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Best OS for Retro Gaming?

Go to solution Solved by Radium_Angel,

As far as Linux goes, retro gaming is really hit and miss there, as is hardware support for older systems.

Antix is about as lightweight as you can get and still be useful, beyond that, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is as "new" as I'd go and even that has a heavy overhead. Voodoo card drivers will probably kill linux dead as a gaming platform.

 

Win2k is probably your best bet, unless you want the challenge of WinNT 4.0 (and make no mistake, it's a hell of a challenge to run these days.)

If you go WinNT 4.0...start here

https://www.msfn.org/board/topic/176116-resurrecting-nt4-in-2016/

 

These guys know more about NT 4.0 than anywhere else online.

Hey guys

so im trying to figure out what the best OS would be for a a retro gaming pc (90's to early 2000's), i have some specific requirements based on the machine however. 
The pc was a smashed up rack mount server i moved into a much larger Geutebruck video surveillance case and runs Dual Pentium 3 Tualatin-256 which are much better than normal Pentium 3's mind you and are server gear allowing them to run together which means i need an OS that is able to utilize dual CPU's. now obviously i know no games now utilize dual CPU's let alone in the 90's but i'd like them to be both running even if they don't in games. I've no idea how much ram the pc has because its not written on the sticks but i can tell you there's 4 of them xD. im probably gonna try and pick up a voodoo 2 pci card i saw a guy selling a little while ago cheap and hunt for a 2nd because Voodoo 2 sli ftw.

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If I'm correct, the Voodoo 2 cards were old during them pentium 3's... Try to get voodoo 3's in SLI.

 

Wouldn't XP boot? Some server version perhaps?

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The OS is quite irrelevant for retro gaming.

 

Most Emulator nowdays are multi-platform, even arguably running better on android sides.

So instead getting confused what OS you want to use, try to narrow it down to what or which hardware are you going to use.

ie: if you going to use voodoo, then Windows 7 and above is out of equation.

 

Personally, building retro machine game is too much hassle, not to mention it use lot's of power.

You can build core2duo machine with iGPU and only 2GB ram and run everything just fine with only 50-70w of power instead 150-300w using dual tualatin and voodoo2

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Blebekblebek said:

The OS is quite irrelevant for retro gaming.

 

Most Emulator nowdays are multi-platform, even arguably running better on android sides.

So instead getting confused what OS you want to use, try to narrow it down to what or which hardware are you going to use.

ie: if you going to use voodoo, then Windows 7 and above is out of equation.

 

Personally, building retro machine game is too much hassle, not to mention it use lot's of power.

You can build core2duo machine with iGPU and only 2GB ram and run everything just fine with only 50-70w of power instead 150-300w using dual tualatin and voodoo2

 

 

Turn in your geek badge now.

Then get out.

...and stay out.

(Just joshing with you, relax)

 

To the original poster:

Doing something like this is difficult to do right.

XP and 7 are far too easy, and you will be wishing you hadn't, the system requirements on those CPUs are too high.

So, you have a couple of options, in no particular order:

 

(1) Bag the whole thing, use your nice modern system and run a VM to retro game with.

(2) WinXP and deal with the overhead. Problematic if you have anything less than 2 GB of RAM in that system.

(3) Win2k. You biggest challenge with Win2k (and I was, and still am to an extent, a huge fan of Win2k) is drivers. Check this out, it might help a lot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uDXtJqdcKM

(4) Dig out the big guns and install WinNT 4.0. Find drivers and get USB working (yes, contrary to popular belief, USB DOES in fact work under WinNT 4.0) and allow the OS to get the heck out of the way, and game anything to DirectX 6.0. I've dopne this before on a laptop, great fun. I might even have all the patches and Service Packs still around somewhere.

 

Do it for the geekness, do it for the challenge, do it for the bragging rights.

And post pics. Lots of pics.

So rise up, all ye lost ones, as one, we'll claw the clouds

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19 minutes ago, Radium_Angel said:

Turn in your geek badge now.

Then get out.

...and stay out.

(Just joshing with you, relax)

 

To the original poster:

Doing something like this is difficult to do right.

XP and 7 are far too easy, and you will be wishing you hadn't, the system requirements on those CPUs are too high.

So, you have a couple of options, in no particular order:

 

(1) Bag the whole thing, use your nice modern system and run a VM to retro game with.

(2) WinXP and deal with the overhead. Problematic if you have anything less than 2 GB of RAM in that system.

(3) Win2k. You biggest challenge with Win2k (and I was, and still am to an extent, a huge fan of Win2k) is drivers. Check this out, it might help a lot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uDXtJqdcKM

(4) Dig out the big guns and install WinNT 4.0. Find drivers and get USB working (yes, contrary to popular belief, USB DOES in fact work under WinNT 4.0) and allow the OS to get the heck out of the way, and game anything to DirectX 6.0. I've dopne this before on a laptop, great fun. I might even have all the patches and Service Packs still around somewhere.

 

Do it for the geekness, do it for the challenge, do it for the bragging rights.

And post pics. Lots of pics.

thanks for all the help, i think option either option 3 or 4. Orrr what i was thinking was some lightweight Linux but i've no idea what sorta Linux version to use as I've never used it before.

ill probably upload some pictures tomorrow once i got it running, it wont have a GPU yet though.

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43 minutes ago, Blebekblebek said:

The OS is quite irrelevant for retro gaming.

 

Most Emulator nowdays are multi-platform, even arguably running better on android sides.

So instead getting confused what OS you want to use, try to narrow it down to what or which hardware are you going to use.

ie: if you going to use voodoo, then Windows 7 and above is out of equation.

 

Personally, building retro machine game is too much hassle, not to mention it use lot's of power.

You can build core2duo machine with iGPU and only 2GB ram and run everything just fine with only 50-70w of power instead 150-300w using dual tualatin and voodoo2

 

 

nah thats a boring option to use one of my more powerfull pc's which being i have my main rig, my secondary gaming rig/Lan rig which is core 2 quad based, my water cooled bench pc and a whole array of others in the pc catacombs that is my shed but none of them are really based around ollllld gaming and i figure this is pretty unique being dual pentium 3's.

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As far as Linux goes, retro gaming is really hit and miss there, as is hardware support for older systems.

Antix is about as lightweight as you can get and still be useful, beyond that, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is as "new" as I'd go and even that has a heavy overhead. Voodoo card drivers will probably kill linux dead as a gaming platform.

 

Win2k is probably your best bet, unless you want the challenge of WinNT 4.0 (and make no mistake, it's a hell of a challenge to run these days.)

If you go WinNT 4.0...start here

https://www.msfn.org/board/topic/176116-resurrecting-nt4-in-2016/

 

These guys know more about NT 4.0 than anywhere else online.

So rise up, all ye lost ones, as one, we'll claw the clouds

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