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First post, by vetz

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I recently built a new periodcorrect build for 1997, with only parts that were available in that year. That includes a Pentium II 300mhz running on a 440FX motherboard, Nvidia Riva 128, PowerVR PCX2, and a Canopus Pure3D with 6MB memory. Even the SCSI harddrive is from 1997.

What I realized after building it is that while games from 1996-1998 run fine on it, they do not run optimally of what is possible when it comes to resolution and FPS, especially 3D games. For instance I fired up Quake 2 and I'm getting between 30 and 50 fps in 640x480. Higher resolutions isn't even possible on the 3DFX Voodoo. GLQuake have better framerate, but still stuck in the same low resolution. The 300mhz P2 is in many cases not enough for higher SVGA resolutions in late DOS games if you want good framerates. I'll have to admit I've been spoiled the last 23 years and my requirements to enjoy games have risen with expectations of 60fps+. I have a CRT connected to this machine, so it helps on the lower resolutions, but I feel I just cannot get myself to play through games that I know can do better. I feel the build is only really suited for 3D games locked to 640x480.

If I first play those games on a newer retro system (Pentium 4) I'm just thinking I might as well play them on my modern Win10 machine. If you run games with nGlide or dgVoodoo you most of the time get them looking better than you ever can on a retro system (along with G-sync support on my monitor) and the possibility to use modern controllers like the Xbox 1 controller which is superior to anything that can be used on Windows 98. I know that in many times it's more fiddly and it can be a PITA to get running, but that is more or less a onetime thing during setup. Ofc that does not apply to all games, some games run so bad its a huge annoyence on modern systems (UI elements messed up, etc), or you're missing out on hardware specific features like A3D sound.

Another revelation came with the C&C remaster, with that version, why should I bother playing the old versions? The remaster is just so much better in visuals and sound and still retains the old classic gameplay. Same goes with many of the new sourceports or remaster versions (even though some sucks, like WC3)

So where do you fall here? Always play like it was back in the days or go overkill on system builds or go modern with sourceports/remaster/emulation even though that kills part of the nostalgia? I feel its easier to go the full retro route on XT to 486 period than late DOS/3D area as the games can't be improved that much visually with newer hardware. Don't get me wrong, I love the early 3D period and love playing with the hardware.

Last edited by vetz on 2020-10-30, 13:01. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 1 of 33, by Joseph_Joestar

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For me, one of the main reasons for playing on late 90s hardware is proper support for A3D and EAX. Sure, there are software wrappers for both of these which can be used on modern systems, but they don't sound quite as good as the real thing.

That said, I don't build absolutely period correct rigs. Generally, I find it better to run games on hardware that's about two years ahead. That way, backwards compatibility is still good, while performance is significantly better. Graphics cards and CPUs were improving rapidly during the late 90s and the early 2000s, and that really becomes apparent when you go for the fully period correct approach.

Using Audigy drivers with a Sound Blaster Live
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Reply 2 of 33, by Gabriel-LG

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This is very personal I think. I see globally 2 approaches, either take best hardware (and/or OS) to support an old game and run it maxed out, or build a (more or less) age appropriate system and play as best as possible.

For me, I like hardware so I definitely fall in the second category.
I like to hear the rattling of harddrives, the static when the CRT monitor turns on (and the flexibility, resolution wise, from a CRT), the clunkyness of the old mice/keyboards.
But also the basic cleaneliness of Windows 98, the startup chime, waiting for a loading screen, the 3Dfx spinners, etc.

However, I do stretch the age appropriate part a bit.
e.g. my machines always have an overkill of memory installed (like 2x or 4x what was considered high end at the time. Also RAID0 was available, but no gaming machines had that. So my systems are usually "augmented" with stuff from the future. My video cards are usually like a year newer compared to the rest of the system. As long as it does not break the immersion.

