The Serpent Rider wrote on 2020-08-21, 19:21:
Overall, "period correct" machines are not enough to play id games comfortably.
I was about to write "that's true up until about Rage came out," then I thought a bit more and realized that id's game engines and performance went something like this:
Commander Keen (1990-1991): 286 or 386 were somewhat common for newer computers, but a bit pricey. Games ran pretty much perfectly on a 386. Ran slowly on an 8088/8086.
Wolfenstein 3D (1992): Ran well on a 386, chugged on a 286.
Doom (1993 - 1994): Barely ran on a 386, ran OK enough on a 486. Remember, hitting 30 FPS was a LUXURY for 3D games in those days, and a 486 DX2-66 was a pricey and fast machine back in 1993! We didn't start to see Pentium chips in the mainstream until mid-1995.
Doom II (1994): Larger, more populated maps and the Arch-Vile meant that a DX2-66 was pretty much the baseline, and many people couldn't meet this performance target until the following year. Most people who bought a new computer with Windows 95 the following year got a faster 486 or a slow Pentium, which could finally run Doom II with something approaching consistent performance.
Quake (1996): Pretty much needed a Pentium to run at all, even at 320x200. The fastest Pentium PCs could barely run the game at 15 FPS at 640x480, at least until the 3dfx Voodoo came out.
Quake 2 (1997 - 1998): Ran surprisingly well at 320x200 on a mid-range Pentium. If you had a 3D card equivalent to an original 3dfx Voodoo with a not-complete-shit OpenGL driver, Quake 2 ran at or around 30 FPS at 640x480, which was pretty good for the time! Pentium II CPUs were pricey but attainable by the end of 1998 (we got a PII-300 about 9 months after Quake 2's release).
Quake 3 (1999): I was able to play Quake 3 and games that used its engine on a S3 Savage4, which was a pretty lower-mid-range graphics card by the time I got one in 2000. Faster GPUs and ones that could support hardware T&L ran faster, but you didn't necessarily need a GeForce to get the engine to play well and look OK.
Doom 3 (2004): This hurt pretty much everything out there at the time, unless you had cash to burn on a GeForce 6800 Ultra and a super high-end P4. ATI cards in particular suffered in the initial release, until ATI released a driver that included a community-sourced patch that replaced a lot of shader instructions with a small amount of equivalent math from what I remember with my 9700 Pro. 800 x 600 was a stretch to hit 30 FPS at Medium on a 9700 Pro/Athlon XP 2000+ and the game wanted as much RAM as you could throw at it.
Rage (2011): Optimized to run well on the Xbox 360 and PS3, it ran VERY well on mid-range gaming PCs at the time.
Doom 2016: Runs well, and still looked OK even on slower PCs! I even met someone who ran it on a laptop's integrated graphics; it wasn't pretty, but it worked!
Doom Eternal: Runs remarkably well even with detail cranked up as high as it goes. Ray-tracing tanks performance as per usual, but without it on the game reliably hits triple-digit framerates on mid-range (or older high end) GPUs at 1080p/1440p.