Any point in having a WinXP retro gaming PC?

GodOfGaming

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So, I have a modern Win 7 gaming PC, and I'm building a retro Win95/98 gaming PC for games older than around 2000-2001, and, I was wondering, is there any point in also building a WinXP retro gaming PC for WinXP-era games (2001-2007 more or less). Basically, I'm asking if you know of any games from the WinXP period, that would work better on a dedicated WinXP PC rather than trying to play them on a modern machine. I don't have enough time right now to start testing ALL the games from that period to see if any of them cause problems, so I'm asking if you are aware of any that do.

The first and obvious question would be that many of those games support EAX, and under WinXP you can have hardware-accelerated EAX with a X-Fi sound card, while under newer operating systems its done in software via ALchemy. But I'm not aware if there's any difference in sound quality between hardware EAX and software EAX. Is there?

Other than that, games that refuse to work on a modern machine, games that dont work as well as they used to, games that have graphical artefacts and stuff, etc. Any game you could think of that could benefit from running on a dedicated WinXP PC, please say if you know of such. This is strictly for WinXP-era games (2000-2007), I know that there are older games than that which dont work well on a modern machine, but thats why Ive decided to do a Win98 PC for them.

I hope I'm not posting this in the wrong section, since I'm not asking about what hardware to use for a WinXP PC, but rather asking about which games could benefit from one.
 

magnetik

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games that use IPX/SPX/Netbios for lanplay? Warcraft II, etc. That's the main issue I remember trying to play old games on my new boxes. There are probably kludges that can installs the protocol on Windows 7 but I haven't tried them.
 

GodOfGaming

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Warcraft 2 was released 1995, so it's not a WinXP-era game. Warcraft 3 is, but from what I can see it works fine on my Win7 PC.
 

Quix

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Almost every game that runs on XP will also run on Windows 8.1, sometimes you need to tweak it a bit.

Warcraft 2 came out in 1995, the Battle.NET edition (that will run fine on Windows 7 or 8) came out in 1999 and supports TCP/IP networking. The game is otherwise the same so if you want to play Warcraft 2 that's the version I recommend.

For your 98 gaming rig I recommend the SoundBlaster Live! (the original or 5.1 version, not the newer fake ones) It supports EAX up to 2.0 (frankly they don't actually add much after that) and it has really good DOS support. Plus they're dirt cheap.
 

PornoSatan

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Yes. Your XP retro machine could probably replace your Win98 machine even as well.

- An older computer is put to good use with a 5:4 monitor and Windows XP for all XP, 98, and 95 era games.
- You don't have to deal with DWM (Desktop Window Manager, ie Aero) type issues with older games at all if you run Windows XP.
- Alot of older games like Diablo 1 have issues with Windows 8
- Almost all 95/98 games will run on Windows XP.
- More compatibility with older video cards and the older drivers / tools. ATI Tray Tools is hands down the best GPU tweak tool STILL, low footprint no frills greatness.
- It's a more pure environment, no "cloud" integration.

Almost every game that runs on XP will also run on Windows 8.1, sometimes you need to tweak it a bit.

This is also the case with XP though with respect to Windows 95 and Windows 98. Best just to use Windows XP for max compatibility with older games. 4GB memory limit isn't an issue (these are older games), GPU choice isn't an issue (plenty of strong GPU's to max out XP games), and XP out of the box can support 2 TB partitions IIRC. XP is all around the great middle road for compatibility extending back to the past and into the relatively modern. It's also extremely fast because its still using a real 2D desktop not DWM. The 2D desktop performance of XP feels REALLY fast.
 
