After a lot of messing around with the rather large collection of "old" computer parts I have sitting around, I decided on a new "Retro Gaming PC", bringing my total to three. The fist two, discussed earlier in my blog, will each have thier own use.
The other Windows 95 powered "Retro Gaming Rig", aka Build #1, that is completed will be going to my kids so they can enjoy playing some of the old school games they like. I will also be "networking" them together via a Direct Cable Connection so we can have some multiplayer fun between the two systems.
The other rig I discussed earlier, aka Build #2, that originally was going to be the other Windows 95/DOS machine, is now going to be DOS 6.11 and Windows 3.11 only. This one will be for some very old DOS games.
This new build will be my main rig. I decided to push it about as far as I can for what I want the system to do. I wanted it to be able to play any old school Windows 95 based games at thier top possible performance, as well as handle as many of my old DOS favorites as is possible that will run under Windows 95, with minimal problems. I think I have achieved that with this new system.
- Windows 95c OSR2.5 with USB Support
- TR100 Compaq OEM Motherboard (Lite-On)
- 1.0 Ghz Intel Pentium 3 Socket 370 CPU
- 512 MB PC133 SDRAM
- 3 x 3.2 GB Western Digital Hard Drives
- 1 x CD-Rom
1 x 3.5 Floppy Drive(Removed to make room for a 3rd Hard Drive)
- Creative Sound Blaster CT4750 PCI128 Sound Card
- nVidia GeForce4 MX 400 64MB AGP 4x Video w/Dual VGA
- Linksys EtherPCI LAN Card II Combo
- Modified HP Model 511W Case
- 2 x Internal Cooling Fans
TR100 Motherboard - This was the only "older" AGP board I have laying around that I could still find drivers for that would work under Windows 95 and fit in this case. The only issue I has was the on-board sound would not emulate Sound Blaster very well and there were no real drivers for it under Win 95, so I just disabled it and went with the card mentioned in the above specs. This way I will also have sound for all my DOS games with Legacy support.
1.0 Ghz Intel Pentium Socket 370 CPU - This was the CPU I had on the motherboard already, and it provides more power than this system, or any game that will be played on it, could ever possibly need. I originally had a 1.3 Ghz Celeron in there, but removed it favor of the Pentium 3, since the P3 is actually more powerful a better suited for "gaming" than the Celeron.
512 MB PC133 SDRAM - I happened to have 2 256MB sticks and decided to use them in this build. Far more than it will ever be able to use.
3 x 3.2 GB Western Digital Hard Drives - I figured that 9+ GB of space was enough for the system and every game I wanted to install on it. I originally had 2 3.2GB drives in the system but found room getting low with the growing list of games I have installed. So I added a 3rd 3.2GB drive giving me far more than enough room to hold all my games. Although I had to remove the floppy drive to make room. No big deal since I am burning any and all games that were on floppy on CD.
Creative Sound Blaster CT4750 PCI128 Sound Card - I had a few of these cards around and decided to use one in this build. It works great and has full support for Windows 95 and DOS via Legacy. There are even working pure DOS drivers the card will recognize.
nVidia GeForce4 MX 400 64MB AGP 4x Video w/Dual VGA - How much more power do you need for these old school Windows 95 and DOS games? This card has full support for Windows 95 and it simply chews up any and all the games I want to play on it. I could not ask for any more.
Since I am running Windows 95c I am able to get 2x AGP support. Something that's only possible with Windows 95b or c (aka OSR2 and ORS2.5). This is because in order to have AGP support you must also have USB support. So once you have a version of Windows 95 installed that can support USB, you must install the drivers, then you will get your AGP support. If not, the card will run in "PCI mode" and that's much slower, even though it will still be fast enough for most games that will run on Windows 95.
Linksys EtherPCI LAN Card II Combo - I put this rig on my home network and gave it internet access for ease of use and updates as needed. This is a 10Mbit card, but that's more than enough for it's needs.
Modified HP Model 511W Case - When I say modified, I mean it, mostly internal. In order to use the case I had to pretty much gut it find new ways to mount what I wanted to put in there. I also hate "pre-fab" mass produced computer cases, they are horribly designed in my opinion, especially when it comes to cooling. I wanted to use the case for its frosted transparent front panel.
2 x Internal Cooling Fans - I wanted one fan pulling air in the front and one blowing directly on the video card. So I decided to use a UV Sunbeam fan for the front, to light up the case, and a standard non-illuminated fan to force air over the video card. I may add a 3rd fan to the rear of the case to pull air out, if I find I need it, though I doubt I will.
Here is the list of games I am running on the system:
- Final Doom: Windows 95 Edition (Doom 95)
- Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
- Sonic CD
- Sonic 3
- Sonic R
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six & Eagle Watch Mission Pack
- Hexen II
- Heretic II
- Lords of the Realm II
- Command & Conquer 95
- Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun & Firestorm
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert
- Mechwarrior 2: Titanium Edition
- WarCraft: Orcs and Humans
- Star Wars Dark Forces
- Spear of Destiny (Wolfenstein 3D)
- Half Life (The first one before Steam. Published by Sierra)
- Wipeout XL
- High Octane
- Twisted Metal 2
- Blood 2: The Chosen
- System Shock
- Duke Nukem 3D
- Crusader: No Remorse (DOS Only)
- Crusader: No Regret (DOS Only)
- Blade Runner
- Mortal Kombat Trilogy
- Mortal Kombat 3
- Mortal Kombat 4
- X-Com UFO Defense
- X-Com Apocalypse
- Inherent Evil
- Atomic Bomberman
- Metal and Lace 2
- Blood Omen Legacy of Kain
- Elder Scrolls
- Terminator Rampage
- Battle Arena Toshinden
- Star Control 2
- Full Throttle
- Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger
- Special thanks to *Viper* for donating many games from his collection to put on this and the other "Retro Gaming PC's".
All in all I am very pleased with this build and have already got many hours of enjoyment out of it. I am going to work on some custom "art" to put on the case, to make it look like more than a gutted modified HP system, and more like its name. When I do, I will be sure to post it here.
There are a few games I am trying to track down for the system, the most wanted of them all being "Blade Runner", I lost my copy long ago. Perhaps I will get lucky and run across one in the near future. Until then, I think the 25 games I have on there already are more than enough to hold me over. :)