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[Help]An acceptable Windows XP Gaming System

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Reply 60 of 78, by chrismeyer6

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RandomStranger wrote on 2022-05-03, 20:28:
Trev-MUN wrote on 2022-05-03, 20:08:
RandomStranger wrote on 2022-05-03, 16:45:

Supported, maybe. Reasonable? IMHO no. XP can address 3.5GB of RAM only.

XP64 can natively handle up to 128 GB of memory, but XP32 can also handle anywhere from 64 GB to 128 GB depending on the computer's processor if you activate Physical Address Extension.

XP64 is not "real" XP. It's a repurposed Windows Server 2003 and has its own set of issues.
I don't know how well XP32 does with PAE. I'm aware that there are ways to enable, but I heard mixed-to-bad experiences.

I ran XP Pro 64bit for years without any real issues. I had no compatible with any software I used and for the most part drivers worked without issue. It was nice having 8 gigs of RAM with XP. PAE is a mixed bag as it really depends on your chipset implementing PAE properly but it's not a bad option if you don't want to try XP 64.

Reply 61 of 78, by chinny22

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For XP i'd say you want a LGA775 based system with PCIe
These were dirt cheap a few years ago when companies where offloading them but quick look at ebay.com.au for "HP PC" doesnt bring up much
Lot's of SFF's cheap which are ok if cheap but you have to factor in price for a low profile graphics card

The cheapest PC from that seach is actaully pretty sexy IMHO
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/284289628061?hash … MwAAOSwoJxhD1cr

but it's probably cheaper to build from scratch, not many people really want LGA 775/PCIe systems yet where as anything AGP sells at a permium now and holds back XP performance anyway

Reply 62 of 78, by pixel_workbench

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A high end Athlon XP was an acceptable XP gaming system back then, I personally ran a mobile XP2500 overclocked and with a Radeon 9800pro it handled Half Life 2 and Far Cry without problems. But nowadays, there are much better options.

I would avoid AGP because you're limiting your choice of graphics, and AGP cards are nowadays more expensive than their PCIE equivalents.

Literally any Athlon64, Phenom2, Core2 or early Core i3/i5/i7 would handle the more demanding XP games better, so find an inexpensive mobo + CPU combo and save your money for the graphics card.

There's plenty of inexpensive Geforce 8800gts, gtx260, gts450, 550ti, gtx460, gtx560 available that would be plenty capable for XP games up to about 2007. On the Ati/AMD side you have the Radeon 4870, 5770, 5850, 6670, 6850 also widely available and inexpensive.

Bottom line, I would not bother with AthlonXP for XP games unless you also want to dual boot Win98 on the same machine for even older games.

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Reply 63 of 78, by Trev-MUN

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chrismeyer6 wrote on 2022-05-03, 22:14:
RandomStranger wrote on 2022-05-03, 20:28:

I don't know how well XP32 does with PAE. I'm aware that there are ways to enable, but I heard mixed-to-bad experiences.

I ran XP Pro 64bit for years without any real issues. I had no compatible with any software I used and for the most part drivers worked without issue. It was nice having 8 gigs of RAM with XP. PAE is a mixed bag as it really depends on your chipset implementing PAE properly but it's not a bad option if you don't want to try XP 64.

I've been running my XP32 laptop with PAE ever since the manufacturer wound up swapping out the motherboard during an RMA. I have no idea to this day why they did it (the motherboard wasn't the reason I RMA'd the laptop, it was the display) but they put in a weaker CPU than the one my laptop originally had, but gave me 8 GB of RAM in place of the original 4 GB. So I figured, I might as well make use of that RAM if it's there.

The system doesn't seem any less stable than before, but I also haven't really been going hard on anything to really say for sure that everything's still fine. Though there was an incident where I was shutting down the laptop and got a BSoD RIGHT at the end of the sequence. Caused me to laugh more than anything.

pixel_workbench wrote on 2022-05-04, 18:28:

I would avoid AGP because you're limiting your choice of graphics, and AGP cards are nowadays more expensive than their PCIE equivalents.

I also heard that AGP has a reputation for unreliability, or at least, doesn't last as long. That would track with my personal experience (the only video card I've had that died of its own accord was an AGP-based Radeon 9800 PRO) but has that been the case for others?

Reply 64 of 78, by mastergamma12

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If you want to use EAX and have more than 4gb of system ram, avoid XP 64.

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Reply 65 of 78, by Tetrium

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Trev-MUN wrote on 2022-05-05, 03:37:
pixel_workbench wrote on 2022-05-04, 18:28:

I would avoid AGP because you're limiting your choice of graphics, and AGP cards are nowadays more expensive than their PCIE equivalents.

