VOGONS


First post, by speeddemon

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Someone asked in my P4 build thread if I was dual-booting XP and that discussion convinced me to assemble a dedicated Windows XP rig...

The build started for me with the following goals:
- Focus on primarily Windows XP era games that utilize EAX and that don't run on Windows 10 anymore.
- Primarily use parts I already have in my collection. The only part I needed to buy was the Sound Blaster X-Fi since my existing X-Fi Titanium HD card wasn't compatible with Windows XP and it's nice being able to keep that card in my Windows 10 build.
- Keep the build as small as possible.
- Use my TITAN X since it's the fastest card I have that works with Nvidia's last Windows XP driver.
- I wanted to use drivers that were built for Windows XP originally without needing to install modified drivers and I wanted drivers to be available for all components. For this reason, I stuck with a motherboard that had native XP drivers available. I may consider modifying drivers and swapping in my Titan X later though, but performance is far more than necessary so far with the GTX 960.
- I wanted as modern of a chipset as possible without needing to stray from enthusiast class gear. I know there were some later chipsets geared toward business/industrial use that have XP drivers, but I really wanted an Intel Z-series chipset and ideally an Asus board.

Here's what I ended up assembling:
- Asus P8Z77-V Pro/Thunderbolt (LGA 1155 Intel Z77)
- Core i7-3770K 3.9GHz (Ivy Bridge - Overclocked to 4.4GHz)
- 4GB DDR3 1600 RAM (2x2GB Crucial BL25664BN1608.Z16F63)
- Nvidia GeForce GTX TITAN X
- Sound Blaster X-Fi (SB0880)
- 250GB Samsung 850 Evo SATA SSD
- Fractal Define 7 Compact Case
- Corsair H150i 360mm AiO CPU Cooler
- 750 Watt PSU (Corsair RM750x)
- LaCie electron22blueIV CRT

Yes, it can run Crysis!

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

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Last edited by speeddemon on 2022-06-26, 16:11. Edited 8 times in total.

PC#1: K6-3+ 500 / Asus TX97-X / Voodoo3 / Orpheus + PCMIDI + WP32 / Win98
PC#2: P4 HT 670 / Asus P5P800 / FX5950U + V2 SLI / Audigy 2ZS + Vortex2 + X2GS / Win98
PC#3: i7-3770K / Asus P8Z77-V Pro / TITAN X / X-Fi / WinXP
PC#4: i9-9900K / Gigabyte Z390M / GTX 1070 / X-Fi Ti HD + SC-88 / Win10

Reply 2 of 16, by speeddemon

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ptr1ck wrote on 2022-05-09, 01:59:

Noice. Can't wait until I can get my Z77ITX back for my own super XP build.

I wanted to build this as an ITX system (small as possible goal 😉), but I couldn't figure out a way to have a GPU and Sound Card in an ITX system. Are you skipping a Sound Card in your build?

With that said, I'm actually pretty happy with how small this build turned out given the full-size ATX board. The Fractal Define 7 Compact case truly is compact for what you can fit in it.

PC#1: K6-3+ 500 / Asus TX97-X / Voodoo3 / Orpheus + PCMIDI + WP32 / Win98
PC#2: P4 HT 670 / Asus P5P800 / FX5950U + V2 SLI / Audigy 2ZS + Vortex2 + X2GS / Win98
PC#3: i7-3770K / Asus P8Z77-V Pro / TITAN X / X-Fi / WinXP
PC#4: i9-9900K / Gigabyte Z390M / GTX 1070 / X-Fi Ti HD + SC-88 / Win10

Reply 3 of 16, by Joseph_Joestar

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Very nice! I have a similar system based around an MSI ZH77A-G43 motherboard. This is more than enough power to fully max out any WinXP game, even at 1080p if you are so inclined.

It's a great setup for late WinXP titles which still use EAX while being CPU and GPU intensive due to poor optimization. Neverwinter Nights 2 with all of its expansion packs installed is a good example, as is the first Witcher game.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 4 of 16, by melbar

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It's a very clean system, and i see your approach of building a WinXP system as fast as possible.

But for me, there is a missing point. -> an optical drive.
Since i have lots of games with CDs and DVDs, my WinXP assemblies need definitely a drive.

Because your focus is the modern case with AIO you have to take an external drive or copy all the files to the drive.
The option for copying files looks also not as an complete solution to me. Reason: there are also CDs and DVDs with light or heavy copy protections...

Therefore... to me the abandonment of drive is more related to the era of streaming.

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Reply 5 of 16, by H3nrik V!

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Nice one, and I'm preeeeetty sure it also suffices as a daily driver?

