I started building computers around the year 2000 and have never really done a complete build from scratch (for myself) after my first. I'd upgrade a part here and there, and over time everything has been replaced multiple times. However, I'm thinking, due to an upgrade hiatus (it took me a LONG time to "beat" Skyrim :-P), I'm at the end of the road. I'm close to the conclusion that, for the second time in my life, it makes sense for a fresh new build. I figure I'd run this past y'all first.
My next computer I'll use for both fun and work. On the fun side, it would ideally play modern games (Particularly, I'm eying Elder Scrolls VI and Baldurs Gate III) on decent settings on my 34" widescreen monitor. Work-wise, it needs to be able to run multiple docker containers and let me do other things (take notes in notion, google docs, etc.) while on a CPU-crushing video call. The budget is $1,500.
Here is my current setup and thoughts on each component: Photos: https://imgur.com/a/xyM07dx
Things that may be useful: Operating System:
Windows 10 Professional (from upgrading from Windows 7... the DVD is hopefully somewhere) PSU: Corsair TX850W
- It has been trusty for the last eight years, but may not have the needed connectors for today's stuff. Hard Drive: Crucial MX100 512 GB SATA SSD
- 2.5-Inch, No performance complaints (specs claim 6.0 Gb/s), although I'm running out of storage space. Optical Drive: Pioneer DVD-RW
- Do people still put these in new computers? I also have an external USB DVD drive I could use in a pinch. Case: Chieftec Dragon Mid Tower
- this old case is steel and heavy as shit, which is actually nice as my dogs and toddlers are unlikely to knock it over inadvertently. It has a window which I like, although cable management is a massive pain in the ass. I'm not too fond of the door that covers the buttons and optical drive and lost it long ago. Cooling: Custom water cooling setup
- I water-cooled in 2002, overclocking my Athlon XP 1700+ from 1.4Ghz to 2.5. It was awesome. The radiator and T-valve are the original gangsters. I'm on my fifth pump, with my last three being the Swiftech MCP655-B, which I like. The current water block is some D-Tek for the old CPU socket. The radiator is an old Chevy Impala radiator (I think) that this guy I met on a 3DMark (now Futuremark) forum (jb2cool?) custom modified and made a shroud that houses two 120mm fans. I had to drill the shit out of my case to mount this thing in there. I'm very nostalgic about this setup, but it would also be a huge pain to fit into a new case. Monitor: LG 34UM67-P 34
- 34" IPS widescreen; 5ms 2560 x 1080 60hz; is 60hz too slow these days? Keyboard and mouse: Logitech Chordless Wave
- USB dongle; wrists feel ok, no complaints
Things that probably will not be useful: Motherboard: Gigabyte P45T-ES3G
- I'm pretty sure I won't be reusing this. I also bought it to replace a more bad-ass motherboard that died when my previous power supply died and took it out with it. I do like how it had dual bios, though. CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 -
Been impressed with this CPU lasting as long as it has. I wet sanded it down to a mirror finish ready to overclock the shit out of it, but then never got to it as life got in the way. Memory:
4x4GB PC3-12800 DDR3 - G.Skill Ripjaws; ancient technology. Note: I want more than 16GB ram in my next build. GPU: Asus Geforce GTX 460
- My previous GTX 460 died at the height of bitcoin, and any modern GPU was stupidly expensive. Replacing mine was only $30 on eBay, so that's the route I went.
tl;dr: are any of the above bolded components still worthwhile in a modern PC build?
Welcome to the first RDAD Retro-gaming contest A bit of History:
- Year 1988 - Capcom releases the CPS1, an Arcade System Board designed for mining coins of youths pockets. The Wikipedist explain furthers details here!
- Year 1990 - Three years after Rickrolling , Capcom releases the game CARRIER AIR WING for CPS1 systems. A classical side-shotter with a nice plot and pretty straight-forward to play. pew pew pew
- Year 2015 - A Quarter Century after.. the G.O.A.T. contest start! You must beat your friends earning more score and show your feline reflexes at retrogames.
As someone could imagine, we need an emulator for play this game (maybe you are lucky enough to be the owner of the real machine.. but nah.. chances are 0,1%). So let's talk a bit of techie details.
There are many emulators that would run nicely the game. These emulators needs a ROM file
(An exact copy of the data stored in the original hardware cards inside the arcade machine). Of course, you will need a computer to run the emulator.
