First post, by hwh

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I read/considered the large "best card for XP" thread but I don't really want to mix up that with this, so...

My GTX 460 just died (how hilarious, the socket for the fans fell off the card and the card ran without fans until it broke). When I got it, I wasn't impressed by its lack of DOS mode compatibility, but, well, I guess time passes and standards change. I no longer worry about NTVDM as the "official" DOS, it either works or you use you-know-what. But you do lose a little compatibility here and there. Usually without knowing!

Taking this into consideration, my initial reaction of a GTX 960 (the standard "bleeding edge performance" answer) now seems incorrect. If I choose to run a DX7 game, heh, it's not unlikely there will be issues, but I don't want more issues than I already have for performance that I almost never need.

The devil, advocating says I should get another GTX 460, and I hate him because it's an old card and I don't want to go backwards. This isn't some "vintage" system, it's what I use. So that would be a last resort. I could probably get more performance with lower TDP in a newer card. I care more about noise than performance.

I have heard the um, GTX 750 might be the way to go for shader 3.0 (non unified) because that breaks some stuff. I have also heard tell that some games bug out at the sight of tons of video memory. 4GB, to be specific. My GTX 460 has 768MB. Is there some known point (say 2 or 4GB) at which problems occur? Or would a random GTX 750 just be the ticket?

Then there's the matter of ATI (errr...AMD? I haven't bought one of their cards in 17 years). I have nothing against them although there is always a give and take with the drivers, nVidia too. Does it matter? I feel like compatibility is less of an issue with nVidia. But I might just be thinking of 2002, I don't know. So if you have reason to believe that AMD is the way to go and know the best card that isn't worse (compatibility) than a GTX 460, please share that reasoning.

TLDR: Better performance than GTX 460, equal or better compatibility with, pretty much, Windows 98 games to today. Who am I?

Reply 2 of 8, by SScorpio

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The GTX 460 didn't have great 98 game compatiblity either. It doesn't support 8-bit palleted textures, and I believe some fog table and shadow buffer stuff doesn't work. A GeForce 4 or FX would be the latest Nvidia cards to support those features and those are very much 98 cards as I also view XP as DX9 which neither of those cards handle well.

The main thing I'd look at is what games are you hoping to run? Many XP games can be played on a modern PC running Windows 10 without issue. dgVoodoo works with older Direct3D/Draw games and may fix the issues you ran into.

A 2GB 750 should be plenty to run any XP game that doesn't work in Windows 10.

Reply 5 of 8, by ODwilly

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HD6800's and 6900's are super cheap and plentiful. They havent had good drivers for years for windows 10, last release was 2016. Not really an issue for XP tho.

Main pc: AsRock x370 Killer SLI a/c, Ryzen 5 2600, 1tb WD black nvme ssd, 24g ddr4 2400 @2933mhz, rx 480 8gb reference card, 2tb Hitachi Deskstar.
Retro PC: Soyo P4S Dragon, 3gb ddr 266, 120gb Maxtor, Geforce Fx 5950 Ultra, SB Live! 5.1

Reply 6 of 8, by Baoran

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Basically my thought on this matter is that you can't get everything with a single card. The newer card you get the better the performance is and older card you get better the compatibility is. It was said in this thread before too that you can play especially newer windows xp games on a modern pc too so you might not need as much performance with the older games you play and could concentrate on older cards and better compatibility.

Reply 7 of 8, by agent_x007

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Ask yourself this questions :
1) Do you require a GPU that is more powerfull than DX9c GPUs can provide ?
(last NV GPUs with 98 support : 6800 Ultra/7900 GTX [depending on official or non-official driver] and for ATI it's X800/X850 XT).
Keep in mind : There are NO newer GPU that will provide 3D acceleration support in WIndows 98/Me.
Also, ATI cards have worse OpenGL support (they are usually slower in it than NV cards from the same year)
2) Do you want to play games that will not work with XP ?
(or, which are a pain to make work with it [depends on configuration])

If you need better GPU, and still want to play games that don't work well with XP - you either :
1) Need a seperate box for Win98 specific support, OR
2) Make dual GPU configuration inside one box work (cards can be from both ATI and NV, they will be used seperatly, however you will have to swap video outputs depending on OS you want to use).


Reply 8 of 8, by leileilol

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Baoran wrote on 2020-11-23, 05:12:

The newer card you get the better the performance is and older card you get better the compatibility is.

Not always. RadeonHD is worse at legacy compatibility than the GCN series after it, somehow... Yes this implies Win7+GCN > WinXP+RadeonHD for some retro setups.