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Opinions on Perfect XP Machine

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Reply 20 of 55, by Shagittarius

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Thanks for all the input. In my case I'm not really concerned with the hardware being period correct just that nothing will cause problems with games, but I do love the period correct discussion for info purposes.

So I started thinking about trying to run these older games at much higher resolutions and framerates, and I looked up Gsync. The wiki says that Gsync requires at least a 6xx series and Windows 7. It would really be cool if it were possible to get it working on Windows XP. Even if I can't get gsync itself working would I still be able to drive a 144hz display with say a 690 in XP? I don't have any experience with monitors over 60hz and I just wanted to make sure you don't need gsync to drive them. Anyone have any experience with this?

It's probably a stupid question I don't see why I couldn't just drive those monitors at the higher framerate I think Gsync is just for the way the frames are requested and displayed not to do with the overall frequency and as long as the card can do that refresh rate it should be fine right?

Reply 21 of 55, by agent_x007

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G-Sync is not that simple.
I do no know if it works on WinXP, but it's simply matching the refresh rate of the monitor to FPS produced by the GPU (up to it's maximum refresh rate, over it a Fast Sync function kicks-in IF GPU/driver supports it 😀).
Higher refresh rate monitor will display more frames even without G-Sync and no, high refreshrate monitors DO NOT require a GTX 6xx series card to use it.

108080818886.png

Reply 22 of 55, by goodtofufriday

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I dont know that g-sync will provide you with a difference vs v-sync where the cost would be worth it.
Youre better off (imo) with an AMD card as amd supported, updated, and improved their drivers foe much longer than any nvidia card.

A fixer of things. I also broke those things.

Reply 23 of 55, by SPBHM

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agent_x007 wrote:
Either way : Sandy/Ivy Bridge hardware (with GTX 780 Ti) running Win XP SP3, can play the same games that Pentium 4 and GeForce […]
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Either way :
Sandy/Ivy Bridge hardware (with GTX 780 Ti) running Win XP SP3, can play the same games that Pentium 4 and GeForce 3 running plain Win XP can.

So... what's the point of "period correctness" in case of Win XP for a game PC ?
I thought "period correct" PC is meant for games/programs that need special features because are software limited to them.

not 100% of the time, Splinter Cell is a good example, the G3 can run with the best quality shadows without modifications (but probably with not so good framerate), the 780 ti can't

so some games don't require the same tweaks and mods with the period correct hardware (and drivers/OS)
but it's also about nostalgia and the fun of trying to match the period correct experience for me,

Bioshock supports DX10 (negligible difference in visual quality but it changes some small detail as far as I can remember), so it's not strictly speaking an ideal XP game;

Reply 24 of 55, by agent_x007

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goodtofufriday wrote:

I dont know that g-sync will provide you with a difference vs v-sync where the cost would be worth it.
Youre better off (imo) with an AMD card as amd supported, updated, and improved their drivers foe much longer than any nvidia card.

Problem with AMD is that FreeSync is a R7/R9 series feature (LINK, and WinXP only has drivers (officially), for R7 270X tops LINK.

Oh, and newest AMD driver for Win XP is Catalyst 14.4 (date : 04/25/2014).
Newest from Nvidia is... 368.81 (date : 07/14/2016).

@up How sure are you on GTX 780 Ti (+Win XP), can't play Sprintel Cell right ?

108080818886.png

Reply 25 of 55, by goodtofufriday

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agent_x007 wrote:
Problem with AMD is that FreeSync is a R7/R9 series feature (LINK, and WinXP only has drivers (officially), for R7 270X tops LIN […]
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goodtofufriday wrote:

I dont know that g-sync will provide you with a difference vs v-sync where the cost would be worth it.
Youre better off (imo) with an AMD card as amd supported, updated, and improved their drivers foe much longer than any nvidia card.

Problem with AMD is that FreeSync is a R7/R9 series feature (LINK, and WinXP only has drivers (officially), for R7 270X tops LINK.

Oh, and newest AMD driver for Win XP is Catalyst 14.4 (date : 04/25/2014).
Newest from Nvidia is... 368.81 (date : 07/14/2016).

@up How sure are you on GTX 780 Ti (+Win XP), can't play Sprintel Cell right ?

That nvidia driver is a general update and doesnt include any optimizations for older cards. So the point is moot on that front.
And we are going under the impression that freesync and gsync dont work under XP. So again a moot point.

