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Reply 20 of 40, by FFXIhealer

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This touches on the debate on what constitutes "retro". We used to have a good understanding of it, but the line is getting VERY blurry now for a number of reasons.

MS-DOS is retro because nobody uses it anymore for modern software, nobody's making new software using it, it's limited to 16-bit software at best, has severe memory limitations, etc. NOBODY writes for it, so it is dead. Can it run on modern hardware? Sure, but why would you want to? So... Retro.

Windows 9x is the 32-bit system sitting on top of MS-DOS. It is no longer in use in any way except as the originator of the modern desktop layout still in use by modern OSs like Windows 10 (Start Button, Task Bar, clock in the bottom corner, etc.)

Windows XP represented the end of the 9x line and the forced migration to the NT 32-bit kernel, but it still has its limitations as noted above - drivers, DirectX 9.0c cap, ~3.5GB memory limit. I never tried it on a Core 2 system outside of getting my hands on a Dual-Core Pentium (LGA775) system last year that I put XP on and it runs well. It could use a beefy (for its time) PCI-E graphics card, but it's not really worth the money expenditure yet except as a retro gaming PC. My REGULAR XP gaming PC uses a single-core Pentium M at a measly 2.1GHz, the Pentium Dual-Core runs around 2.4GHz and has a 2nd CPU core, so it's quite a bit better. I also have a 2.9Ghz Core 2 Duo laying around somewhere I could use but the only real advantage would be a bigger L2 cache, and I'm not completely convinced that would have much of an impact in gaming on XP.

ANYWAY... Windows XP is considered Retro also because there were games that ran perfectly on it that had to be modified in order to run on Windows 7/8/10 etc. Case in point, my copy of F.E.A.R. flat-out REFUSES to run on Windows 10 - any of my machines and I've tried them all. If I recall, it worked perfectly fine on Windows 7 and it runs very well on my WinXP laptop.

Notice that in NONE of the above scenarios was "time" a factor in considering it retro. It was all based around usage. I'm running Windows 10 on a 2008 Dell Vostro 420 running an old Core 2 Quad Q9650 and 8GB of DDR3 memory. The system bottlenecks the boot SSD to around 250MB/s read speeds, but who cares? It runs it just fine and I could probably do some light gaming on it if I had a beefier graphics card in it (it currently runs a GT 1030). So I wouldn't consider the Core 2 line "retro" just yet. It ran Windows 10 fine with the aforementioned Core 2 Duo @2.9GHz with only the occasional stutter or hiccup in switching between programs like web browsers. The Core 2 Quad resolved those by having more available CPU cores to handle the switching of apps better.

The time of aging hardware becoming irrelevant is disappearing. The software is no longer moving ahead so fast that older hardware can't keep up the way it used to back in the 90s. Back then, if your computer was 2 years old, it was already out-of-date and unable to run the latest games, etc. Now, 10-year-old graphics cards can play modern games, just at lower resolutions or lower effects settings. I know I played Tomb Raider 2013 on my pair of GTX 480s on a 2010 gaming rig at medium settings with hair tessellation turned off and got between 40 and 60 FPS the entire time. It was a fairly smooth gaming experience, even at 1080p. I'm sure I could throw a more modern graphics card in that system and it would instantly jump up to 1440p high settings, as it's still using PCI-Express 2.0 and a 4/8 core i7 at around 3GHz. (Of course, once I get my custom water cooling loop installed and running, I'll be overclocking that to 4GHz easily.)

What constitutes "retro"? How do you define it? These are questions whose answers change depending on who you ask... or also WHEN you ask. But it makes for good reading on this forum, or any forum. And isn't that the point?

Last edited by FFXIhealer on 2019-10-08, 12:38. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 21 of 40, by kolderman

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The definition of retro is less important than the utility - do you need a winXP core2duo system? Yes. Do you need a win7 system? I am not aware of any win7 games that don't run under win10, so no. So even if you choose to coin win7 "retro" it doesn't increase the utility or make it worth keeping for retro gaming. So maybe accept there is useful retro and not useful retro. Maybe one could argue the same about the 486 - too fast for early speed sensitive games, but can barely run doom. Much better off with an mmx that slow down to slow 386 speeds but can also run quake.

Ironically I do actually keep around a win7 box, but it is for emulators only, and could easily be win8 or win10. I dual boot it with XP so I can run dosbox on a 5:4 19" monitor.

Reply 22 of 40, by Srandista

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FFXIhealer: I mostly agree with you. I'm also very cautious about using word "retro" with my Core2 build, and I'm always putting it in quotes because of the reason, that it very well may not be considered as retro by many. But (at least in case of my machine) it's still used for XP at most. And that OS is less and less useable by day for normal use, so wit a little bit of imagination, it may earn a retro badge. But I don't really think, that Threadripper build with Windows 7 on it can called be retro anytime soon. And even if we will have debate on what constitutes "retro", this is too much I think for everybody around here.

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Reply 23 of 40, by keenmaster486

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A retro OS is the one you run on old hardware, that won't run anywhere else.

And the fastest Windows 7 system is whichever one you put your Windows 7 install media into.