Reply 3 of 33, by SScorpio

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I prefer a mix of going overkill and modern. There were games that ran horrible on the hardware that was out at the time of their release. We are also spoiled by modern hardware and games, games running at 30-60fps, while old games could run at 15fps or lower.

But going modern isn't a perfect solution as some games require significant effort to get working correctly. And do the source ports or engine recreations get everything right? And there are some older features that just don't work like they did on older hardware in terms of graphics and sounds. There are wrappers to re-implement the features, but somethings like A3D 2.0 just aren't really supported.

But even with an overkill build running the old OSes you can still have issues related to speed, so there is no perfect solution. But I do like where FPGA is headed. They are taking classic PCs and giving a more console like experience. The MiSTer running Amiga boots into a menu you pick a game and just play. There's significant working going on with ao486 which is bringing something similar, only it doesn't have the polish and everything configured perfectly yet. But having a small SBC connected via HDMI with a USB keyboard and mouse saves a lot of space and gives a great experience which is hard to describe. Emulators are great, but due to modern PC architectures running hundreds of processes, you'll encounter micro stuttering. That doesn't happen on an FPGA and it's not something you can understand without trying it out first hand.

Reply 4 of 33, by Pierre32

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Sound options and CRTs are what attract me to period hardware. The DOS era experience just isn't there for me on modern hardware. But I've done some Win98 builds recently and I've run into that same experience Vetz. One system is pretty great on paper with a PIII and a Ti4200, but I'm just not squeezing out the performance that modern gaming has taught me to expect.

I was asking about a good video card for an XP system the other day, and someone said "It's not a wine tasting - just throw in a 980 Ti and get the most out of your games." A fair call.

Reply 5 of 33, by Con 2 botones

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To me, playing on hardware that is too far ahead in time (came out say 10,15 years after the games you intend to play), is similar to the game console emulation debate. It is valid, but does not feel the same.

Maxing out RAM o getting the best available CPU for the socket/slot (all those thing you wouldn´t be able to afford back then), and adding a video card that came a year or two later than the rest of the setup, that on the other hand, feels correct, a great pleasure I would say.

Reply 6 of 33, by Desomondo

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I think I fall into the "spoiled" category too. I've got a couple Win9x / XP machines now for those really stubborn games that refuse to run on newer systems through whatever means are available, but if I can get a modern source port / wrapper / emulation to do the job I'll happily do so on my main PC. The monitor is bigger, the speakers are louder, the peripherals are smoother, and (most important of all) the chair is comfier. My other towers get to share a smaller desk tucked into the corner, with inferior monitor, speakers, etc. I still love them but comfort matters!

Also, while this purely subjective, I find it hard to give up some QoL features and technical benefits of source ports and such. Take Quake of example - probably my favourite game of all time - there are so many source ports that cover almost all tastes from more simple ports like MarkV all the way up to the visually impressive Darkplaces, and I'd personally rather play any of them over the original DOS or GLQuake versions.

That being said sometimes, if you know a game inside and out, you can just tell when something doesn't feel right when running them on a newer system - visual or audio glitches, input lag, gameplay bugs, etc. - no matter how many fan patches or tweaks you apply. That's when having a more period correct machine comes in handy and I'm glad I have them.

Win98 PC: Pentium 4 3.2 | Gigabyte GA-8I865GME-775 | Geforce3 Ti200 | Aureal Vortex 2 + YMF744
WinXP PC: Core 2 Quad Q9400 | Gigabyte GA-G41MT-S2PT | Geforce GTX 280 | X-Fi
Win10 PC: i7-8700k | ASUS Z370 TUF | GeForce RTX 2070 Super | X-Fi Titanium

Reply 7 of 33, by Gabriel-LG

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Desomondo wrote on 2020-10-30, 14:41:

Also, while this purely subjective, I find it hard to give up some QoL features and technical benefits of source ports and such. Take Quake of example - probably my favourite game of all time - there are so many source ports that cover almost all tastes from more simple ports like MarkV all the way up to the visually impressive Darkplaces, and I'd personally rather play any of them over the original DOS or GLQuake versions.