The better cards to go for in older gens are AMD.

A fixer of things. I also broke those things.

Reply 26 of 55, by PeterLI

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I use Lenovo ThinkPad T61s for LAN gaming. Age of Empires 2, Command & Conquer Generals and Red Alert 2 work great. We may try additional games in December / January. Perhaps Unreal Tournament and Red Alert.

Benefits: small (not a lot of storage / desk space), excellent driver support and easily available / cheap. Plus highly integrated: no peripherals / PCBs.

Reply 27 of 55, by Scali

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Oh, and newest AMD driver for Win XP is Catalyst 14.4 (date : 04/25/2014).
Newest from Nvidia is... 368.81 (date : 07/14/2016).

^^ This.

goodtofufriday wrote:

That nvidia driver is a general update and doesnt include any optimizations for older cards. So the point is moot on that front.

"I am in denial of your facts."
Also the "optimizations for older cards" reeks of AMD fanboy rhetoric. Try that on other forums, not here.

goodtofufriday wrote:

The better cards to go for in older gens are AMD.

Nope. I've had to toss out plenty of AMD/ATi cards because they just stopped updating/fixing their drivers after a relatively short while.
nVidia support generally lasts longer and is of better quality. They are the safer bet.

http://scalibq.wordpress.com/just-keeping-it- … ro-programming/

Reply 28 of 55, by goodtofufriday

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Scali wrote:
^^ This. […]
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Oh, and newest AMD driver for Win XP is Catalyst 14.4 (date : 04/25/2014).
Newest from Nvidia is... 368.81 (date : 07/14/2016).

^^ This.

goodtofufriday wrote:

That nvidia driver is a general update and doesnt include any optimizations for older cards. So the point is moot on that front.

"I am in denial of your facts."
Also the "optimizations for older cards" reeks of AMD fanboy rhetoric. Try that on other forums, not here.

goodtofufriday wrote:

The better cards to go for in older gens are AMD.

Nope. I've had to toss out plenty of AMD/ATi cards because they just stopped updating/fixing their drivers after a relatively short while.
nVidia support generally lasts longer and is of better quality. They are the safer bet.

The only older cards I've had support issues with are from the ati/amd merger era, which is a given. Beyond that ive had a pretty opposite experience from you.
I also recommended a nvidia card for winxp+win98 support earlier in this thread, so a fanboy I am not. I even own it, and a 1070 strix in my current build.

its not a denial of facts either. The driver update has optimizations for newer cards, and simply just keeps previous card drivers within itself. Thats a fact, and if you want to deny that or ignore it then you may in fact be the fanboy here.

Just because nvidia keeps its xp driver active and adds new cards to it (why?) doesnt mean they are still supporting the older cards or their issues. Those cards a just as much legacy as pre-gcn amd cards.

Either way, to the point, XP games really it doesnt matter...

A fixer of things. I also broke those things.

Reply 29 of 55, by Scali

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goodtofufriday wrote:

so a fanboy I am not.

You perpetuate nonsense spread by AMD fanbois.

goodtofufriday wrote:

The driver update has optimizations for newer cards, and simply just keeps previous card drivers within itself. Thats a fact, and if you want to deny that or ignore it then you may in fact be the fanboy here.

Please, don't try to talk about subjects you know nothing of.
If you knew anything about unified driver codebases you'd know how silly and impossible the claim is you've just made.

goodtofufriday wrote:

Just because nvidia keeps its xp driver active and adds new cards to it (why?) doesnt mean they are still supporting the older cards or their issues.

It does actually, since a large part of the codebase is shared between all cards. Only a small part of the codebase is GPU-specific.
Older cards also benefits from general streamlining of the driver, improvements in things such as shader compilers and memory management, and general bugfixes in any shared components.
This has actually been demonstrated by benchmarks, which debunk the AMD fanboi claims that nVidia would 'gimp' (they love to use that word) performance of older cards in favour of newer ones.
See here for example, someone benchmarked a number of games on EOL-nVidia cards with all driver releases over a period of 3 years: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=19 … 7&postcount=221
Conclusion: even the old cards get performance boosts from driver updates from time to time. Not because nVidia specifically optimized the drivers for these older cards, or these older games, but just because they made general improvements that all cards/games can benefit from.

http://scalibq.wordpress.com/just-keeping-it- … ro-programming/

Reply 30 of 55, by goodtofufriday

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Scali wrote:
You perpetuate nonsense spread by AMD fanbois. […]
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goodtofufriday wrote:

so a fanboy I am not.