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GodOfGaming

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tell us about your 95/98 gaming pc

case: AeroCool XPredator X3 White
motherboard: ABit KT7A-RAID re-capped
cpu: AMD Athlon XP-M mobile Barton, probably not clocked very high, perhaps undervolted instead
cpu cooler: Zalman CNPS7000B-AlCu LED
ram: 2x256MB SDRam
graphics cards:
*3dfx Voodoo5 5500 (for Glide)
*Rendition Verite 2200 (for Speedy3D and RRedline)
*Gigabyte Radeon 8500 128MB (for TruForm)
sound cards:
*Diamond MonsterSound MX300 (for Aureal3D)
*Creative Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 (for EAX)
*Creative Sound Blaster AWE64 Gold (for DOS games)
PSU: Antec SL-350 re-capped
monitor: CRT 21" Dell P1130
keyboard: IBM Model M
mouse: MicroSoft Intellimouse Explorer 3.0
OS: Windows 98SE or Windows ME (haven't decided yet)
HDD: whatever I find, something no bigger than 120GB I guess

Haven't bought it yet, but I made sure that all the components are easy to find locally.

If I end up making a dedicated WinXP PC, it will probably have an ivy bridge processor, pentium dual core should be enough, but I might go overkill with an i5 or something, 2x2GB Ram because I'll use the 32-bit version of XP, graphics card, dunno, maybe HD 4870 512MB? Don't want it to take too much of the Ram away. And sound card, perhaps Auzentech X-Fi Prelude 7.1, and one or several 2TB HDDs, maybe Toshiba or Seagate since they use 1TB platters. But since so far it seems WinXP-era games work fine on my Win7 PC, using ALchemy for EAX, I'm not sure if I need a dedicated WinXP PC. So thats why I'm asking whether there are any games that don't work properly on a modern machine which I haven't noticed yet, and whether hardware EAX sounds in any way better than ALchemy EAX, or it's exactly the same, just taking some CPU cycles away.
 

PornoSatan

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case: AeroCool XPredator X3 White
motherboard: ABit KT7A-RAID re-capped
cpu: AMD Athlon XP-M mobile Barton, probably not clocked very high, perhaps undervolted instead
cpu cooler: Zalman CNPS7000B-AlCu LED
ram: 2x256MB SDRam
graphics cards:
*3dfx Voodoo5 5500 (for Glide)
*Rendition Verite 2200 (for Speedy3D and RRedline)
*Gigabyte Radeon 8500 128MB (for TruForm)
sound cards:
*Diamond MonsterSound MX300 (for Aureal3D)
*Creative Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 (for EAX)
*Creative Sound Blaster AWE64 Gold (for DOS games)
PSU: Antec SL-350 re-capped
monitor: CRT 21" Dell P1130
keyboard: IBM Model M
mouse: MicroSoft Intellimouse Explorer 3.0
OS: Windows 98SE or Windows ME (haven't decided yet)
HDD: whatever I find, something no bigger than 120GB I guess

Haven't bought it yet, but I made sure that all the components are easy to find locally.

If I end up making a dedicated WinXP PC, it will probably have an ivy bridge processor, pentium dual core should be enough, but I might go overkill with an i5 or something, 2x2GB Ram because I'll use the 32-bit version of XP, graphics card, dunno, maybe HD 4870 512MB? Don't want it to take too much of the Ram away. And sound card, perhaps Auzentech X-Fi Prelude 7.1, and one or several 2TB HDDs, maybe Toshiba or Seagate since they use 1TB platters. But since so far it seems WinXP-era games work fine on my Win7 PC, using ALchemy for EAX, I'm not sure if I need a dedicated WinXP PC. So thats why I'm asking whether there are any games that don't work properly on a modern machine which I haven't noticed yet, and whether hardware EAX sounds in any way better than ALchemy EAX, or it's exactly the same, just taking some CPU cycles away.

Interesting selection of parts to utilize certain features. Why 98 though? Why not Windows 2000 or XP? You should check out the forum Vogons, it's a retro computing forum with an emphasis on gaming.
 

GodOfGaming

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No good XP drivers for some of the components, also some of those old games for sure don't work properly under XP, for example the first Need For Speed game, I once made it to work under XP using microsoft application compatibility toolkit, but it was unstable and the sound was really bad. And it's not much better now using DOSBox on my modern PC, with videos being broken and the CD stopping spinning in the middle of the race, and the game freezing until it spins again, and the game running kind of slow in general... Similar with the first Colin McRae Rally, with some headaches I got it to run under WinXP, but it often crashes in the middle of a race with a Don't Send error...
 

