Your perfect retro gaming PC?

A place to discuss anything retro that isn't games related

Moderators: mknott, NickThorpe, lcarlson, Darran@Retro Gamer, MMohammed

Post Reply
User avatar
pulse
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon May 23, 2022 9:51 am
Contact:

Your perfect retro gaming PC?

Post by pulse » Thu May 26, 2022 6:22 pm

For me it would be something from the 486 era. Would love to re-live that era of stuff.

Image

This is from Reddit but something like that would be my dream retro PC. It even has the friggin key!!
{ https://indiedevs.net/ - a gamedev community }

User avatar
Matt_B
Posts: 5740
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:30 am
Location: 5 minutes from the beach, 30 seconds from the pub

Re: Your perfect retro gaming PC?

Post by Matt_B » Thu May 26, 2022 8:17 pm

I used to keep an old Pentium going with a Matrox Millenium and Soundblaster AWE32 for the purposes of running DOS games but it just got a bit too old and flaky in the end.That's the main problem with these machines; they weren't really built to last ten years, let alone thirty! Also, nearly anything up until around 1995 runs just fine under DOSBox on a modern PC, so you only need the original hardware if you absolutely need that authentic experience.

I also had a Windows 98 machine based around a first generation Athlon, an ATi All-In-Wonder 128 Pro and a Soundblaster AWE64, which was a lot more useful as there are far more games from that era that are too advanced for emulation but require features that would break modern Windows. That didn't make the cut when I moved to Australia though, and I've been using a combination of source ports, patches and mods to play the games from that era that I'm still interested in.

User avatar
Antiriad2097
Posts: 27250
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2005 2:48 pm
Location: http://s11.zetaboards.com/RetroLeague/
Contact:

Re: Your perfect retro gaming PC?

Post by Antiriad2097 » Fri May 27, 2022 3:21 am

Is there a decent PC emulator that handles 3Dfx games well these days? I only ever had a cheap Voodoo 3 and a relatively low end CPU at the time the 3Dfx systems ruled, so I was always just about able to run things well. It'd be nice to play those games at full tilt in high res for a change (and without the 'too fast' CPU problems some games had).
The Retro League - Where skill isn't an obstacle
Retrocanteen, home of the unfairly banned
Tom_Baker wrote:I just finished watching a film about Stockholm syndrome. It started out terrible but by the end I really liked it.

User avatar
Matt_B
Posts: 5740
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:30 am
Location: 5 minutes from the beach, 30 seconds from the pub

Re: Your perfect retro gaming PC?

Post by Matt_B » Fri May 27, 2022 5:55 am

You can give dgVoodoo and DOSBox-X a go but they're a bit hit and miss. The late 90s is pretty much the worst period for getting PC games from to run on a modern system.

User avatar
Antiriad2097
Posts: 27250
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2005 2:48 pm
Location: http://s11.zetaboards.com/RetroLeague/
Contact:

Re: Your perfect retro gaming PC?

Post by Antiriad2097 » Fri May 27, 2022 6:42 am

Shame, I thought we might have progressed more with that, since the Glide stuff tends to look so much better than the alternatives of the time.
The Retro League - Where skill isn't an obstacle
Retrocanteen, home of the unfairly banned
Tom_Baker wrote:I just finished watching a film about Stockholm syndrome. It started out terrible but by the end I really liked it.

User avatar
pulse
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon May 23, 2022 9:51 am
Contact:

Re: Your perfect retro gaming PC?

Post by pulse » Fri May 27, 2022 8:01 am

I restored this beauty a while back:

Image

I don't have any before photos but it was in quite a rough shape originally. Took a lot of work to get it all fixed up. I retrobrighted the case and the monitor and replaced a bunch of faulty components. It's a Pentium III and runs Win98, unfortunately it has an onboard GPU so it's not going to run anything fancy (and the mobo doesn't have AGP so any upgrading is out). But as long as it runs Civilization 2 I'm good though, lol. It's also really fun to relive Windows 98 and its software on real hardware. It was a fun project all in all.

I kind of want to do another restoration project but earlier period this time. Something like in the original pic would be just amazing.
{ https://indiedevs.net/ - a gamedev community }

User avatar
Antiriad2097
Posts: 27250
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2005 2:48 pm
Location: http://s11.zetaboards.com/RetroLeague/
Contact:

Re: Your perfect retro gaming PC?

Post by Antiriad2097 » Fri May 27, 2022 8:40 am

Don't rule out GPU upgrades. My Voodoo 3 is PCI as my old PC didn't have AGP, quite a lot of those old boards would give you a boost.
The Retro League - Where skill isn't an obstacle
Retrocanteen, home of the unfairly banned
Tom_Baker wrote:I just finished watching a film about Stockholm syndrome. It started out terrible but by the end I really liked it.

User avatar
pulse
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon May 23, 2022 9:51 am
Contact:

Re: Your perfect retro gaming PC?

