Should I hang on to my old PC for playing older Windows games?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by Dirtyharry50, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. Dirtyharry50 macrumors 68000

    Dirtyharry50

    Joined:
    May 17, 2012
    #1
    I'm in a bit of a quandary over which is the best way to go here. I got a new iMac with a gorgeous 27" display that I really love to use and it is perched atop a brand new spacious computer desk. Meantime, in the same room I relocated the old PC to a smaller student desk. The smaller desk is kind of cramped and I tend to bump one of the computer speakers with the mouse which isn't the end of the world but it is annoying just the same.

    Originally, my thought was to keep the old PC and use it just for old games, meaning anything from 2006 and earlier which does not support widescreen resolutions since this old PC has a 1280 x 1024 19" display. So with a minimum of fuss, stuff just displays right on it that is older. The thing is, I have become spoiled now by the new iMac which is whisper quiet unlike the old PC which sounds like a jet plane with all its fans going. It is really loud. The new Mac has really nice Bose speakers that sound great, Series 20 ones. The Mac has a noticeably superior display, the quality of the display is just beautiful. The old one isn't terrible but the difference between them is certainly obvious. Lastly, it is just more comfortable working and playing on the roomy new computer desk.

    So I started thinking about just gaming on the Mac and either giving away or storing away the old PC. I already have a bootcamp partition setup and it works very nicely. I play EverQuest 2 there and it runs great at high settings. Anything I couldn't get to run in OS X would run there just fine.

    Here's the thing, if I stick with just using the Mac the geek in me I guess it is, wants to run my MS-DOS GOGs with Boxer in OS X and whatever I can for old and newer Windows games in OS X as well, probably using WINE via CrossOver. The tradeoff is that this adds work and expense. After all, as things stand right now I am already all setup to just play games with a minimum of screwing around to get them to work. But the iMac is just so damned nice to use and look at. So I am thinking maybe I should shelve the old PC and learn to run what I can in OS X and bootcamp the rest.

    I am a little hesitant to get into running all the old stuff that doesn't support widescreen on a widescreen because I know nothing about doing that. I don't know if it just tends to run pillar boxed by itself by default or if I have to screw around with various settings somehow to make that happen per game. For the most part, I don't think I want to run games in Windows as it would be an immersion killer for me but maybe I am wrong. It isn't like I've tried it.

    Anyway, thanks for reading this far! I came here to ask you guys for your opinions of what you'd do in this case. For the sake of zero hassles and simplicity would you use the lesser PC for playing old games or would you use the nicer Mac for everything although it involves more work? I originally posted this on the GOG forums and figured I would try here too for some more feedback. Thanks for any opinions and/or advice.
     
  2. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #2
    Depends on your video driver.

    I know Nvidia on my PC will put non-widescreen resolutions on a widescreen display with blank space on the sides (i.e., it letterboxes it) so the aspect ratio is correct.

    not sure if the ATI drivers in the iMac do that, but if you have an nvidia model, you should be all good. Try it and see?

    I have a widescreen display on my PC, and had no issue. I don't rememer any issues doing this when I had my MBP hooked up to the same display, but I haven't run bootcamp for a while.

    i don't think i have any issues running old games in dosbox under OS X either.

    Essentially I'm in the same boat - however I'm keeping my old PC around for a little bit longer (for gaming)as the MBP fans are noisy running games, and the video is about the same as the PC i have which has plenty of storage, etc. Dragon Age and Falcon 4 BMS don't work under emulation, and no space on the MBP for bootcamp anymore...
     
  3. Dirtyharry50 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dirtyharry50

    Joined:
    May 17, 2012
    #3
    Yeah, I think I am going to do a little experiment tonight and try running an old DOS game using DOSBox and also an old Windows game and see how they display by default.

    My iMac has the Radeon 6970M GPU.
     
  4. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #4
    I've got an elderly PIII 3.1 Ghz sitting in a box out in the garage in it's box that I used to use for gaming. Most of the older games I might want to play like the orig HL or Vampire The Masquerade I can play on Mac Steam or Windows Steam. So I won't be keeping it. I wonder if it has any sales value?
     
  5. doh123 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    #5
    what does widescreen have to do with it?

    Most games on a widescreen monitor just ignore the widescreen part and look just like they were on a non-widescreen monitor.

    If you have an iMac like that, I don't see any reason to hold onto the old machine. You iMac can do everything you need, including older games.
     
  6. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #6
    I doubt is has any resale value. If it's a 3.1Ghz is a late gen P4 (Prescot or Cedar mill), the highest clocked P3s was the Tualatin version and was clocked from 1-1.4Ghz.

    I still have a 2.8Ghz Prescott with HT running in a server in daily use, so it's still very viable, but the resale value is very low.
     
  7. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #7
    I stand corrected. It must be a P4 because it is 3.1 Ghz. Where I live they do electronics recycling the first Sat of every Month...
     
  8. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #8
    If it's a prescott it's on a 775 socket, which means with a bios upgrade it can perhaps use Core Due or even Core 2 Duo CPUs.

    At least here you can get old Core Cpus for next to nothing used and you'll have a pretty capable machine you can give away to friends or family.
     
  9. laetusviator macrumors member

    laetusviator

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    #9
    Honestly, I would ditch the old PC (is there anyone you can give it away to?) and just stick with your new mac.

    Boxer is awesome, but you probably know that already. Bootcamp will serve you well for anything that won't run natively. For new stuff, there's lots of great games on Steam for mac now. (And of course there are lots of games on the Mac App Store too!)
     
  10. Dirtyharry50 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dirtyharry50

    Joined:
    May 17, 2012
    #10
    Actually, my nephew is still using my last old PC which is pretty damned old, playing mostly Minecraft on it. This old PC would be quite a nice upgrade for him. He asked me if he could have it when he heard I was getting the iMac but I told him at the time I thought I might want to hang onto it for older games. I have decided I am going to give it to him after all. It will be nice to see it go to someone in the family who will get plenty of use out of it.

    I did my little test using Windows 7 in bootcamp to try out some old stuff on the widescreen and I understand now it is no big deal. The games displayed beautifully, just with black borders at the sides where they don't support widescreen modes. This is all stuff from 2006 and earlier that mostly doesn't support widescreen. I am aware of the widescreen gaming forums so on a case by case basis I will check them out to see about mods or tweaks to take full advantage of the screen size are available. I was very happy though that just a default install of some old games fired up and worked great. It was painless and who doesn't like that?

    I think I was being silly now to even think of holding onto the old computer when I could be using this new beauty instead. I just didn't know any better until I did a little experimenting and questions asking. :)

    Oh, and someone told me about Parallels which might be very cool for all the older stuff. Performance for that stuff should be a non-issue and i already own a valid Windows XP license and disc so I could use that with Parallels. So going forward I might fool around with that as well as Crossover and Boxer just to minimize reboots into Windows. I have mixed feelings about whether bothering is actually worth it since I have the bootcamp option now and that just works with zero effort on my part. The only tradeoff is having to reboot to play and then reboot to go back to OS X but then it really doesn't take very long.
     
  11. laetusviator macrumors member

    laetusviator

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012

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