H-street

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Interesting selection of parts to utilize certain features. Why 98 though? Why not Windows 2000 or XP? You should check out the forum Vogons, it's a retro computing forum with an emphasis on gaming.

98 is the most compatible with dos games since 98 is still built on dos

I have my 98/3dfx machine around just for that

My suggestion to anyone looking to do a 98retro rig. Get yourself a cheap ps2 keyboard/mouse. 98se didn't play well with usb :)
 

gamerk2

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98 is the most compatible with dos games since 98 is still built on dos

I have my 98/3dfx machine around just for that

My suggestion to anyone looking to do a 98retro rig. Get yourself a cheap ps2 keyboard/mouse. 98se didn't play well with usb :)

I agree with this; I know at least a few games that broke on XP, or at the very least you need hard to find .dll fixes for. Plus the DOS based titles are hit and miss. Building a 98SE rig, or even a ME rig is probably a better option; just make sure it's isolated from the Internet.

Failing that, VMs might be a legitimate option. I know a few of them now support DX Hardware acceleration, so they might be viable for gaming now [I haven't personally tried, so I can't comment].
 

GodOfGaming

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I tried VMWare with Direct3D enabled and Windows XP installed, for one game - Serious Sam (the original, not the HD remake) because I wanted to use the map editor, which crashes on 64-bit OS. And, other than the fact that the game was running kind of slow in VMWare, some features were not working, like, lens flares for examples were missing, also I wasnt able to enable EAX.

That reminds me, Serious Sam might be one of those WinXP-era games (released 2001, the stand-alone expansion released 2002) that doesn't work too well on a modern machine, other than the modding tools crashing on 64bit, the game outright doesnt work too well on new graphics cards. In OpenGL mode, it stays locked at 24Hz unless you go windowed. In Direct3D mode seems to work fine, but in both cases there are graphical artefacts in-game.

Then again, I think I'll put it on the Win98 rig, as it should run fine there, and it can make use of the Radeon 8500's TruForm. So let's not count it to the list of games (if any) that could benefit from a WinXP rig in specific.
 

GodOfGaming

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Thanks for suggesting VOGONS earlier, found something interesting there, an Excel table with 3899 games tested on all Windows versions from 98 to Win 8.1, and that pretty much answered my question, I just now started exploring it, but already saw one game from the WinXP era (Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood released 2005) that is marked to not work under Win7. Where there's one, there's definitely more. So there is point in having a dedicated WinXP PC after all :) I'm continuing exploring this excel table to see what other games are there.
 

RedJamaX

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Yes. Your XP retro machine could probably replace your Win98 machine even as well.

I second that...

Also, I would suggest a GeForce card for those games... perhaps a 3, or 4 Ti series... That should still run all of your games from that time frame without being too fast or too slow. I appreciate the decision for a Voodoo card... I had the Voodoo3 for a while and enjoyed it quite a bit. But T&L won that war and was implemented on most games from 2001-2007.

not sure what games you have lined up but I would suggest Giants: Citizen Kabuto, and Diakatana. I don't recall seeing those updated to run on win7.
 

H-street

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I've got a 6800gt + voodoo 2 sli

The 6800 series is the last nvidia card to support win98se and has great windowsxp support

It is the best dx8.1 card you can get but also supports dx5 and dx7 and also does a good job at VESA for dos
 

frenetic_ferret

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My WinXP box

AMD Athalon FX-51
1gb DDR400 ECC
1x PCI adaptec SCSI card
1x Soundblaster Audigy2 Platinum
1x ASUS SK8N mobo
1x nvidia 6800gt BFG (can be flashed to quadro) AGP
2x80gb SCSI disks RAID0
2x WD Raptor RAID0
1x SCSI CD ROM Plextor
1x Floppy DD
1x IDE DVD ROM
1x PCI intel NIC
1x NEC 22inch MultiSync FP2141sb
Sennheiser HD280pro + modmic
1x DAS Keyboard
1x Logitech MX510
1x Corepad EYEPAD
1x Thermalright XP90C CPU cooler
1x Coolermaster Wavemaster case

This was my old workstation for several years, still works!
 

ep0x73

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My old gaming rig:

P4 @ 2.4
Epox 4G4A+ board
2x 512 Corsair platinum.
2x 120 Pata Seagate drives in raid1
Gigabyte 4200 ti 64mb
Turtle beach Santa Cruz

Still works great, just slow as hell compared to a modern system.