I also heard that AGP has a reputation for unreliability, or at least, doesn't last as long. That would track with my personal experience (the only video card I've had that died of its own accord was an AGP-based Radeon 9800 PRO) but has that been the case for others?

I think the cards dying has more to do with things that are unrelated to AGP and more with things like age (TIM drying up and the cards overheating or poorly designed stock cooling leading to early heatdeath of the AGP card), abuse (being physically handled poorly, like being tossed around or piled on top of other cards resulting in scratches and broken off components, lack of precautions for ESD damage, careless overclocking, cap plague from motherboards or PSUs causing poor quality power delivery to the board like voltage spikes or irregular out of spec voltages) or lack of proper maintenance (HSFs getting full of dust and then overheating especially if people smoked inside of the house) and then there's the possibility of people who buy a card that ends up dead keeping reselling it to the next victim.

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Reply 66 of 78, by Tetrium

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mastergamma12 wrote on 2022-05-05, 03:51:

If you want to use EAX and have more than 4gb of system ram, avoid XP 64.

Is there actually any reason to pick XP64 over XP32 anyway?

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Reply 67 of 78, by mastergamma12

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Tetrium wrote on 2022-05-05, 06:50:
mastergamma12 wrote on 2022-05-05, 03:51:

If you want to use EAX and have more than 4gb of system ram, avoid XP 64.

Is there actually any reason to pick XP64 over XP32 anyway?

From my experience, no. On my XP rig, If I need to access more than 2-4gb of ram, I just go on my Windows 7 partition.

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Reply 68 of 78, by gerry

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pixel_workbench wrote on 2022-05-04, 18:28:
A high end Athlon XP was an acceptable XP gaming system back then, I personally ran a mobile XP2500 overclocked and with a Radeo […]
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A high end Athlon XP was an acceptable XP gaming system back then, I personally ran a mobile XP2500 overclocked and with a Radeon 9800pro it handled Half Life 2 and Far Cry without problems. But nowadays, there are much better options.

I would avoid AGP because you're limiting your choice of graphics, and AGP cards are nowadays more expensive than their PCIE equivalents.

Literally any Athlon64, Phenom2, Core2 or early Core i3/i5/i7 would handle the more demanding XP games better, so find an inexpensive mobo + CPU combo and save your money for the graphics card.

There's plenty of inexpensive Geforce 8800gts, gtx260, gts450, 550ti, gtx460, gtx560 available that would be plenty capable for XP games up to about 2007. On the Ati/AMD side you have the Radeon 4870, 5770, 5850, 6670, 6850 also widely available and inexpensive.

Bottom line, I would not bother with AthlonXP for XP games unless you also want to dual boot Win98 on the same machine for even older games.

overall very true, especially that early 2000's games run just fine on a late athlon xp or P4 and some card like your radeon

and when more is needed for a game the game will usually work fine on a W7 or later system anyway so no need to cram XP onto a later 64bit system after all

there are always a few exceptions, but only a few

Reply 69 of 78, by chrismeyer6

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Tetrium wrote on 2022-05-05, 06:50:
mastergamma12 wrote on 2022-05-05, 03:51:

If you want to use EAX and have more than 4gb of system ram, avoid XP 64.

Is there actually any reason to pick XP64 over XP32 anyway?

Mainly for fun honestly

Reply 70 of 78, by Gmlb256

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Tetrium wrote on 2022-05-05, 06:50:
mastergamma12 wrote on 2022-05-05, 03:51:

If you want to use EAX and have more than 4gb of system ram, avoid XP 64.

Is there actually any reason to pick XP64 over XP32 anyway?

An advantage for running any 64-bit OS in general is that the general purpose registers on x86 CPUs are extended to 64-bit and it also introduces 8 new ones (r8 thru r15) thus allowing programs to run faster than the 32-bit version if properly taken advantage of, not just because more than 4GB of RAM is accessible. The only bad thing with Windows XP x64 is that there are very few third-party drivers for it.

Anyway, I would go for Vista (why there is no love for this version of Windows? Most of the problems were fixed by the time SP1 was released and DX11 is also available for it) and/or 7 as minimum if 64-bit is desired anyway. This is where it really took off.

Reply 71 of 78, by Trev-MUN

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Gmlb256 wrote on 2022-05-05, 14:57:

An advantage for running any 64-bit OS in general is that the general purpose registers on x86 CPUs are extended to 64-bit and it also introduces 8 new ones (r8 thru r15) thus allowing programs to run faster than the 32-bit version if properly taken advantage of, not just because more than 4GB of RAM is accessible. The only bad thing with Windows XP x64 is that there are very few third-party drivers for it.