You perpetuate nonsense spread by AMD fanbois.

goodtofufriday wrote:

The driver update has optimizations for newer cards, and simply just keeps previous card drivers within itself. Thats a fact, and if you want to deny that or ignore it then you may in fact be the fanboy here.

Please, don't try to talk about subjects you know nothing of.
If you knew anything about unified driver codebases you'd know how silly and impossible the claim is you've just made.

goodtofufriday wrote:

Just because nvidia keeps its xp driver active and adds new cards to it (why?) doesnt mean they are still supporting the older cards or their issues.

It does actually, since a large part of the codebase is shared between all cards. Only a small part of the codebase is GPU-specific.
Older cards also benefits from general streamlining of the driver, improvements in things such as shader compilers and memory management, and general bugfixes in any shared components.
This has actually been demonstrated by benchmarks, which debunk the AMD fanboi claims that nVidia would 'gimp' (they love to use that word) performance of older cards in favour of newer ones.
See here for example, someone benchmarked a number of games on EOL-nVidia cards with all driver releases over a period of 3 years: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=19 … 7&postcount=221
Conclusion: even the old cards get performance boosts from driver updates from time to time. Not because nVidia specifically optimized the drivers for these older cards, or these older games, but just because they made general improvements that all cards/games can benefit from.

Here is the actual source to that image you posted: https://www.reddit.com/r/hardware/comments/3i … ared_2012_2015/

I very well understand codebase. The codebase has been optimized to benefit newer cards, and like you say it may benefit older cards. But if you look at the rest of the graphs in that post the optimizations are all over the place, and lose or gain depending on the driver for the gtx 670.
Beyond the first couple drivers you can clearly see where nvidia is no longer focusing on the card.

Do nvidia cards improve over time? Of course. Does AMd improve more so? I believe so.

A fixer of things. I also broke those things.

Reply 31 of 55, by Scali

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goodtofufriday wrote:

I very well understand codebase. The codebase has been optimized to benefit newer cards

So you don't understand it.

goodtofufriday wrote:

But if you look at the rest of the graphs in that post the optimizations are all over the place, and lose or gain depending on the driver for the gtx 670.

There will always be some fluctuation, but generally the losses are within the margin of error, while the gains make significant jumps.

goodtofufriday wrote:

Beyond the first couple drivers you can clearly see where nvidia is no longer focusing on the card.

Are we looking at the same numbers?
Eg with Dirt 3 it was clearly around 120 fps until driver relase 344.48. Then it suddenly jumped to 128 shortly after the 900 series launch, which was some 2 years later.
Just Cause made a similar jump only a few driver releases earlier (334.89-337.88).

I think it's quite amazing you can make such blatantly false claims in the face of such numbers.

goodtofufriday wrote:

Do nvidia cards improve over time? Of course. Does AMd improve more so? I believe so.

I think that's a rather meaningless metric.
In fact, it's a bit strange to expect improvements in the first place. Why can't the first driver release for a new card already be near-optimal? Why would you have to wait for years to finally get the full performance of a card?

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Reply 32 of 55, by Ozzuneoj

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To me, a "period correct" XP gaming machine would imply that the system would be capable of running any games you'd want to play up to the release of Vista and DirectX10 without missing any features or having to turn the graphics down.

The biggest thing I'd look for here would be Hardware Direct Sound 3D sound support and the ability to run the latest games that use 3D sound as smoothly as possible.

Basically, if the game supports DirectX10, save it for a more modern system... unless it for some reason also supports Hardware Accelerated Direct Sound 3D (which is gone in Vista and later).

From there, build the system for the games you want to play. Why bother with an Ivy Bridge i7 if a $15 Core 2 Quad from eBay would provide the same performance in the games you want to play?

That said, there are certainly games out there that are ancient and yet benefit greatly from having massive single threaded CPU performance. Like Morrowind. You could probably build a Pentium G3258 system and overclock it to 5Ghz and that game would still want more performance on one core... at least with the mods that increase scenery quality and draw distance.