I really like the silence of modern PC's, my PC has oversized heatsinks and fans on CPU and GPU, virtually silent PSU and an SSD (no moving parts). It is just inaudible. Also keyboards, mice and displays have come a long way. I do occassionally use this PC for retro gaming.

But I do not like source ports and "enhancements" done to classic games. It makes them feel different. For example Half-Life from Steam, comes with the High Definition pack by default. Objectively it looks better, but the game atmosphere changes:
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I mean, the NPCs have to appear terminally ill, in order for Half-Life to work... 😱

Reply 8 of 33, by Desomondo

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Yeah, Half-Life is a weird one. It's one of those games I prefer to play unpatched as every single one (including the current Steam version) seems to break something or rebalance stuff for multiplayer at the expense of solo play. And the HD pack just doesn't fit at all. Good call. But like most things it comes down to the individual mod, port or re-release. Some work, others change too much for your tastes. I prefer many true source ports (eDuke32, gzDoom, etc.) but official re-releases in this digital era have been more miss than hit.

Win98 PC: Pentium 4 3.2 | Gigabyte GA-8I865GME-775 | Geforce3 Ti200 | Aureal Vortex 2 + YMF744
WinXP PC: Core 2 Quad Q9400 | Gigabyte GA-G41MT-S2PT | Geforce GTX 280 | X-Fi
Win10 PC: i7-8700k | ASUS Z370 TUF | GeForce RTX 2070 Super | X-Fi Titanium

Reply 9 of 33, by Hanamichi

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I put myself in the authentic retro hardware and software experience camp. I think the period correctness is great for graphics and sound giving you a feel of nostalgia.

But.. to get over the 60fps withdrawal symptoms, I give the system a glimpse of the future with a CPU that's a year or two ahead.
(SSD for convenience but that's like back to the future stuff).

I see it as playing a console with the last upgrade possible,or an Amiga with 68030 upgrades.

Having said that space probably doesn't permit to have every necessary 2-3 year gap period correct machines with upgrades so a Frankenstein / Overkill build is also needed.

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Reply 10 of 33, by creepingnet

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Get ready for an extremely long and complicated answer.....

I use both new AND old hardware, and emulators, and source ports. There are pros and cons to both. This gives me flexibility to use whichever is the most efficient solution without always having to sacrifice the experience. That's sort of what it's becoming more about for me as a married man who is almost 40 and has a career.

First off, I love love love love love old hardware! Love it. Especially the 486 era. And I have over 20 years experience accumulated messing with it from back when all this stuff was called "Door stops" "dinosaurs" and "boat anchors" by people. So really for me, the original hardware - at least for games 1981-1997 - is the way to go because it's the least fiddly for me. Also, I have some DEEP nostalgia because I grew up in that magical time of DOS games, when computers "are the future" and this stuff was "mysterious" and "Made of magic" to most people. There's just nothing to me like sitting in front of a big beige box, with another big beige box next to or on top of it, with a big ole clacky keyboard, and a solid, heavy mouse or trackball, and some kind of awesome multi-button gamepad with FM and 8/16-bit digital audio + my own CD soundtrack blasting from the speakers.....or turning up on my patio or at the local coffee house with an old gray TFT equipped laptop rocking out to Nirvana on headphones and playing Wolfenstein like it's 1993, or surfing in Links.