2nd system running 7 but I have a copy of XP with all game from the above system
that I can slip into the system.

Abit IP35 pro
core2duo @ 3400
2x2 mushkin @800
XFX 8800 GTS 320mb
2x 500 WD black in raid1
Turtle beach Santa Cruz

This machine can easily handle all the old rainbow 6 games and some fairly recent without choking.
 
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jojo69

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I have a hell of a time getting the close combat series to run on 7
 

LeviathanZERO

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Dude, put 2000 on that machine if you are really thinking about using ME(Fuck it man, go 98se). Unless you like restarting explorer.exe all the time... Why would you even consider that trash OS? And someone else RECOMMENDED Daikatana? Are you guys high?

XP, 98se or 2000. Don't consider ME for nothing.
 

blank

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Messages
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My main is a Z77 based motherboard, so I keep a partition of 32-bit XP on there. The only game I know that actually benefits from XP itself is Far Cry. The original title. The reflections of land masses in the water only show up in XP.

Otherwise I keep an XP era computer around for playing the first two splinter cell games. SC1 needs a ti4400/ti4600 for intended shadow effect and SC2 needs a GTX 7900/X1900 or older card for full shadows. So I have an athlon 64 venice core for that purpose.

For 98SE I run a 1400S tualatin with Asus TUSL2-C, MX300 and Voodoo 5500. For DOS I have a K6-III+ 450 with Asus P5A-B, AWE64 Gold and Voodoo 5500. If you disable caches on the K6-III+ you can have 486 and 386 speeds.

So basically with four computers, I can cover the 1980s-2015 (actually probably 2020 with the Z77X). If you don't like splinter cell you can dump that computer have only 3.
 

Private_Ops

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Messages
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I've got an XP rig for older games that I want to play.

Athlon XP 2700+
FIC AU13 Nforce 2 Motherboard
1GB DDR333
PNY Geforce 6200 256MB (Lookin at an XFX 6600gt for nostalgia reasons)
M-Audio Revolution 5.1 (Thinkin bout an Audigy 2 instead)
160GB Seagate IDE HD

Works reasonably well for my needs. My "retro era" doesn't really go earlier than about 1998 (and doesnt go past 2006ish) so XP works well for my needs.
 

revenant

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win98 is better for a full on retro rig, especially if you want to entertain using 3DFX cards.. no direct3D support with XP on 3DFX cards... But XP is an easier install and works well. An SB Live is a great card for this kind of build.. While I agree you can tweak games to work with win7 and 8.1 but running the older OS is kind of fun and cool if you have some dedicated hardware for it. I have an old voodoo2 SLI rig and an SB Audigy (in sig) I enjoy playing quake and unreal on. I run XP on it but eventually I want to install 98 to get D3D support on the voodoo cards.

PS: to answer the OP's question, I am honestly not sure which games would just flat out not on on an XP or later kernel. There was one game I could just not get working with my XP rig.. might have been Interstate 76 but not sure now.
 
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Mr. Bluntman

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For 2000 and back you'll really want a Windows 98 SE system. For example, I built mine using the following components for maximum compatibility and maximum performance:

AMD Athlon (Thunderbird) 1.33GHz / 266MHz FSB clock
ABit KT7A motherboard (getting very rare, $120+ on eBay)
-has ISA slot which is great for late model Sound Blasters with EMU8K chips, nothing integrated. Quite a rare thing for KT133A boards
256MB PC133 SDRAM
3dfx Voodoo5 5500 AGP 64MB (these are expensive! $120-400 for bare card/boxed)
-compatible with Glide 2.xx/3.x titles in addition to OpenGL/D3D6.x or 7, you will need a Voodoo Graphics board for original Glide 1.xx titles. The ultimate card for Glide apps from '96-'00 and is toe to toe with a GeForce 256 DDR most times in everything else.
Sound Blaster AWE64 Gold 4MB
-great for late DOS games and stuff that uses MIDI without requiring a dedicated module like the Roland SC-55mk.II or SC-88
40GB Seagate 7200rpm IDE hard drive
DVD Drive/CD burner
1.44MB 3.5" Floppy drive
400W PCP&C ATX 1.1 PSU, recapped


