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Is Win NT 3.51 any good for gaming?

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First post, by Intel486dx33

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Is Win NT 3.51 any good for gaming?
Or should I stick with a DOS Box?

I installed first DOS-7 with Sound Blaster drivers and then installed Win NT 3.51
I choose Win NT 3.51 over WFW 3.11 because of built in Networking and miscellaneous programs included.

Also what is the HOT keyboard keys to enable/disable turbo on Gateway 2000 486 ?

Reply 2 of 26, by derSammler

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Intel486dx33 wrote:

I choose Win NT 3.51 over WFW 3.11 because of built in Networking and miscellaneous programs included.

WFW had built-in networking as well, that's why it was called Windows for Workgroups.

Anyway, you may want to look into OS/2 Warp (3.0) then. Very stable, built-in networking, and comatible with MS-DOS and Windows 3.x. Most DOS games run fine on OS/2.

Reply 3 of 26, by DosFreak

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With my builds of DOSBox you can use DOSBox on 3.51 but you'd probably need a Pentium to play 286 or less games with it.

Haven't bothered to recompile them yet but you can also use ScummVM and Exult ScummVM 1.8.1 on Windows NT 3.51

So assuming enough processing power that should bump compatibility up a bit

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Reply 4 of 26, by Intel486dx33

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derSammler wrote:
Intel486dx33 wrote:

I choose Win NT 3.51 over WFW 3.11 because of built in Networking and miscellaneous programs included.

WFW had built-in networking as well, that's why it was called Windows for Workgroups.

Anyway, you may want to look into OS/2 Warp (3.0) then. Very stable, built-in networking, and comatible with MS-DOS and Windows 3.x. Most DOS games run fine on OS/2.

Yes,, But only Novell ( IPX/SPX ) and Netbeui. No TCI/IP.
You can install the TCP/IP stack from a patch however.

Reply 5 of 26, by ATauenis

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No, NT is not a gaming OS. It is very slow on DOS/Win3.1 emulation and have a small game support. NT 3.51 supports only OpenGL games, 4.0 adds support for DirectX 3.0. Also, NT consumes a lot of RAM megabytes.

I'm suggest you to install Windows 95. It have normal DOS inside, good support for Windows 3.1 apps and a very powerful 3D support (it can run both OpenGL and DirectX games, up to DirectX 8.0). Windows 95 has a powerful network stack like one from NT 3.51 (but with less routing possibilities) and all TCP/IP utilities inside.

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Reply 6 of 26, by KCompRoom2000

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If the only games you play are solitaire, minesweeper, and the Windows Entertainment Pack collections, sure, I'd say it is. 😁

But seriously, as others have said, Windows NT was never intended for serious gaming usage until around 2000. You *might* have hope with experimenting with some 2D and OpenGL games (for example: Nathan Lineback managed to get Unreal Tournament to work) but other than that (and solitaire, obviously), it's really not a gaming OS.

Windows NT does have other good uses such as playing with old office software, word processing, browsing some basic sites with Firefox 2, etc.

Reply 7 of 26, by ATauenis

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KCompRoom2000 wrote:

If the only games you play are solitaire, minesweeper, and the Windows Entertainment Pack collections, sure, I'd say it is.

NT will play them slightly faster than WfW/Win95 (if the PC have at least 16-32 MB of RAM). It is a complete 32-bit OS that uses full 386/486 potential. And any crashes of software should not crash the OS. Even you can close a hang app (which is not possible in Win3.1x and is almost possible in Win95). But the stability is the only benefit of NT, in other it was a bad OS, intended only for server or workstation usage (this is why all NTs before Win2000 weren't called Professional, they was (Advanced) Server or Workstation).

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Reply 8 of 26, by derSammler

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ATauenis wrote:

But the stability is the only benefit of NT, in other it was a bad OS, intended only for server or workstation usage (this is why all NTs before Win2000 weren't called Professional, they was (Advanced) Server or Workstation).

Sorry, but that is complete bullshit. Naming changes had nothing to do with any of that. Even Windows 2000 was still called NT 5.0 up to RC1. "Workstation" became "Professional", but just for marketing reasons and to separate it from the Neptune project, which was to become Windows 2000 Home but never saw the light of day. Also, Windows 2000 Professional was for workstations only, too. Oh, and while NT 3.x was a bit immature, NT 4.0 was an incredibly great OS. Many people used that instead of Windows 95 - as it was better in just every aspect.

Reply 9 of 26, by gdjacobs

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NT 4.0 began the move away from Cutler's original design which I consider to be a bad thing.

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Reply 10 of 26, by F2bnp

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gdjacobs wrote:

NT 4.0 began the move away from Cutler's original design which I consider to be a bad thing.

Sorry to derail, but could you elaborate on that? I'd be interested in learning what sort of regressions NT4.0 brought to the table.

Reply 11 of 26, by gdjacobs

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F2bnp wrote:
gdjacobs wrote:

NT 4.0 began the move away from Cutler's original design which I consider to be a bad thing.

Sorry to derail, but could you elaborate on that? I'd be interested in learning what sort of regressions NT4.0 brought to the table.

NT was originally designed along the lines of a microkernel OS. Most system services and hardware drivers as well as OS personalities ran as user processes. NT 4 integrated GDI into the kernel which heavily undermined the benefits of the original system architecture.

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Reply 12 of 26, by Jo22

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"Is Win NT 3.51 any good for gaming?"
Not sure about that, but a few of the older Japanese games did mention NT4 (and Win95) sometimes.
As an actual game that mentiions NT3.51, HoldOver (review) comes to my mind..

gdjacobs wrote:

. NT 4 integrated GDI into the kernel which heavily undermined the benefits of the original system architecture.

I heard about that, too. It caused an outcry among IT professionals back in the day.
Later, GDI was put back to user land again with the release of Vista.

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Reply 14 of 26, by yawetaG

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Jo22 wrote:

"Is Win NT 3.51 any good for gaming?"
Not sure about that, but a few of the older Japanese games did mention NT4 (and Win95) sometimes.

AFAIK, most Japanese Windows PC games that do not use DirectX were marketed as running on Windows 95(, 98) and NT. Some of them however won't work properly on MMX-capable processors without an update (e.g. many Sega titles). AFAIK, versions of NT earlier than 3.5 don't exist in the Japanese market, and there was a beta version of 3.5 that got distributed for free with a magazine to help popularize the system over there.
Some games will work fine on non-Japanese versions of Windows, but others won't because they need to make use of double-byte system fonts (e.g. the older releases of Sakura Taisen). Furthermore, you need to watch out for the system specs because some games will work on both x86 and NEC PC98 systems (both have versions of Windows 95, 98 and NT), while others will only work on one of the two system architectures.

Reply 15 of 26, by dionb

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WinNT 3.5 was in no way a gaming OS - but then again Win3.11 hardly was either. There was a handful of games that used Win32s and WinG to require or at least run effectively under Windows (I remember Battle Isle III), but as a rule, gaming in Win3.11 era involved dropping out of Windows 3.11 back to native DOS to free up memory, then starting games from DOS.

If you want a gaming OS on a computer capable of running WinNT 3.5, either do DOS or Win9x. WinNT 4.0 was a considerable leap forward (I remember evenings at the student union offices wasted playing Half Life on the Compaq i810-based workstations running NT4), but still offered zero gaming advantages over 9x. Only with the advent of Win2k did WinNT become compelling for a gamer.

Reply 16 of 26, by gdjacobs

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NT 4 had OpenGL capability due to the intent for it to be used as a workstation OS. Apparently, NT 3.51 had support along these lines as well.
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Reply 17 of 26, by Jo22

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dionb wrote:

WinNT 3.5 was in no way a gaming OS - but then again Win3.11 hardly was either.

In comparison to Win9x, this is likely true. However, Mobygames lists about 1411 games for Windows 3.x.
http://www.mobygames.com/browse/games/win3x/
😀

There was a handful of games that used Win32s and WinG to require or at least run effectively under Windows.

Yup, also true. The irony is, that Win32s initially was available to a large audience, but NT 3.1 was not:
Win32s was shipped for free with SDKs and got updated several times ~unitil Win95 was released..
That's why a number of early Win32 games and applications can run on Win32s, but not on early releases of NT.
Not sure where to draw the line, but some of them likelywise don't run on NT 3.1/3.50 anymore.
Windows NT 3.51/4 (or Win3.1+W32s/W9x) is about the bottom line of what Win32s applications require.
Edit: I can think of one exception: Some of the early Win16 shareware games got Win32 ports sometimes.
They where usually called nameofgame32 or residet in a WINNT folder. Like for example, Hyperoid.

but as a rule, gaming in Win3.11 era involved dropping out of Windows 3.11 back to native DOS to free up memory, then starting games from DOS.

Can't disagree. Adventures, Arcade games, puzzle-solving, Edutainment or Cyberpunk style games where kind of popular on Windows 3.1, though.
Games such as Myst, Pyst, Alice: An Interactive Museum, etc. Or in simple words, all those games that didn't require fast graphics. 😉

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Reply 18 of 26, by cxm717

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dionb wrote:

WinNT 3.5 was in no way a gaming OS - but then again Win3.11 hardly was either. There was a handful of games that used Win32s and WinG to require or at least run effectively under Windows (I remember Battle Isle III), but as a rule, gaming in Win3.11 era involved dropping out of Windows 3.11 back to native DOS to free up memory, then starting games from DOS.

If you want a gaming OS on a computer capable of running WinNT 3.5, either do DOS or Win9x. WinNT 4.0 was a considerable leap forward (I remember evenings at the student union offices wasted playing Half Life on the Compaq i810-based workstations running NT4), but still offered zero gaming advantages over 9x. Only with the advent of Win2k did WinNT become compelling for a gamer.

I don't really agree that it offered zero advantages. NT has multiprocessor support. It's easier to close a frozen program in NT4 thanks to the task manager. It does have some large drawbacks of course like directx and dos support.

Reply 19 of 26, by yawetaG

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cxm717 wrote:

I don't really agree that it offered zero advantages. NT has multiprocessor support.

...which doesn't help at all for most games as most games did not include multiprocessor support themselves.