doesn't recognize it. Or perhaps the actual games don't.

    Then again the idea mentioned elsewhere of just having two Win7 boot partitions might work.

    Still, if I were the OP I would instead build an XP machine for games from 1999-2006 then worry about later games.... well... later.

  12. #32
    Pretzel (Level 4) Gamevet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    991
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    3 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    There's still a potential hiccup with that though: the hardware.

    Let's say you have a very advanced video card that handles Crysis 2 like a champ.... but then, oops, the Windows XP partition doesn't recognize it. Or perhaps the actual games don't.

    Then again the idea mentioned elsewhere of just having two Win7 boot partitions might work.

    Still, if I were the OP I would instead build an XP machine for games from 1999-2006 then worry about later games.... well... later.
    It's as easy as swapping out your video card. It's still much better than having 2 PCs vying for you desk space. I do know this though; I could remove my GTX 780 Classified from my main rig, and throw in my old GTS 250, and it would work fine with Nvidia's drivers.

    I don't think that having a modern graphics card, or sound card, would be a problem though. Origin hands out free old games all the time that are running through DOS Box. They've ran fine so far, though I think some of that old stuff wound be better on a crt. The problems I've had with running older games usually had to do with Direct X not supporting some of the features of older DX titles, and that is where having a secondary operating system with older drivers works out better.

    I do have an old PCI NVidia FX-5200 Ultra I could throw in my 2009 HP Pavilion PC (Windows 7), to see if it would actually work with NVidia's modern drivers. The Intel onboard graphics could pretty much run anything from before 2000 quite easily though.
    Last edited by Gamevet; 10-21-2016 at 09:11 AM.

  13. #33
    ServBot (Level 11) Edmond Dantes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    3,476
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    15
    Thanked in
    15 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamevet View Post
    It's as easy as swapping out your video card.
    Which requires disabling your card's drivers so they won't conflict, then opening your computer up, removing screws, putting the new card in, re-inserting the screws (including the screws for the computer case itself unless you leave it open), and installing the drivers for the new card, and then doing final tweaks to make sure they don't conflict with anything and are working perfectly.

    Well actually, maybe nowadays the experience is more streamlined, but this is how I always remembered it working and its one reason I prefer building PCs with a specific intent rather than having them be modular.

  14. #34
    Pretzel (Level 4) Gamevet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    991
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    3 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    Which requires disabling your card's drivers so they won't conflict, then opening your computer up, removing screws, putting the new card in, re-inserting the screws (including the screws for the computer case itself unless you leave it open), and installing the drivers for the new card, and then doing final tweaks to make sure they don't conflict with anything and are working perfectly.

    Well actually, maybe nowadays the experience is more streamlined, but this is how I always remembered it working and its one reason I prefer building PCs with a specific intent rather than having them be modular.
    You don't have to disable your video drivers, if you are using the older card on the XP side. The XP side will have the drivers for the old card, while the Windows 7/8.1/10 side will have the drivers for the modern card. Windows will use it default drivers the 1st time you install the card, so it's just a matter of installing the drivers for that 1st time. I believe that any game made after 1998 will run fine on the most modern PC, it's just that those older titles don't behave right with Direct X 11, and that is where a secondary operating system with an older version of DX is necessary.

  15. #35
    Cherry (Level 1) Guntz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    221
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamevet View Post
    and throw in my old GTS 250
    OLD? The GTS 250 isn't that old! I have one and it's still pretty damn advanced even for today's computing. Then again, I despise Steam, so that alone makes even modest video cards usable.

    I got a Thinkpad X40 I will be putting Windows ME on. It will likely have nearly the same hardware as the T42 and similar Pentium M Thinkpads. The only downside is the X40 seems to only ship with Intel Extreme Graphics 2. Yeah, it's not a great video chipset by any stretch, but it should work for my late 90s / early 2000s purposes just fine. Besides, even a 1.2GHz Pentium M is still pretty fast for Win9x. The main draw here is a 12" Win9x laptop.

    Although yes one could put WinXP on any decent Pentium M machine, I find it a waste of Win9x support which is hard to find in laptops. Usually, if you find a machine with a Pentium M (and therefore an Intel 845 or 855 mobo chipset), odds are good it'll have either an Intel, Nvidia or ATi video chipset with Win9x drivers. IBM often used SoundMAX for their Thinkpads, which has Win9x support. Dell usually has Sigmatel audio, again it works with Win9x. The only tricky part of any recent laptop and Win9x is getting Ethernet/Wi-Fi drivers. They are hard to find, but do exist.
    Last edited by Guntz; 11-05-2016 at 11:11 PM.

