Good primer/sources for retro PC gaming hardware info?

FAST6191

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Normally this would just be something I research but figured a discussion might not hurt either and something else could get something from it.

There is a bit of a trend for people to build old PCs to play games on. For most practical purposes open source ( https://osgameclones.com/ ), dosbox ( https://www.dosbox.com/ ) and virtual machines ( https://www.virtualbox.org/ ) do more than adequately for me and I never used a gameport based joypad I liked more than a xbox controller. It does however intrigue me.

Now I was into PCs at the time -- I have manually set jumper pins to do IRQ settings on cards that I put into PCs, still got my floppy discs with IBM PC DOS on them, and was there to witness both the birth of the optical mouse but also the CD drive in a PC. However I was but a poor boy from a poor family in a time when the family computer was the third great expense for a family after house and car and there is also the what was cool at the time was not necessarily what is cool now. For instance, and rather at the end of what is presently retro, came fairly high powered AGP graphics cards with some nice outputs like HDMI and DVI (as opposed to VGA that was otherwise still commonplace). They were something of a joke at the time -- no serious gamer would be caught paying as much for a graphics card potentially half the power of the same chipset on PCIE, and that is to say nothing of it being very unlikely said AGP board sported a processor and RAM that had anything like the grunt... today said AGP cards are worth a fortune while the equivalent PCIe one is probably outclassed by onboard or lower profile things aimed at HTPCs.
http://macgateway.com/featured-articles/sound-card-history/ is the sort of thing that has been in my bookmarks for years now too.

Earlier I saw

and while not anything like a comprehensive overview of the best and brightest for the retro market, indeed it being something of a pleasant surprise/hidden gem type deal (at least until the emulation of the soundblaster* section), it intrigued me to learn more.

*I did see some doing recreations of these a while back as well. Also saw people doing mods to things, adding chips, replacing caps for reasons other than leakage and more besides.

Another link that is of marginal relevance but hey

To that end has anybody got a reasonable primer either on the modern retro PC building scene as a whole, or maybe some more specifics on what the kids are doing with sound cards, graphics cards, inputs (the vast majority of anything you have seen from me this last few years have been from a PS/2 mechanical acer keyboard that is so old as to lack the Windows key, something I consider a perk but different matter there), maybe monitors (I did see a discussion about CRTs around here the other month), what the CPUs of choice are (including if people are having fun with server stuff a la https://www.delidded.com/lga-771-to-775-adapter/ ) and anything that logically sits in this sort of list.
I realise the timeframes there are rather long by general standards and when new PC every year else don't bother was the order of the day for a lot of that then generationally speaking that is longer still. I am quite happy to hear about the perfect 486 era build as much as I am about 3dfx a little bit later and going right up to those last gasp of AGP things by which time DirectX was king and opengl was sort of still there for professional graphics.
 
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Ryccardo

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To that end has anybody got a reasonable primer either on the modern retro PC building scene as a whole, or maybe some more specifics on what the kids are doing with sound cards, graphics cards, inputs
I am quite happy to hear about the perfect 486 era build as much as I am about 3dfx a little bit later and going right up to those last gasp of AGP things by which time DirectX was king and opengl was sort of still there for professional graphics.
The leading forums for those discussions would probably be Vogons (with a focus on PC gaming) and VCFed (Pentium 1, older, and contemporary non-IBM computers) (though do definitely search both if you ever have a question or doubt)!

You made a passing reference to jumpers - if no manual is handy, Total Hardware 99 might have the answer; for those not aware, it was a periodical CD-based encyclopedia of computer accessory tech specs that became so-called abandonware, was converted by someone to HTML, and became pretty much as widespread as the Anarchist Cookbook or a Mario game rom

maybe monitors (I did see a discussion about CRTs around here the other month)
Bought a SXGA monitor last Friday for 15 €, which for some reason seems to be unthinkable by American standards where even a generic brand XGA-at-60Hz has a higher street price for some reason - who would have guessed?

what the CPUs of choice are (including if people are having fun with server stuff
Different time period, but among the best value PCs you can build today (or even better, last year) involve a Chinese brand Intel X99 chipset and matching Xeon: while design quality varies (with some not even supporting standby), ex-server parts mean well-tested components at a fair price, while the motherboards being new designs with used parts means bypassing any negotiating power Intel would have on new parts, therefore getting rid of arbitrary market segmentation limitations - and of course, minor Aliexpress-exclusive brands mean close to nothing of the retail price goes into marketing!

On a related point, I have long been saying "A 10 year old PC is perfectly fine and the main advantage of buying newer is power efficiency"... then I looked up my first PC: a Pentium 3 800/133 with 15W (fifteen watts) TDP and a 120 W power supply: it seems that any modern desktop PC on the market, whether 10 years or days old, is an insult to that claim.......
 
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