Granted, these old boxes are not 100% accurate. I pretty much tune/tweak/mod out all the "inconveniences" and "Annoyances" they have. All my HDD are caddied, all my systems that can use them have optical drives (basically anything 286+), I have the fastest video card I can jam in the case and find for cheap in them, with the VRAM maxxed out. My laptops get their batteries rejuvinated or rebuilt so they are actually portable and their HDD upgraded to SSDs or accelerometer equipped models. So what I end up with is a quasi-accurate experience with a CRT and all the other tactile and aesthetic stuff - except slow load times, or even needing the CD at all, loud HDD, loud fans, needing to drag an AC Adapter with me all the time. I'd say my hardware skills are - at risk of sounding conceited - god tier, new or old. And the newer the system, the less I have to do. I find anything 1997 or later pretty boring. I can get out of it what I want with ease, and pretty much use it as a day-to-day PC.....I like the challenge with low risk of getting an 80486 to do things most people need a 64-bit dual core CPU and 8GB of RAM to do. I can build a fully running retro-rig faster than I can tweak or tune an emulator or sourceport.

But a major monkey wrench is on a software by software basis....

Most anything post 1997 I'll try to run on Windows 10 first, either via compatibility mode, or directly. I'm finding more and more of that stuff stopped working, hence now building out an XP based P4 box.

For example, The Sims 1 - I have to tune and tweak it after I install it on my Windows 10 computer so it'll handle the newer higher resolution, and even then, it tends to be buggy because it's some user-designed patch for a commercial AAA title. So why bother? I can slap it on my P4 in 20 minutes - with all expansions - and be done with it, and I don't need to do anything but apply the no CD-patch, which is just copy/paste another EXE into the directory.

Another example would be Ultima VII parts 1 & 2. I love Exult, but to me, all that extra "candy" of having the SIlver Seed and Forge of Virtue add-ins + god mode + the ability to build things, + hackmover and being able to have higher resolutions and see more of the m ap tends to lead me down a different playing path and thusly a different experience. But I can also put them on a Win95 box and use U7dpmi to run in Windows 9x without a hitch or rebooting into MS-DOS mode. Or I can go truly oldschool and install on my 80486 in DOS and build a special boot option for it (if needed, I'm pretty good at memory management in DOS at this point).

Or you have the old Scumm Games - for example, The Secret of Monkey Island - you have THREE options there too: The Steam RElease with the updated graphics and speech, SCUMMVM in Windows, and the original releases from the 90's. I've never played the steam release, but I'm, to be honest, not that happy with the new graphics. Sure, they look great, but to me, my connection with Monkey Island is kind of special because it was the first PC game I ever got into, I like the original VGA artwork best. But sure, I Can change to that too.....but another thing is.....I have a 286, 3 486es, 2 Pentiums, and the option of ScummVM on the P4 or any of my modern computers + 2 wii and Rpi4, so why would I want to spend $10 of money - that's ingredients for dinner for us - with THAT many options on my plate for Monkey Island. So I just install it on everything and jump around systems like a maniac One minor inconvenience of the original hardware is I have to pull out the Dial-A-Pirate wheel or ring up the virtual one via google search when playing on original hardware - ScummVM disables that issue, but it's also part of the experience. So it just depends on if I want to mess with the wheel or not. I dunno, it just feels best with that code-wheel and an old beige desktop like when I was a kid in 1992 on my sister's old 386. TBH, I really hate playing ScummVM on the Wii because the Wiimote makes my arm hurt if I'm playing for an extended period.

Also, sometimes I find certain systems are more fun to play a certain title on. I prefer Elfland on my 286 for example. TankWars as well because of the hilarious speaker sounds and a 486 speeds it up a bit much. But I prefer Ultima VI on a 486 because it goes so fast I can literally speedrun that game on it - it's just fast enough to do things super fast, but just slow enough to be playable comfortably. I tend to prefer the Windows 3.1 port of SIm City the most, as it's color, but I can cheat more easily in DOS by slapping it on a DX4 and letting it run over night once I build a good steady model of monetary growth if I'm in a "build without limits" mood. I quite enjoy Ultima 7 on Exult though because it's fun (and downright hilarious) sometimes to go full "Doug The Eagle/IT-HE" on it with the hackmover and other tools - just forgo the opening puzzle, attack Batlin and fill the screen with guards because he never dies - just keeps screaming. Cast apocalypse. Ransack shops, build my own house - just so much fun. But then I can do ALL of that with Doug's tools in Ultima VI on a 486 in DOS....

