Alternately - Dedicated retro gaming build, an exercise in First World Problems

This is a build I put together with the express purpose of playing old games in my GOG and Steam libraries, as well as others. There are enough old games that just don't run well (or at all) on my main Lone Wanderer gaming PC and of course Windows 10 itself doesn't play nice with a lot of old programs. I wanted something that would run Windows 7 and play my old games in all their nostalgic glory. My sweet spot was around 2009/2010 for hardware, I felt that would be new enough to be somewhat powerful for the task at hand and yet old enough that the drivers would be optimized for that era.

Pretty much any game that would have come out on Xbox/Xbox360 or PS2/PS3 will run like a dream on this system. I may also get into some actual older console emulation on this rig but for the time being I have plenty of old games in my Steam and GOG libraries to make this build worth it.

Some parts were free when I upgraded a customer's system and kept the old bits, everything else was either from Newegg or eBay and I feel like I ended up with just what I wanted for a fair price.

$26 for a first-gen i7, 4 cores/8 threads with more than enough horsepower for my needs.

$22 for a GTX470 is great, it really is a perfect card for retro gaming as everything will run at 60FPS maxed out.

320GB HDD - I don't need much storage as these older games take up 4-8GB each, way less for the really old stuff.

Just for giggles I tried Wolfenstein: The New Colossus and was amazed to see 35-40FPS on a mix of low and medium settings @ 1080p. That definitely won't be a game I play on this system as my main gaming PC gets 200FPS on that title @ 1080p Ultra, but that's not the point of this system anyway.

I look forward to playing such games as Fallout 3/NV, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, the Mass Effect trilogy, Dead Space trilogy, F.E.A.R. games and so many others again without having Windows 10 compatibility issues.

And if anyone (or everyone) is wondering, it does in fact run Crysis. Medium settings across the board resulted in a wonderful 50-60 FPS @ 1080p.

Thanks for reading.

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  • 4 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice :) I was using an i7-920 myself at work until last year. But now that machine is actually still in use for some other purpose.

That EVGA 500 watt looks just like the one my friend used for his two new budget gaming machines. One of the two actually died in the week after building it :/

You'll probably be getting a lot of nagging messages once Windows 7 loses support. My parents had a Windows XP computer until a year or two ago :o

  • 4 months ago
  • 2 points

My plan is to permanently offline it after Win7 support ends. I've got a TB HDD ready to transplant, not a problem since 99% of those old games don't need any kind of online connection to launch. In that aspect it will be more like an older console I guess.

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