I've also heard that 32-bit programs can't use more than 4GB even on a system that has more than 4GB available; is that true?

However, speaking from the experience of a guy who's been running XP64 as his daily driver since 2008, I actually haven't had driver issues in spite of hearing that this is a huge problem. Getting drivers for hardware beyond the XP family's end-of-support date, though, was tricky. A few years ago, at MSFN a person by the name XP-x64-Lover located the whole suite of drivers needed to get an ASUS SABERTOOTH X99 motherboard fully working with XP64. That was the linchpin I needed to upgrade my daily driver/workstation to high-end-for-2015 standards, so she's now rocking a Broadwell-E i7-6950X and 128 GB of RAM alongside that aforementioned TITAN X Maxwell.

As far as newer than that, there's threads over at Win-Raid where I've seen people say they've gotten XP64 working and supported on Coffee Lake machines, so that brings us up to 2017-era hardware in terms of what's usable.

Reply 72 of 78, by Gmlb256

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Trev-MUN wrote on 2022-05-05, 15:15:

I've also heard that 32-bit programs can't use more than 4GB even on a system that has more than 4GB available; is that true?

You can run 32-bit programs without problems with more than 4GB of RAM, but they are still limited up to 4GB for memory addressing. A 64-bit program doesn't have this limitation.

Edit: 32-bit programs are usually limited to 2GB of RAM without the executable being compiled with /LARGEADDRESSAWARE flag, it isn't by default for compatibility reasons. See this for more info: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366778.aspx

However, speaking from the experience of a guy who's been running XP64 as his daily driver since 2008, I actually haven't had driver issues in spite of hearing that this is a huge problem. Getting drivers for hardware beyond the XP family's end-of-support date, though, was tricky. A few years ago, at MSFN a person by the name XP-x64-Lover located the whole suite of drivers needed to get an ASUS SABERTOOTH X99 motherboard fully working with XP64. That was the linchpin I needed to upgrade my daily driver/workstation to high-end-for-2015 standards, so she's now rocking a Broadwell-E i7-6950X and 128 GB of RAM alongside that aforementioned TITAN X Maxwell.

As far as newer than that, there's threads over at Win-Raid where I've seen people say they've gotten XP64 working and supported on Coffee Lake machines, so that brings us up to 2017-era hardware in terms of what's usable.

If the drivers for each device are available and works without fuss then it is a smooth sail from there.

Reply 73 of 78, by Tetrium

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mastergamma12 wrote on 2022-05-05, 08:46:
Tetrium wrote on 2022-05-05, 06:50:
mastergamma12 wrote on 2022-05-05, 03:51:

If you want to use EAX and have more than 4gb of system ram, avoid XP 64.

Is there actually any reason to pick XP64 over XP32 anyway?

From my experience, no. On my XP rig, If I need to access more than 2-4gb of ram, I just go on my Windows 7 partition.

Would there actually be any reason to ever pick Windows 7 32-bit edition? 😋

chrismeyer6 wrote on 2022-05-05, 12:52:
Tetrium wrote on 2022-05-05, 06:50:
mastergamma12 wrote on 2022-05-05, 03:51:

If you want to use EAX and have more than 4gb of system ram, avoid XP 64.

Is there actually any reason to pick XP64 over XP32 anyway?

Mainly for fun honestly

I can definitely see that! 😀

Same reason I tried MS Neptune at one point. It's barely not-useless 🤣

But on a slightly more serious note, using beta versions of Windows is an interesting experience as well 🙂

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Reply 74 of 78, by Tetrium

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Gmlb256 wrote on 2022-05-05, 14:57:
Tetrium wrote on 2022-05-05, 06:50:
mastergamma12 wrote on 2022-05-05, 03:51:

If you want to use EAX and have more than 4gb of system ram, avoid XP 64.

Is there actually any reason to pick XP64 over XP32 anyway?

An advantage for running any 64-bit OS in general is that the general purpose registers on x86 CPUs are extended to 64-bit and it also introduces 8 new ones (r8 thru r15) thus allowing programs to run faster than the 32-bit version if properly taken advantage of, not just because more than 4GB of RAM is accessible. The only bad thing with Windows XP x64 is that there are very few third-party drivers for it.

Anyway, I would go for Vista (why there is no love for this version of Windows? Most of the problems were fixed by the time SP1 was released and DX11 is also available for it) and/or 7 as minimum if 64-bit is desired anyway. This is where it really took off.