Sometimes it's also how I prefer to play the title. For example, I game with my Wife, and she's less likely to want to hang out at a computer desk with me in front of a 15" CRT than she is sitting on the couch in front of a 52" TV with a Wii or RetroPie. But it's a double edged sword because people not into this then I have to teach them a controller where the controls are not immediatley obvious - then I kind of WANT to setup on the old hardware because there was a certain logic there that was universa vs. my own inner logic that someone else might think is ridiculous for a controller layout.

But this also grants something else nobody ever thought of....if I Can get them all to network together, I can have one heck of a Doom/Quake/Wolfenstein LAN party at my home if I wanted to.

So there's no hard-fast rule for anything, I just use what's best for the situation, and what's most convenient, or what I'm in the mood to use at the moment. IT's chaotic, sometimes illogical, but it's fun, and sometimes I learn cool stuff, and that's the whole point of it for me.

~The Creeping Network~
My Website - https://sites.google.com/site/thecreepingnetwork/home
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc6sYw9FvwuKahBHE_06diA

Reply 11 of 33, by Malik

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For me, there's only one problem with playing around a "period-correct" hardware : games. Later games seem to run better with better hardware, except those which are speed sensitive and break the gameplay.

The "Recommended System Requirement" is usually higher than the period-correct hardware that existed during the release of the game. And usually, even under the "Recommended..." section, they usually add "...or higher" suffix to the hardware components.

As long as the operating system and games can make use of the newer hardware, I don't mind using faster or later systems - like using Windows 98 (or even Windows 95) on a Pentium 4 (socket 478 is more compatible, though upto Socket 775 i865 chipset for intel can be used with Win9x because of good driver support on these).

As for DOS Games, especially flightsims, later hardware runs the sims much much better, for instance Gunship 2000 (which I was incidentally playing yesterday, though in Dosbox). Gunship 2000, F-117 Nighthawk runs better in 486DX2-66 and Pentium 1, that I used to play them on.

As for applications, most can run without problem in newer and faster systems.

Wherever applicable I still have classic OSs installed, stretched to the limits - Win9x upto sytems with Pentium 4, DOS with upto Pentium III that still has some ISA slots for the sound cards, etc. And I have installed Windows XP on my X230 Thinkpad (in one of the partitions) which comes with Core i7 CPU and installed it on my mSATA SSD. It's the fastest running Windows XP system I ever had. 🤣

However, there is definitely something nostalgic using period-correct hardware to run period-correct games or software. Most (games or otherwise) run well anyway.

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Reply 12 of 33, by kolderman

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You really need a V2SLI for Quake2 at nice high res and framerate, or a TNT2 Ultra etc. The P2-300 is barely enough but should be adequote.

And it's period correct or bust AFAIAC (with a few common sense exceptions).

Reply 13 of 33, by badmojo

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I've struggled to play my fave SVGA games on period correct hardware after seeing them at max res on a 1Ghz P3 - you can still do ISA sound / super compatible graphics cards (Voodoo3, GF2, etc) / CRT but with lovely high frames.

Life? Don't talk to me about life.

Reply 14 of 33, by ZellSF

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I consider this for each game I play, what gives the best experience playing this game? Nostalgia for hardware doesn't factor in.

For PC games I always end up playing on modern hardware. For console games it varies.

Reply 15 of 33, by vetz

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Gabriel-LG wrote on 2020-10-30, 12:55:

However, I do stretch the age appropriate part a bit.
e.g. my machines always have an overkill of memory installed (like 2x or 4x what was considered high end at the time. Also RAID0 was available, but no gaming machines had that. So my systems are usually "augmented" with stuff from the future. My video cards are usually like a year newer compared to the rest of the system. As long as it does not break the immersion.