Please use the "quote" option if asking questions to what I write - it will really up the chances of me noticing 😀

Reply 6 of 16, by speeddemon

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-05-09, 02:38:

Very nice! I have a similar system based around an MSI ZH77A-G43 motherboard. This is more than enough power to fully max out any WinXP game, even at 1080p if you are so inclined.

It's a great setup for late WinXP titles which still use EAX while being CPU and GPU intensive due to poor optimization. Neverwinter Nights 2 with all of its expansion packs installed is a good example, as is the first Witcher game.

I just looked up that MSI board and it looks shockingly similar to the Asus board I'm using... I guess those colors were in style that year.
Agreed, it has seemed like a great Windows XP setup simply based on not needing to worry about performance at all. I've been cranking the resolution and anti-aliasing without any issues.

H3nrik V! wrote on 2022-05-09, 05:34:

Nice one, and I'm preeeeetty sure it also suffices as a daily driver?

It would be fine as a Windows 10 daily driver if it had more memory, but I have an Intel 9th gen build hooked up to the same CRT as this Intel 3rd gen build that I also use for retro stuff that can run full featured on Windows 10 (source ports, remasters, remakes, etc). My actual daily-driver is a Windows 11 Intel 12th gen build I use for everything modern.

PC#1: K6-3+ 500 / Asus TX97-X / Voodoo3 / Orpheus + PCMIDI + WP32 / Win98
PC#2: P4 HT 670 / Asus P5P800 / FX5950U + V2 SLI / Audigy 2ZS + Vortex2 + X2GS / Win98
PC#3: i7-3770K / Asus P8Z77-V Pro / TITAN X / X-Fi / WinXP
PC#4: i9-9900K / Gigabyte Z390M / GTX 1070 / X-Fi Ti HD + SC-88 / Win10

Reply 7 of 16, by bZbZbZ

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Nice! A high end Windows XP build (with Creative EAX) is very versatile. I would also suggest that since you have it on a CRT you can use this computer to play a huge swath of games spanning ~2 decades (with DOSBox and a Glide wrapper) with a "better than authentic" experience....

Reply 8 of 16, by Joseph_Joestar

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CRT monitors are awesome, but there is one potential issue when running some WinXP games on them: high refresh rates.

Usually, I like to set my 17" Samsung CRT monitor to either 800x600 @ 120 Hz or 1024x768 @ 100 Hz. This generally works fine for Win9x games, but it can be problematic for certain WinXP titles. Star Wars: KOTOR is one such example (details here) and Thief: Deadly Shadows is another (see here). I think this could be because those games are multi platform releases and default to 60 Hz on consoles.

Of course, you can always set your CRT monitor to 60 Hz, but that's just too flickery for me. Some people can apparently tolerate it, but I find it too eye straining and prefer to play games which need 60 Hz on a LCD monitor.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 10 of 16, by konc

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kaputnik wrote on 2022-05-13, 14:24:

When something not all that far from your main rig turns up on Vogons, you know it's time to start planning the next upgrade 😁

Imagine it being more powerful than that (ok except the RAM) 😃

Reply 11 of 16, by speeddemon

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-05-13, 09:47:

CRT monitors are awesome, but there is one potential issue when running some WinXP games on them: high refresh rates.

Usually, I like to set my 17" Samsung CRT monitor to either 800x600 @ 120 Hz or 1024x768 @ 100 Hz. This generally works fine for Win9x games, but it can be problematic for certain WinXP titles. Star Wars: KOTOR is one such example (details here) and Thief: Deadly Shadows is another (see here). I think this could be because those games are multi platform releases and default to 60 Hz on consoles.

Of course, you can always set your CRT monitor to 60 Hz, but that's just too flickery for me. Some people can apparently tolerate it, but I find it too eye straining and prefer to play games which need 60 Hz on a LCD monitor.

Thanks for sharing! I actually wasn't aware of that. Although, I can tolerate 60Hz personally for games. It drives my eyes nuts when reading text though. Consoles and Television in the US were at 60Hz for as long as CRTs existed and that's what I did all my console gaming at when I was a kid.

With that said, I think the list is reasonably small of games that can't be pushed past 60Hz. I end up doubling the refresh rate for most games to 120Hz and even up to 140Hz for 70Hz games. Thankfully, my PC CRT goes all the way up to a 140kHz vertical scan rate & Horizontal frequency.