Of course, all this implies that you can get your hands on the right sound card(s). There are no shortage of options, but I think for the latest games an original X-Fi card (like an Xtrememusic... of which I have 2 or 3) would be the most flexible and provide hardware audio in the most games. I can't honestly remember if any other cards from those days offered anything over Creative's offerings, as Aureal was long gone at this point and most other chips didn't really do anything special with 3D audio.

Now for some blitting from the back buffer.

Reply 33 of 55, by y2k se

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Fastest Windows XP System documents my progress on building a dedicated WinXP system, primarily for sim-racing.

Tualatin Celeron 1.4, ASUS P2B, 512 MB, GeForce 3 Ti 200, Voodoo2 SLI, AWE64, WD 80GB SE HDD, Dell 2007FP

Reply 34 of 55, by luckybob

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To me, XP just is not old enough to warrant such a build. That said, I am a bit of a special case. All my "new" systems are retired servers and are designed for VM. I run XP often in a VM and even play games sometimes.

However, I still have a XP build.
P4 3.4 EE
4gb ram
supermicro P4SCT+II http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboar … 75/P4SCT_II.cfm
ati X850 XTPE
Dell branded ageia physx card
audigy 2 gamer

So if I did need to run something for the era on real hardware, I can. I actually have the system setup and I plan to use it for video capture. I've been told the old ati cards capture s-video signals very well.

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

Reply 35 of 55, by Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman

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I'd just like to add that Intel i generation CPU may be too fast for certain Windows XP games. Crimson Skies, which runs of XP, runs way too fast on my laptop's Intel i5 2.4 GHz when there's no textures involved (for example: night mission). Comanche 4 also feels too fast on the said CPU, despite it's a Windows XP-era game. Tachon: The Fringe also runs uncomfortably fast that it's virtually impossible to rescue Mika Shaw --she died merely seconds after sending distress signal, long before you manage to get close to save her.

As such, my ultimate XP system would have slow CPU, but the fastest GPU available for XP to maximize AA and AF.

Never thought this thread would be that long, but now, for something different.....
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman.

Reply 36 of 55, by firage

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Ozzuneoj wrote:

To me, a "period correct" XP gaming machine would imply that the system would be capable of running any games you'd want to play up to the release of Vista and DirectX10 without missing any features or having to turn the graphics down.

Yes, nothing's quite perfect. Someone else mentioned Splinter Cell earlier. That's a 2002 game with special shadow effects that only work correctly up to GeForce4 IIRC, but committing to it is limiting the scope of XP gaming a lot. Either you go for ultimate performance or you make a compromise somewhere for specific games.

My big-red-switch 486

Reply 37 of 55, by Oldskoolmaniac

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In my opinion as in perfect xp machine would be the following:

Socket 478 Motherboard /w sata ports
4GB of RAM PC3200
3.4GHz Pentium 4 HT
2x 80GB Hard drives one for games and one for windows xp pro
Geforce 6800 GT or ultra

Or if you want go amd:
Socket 462 motherboard
2x80GB IDE hard drives Same setup as above
Max out the ram depending on the board
athlon 3200 2.2GHz
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro

To me using a 64 Bit processor is a waste XP will never use it unless you the 64 Bit version, but we know how well supported that got.

Motherboard Reviews The Motherboard Thread
Plastic parts looking nasty and yellow try this Deyellowing Plastic

Reply 38 of 55, by PhilsComputerLab

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Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:

As such, my ultimate XP system would have slow CPU, but the fastest GPU available for XP to maximize AA and AF.

No problem!

AM3 and socket 1155-type boards usually let you lower the CPU mutliplier.

I think Intel goes down to 1600 MHz, AMD down to 800 if memory serves me right. Should be slow enough?

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Reply 39 of 55, by Ozzuneoj

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firage wrote:
Ozzuneoj wrote:

To me, a "period correct" XP gaming machine would imply that the system would be capable of running any games you'd want to play up to the release of Vista and DirectX10 without missing any features or having to turn the graphics down.

Yes, nothing's quite perfect. Someone else mentioned Splinter Cell earlier. That's a 2002 game with special shadow effects that only work correctly up to GeForce4 IIRC, but committing to it is limiting the scope of XP gaming a lot. Either you go for ultimate performance or you make a compromise somewhere for specific games.

Of course, which is why it's most important to know what games you intend to play.

Though I guess if we're talking about building one system to cover a huge range of XP games, one of AsRock's Socket 775 boards that had AGP and PCI-E would probably be the closest thing to having the best of everything.

Now for some blitting from the back buffer.