    Come join us on Micro-64

  16. #36
    Pretzel (Level 4) Gamevet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    991
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    3 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Guntz View Post
    OLD? The GTS 250 isn't that old! I have one and it's still pretty damn advanced even for today's computing. Then again, I despise Steam, so that alone makes even modest video cards usable.
    It's pretty much a 9800 GTX+ and both are based around the 8800 GTS. It's 8 years old now, and the 8800 GTS is even older. The card struggled to run the original Crysis on high settings and I'm pretty sure that it would have a hard time running the likes of Crysis 3 on low settings @ 720p.


    I got a Thinkpad X40 I will be putting Windows ME on. It will likely have nearly the same hardware as the T42 and similar Pentium M Thinkpads. The only downside is the X40 seems to only ship with Intel Extreme Graphics 2. Yeah, it's not a great video chipset by any stretch, but it should work for my late 90s / early 2000s purposes just fine. Besides, even a 1.2GHz Pentium M is still pretty fast for Win9x. The main draw here is a 12" Win9x laptop.

    Although yes one could put WinXP on any decent Pentium M machine, I find it a waste of Win9x support which is hard to find in laptops. Usually, if you find a machine with a Pentium M (and therefore an Intel 845 or 855 mobo chipset), odds are good it'll have either an Intel, Nvidia or ATi video chipset with Win9x drivers. IBM often used SoundMAX for their Thinkpads, which has Win9x support. Dell usually has Sigmatel audio, again it works with Win9x. The only tricky part of any recent laptop and Win9x is getting Ethernet/Wi-Fi drivers. They are hard to find, but do exist.
    I have an old Dell laptop with Windows XP Pro that I had used to play the original StarCraft while I was on the road. It has a Celeron M and @ 2 GB of RAM. There is one old game that didn't run well on my Core2Quad rig, or the modern rigs that I own, and that title is Atari Anniversary Edition. It may work if I use core affinity, but I think I ran into issues when trying to do so. A single core laptop would probably be better suited for that kind of game.
    Last edited by Gamevet; 11-06-2016 at 12:18 AM.

  17. #37
    Cherry (Level 1) Guntz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    221
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamevet View Post
    I have an old Dell laptop with Windows XP Pro that I had used to play the original StarCraft while I was on the road. It has a Celeron M and @ 2 GB of RAM. There is one old game that didn't run well on my Core2Quad rig, or the modern rigs that I own, and that title is Atari Anniversary Edition. It may work if I use core affinity, but I think I ran into issues when trying to do so. A single core laptop would probably be better suited for that kind of game.
    Celeron anything is a cost reduced version of a comparable Pentium chip. I've had a few Celeron-type machines, but they're really bottom of the barrel in terms of functionality. It's not so bad if you can use a lightwieght OS like Windows 2000 or some variety of 9x, but some Celeron machines don't have driver support for older OSes, so their usefulness is compromised.

    Come join us on Micro-64

  18. #38
    Pretzel (Level 4) Gamevet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    991
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    3 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Guntz View Post
    Celeron anything is a cost reduced version of a comparable Pentium chip. I've had a few Celeron-type machines, but they're really bottom of the barrel in terms of functionality. It's not so bad if you can use a lightwieght OS like Windows 2000 or some variety of 9x, but some Celeron machines don't have driver support for older OSes, so their usefulness is compromised.

    I have an old HP computer that has a 2 Ghz Celeron. It was the Northwood-128 based on the Northwood Pentium 4. The only difference between the 2 chips was that the 256k of L2 cache from the P4 was reduced to 128k on the Celeron. It had all of the other features of the P4 chip though.

  19. #39
    Cherry (Level 1) Guntz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    221
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    The L2 cache (along with L1) is pretty critical to any x86 CPU. Try disabling them sometime, the CPU will be utterly crippled.

    Come join us on Micro-64

  20. #40
    Pretzel (Level 4) Gamevet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    991
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    3 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Guntz View Post
    The L2 cache (along with L1) is pretty critical to any x86 CPU. Try disabling them sometime, the CPU will be utterly crippled.
    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.
    Last edited by Gamevet; 11-07-2016 at 10:41 PM.

Similar Threads

  1. Paypal wants proof, what to do?
    By jajaja in forum Buying and Selling
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 09-26-2005, 08:36 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •