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  • Building a Retro PC and what it takes to run old machines
  • Building a Retro PC and what it takes to run old machines


    Hosts: Dennis Garcia and Darren McCain
    Time: 30:33

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    Originally recorded March 2021

    Show Notes

    Back in the day there was a formula to building a computer.  You would start with your ultimate goal.  Generally the goals back then are the same now, you would strike a balance between performance and cost with the tweaks focused on the reason for building the PC.  If your goal was to do office work then your PC build would focus on processing power and memory while for gaming computers you might spend more money on a good video card, or make sure a build came with a CD ROM drive. 

    Of course the point is the formula worked and the phrase “It depends on what you are planning to do” was a real response.  These days performance is higher than ever and while the build formula still exists the ramifications of picking wrong are not as impactful.  If you pick the wrong processor now your game impact might be 10-20fps whereas back in the 486 and early Pentium days 10-20fps was life or death.

    In this episode the duo talk about a new PC that landed in the lab as a vintage purchase of ebay.  The machine is a 486 33Mhz built back in 1991 and might have been a pinnacle machine for the time.  It showed up with two hard drives, maxed out the memory support and was completely filled with expansion cards and unlike a modern PC you could tell that the case had been removed numerous times indicating that the upgrades had been performed well after it was initially built.

    Look for a build video of this machine and others on the Hardware Asylum YouTube channel really soon.

    Episode 121 featured music:
    Little People - Start Shootin' (http://www.littlepeoplemusic.com/)