I realize Vistas story has some superficial similarities to Windows ME and I've grown to like WinME so much that it's perhaps even my most used OS ever. I mean I only switched to XP myself right after Vista had been released and I had been using mainly ME with a few exceptions (I did for instance try Neptune, 2k, 2k3 and 95 OSR2.something iirc. And even Knoppix and I mean that bootable CDROM 😜 ) and I never really got the hate ME received because my personal experiences were simply never that bad.

But the thing with Vista is that I already like WinXP and Win7 a lot. There would be little reason for me to take a serious swing at WinVista unless I decide to build a dedicated Vista rig.
Kinda the same reason I never got into Win2000 as ME and XP already did what I wanted it to do, so I saw little reason to give 2k a go apart from the one rig I build around 2k once.

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Reply 75 of 78, by DosFreak

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32bit windows 7 with xpdm drivers you can run 16bit windows and dos programs using ntvdm full-screen, if you wanted to use wddm drivers you'd need to use solvbe or similar for full-screen dos programs. Also 32bit useful for devices without 64bit drivers.

Personally for me I dual booted for for dos and once dosbox supported protected mode I never bothered to actually play dos games in dos or ntvdm ever again, too much of a pain Occasionally you'll get people here complaining how they can't compile their code under dosbox at fast speeds or run games as fast as ntvdm or real hardware without realizing what an emulator is. Hasn't been a problem for me because I've always kept my hardware up to date, cross compile, use ports and am happy with the same speeds I grew up with anything faster is gravy assuming the game doesn't break.

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Reply 76 of 78, by Tetrium

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gerry wrote on 2022-05-05, 09:01:
overall very true, especially that early 2000's games run just fine on a late athlon xp or P4 and some card like your radeon […]
Show full quote
pixel_workbench wrote on 2022-05-04, 18:28:
A high end Athlon XP was an acceptable XP gaming system back then, I personally ran a mobile XP2500 overclocked and with a Radeo […]
Show full quote

A high end Athlon XP was an acceptable XP gaming system back then, I personally ran a mobile XP2500 overclocked and with a Radeon 9800pro it handled Half Life 2 and Far Cry without problems. But nowadays, there are much better options.

I would avoid AGP because you're limiting your choice of graphics, and AGP cards are nowadays more expensive than their PCIE equivalents.

Literally any Athlon64, Phenom2, Core2 or early Core i3/i5/i7 would handle the more demanding XP games better, so find an inexpensive mobo + CPU combo and save your money for the graphics card.

There's plenty of inexpensive Geforce 8800gts, gtx260, gts450, 550ti, gtx460, gtx560 available that would be plenty capable for XP games up to about 2007. On the Ati/AMD side you have the Radeon 4870, 5770, 5850, 6670, 6850 also widely available and inexpensive.

Bottom line, I would not bother with AthlonXP for XP games unless you also want to dual boot Win98 on the same machine for even older games.

overall very true, especially that early 2000's games run just fine on a late athlon xp or P4 and some card like your radeon

and when more is needed for a game the game will usually work fine on a W7 or later system anyway so no need to cram XP onto a later 64bit system after all

there are always a few exceptions, but only a few

Personally I think I wouldn't even bother with XP once I go into 4GB RAM territory. I've always installed Win7 on such rigs.

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Reply 77 of 78, by Tetrium

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DosFreak wrote on 2022-05-05, 15:50:

32bit windows 7 with xpdm drivers you can run 16bit windows and dos programs using ntvdm full-screen, if you wanted to use wddm drivers you'd need to use solvbe or similar for full-screen dos programs. Also 32bit useful for devices without 64bit drivers.

Interesting..

Are there actually any devices that have 32-bit, but not the 64-bit drivers for Windows 7?

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Reply 78 of 78, by Trev-MUN

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I just caught news of something wild. A few days ago a world record for overclocking DDR5 RAM, to 10,022 MHz, was achieved by a system running Windows XP Professional!

According to HWBot, the new record was achieved by Gigabyte’s professional overclocker, “HiCookie”. The overclocker used an Intel Core i9-12900K and a 16GB DDR5-4800 Gigabyte Aorus RGB stick on a Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Tachyon motherboard. For the operating system, HiCookie used Windows XP Professional. As you might’ve guessed, both the CPU and the memory were cooled using LN2.

That blows my mind. I wonder what all that guy did to get the machine going. Did he bother with PAE? Did he need to install drivers? Depending on what he had to do to get the system running that leaves open the possibility of running just-about-current hardware on XP.