Post by pulse » Fri May 27, 2022 8:57 am

You're probably right, I just immediately gave up when I saw it doesn't have AGP, heh.
{ https://indiedevs.net/ - a gamedev community }

User avatar
Matt_B
Posts: 5740
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:30 am
Location: 5 minutes from the beach, 30 seconds from the pub

Re: Your perfect retro gaming PC?

Post by Matt_B » Fri May 27, 2022 5:45 pm

You could still get PCI graphics cards well into the 2000s including some Radeons and GeForces. They weren't particularly good performers compared to the AGP cards but they wouldn't need to be to beat 90s integrated graphics.

They're not so good with the hacky VGA modes used by some of the older DOS games though, and you're better off with something from the mid 90s for those. I went with the Matrox card because the place I worked at was upgrading and disposed of a lot of them, but you've got plenty of other options.

User avatar
pulse
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon May 23, 2022 9:51 am
Contact:

Re: Your perfect retro gaming PC?

Post by pulse » Fri May 27, 2022 5:55 pm

I honestly didn't really even have retrogaming in mind when I was restoring it, I just wanted to get it in shape for whatever reason. Maybe I watched too much 8bit guy. :)

I tried some games and Visual Basic on it for nostalgia purposes and then I wrapped and stored it. I'd need some potent retro itch to get it out and running again. If I were to build or restore another PC with a retrogaming mindset, I'd probably do it from ground up and pick a good motherboard from the start. This was just a random old family PC that a friend donated to me.

The main problem is that retro components are really getting expensive, and they're only getting more expensive as time goes by. So maybe I should hurry up if I want to make some kind of an old-school DOS gaming PC. :D
{ https://indiedevs.net/ - a gamedev community }

English Invader
Posts: 572
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:13 pm

Re: Your perfect retro gaming PC?

Post by English Invader » Fri May 27, 2022 7:56 pm

I restored an old early XP era machine with Windows 98 a few years ago. It took a little while to source the appropriate drivers online but it runs a lot faster with 98 and I was able to get most of the games I wanted to play on it and the ones that didn't run tended to pose the same problems on other hardware anyway. I was also able to get an older version of DOSBox that would run on the system which covered the really old stuff.

Another project I had was running old PC games on Linux Mint through Wine and turning it into a personal mission to prove that Wine was better for old PC games than Windows compatibility mode because it was more configurable and again I was able to run most of what I wanted and the stuff that didn't work usually posed the same problems elsewhere.

In the end, the two systems matched each other pretty well and, while sometimes one would run a game that the other wouldn't and vice versa, there wasn't much to choose between them. My PC gaming odyssey was a lot of fun.

User avatar
pulse
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon May 23, 2022 9:51 am
Contact:

Re: Your perfect retro gaming PC?

Post by pulse » Fri May 27, 2022 8:12 pm

Yeah, it's really fun restoring old hardware. I have 2 XP machines that I restored a while ago too (just machines though, no peripherals). No idea what to do with them.

Really the older you go the more interesting it gets, the more hardware incompatibilities, harder to find drivers, hardware failures more likely, etc. It's an interesting hobby, just kind of expensive and time consuming. I do think it's important that somebody preserves old machines though, lest we all forget what a floppy drive sounds like. :)
{ https://indiedevs.net/ - a gamedev community }

User avatar
learnedrobb
Posts: 1530
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 1:17 pm
Contact:

Re: Your perfect retro gaming PC?

Post by learnedrobb » Mon May 30, 2022 3:46 pm

There is a delicious irony in the hardest platform from the mid to late 90s for a PC to emulate successfully is actually a PC.
NES/N64/GC/Wii/WiiU/SMD/SS/DC/PS1/PS2/PS3/PS4/Xbox/360/OneS/PSP/3DS/PSV
PSN: learnedrobb

User avatar
Matt_B
Posts: 5740
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:30 am
Location: 5 minutes from the beach, 30 seconds from the pub

Re: Your perfect retro gaming PC?

Post by Matt_B » Mon May 30, 2022 11:36 pm

learnedrobb wrote:
Mon May 30, 2022 3:46 pm
There is a delicious irony in the hardest platform from the mid to late 90s for a PC to emulate successfully is actually a PC.
I wouldn't quite go that far. If nothing else, there are still some obscure consoles - e.g. Panasonic M2, Bandai Playdia - where there are no known emulators at all. :D

You can still play pretty much any PC game from that era that anyone still gives a damn about too. It's just that the ways you'd go about getting them work vary, so it's not as simple as installing one emulator and dropping all your game images into a folder.

User avatar
learnedrobb
Posts: 1530
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 1:17 pm
Contact:

Re: Your perfect retro gaming PC?

Post by learnedrobb » Wed Jun 01, 2022 12:59 pm

That's what I mean when I say "hardest". Compared to almost any other freely emulated system (oddities like the M2 excluded), emulating a PC on a PC is a chaotic mess. An emulator that works fine for one game refuses to work for another, despite them requiring the same base hardware.

And then you get into Cams rather than emus, and that's a whole different level of faffing around...
NES/N64/GC/Wii/WiiU/SMD/SS/DC/PS1/PS2/PS3/PS4/Xbox/360/OneS/PSP/3DS/PSV
PSN: learnedrobb

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest