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Coda 06-20-2018 12:53 PM

New Rig, Old Games
I Frankenputered together a computer so I could have something to play games on that wasn't an obsolete laptop with Intel graphics. This thing isn't AMAZING by any stretch, but it's solid:

* Late 2012 Intel i5 CPU, overclocked
* Nvidia GTX 960 video card
* 1.25TB total hard drive space
* DVD burner
* SD card reader

The only parts I purchased for this build were a new case (because none of the cases I have lying around fit the motherboard I had lying around) and a new power supply (because the power supplies I have lying around don't have enough connectors to drive the GTX 960); everything else was stuff I scavenged out of older machines.

I cut a slot in one of the drive bay covers in order to have a nice mounting place for the SD card reader. To be honest I'm not sure I actually need it, but I HAD it so I figured I might as well install it. The DVD drive, on the other hand, is super important, because I have a bunch of old games on CD that I wanted to install now that I have a machine that can stream to my TV for living room gaming.

Some of the older games worth commenting on:
* Excelsior Phase I (1993)
* System Shock (1994)
* Descent (1995)
* Terminal Velocity (1995)
* Sonic R (1998)
* System Shock 2 (1999)
* Touhou 7.5, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 12.3, 12.5, 12.8, 13.5, and 16 (2004-2017)

Sonic R was a pain to get running because it doesn't have a clue how to run on modern hardware and I had to patch it. Descent was easy to get going, but with some tinkering I actually was able to get it working in VR -- a game from 1995, with head-tracking stereoscopic virtual reality!

On the flip side, this system can run Overwatch at 70fps with the graphics settings turned up reasonably high.

Quiet Man Cometh 06-20-2018 11:17 PM

I got about half of the technical stuff there.

I haven't played any of those games I don't think. Pretty sure I was immersed in either Baldur's Gate or Warcraft II at the time. On Warcraft II, we've been working on getting it running on newer computers via DOSbox, but we hit the problem with things like the screen scroll being messed up because, according to my brother, these older games were limited by the available power in the computer, so scrolling from one side of the map to the other would only go as fast as the computer's speed would let it. Now, the screen zips faster than (our) human eyes. I think my sister found a fix by limited mouse speed or something, but it's a bit of a pain to implement.

So this build you've got is to mainly improve graphics but not mangle the game play?

I kind of which I had a disc drive at times, because silly me, I still like to buy music CDs.

Coda 06-21-2018 08:41 AM

Pfft, no. XD That CPU is still a 2012-era processor. It's literally over a million times faster than the CPU those games were designed to play on. This build was designed to be as cheap as possible while still giving me something that can play modern games -- and it also runs Windows and has an optical drive, so I could at least TRY to play my old games on it.

Dosbox has an artificial slowdown setting you could try. I like D-Fend Reloaded as a Dosbox frontend because it makes setting this kind of stuff up really nice and it gives you a good interface for launching the games.

Coda 08-13-2018 08:11 PM

I built another Frankenputer out of even older spare parts for my mother-in-law. It's not even worth giving the parts list except to mention that the hard drive is about the only thing in it newer than 2009.

Quiet Man Cometh 09-16-2018 11:13 PM

My brother recently completed his venture of getting an old game he created off of his Atari II and onto his current computer. He didn't say exactly how, except that it was NOT easy. He was lucky that he hung onto his old computer and he mostly just needed a couple cables.

Espy 09-17-2018 12:02 PM

Think that’s about the same, spec-wise (i5, GTX 960, 8GB RAM), as my previous laptop, which i thought was a fucking godsend in terms of its portability to playability ratio. Ran Witcher 3 at almost max graphics at around 30 FPS, which I thought was a pretty good achievement.

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