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

Reply 24 of 40, by chinny22

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Of course you have to separate hardware and software as well.
Win98, I think we all agree is retro
LGA 775, I wouldn't call this retro yet.
So is a Win98 build based on a 775 system retro or not? Of course their is no correct answer it's down to the individual to decide.

But you do need something between currant and retro, typically this is called obsolete.
Personally I'd say XP just about retro now and Vista falls into the obsolete category. Windows 7 or 8 and any hardware that can't realistically run Win10 falls into the obsolete category as well January next year.

Anyway back to the point of this post as i would like to have an "End of an era Win7 build" few years down the track.
I'd agree its too early. Skylake is officially supported on some systems and I have no doubt we'll have unofficial support for later hardware just as people are running Win9x with LGA 775 systems and PCIE graphics cards.

Reply 25 of 40, by FFXIhealer

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Please don't talk to me about Skylake being obsolete. That makes me a sad panda. I'm still running a 6700K in the heart of my current gaming rig, paired with a 980Ti. Would I like to have an 8-core CPU? Sure. Am I willing to pay for it and completely rebuild my entire system to do it? No.

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Reply 26 of 40, by chinny22

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FFXIhealer wrote:

Please don't talk to me about Skylake being obsolete. That makes me a sad panda. I'm still running a 6700K in the heart of my current gaming rig, paired with a 980Ti. Would I like to have an 8-core CPU? Sure. Am I willing to pay for it and completely rebuild my entire system to do it? No.

Hell no it isnt! I wouldn't call any LGA1356 based system obsolete just yet. Early systems maybe old but not obsolete.

Reply 27 of 40, by keenmaster486

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Nothing that can run modern productivity and web software is obsolete in the general sense.

In the gaming / high CPU/GPU intensive sense it's obsolete before it rolls out of the factory.

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

Reply 28 of 40, by RoyBatty

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Windows 7 is still my daily driver, and will remain so until ESU period is over, I have no use for Windows 10 at this time as it offers me nothing currently.

As for games that don't run on 10 that do on 7... well there are many hundreds, anything with SafeDisc or SecuROM or anything using secdrv.sys cannot work on Windows 10.

New games that don't work on Windows 7, yes, anything DirectX 11.2 and up is not supported.

I wouldn't say it's retro, but its not mainstream either, it's inbetween in End of Service life. XP isn't truely retro yet, and certainly not a C2D rig. I personally draw the line at the end of the PIII-S era for retro, but each has their own idea about it.

Reply 30 of 40, by kolderman

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RoyBatty wrote:

As for games that don't run on 10 that do on 7... well there are many hundreds, anything with SafeDisc or SecuROM or anything using secdrv.sys cannot work on Windows 10.

Yeah but is there even a single one that is not available on Steam (or other online store)?

Reply 32 of 40, by RoyBatty

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kolderman wrote:
RoyBatty wrote:

As for games that don't run on 10 that do on 7... well there are many hundreds, anything with SafeDisc or SecuROM or anything using secdrv.sys cannot work on Windows 10.

Yeah but is there even a single one that is not available on Steam (or other online store)?

Yes, lots are not on GoG , Steam, Epic or Origin. Many times those versions that are re-released are also broken, inferior (not the final versions) or have some other glaring issues like the half life expansions having the wrong order of audio tracks or missing graphics etc. XIII was put back on the GoG store again after a long absence which is nice though, the Tages protected original is annoying to say the least.

Reply 33 of 40, by dr_st

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RoyBatty wrote:

As for games that don't run on 10 that do on 7... well there are many hundreds, anything with SafeDisc or SecuROM or anything using secdrv.sys cannot work on Windows 10.

I think Safedisc games flat out don't work, but SecuROM games should work, at least those using older versions of SecuROM. In any case, the vast majority of them have no-CD cracks, which I would use even if I was running them on 7, XP or whatnot.

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Reply 34 of 40, by kolderman

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RoyBatty wrote:
kolderman wrote:
RoyBatty wrote:

As for games that don't run on 10 that do on 7... well there are many hundreds, anything with SafeDisc or SecuROM or anything using secdrv.sys cannot work on Windows 10.

Yeah but is there even a single one that is not available on Steam (or other online store)?

Yes, lots are not on GoG , Steam, Epic or Origin. Many times those versions that are re-released are also broken, inferior (not the final versions) or have some other glaring issues like the half life expansions having the wrong order of audio tracks or missing graphics etc. XIII was put back on the GoG store again after a long absence which is nice though, the Tages protected original is annoying to say the least.

None of them are win7 games. What win7 games aren't on steam in a playable state?

Reply 35 of 40, by mothergoose729

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I never understood the philosophizing around old hardware. Why does there have to be rigid rules and definitions around anything? Retro computers are about experiencing some point in the past. If you want to build a windows 7 computer with some arbitrary of "period correct" hardware, whatever any of that means to you, than do it, enjoy, be happy 😀. It's all for fun. Who cares?