Should set you back about $500 all together from scratch at eBay prices, but it's worth it. Playing titles at max settings with FSAA or high resolutions that I could only dream of running when they were new is truly a joy.

win98 is better for a full on retro rig, especially if you want to entertain using 3DFX cards.. no direct3D support with XP on 3DFX cards... But XP is an easier install and works well. An SB Live is a great card for this kind of build.. While I agree you can tweak games to work with win7 and 8.1 but running the older OS is kind of fun and cool if you have some dedicated hardware for it. I have an old voodoo2 SLI rig and an SB Audigy (in sig) I enjoy playing quake and unreal on. I run XP on it but eventually I want to install 98 to get D3D support on the voodoo cards.

PS: to answer the OP's question, I am honestly not sure which games would just flat out not on on an XP or later kernel. There was one game I could just not get working with my XP rig.. might have been Interstate 76 but not sure now.

Listen to this man, this guy knows a thing or three. :) Only thing I differ my recommendation on is the Sound Blaster. I'm firmly in the AWE camp in case the urge to play something with EMU8K/MIDI support strikes.
 
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LeviathanZERO

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Only thing I differ my recommendation on is the Sound Blaster. I'm firmly in the AWE camp in case the urge to play something with EMU8K/MIDI support strikes.

Damn straight. AWE64 is the only way to make the yamaha soundfonts work correctly to get the choir singing on the final battle(one-winged angel) in Final Fantasy 7 PC. Any other card will just play MIDI.
 

Mr. Bluntman

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Damn straight. AWE64 is the only way to make the yamaha soundfonts work correctly to get the choir singing on the final battle(one-winged angel) in Final Fantasy 7 PC. Any other card will just play MIDI.

F'n A! It's too bad they didn't include 8MB soundfonts for expandable AWE32 users. But I digress, the 4MB SF sounds great, nearly as good as what you heard on the PlayStation. Between FFVII, Magic Carpet 2, System Shock, Duke3D, and Descent - the AWE was the card to have in the mid nineties. While I'd love to own a GUS, it's only really good in a couple of titles, where the AWE is so much more versatile.

Only problem is, finding a decently priced Socket 462 motherboard with an ISA slot. Luckily, there are some reasonably priced Iwill KK266 boards on eBay, under $100. Looking a few months ago they were easily double this.
 

Killahurtz

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caution!!!...slight thread derail!....going "retro" is quite fun and educational in my opinion , I use my older systems to teach the history of "gaming" from the beginning to now when someone wants me to build them a box to get into gaming. One example is pictured.

here is a dually 1ghz setup that I run @ 1140 , these chips at 1ghz were about the end of PIII

Abit VP6 , 2 x PIII 1ghz @1140mhz , Voodoo 5500 AGP , dual boot W2K pro / XP pro , 2 gig Infineon memory , LSI controller + 3 x 18g scsi raid 0 , WD 500g , Kenwood TrueX 72x (the fastest CDR ever) , Killer Nic net card , my good ol' Sony 21" E540 Trinitron @ 120Hz

have to have W2K pro or later for dual CPU

IMG_4275.jpg


IMG_4282.jpg
 
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Sycraft

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I can't really see the point to an XP gaming system as in my experience games from that era work fine on modern systems. Earlier games can be a problem, because in the Windows 9x days it was kinda a DOS/Windows hybrid and you could get away with things not allowed under the NT model. However XP is an NT derived OS, as are the current ones, so the basic rules of how they work is the same.

I'm sure there are a few programs out there designed for XP but which actually won't run on new OSes, however I've yet to encounter them.

For retro gaming it would seem to me a 98 system would be more useful as it should run all the 9x, 3.1 and DOS games without issue.

However with how good DOSBox is, I don't think you miss out on much at all. Most Windows 9x and newer stuff runs fine in Windows natively, and most DOS stuff runs fine in DOSBox.
 
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