Hardware PC build for gaming on XP.

kristianity77

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So. What I want to do is, build a PC from old second hand parts I can maybe find on ebay, and run windows do on it, so that I can go back and play all games from the ps2 and 360 era pretty much maxxed out.

I'm aware I don't need an XP machine to do this, but I find with my gaming laptop I pretty much can't get much to work without having to apply fixes here there and everywhere to get older games to work. So I figured it might be a cheap little project to build a machine from that era which will allow me to run say anything from 2012 beforehand at Max settings.

I'm aware there are issues with XP and newer hardware regarding driver's dri compatibility etc, so what would be a good place to start in terms of mb and CPU, and the best you for the job from that time (or at least a gpu which won't be insanely throttled by the older CPU etc)

Any input welcome!
 
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for gpu i'd recommend a GTX 8800 or a radeon hd 5670 or something, CPU could be a top of the line core 2 quad

you said 2012 and prior so these fit the bill pretty well

if you want deep end retro stuff, look into a geforce2 MX400 or something around that age, an older pentium 4 or a socket A Athlon XP 2000+


edit2: i have a lot of the parts i mentioned here so i got some decent enough experience to know how they run, if you want as cheap as possible, okay with retro gaming, but lackluster with slightly modern you could look into a stupid common radeon 9200 LE or SE (forget which one's better)
 
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kristianity77

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for gpu i'd recommend a GTX 8800 or a radeon hd 5670 or something, CPU could be a top of the line core 2 quad

you said 2012 and prior so these fit the bill pretty well

if you want deep end retro stuff, look into a geforce2 MX400 or something around that age, an older pentium 4 or a socket A Athlon XP 2000+


edit2: i have a lot of the parts i mentioned here so i got some decent enough experience to know how they run, if you want as cheap as possible, okay with retro gaming, but lackluster with slightly modern you could look into a stupid common radeon 9200 LE or SE (forget which one's better)

Thanks for this

Yeah I'm looking really for the best that I can buy for that era I guess. I had an 8800gt back in the day so assume a gtx8800 is an improvement on that. I know a video card is important but know that there will come a point where it's bottlenecked by the older CPU.
 
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Thanks for this

Yeah I'm looking really for the best that I can buy for that era I guess. I had an 8800gt back in the day so assume a gtx8800 is an improvement on that. I know a video card is important but know that there will come a point where it's bottlenecked by the older CPU.
if you get a high end core 2 quad or core 2 duo and a 2008-2012 gpu, there probably won't be very much of a bottleneck, the real bottleneck comes in if you try to get a modern graphics card, if anything you could accidentally bottleneck the cpu by having too slow of a gpu

edit: just googled, most recent core 2 quad is from 2011 so if you stick within a similar age range there wouldn't be too much of a bottleneck unless you purposely go low end/high end combo

edit2: the gtx 8800 is the top of the line 8000 series card, it's the one that pretty much threw pc gaming into the whole modern hd era pretty much, so i'd say it's worth it to find one for cheap lol
 
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kristianity77

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if you get a high end core 2 quad or core 2 duo and a 2008-2012 gpu, there probably won't be very much of a bottleneck, the real bottleneck comes in if you try to get a modern graphics card, if anything you could accidentally bottleneck the cpu by having too slow of a gpu

edit: just googled, most recent core 2 quad is from 2011 so if you stick within a similar age range there wouldn't be too much of a bottleneck unless you purposely go low end/high end combo

edit2: the gtx 8800 is the top of the line 8000 series card, it's the one that pretty much threw pc gaming into the whole modern hd era pretty much, so i'd say it's worth it to find one for cheap lol

I've read that an Nvidia 750ti is a decent card and they can be had for about 40 pounds in the UK (about $50).

From what I can see, this is a better card than the 8800. Would that suit?
 

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For CPU, I highly suggest just going with Pentium D (plays pretty much every single game up to 2010 just fine on high/max settings, Crysis included:P), since Quad is actually a buggy mess when it comes to compatibility with some stuff like emulators and whatnot, while D is also overclockable. As for GPU, going for the HD6xxx series is best if you ask me, that way you don't have TOO much power (which breaks certain games, especially if older/retro ones) or not enough. Keep in mind though that you want a model with a normal cooler on it, not the huge coolers that need additional power from a 4-pin cable, since it might cause power issues with the older OS (XP didn't handle those power cables for coolers too well in my experience). Then for RAM, go for 4GBs DDR3 (with page file at 8192MBs), that should be way more than enough, always go for multiples of 2GBs for RAM on XP, meaning 3GB or 6GB will actually perform worse because of how memory management worked back in the day. Then for HDD just go for a fast SATA II drive with plenty of space or if you don't mind slower loading times just use an IDE drive since it's not hard to find those for literally 10cents or so used...
 
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kristianity77

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For CPU, I highly suggest just going with Pentium D (plays pretty much every single game up to 2010 just fine on high/max settings, Crysis included:P), since Quad is actually a buggy mess when it comes to compatibility with some stuff like emulators and whatnot, while D is also overclockable. As for GPU, going for the HD6xxx series is best if you ask me, that way you don't have TOO much power (which breaks certain games, especially if older/retro ones) or not enough. Keep in mind though that you want a model with a normal cooler on it, not the huge coolers that need additional power from a 4-pin cable, since it might cause power issues with the older OS (XP didn't handle those power cables for coolers too well in my experience). Then for RAM, go for 4GBs DDR3 (with page file at 8192MBs), that should be way more than enough, always go for multiples of 2GBs for RAM on XP, meaning 3GB or 6GB will actually perform worse because of how memory management worked back in the day. Then for HDD just go for a fast SATA II drive with plenty of space or if you don't mind slower loading times just use an IDE drive since it's not hard to find those for literally 10cents or so used...