I did the same for the 97 build, it got 128MB memory and highend storage. It built it as a ultimate 1997 system if you had almost unlimited money. I wanted to not augment it with a Voodoo2 SLI setup or faster CPUs, but it would have allowed me to play both newer games and enjoy them to the max with regards to resolution and framerate.

SScorpio wrote on 2020-10-30, 12:58:

But going modern isn't a perfect solution as some games require significant effort to get working correctly. And do the source ports or engine recreations get everything right? And there are some older features that just don't work like they did on older hardware in terms of graphics and sounds. There are wrappers to re-implement the features, but somethings like A3D 2.0 just aren't really supported.

I agree with the modern solution being in many cases to much effort to get working, though I guess once you've gotten into it it'd become less of a chore. I'd rather go full overkill with my Pentium 4 EE system than go modern for Win98 games (unless a better release/remaster/source port exist that does not compromise the original feel of the game).

Con 2 botones wrote on 2020-10-30, 14:17:

To me, playing on hardware that is too far ahead in time (came out say 10,15 years after the games you intend to play), is similar to the game console emulation debate. It is valid, but does not feel the same.

I guess it is similar to that debate and no one is really wrong in it, it's personal preference. I feel that old-school DOS games is not the same in DOSBox compared to playing them on a real 386/486 with the proper sound options. Even playing them on a Pentium 4 (although possible for many games that does not have speed related issues) is deffo not the same.

creepingnet wrote on 2020-10-30, 17:56:

Get ready for an extremely long and complicated answer.....

Most anything post 1997 I'll try to run on Windows 10 first, either via compatibility mode, or directly. I'm finding more and more of that stuff stopped working, hence now building out an XP based P4 box.

No problem with a long reply! I enjoyed reading throught it 😀 For me the cutoff date is 2005. Everything after that I play on my Windows 10 machine. I have a X-Fi Ti HD in it, so EAX (through Alchemy) is not a showstopper. I say around 2005 is the time widescreen and Windows Vista / x64 support started to become widespread. Everything prio to that (with some exceptions) I play on my Pentium 4 EE WIn98/XP build.

Thanks for everyone who answered so far. I kind of have to admit that I was a bit disappointed with how this build turned out, but then again there isn't that many 1996/1997 games that needed hardware from the future to get the best experience out of them and Quake/Quake 2 are certainly on that list. I think I need to adjust my expectations and how to use the system. I definitely love the hardware and the principle behind the build (periodcorrectness, ultimate hardware for a year), but when it comes down to playing games I kind of need to use an "augmented"/overkill system. The late period from 1996 to 1999 certainly is difficult to cover if you both want nostalgia with periodcorrectness of the hardware AND the best gaming experience!

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Reply 16 of 33, by maximus

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I've also enjoyed reading the responses here. Can definitely relate to the push and pull of wanting to have an authentic experience versus wanting games to Just Work (and be fast and smooth). Here are some of my thoughts:

When it comes down to it, retro gaming is basically about playing the same old games over and over while hopefully still getting something new out of them. For me, one way to do this is to play them on different machines. Of course there is a potential infinity of unique configurations each game could run on, but there are three that interest me.

One is the machine that just barely runs it (the "Slum Dog"). To use Doom 3 (one of my faves) as an example, this would be something like a Pentium 4 1.8 and and GeForce4 MX420. This is interesting because A) you get to see how well (or poorly) the devs optimized the game for low-spec systems, and B) it's authentic in the sense that lots of people would have experienced the game this way when it was new. In my case it was a similarly slow Athlon XP 1800+ and Radeon 9550 for Doom 3, so the game almost feels most correct to me when it's running at 640x480 and ~25 FPS. Silly, but I guess that's how nostalgia works.

Another machine is the one the developers used (the "Development Machine"). In a way this is the most technically correct; "The Way It's Meant To Be Played", as a certain chip maker would say. (Would have said? Do they still say that? I digress.) This machine should run the game exactly as the creators intended it to run: all audio and visual goodies should be there and nothing should be amiss, assuming the game is solid to begin with. For Doom 3, This would be something like an Athlon 64 3400+ and a GeForce 6800 Ultra. This probably also corresponds to what well-equipped enthusiasts would have had at the time of the game's release.

