Recently I "upgraded" to Windows 10, as Ryzen chipsets no longer support anything else.
This is when I realized that playing Red Alert 2 on it was out of the question - after finally getting the crappy Origin version to run (disc version refuses to run the installer), the performance was just terrible (even with the videobackbuffer fix). With TS-DDraw (which is supposed to resolve everything) the game refuses to even start up.
My solution? Build a new, compact PC, not just for Red Alert 2, but for all of my games, ranging from '99 to around 2004.
The OS? Windows 2000. Very compatible with the games from this period and supports tons of modern-ish hardware.
The hardware? Am3 ECS motherboard (nforce430), 2GB of DDR3-1333 ram, Radeon x1900xt, Athlon II x2 270 3.4GHz, Audigy2 ZS. Also wanted to put an SSD in there, but Win2000 does not like those nforce SATA drivers, so a 200GB IDE drive sufficed.
Ran stuff like the OG version of HL2, NFS:U, Doom3, BF1942 and other games at crazy fast FPS with really nice visual quality. Looked even better on a CRT monitor.
The problem? Red Alert 2 refuses to start. Tried different video drivers. Didn't work. Tried running in 95/98 compatibility mode. Got a "please disable debugger" error. Tried NT4 compatibility mode. Got a "please insert correct CD" error. Just downloaded a crack. Still refused to start. Tried different video drivers. Still nothing.
I'm quite amazed that this thing managed to be even less compatible with RA2 than my new Windows 10 PC, despite all other Windows OSs - 98, xp and even 7 running it perfectly fine.
So I'm at loss here. Guess I should try an nvidia card? The reason I used x1900 is because it's really fast, supposed to be compatible with games from this era and it has really nice visual quality. The only PCIe nvidia cards that I have are 8800 series or newer, which might bring other compatibility issues.
The FireStarter 2.0 - The wooden K5
The Underdog - The budget K6
The Voodoo powerhouse - The power-hungry K7
The troll PC - The Socket 423 Pentium 4