PC#1: K6-3+ 500 / Asus TX97-X / Voodoo3 / Orpheus + PCMIDI + WP32 / Win98
PC#2: P4 HT 670 / Asus P5P800 / FX5950U + V2 SLI / Audigy 2ZS + Vortex2 + X2GS / Win98
PC#3: i7-3770K / Asus P8Z77-V Pro / TITAN X / X-Fi / WinXP
PC#4: i9-9900K / Gigabyte Z390M / GTX 1070 / X-Fi Ti HD + SC-88 / Win10

Reply 12 of 16, by Joseph_Joestar

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speeddemon wrote on 2022-05-13, 21:02:

With that said, I think the list is reasonably small of games that can't be pushed past 60Hz.

I wouldn't be so sure.

If you go to the PC gaming wiki and check the Video section of any game, there is usually a 120+ FPS note at the very bottom. You'll notice that even mainstream titles like Splinter Cell and Oblivion have notes like "When playing on <60 FPS some physics break and on even higher framerates (+140FPS) pathfinding is broken".

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 13 of 16, by speeddemon

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-05-14, 01:23:
speeddemon wrote on 2022-05-13, 21:02:

With that said, I think the list is reasonably small of games that can't be pushed past 60Hz.

I wouldn't be so sure.

If you go to the PC gaming wiki and check the Video section of any game, there is usually a 120+ FPS note at the very bottom. You'll notice that even mainstream titles like Splinter Cell and Oblivion have notes like "When playing on <60 FPS some physics break and on even higher framerates (+140FPS) pathfinding is broken".

Is there a way to play these games at a cap of 60fps, but have the monitor refresh faster or is that just not a thing on Windows XP given exclusive fullscreen reigns supreme?
I also have a Dell U2007FP 4:3 LCD at work somewhere that I could use with this XP rig if this ends up annoying me or if you'd recommend I at least give it a try. I'll repeat though that maybe I'm lucky but 60Hz has never bugged me on CRTs as far as I'm aware for non-text (e.g. Movies/Games).

PC#1: K6-3+ 500 / Asus TX97-X / Voodoo3 / Orpheus + PCMIDI + WP32 / Win98
PC#2: P4 HT 670 / Asus P5P800 / FX5950U + V2 SLI / Audigy 2ZS + Vortex2 + X2GS / Win98
PC#3: i7-3770K / Asus P8Z77-V Pro / TITAN X / X-Fi / WinXP
PC#4: i9-9900K / Gigabyte Z390M / GTX 1070 / X-Fi Ti HD + SC-88 / Win10

Reply 14 of 16, by Joseph_Joestar

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speeddemon wrote on 2022-05-16, 01:44:

Is there a way to play these games at a cap of 60fps, but have the monitor refresh faster or is that just not a thing on Windows XP given exclusive fullscreen reigns supreme?

You mean like a frame limiter? I don't know of any that work under WinXP, but maybe someone else does. Personally, I just turn VSync on and play problematic games capped to 60 Hz. If you can tolerate this refresh rate on a CRT monitor, then that's all you need to do.

Otherwise, you can connect an LCD monitor to the card's DVI or HDMI port and use that for 60 Hz gaming. However, note that later Nvidia drivers have some issues with aspect ratio scaling under WinXP, so make sure that your LCD monitor has a 4:3 aspect ratio toggle. Alternatively, you can use an older LCD monitor with a 1280x1024 native resolution (5:4 aspect) which most WinXP games support out of the box.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 15 of 16, by DosFreak

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Most games on XP used 60 even when the refresh rate in Windows was set to a higher value so you had to use configuration programs like refreshlock to fix, so if you don't use it you should be good, UNLESS you use a monitor that supports higher than 60 and certain games for some reason attempt to use the highest hz value of that monitor. If so then make sure that that hz doesn't exceed the hbr1 limit of the driver/xp otherwise black screen unless you use refreshlock. The above 60 hz issue only verified with LCD, we'd need to check against a CRT to see if the same issue since it's hard to remember back to 2006.....

Best bet is to load the game and see what hz the monitor shows and always have refreshlock installed if you want to use it.

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Reply 16 of 16, by speeddemon

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I decided to swap the GTX 960 out tonight for my Maxwell TITAN X. I didn't realize how easy it would be to get unsupported Maxwell cards working on Windows XP. The GTX 960 was already unnecessarily fast for what I'm doing, but this TITAN X is like 2x unnecessarily fast.

PC#1: K6-3+ 500 / Asus TX97-X / Voodoo3 / Orpheus + PCMIDI + WP32 / Win98
PC#2: P4 HT 670 / Asus P5P800 / FX5950U + V2 SLI / Audigy 2ZS + Vortex2 + X2GS / Win98
PC#3: i7-3770K / Asus P8Z77-V Pro / TITAN X / X-Fi / WinXP
PC#4: i9-9900K / Gigabyte Z390M / GTX 1070 / X-Fi Ti HD + SC-88 / Win10