Ok so I can see that a Pentium D950 is about $10 dollars on eBay and has a 3.4ghz clock speed. That will suffice for literally anything from the 360 era and backwards? If so, that's one component out the way.

The memory seems to be an easy solution . Just 2*2gb ddr3.

Motherboard I'm assuming is much of a muchness for my needs.

So it's just the video card. I'd be buying a 1080p monitor I expect so id want to game maxxed at 1080p if possible. So I'm assuming the 750ti would be fine, or would it be worth upgrading the GPU further?
 
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Ok so I can see that a Pentium D950 is about $10 dollars on eBay and has a 3.4ghz clock speed. That will suffice for literally anything from the 360 era and backwards? If so, that's one component out the way.

The memory seems to be an easy solution . Just 2*2gb ddr3.

Motherboard I'm assuming is much of a muchness for my needs.

So it's just the video card. I'd be buying a 1080p monitor I expect so id want to game maxxed at 1080p if possible. So I'm assuming the 750ti would be fine, or would it be worth upgrading the GPU further?
A Pentium D (which has 2 cores) at 3.4GHz stock speed can already play every 360/PS2 port at max settings and even emulate them at decent speeds. If need be, it's easily overclockable to 3.7GHz for a bit more juice if you don't mind it getting a bit hotter on long sessions. For RAM you can go 2*2GB sticks. My bad though, I meant DDR2, not 3, Pentium motherboards don't support 3 since they are too old. For motherboard, I suggest going for one with BOTH SATA and IDE connections (general IDE, not HDD IDE) to allow backwards compatibility for things like floppy disks if you want to go all retro, since 99% of floppy disk readers use IDE connections. If it also has at least one extra PCI slot for prepherals (the smaller slots next to those for GPUs for things like sound/TV cards) just in case you ever need to use one after counting on the Ethernet PCI slot (if it doesn't have it in the I/O portion already or if that one is too slow). As for the 1080p monitor, pretty sure ~90% of games running on XP don't even support that high resolution, going for 1360x768 or 1366x768 is best. Don't forget, MANY games from back then don't even go past 4:3 1024x768 resolution or some past 600p, so yeah, screen is overkill with 1080p...
 
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Ryccardo

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99% of floppy disk readers use IDE connections.
No, they use floppy connectors, which stand to IDE like the expansion ports on the original Raspberry 1 models stand to all newer ones except for the part where the bigger connector is not a compatible expansion of the older one :D
 

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No, they use floppy connectors, which stand to IDE like the expansion ports on the original Raspberry 1 models stand to all newer ones except for the part where the bigger connector is not a compatible expansion of the older one :D
I'm talking about the older models, not the new USB ones or whatever. The floppy drives from back then used IDE connection with a cable that had that "twist" on a part of the cable (6 of the pins) at the "master" side of it if you know what I'm talking about. What you are thinking is the POWER connector, which is that unique and incredibly annoying because of it's shape 3-pin one that is the most hated connector after MOLEX (if you think this isn't that bad a connector, you haven't worked with enough PCs)...:angry::glare:
 

kristianity77

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ThoD

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That's absolutely the sort of thing I was looking for. Thanks a lot
You were looking for a build from 2016-2017 running Windows 10 and having no backwards compatibility with 16bit programs? Could have put that in the OP you know considering you said you wanted a build from before 2012 that will run XP...:/
 

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I'm talking about the older models, not the new USB ones or whatever. The floppy drives from back then used IDE connection with a cable that had that "twist" on a part of the cable (6 of the pins) at the "master" side of it if you know what I'm talking about. What you are thinking is the POWER connector, which is that unique and incredibly annoying because of it's shape 3-pin one that is the most hated connector after MOLEX (if you think this isn't that bad a connector, you haven't worked with enough PCs)...:angry::glare:
Yeah, I mean that one, it's shorter than IDE (34 or so vs 40 pins):
IMG_20190908_1052039.jpg

:)

(fun fact, the original floppy controller was designed to support 4 drives so they had jumpers to assign them a number 0 to 3, then when PCs with at most two ones became the clear leader they started making drives fixed to 1 and using the twisted cable to make the one at the end 0!)
 
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Yeah, I mean that one, it's shorter than IDE (34 or so vs 40 pins):
View attachment 178855
:)

(fun fact, the original floppy controller was designed to support 4 drives so they had jumpers to assign them a number 0 to 3, then when PCs with at most two ones became the clear leader they started making drives fixed to 1 and using the twisted cable to make the one at the end 0!)
I'm used to saying IDE to refer to PATA (which covers all those connectors), easy to cause misunderstanding I guess, so oh well:P
 

kristianity77

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You were looking for a build from 2016-2017 running Windows 10 and having no backwards compatibility with 16bit programs? Could have put that in the OP you know considering you said you wanted a build from before 2012 that will run XP...:/

No. If you click on the top he has links to all other best builds from previous years. I clicked on 2012 and checked that out.
 
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pentium D is a bad idea, it's literally 2 pentium 4s glued together, with all the heat and power consumption that comes with that

if you want your pc to work and not become a high power consumption space header i'd avoid a pentium D
 

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pentium D is a bad idea, it's literally 2 pentium 4s glued together, with all the heat and power consumption that comes with that

if you want your pc to work and not become a high power consumption space header i'd avoid a pentium D
Which part list is it in?
 
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