The third machine is the "Overkill" system. This is a rig that can still run the game without glitches or compatibility problems, but can also run it really well, at high resolutions, with all the AA and AF enabled, at 60+ FPS. This point usually occurs two or three years after the game is released. For Doom 3, this would be something like a GeForce 8800 GTX to GeForce GTX 285 with a fast Core 2 Duo. This is straying pretty far from authenticity, but it might be closer to what the devs would have wanted you to experience had it been possible at the time. For instance, Crytek probably would have loved for people to experience Crysis at 1080p and 60 FPS, but that didn't become possible until about a decade after the game was released.

So that's how I frame the period correct vs. futuristically fast thing. I think there is lots of fun to be had at every level. Sometimes I also come at it from another perspective: instead of starting with the game and asking "what should I play this on?", I start with the machine and ask "what can I run on this?" This feels natural to me because most of my systems are things I got for free or very cheap and I'm looking for ways to get as much entertainment out of them as possible. Any given system falls into all three of the categories described above; it's just different for each game. So sometimes the system just dictates what kind of experience I get, and that can be fun as well.

Oh, another thing: I'm not typically super anal about making all the components in a machine period correct (I typically max out the CPU and RAM and use a hard drive that is much too big), but one thing that has to be correct is the monitor. It has to be a CRT! Preferably a smaller shadow mask CRT. In my opinion, this is the only correct display device for games made up to around 2006. It's really easy to forget the vast gulf that still exists between CRTs and LCDs when you use nothing but the latter. I've been down this road a few times, and coming back to the CRT always feels like coming home.

Last edited by Stiletto on 2020-11-03, 00:33. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 17 of 33, by kolderman

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> wanting to have an authentic experience versus wanting games to Just Work

This makes no sense. Games tend to "Just Work" on near period correct hardware, especially for Win98 games that have no reliable emulation.

Reply 18 of 33, by maximus

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kolderman wrote on 2020-11-02, 06:50:

> wanting to have an authentic experience versus wanting games to Just Work

This makes no sense. Games tend to "Just Work" on near period correct hardware, especially for Win98 games that have no reliable emulation.

Meant that more in the sense of not having to fiddle with settings and make sacrifices to obtain a playable frame rate. Totally agree that period correct is usually the most straightforward in that you don't have to go looking for patches or compatibility shims or whatnot. Case in point would be System Shock 2 on Windows 98 versus XP: 100% playable out of the box versus needs a massive fan-made patch to even start.

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Reply 19 of 33, by Joseph_Joestar

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maximus wrote on 2020-11-02, 06:45:

I've been down this road a few times, and coming back to the CRT always feels like coming home.

Same for me. Like you mentioned, I have been using a CRT monitor up until 2006 or so. Having just replayed the first three Splinter a Cell games on mine, I can say that you really want a CRT for those deep blacks in stealth games that are filled with shadowy, dark places.

There's also the fact that running games which don't support your monitor's native resolution creates a blurry mess on most LCDs, especially when using Nvidia cards over a DVI connection (over VGA, scaling is better). OTOH, even games running at 640x480 look super crisp on my 17" CRT.

The only thing I can't stand about CRTs is how low refresh rates look on them. Anything below 85Hz is way too flickery for my eyes. Under Windows, this is generally not a problem since I can force a 120Hz refresh rate through drivers. In pure DOS, this can be done for higher resolutions using the VBEHz tool, but I couldn't get it to work for 320x200 which remains stuck at 72Hz.

Using Audigy drivers with a Sound Blaster Live
Installing DOS drivers on an Audigy2 ZS
OPL3 vs. ESFM vs. CQM vs. SBLive
OPTi 82C930 review