Reply 36 of 40, by FFXIhealer

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I think a lot of people enjoy the debate as much as messing with the hardware. I'm not calling anyone a troll in saying that, just a lively debate on what everyone thinks about the subject. At least it's A LOT better than political debates, where people are apt to go at each others' throats viciously instead of just talking about the topics. That's why politics gets banned in a lot of non-political forums. We're really just having a discussion about what each person considers "retro" in their opinion and I enjoy reading other peoples' takes on the subject.

What I DON'T like is when someone says "I have hundreds of $$$ invested in these games here on my shelf that I'd like to be able to play, but my modern computer won't play them..." and SOMEONE just has to come in and say something to the effect of "You could always spend yet more $$$ buying those exact same games off of this one service over here in order to play them on your modern computer..." As if money grows on trees and I can just walk out to my back yard and pick money off of my money tree and go spend it. Money is a measure of time investment to earn the money in the first place. When I see money, I see someone doing stuff they would rather not be doing in order to get that money in the first place. I think this is a primary motivator for people to actually rebuild and maintain these older retro systems in order to be able to play the games they fell in love with 10/15/20+ years ago without having to spend a bunch of money re-buying those games.

And I'm sure someone's already rolling their eyes saying "It's only $15." No, it's only $15 PER GAME...and if I have 20-30 games, that just became $300-$450. And that's IF each game is ONLY $15. Some may be $10. Some may be $30. What I'm saying is that people bought some of those games originally at the $40-$60 price point. These are the same people who go on tech forums when someone asks about a budget build, says they have $200 to spend on a graphics card, and that one guy ALWAYS has to come in and be like "That's a bad card, you should buy an RTX 2080ti!" (Note that's a $1100 card, completely ignoring the budget put in by the OP...)

Back to my reply to the last post, I've been debating on whether my 2010 gaming rig with dual GTX 480s all water-cooled should stay Windows 10 for modern security (and it's a valid Win10 digital license), or reinstall the entire system with the original Windows 7 Home 64-bit it had and just run that as a "legacy" gaming rig. I mean, the 480s are only DirectX 11 compatible. There's NO DX12 support. They're also limited to 1.5GB of video memory per card and for modern games, that just doesn't cut it anymore. I'm having the internal debate (nothing's been decided yet) on which way to go. It's a fully activated and licensed Windows 10 system and I could always re-upgrade later on, but it's running a 1st-generation Lynnfield i7-860 that I want to overclock to around 4GHz, it's running old SLI on two 480s, the MB is running a legacy BIOS (there's no UEFI there) which is another disadvantage of running Win10 on it... Hmmmm. Anyone have any thoughts about that? Opinions?

I could also use that system as a 2nd stand-alone stream station, couldn't I? Put an Elgato HD60 Pro in there or use my StarTech USB3HDCAP on the USB3.0 PCI-e card. Stream that way. I'm just not sure I can do it with G-sync enabled for mirrored screen output. Options, options...

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Reply 37 of 40, by DosFreak

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You know you could always buy a 2080ti and stick it in there. WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU? heh

I'm running a 980ti on my C2Q @ 3.9GHZ. I only had a 780 and I gave away my other 980ti about 2yrs ago so I actually paid for a used 980ti but it was worth it for me since the 980 ti is supported on Windows 2000-Windows 10 which works for my game compatibility testing. When I switch out my 1080ti in my desktop for something new then I'll have that to use for testing but it won't be the primary in my C2Q desktop since the 1080ti isn't supported on 2000 and XP. 🙁

Yeah the people that say just buy again I consider lazy which is fine. You can be lazy all you want just don't dictate what people should do. If someone bought a game then they should be able to play that game and there should be a fix or workaround to get that game working. The version offered on online stores is 9/10 using the same fix or crack anyway. There's always going to be lazy people which is good for people that can take advantage of those people. $$$$$

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Reply 38 of 40, by FFXIhealer

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I'm using a 980Ti on my current gaming rig, built in 2015 around Skylake 6700K. I have all 3 monitors hooked up to it, even though my two side 1080p monitors could run perfectly fine off of the integrated Intel graphics. The problem is, when I did that, the side monitors would blink off every so often and then back on. It was damned annoying. The only monitor I have that requires all that processing power is my center 1440p monitor.

I've thought about upgrading the 980Ti to a 2080 Super or something, but I can't justify the massive cost. With that much money, I'd rather finish pimping out my 2010 gaming rig with a custom water-cooling loop and all the LED fans and LED strips and stuff. I'd STILL have money left over after that.

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Reply 39 of 40, by infiniteclouds

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If you're looking to have the fastest system that can run the very first games that had "Windows 7" listed on them and the very last games to not have "Windows 10" listed on them than I could not recommend against ATI cards strongly enough. There are early Windows 7 era games 2009-2010 that will have issues on your VII, if their other cards are any indication. Personally I hate nvidia and the utter nonsense of them charging nearly +100% prices over 5 years ago even though the cryptocraze demand is OVER but their cards are way better for backwards compatibility. I would like to see some data of how the Turing cards perform with early Windows 7, though.

My current Windows 7 PC is a 2840K Ivy-E and a Titan Black which I will likely never upgrade because I use this machine as a dual-boot for 'fastest officially supported Windows XP".