In this point, We will tell you that your computer needs very few requirements for run the emulator, so don´t be afraid of your machine's specs.
I'll recomend you to use this emulator: Kawaks
Kawaks is a software designed for Microsoft Windows that would run seamlessly on a wide variety of environments, spanning across all operating system versions since XP. It's higly customizable, but pretty straightforward to get things run.
There are others emulators, like Callus
, but Kawaks would work better with your graphic card (whatever it be) and the screenshot feature is easier than Callus. We will need to take screenshots, with whatever emulator you use, because this is the way to post your score, right? This point will be discussed later.
The second component, is the rom
. This file contains the whole game. You don´t need to open or decompress this file, it's ok as is, so you only need to download to a folder on your computer.
You need to download the emulator and the rom. For emulator, go to winkawaks website
. Under "downloads" option at the right column, you can download a zip package called WinKawaks.zip 1.63. For the contest, is enought to extract the executable file called winkawaks.exe to a folder.
For rom, you must search using google or similar to a file called cawing.zip (1.4mb). Romnation is a website that offers rom files for direct download. NOTE:
Downloading this type of files could be a Copyright Infringement
and I am not responsible whatever damage you could do to your system if you download this type of file. If you are not sure what are you doing, please, do not try to complete this guide.
After downloading the Rom file put winkawaks.exe and rom file to a folder on your hard drive (we will need this folder ahead, so keep in mind this detail). This is a pretty straightforward process. ATTENTION: Keep the rom zip file as is, decompressing is not needed.
After that, you must execute this: WinKawaks.exe
This is a portable version of the emulator, so you will not need to install anything on your computer.
Ok, I feel your excitement, so double click!. The emulator will show you a message about auto-configure the optimal graphics options.
After that, you are in the main screen with the SNK and CAPCOM logo.
Let´s do a quick tweak, head your pointer to File
Menu, and then: Configure Paths.
We will see a bunch of paths, but we are looking specifically at two under labels: ROMS2
. Clicking on browser buttons will bring you an explorer and you will choose this: ROMS2:
Find the directory where you uncompressed the whole thing on Second Step. SCREENSHOTS:
Choose your directory where the snapshots will be saved for further use. THIS IS IMPORTANT
Because the contest relies on your ability to post those screenshots.
We have time restraints, lets play! DAMN!. Point on File Menu -> Load Game. A gorgeus windows open in your eyes with a great lists of fine game for mature adults, but dont feel too excited, we only have one, CARRIER AIR WING, remember?, so let´s do some filtering setting the bulleted options to: Only available and then: Refresh. Does you see the game title? Yes? C'MON Put your speakers to 200% volume and double click! YaY!
CONTROLS SO FAR:
- Arrows for stay alive with your aircraf.
- A for shot small bullets.
- S for use big'ole massive destruction weapons.
- F3 for insert coin (Mmm, quick advice: You will NOT want to clog the "machine" with your bitcoins, because this will becomes a small issue as we explain later, but go ahead if you want, we don´t want to cut your teenager wings)
- F1 to play!!!
I will not explain you how to play, it's self explanable after 20 seconds.. choose your plane and pew pew pew..
And thats all! Nice? yes!
Ok, After finish the setup and play the game, let's talk about the contest. This will run a whole week starting at XXX and finishing at XXX Every time you die, you will be asked for your initials, and you will see the top chart. In this moment, TAKE A SCREENSHOT WITH THIS KEYS: CTRL + P
(Only for Kawaks). This will spawn a PNG file on the directory set on Third Step under the label SCREENSHOTS
. This is your entry to the contest. You must send a link to the PNG file (by imgur i.e.) to me and I'll collect all. Win the player with highest score. Resume:
- Duration : From 05/10/2015-00:01 To 05/17/2015-23:59
- Entry requirements: To be a RDAD member and (NOT PHOTOSHOPPED) screenshot of your score. Only one screenshot will be gathered by participant. Example of good entry (note the blue hue of the player score), this is another good entry.
- Prize: Highest score will win the right to wear a specially crafted flair priviledge (to be revealed very soon!) until the next comp! Winner will be anounced on 05/18/2015.
You can use whatever emulator of your choice, maybe you'd prefeer callus, or mame.. or play with a modded Xbox.. but I don´t know how to get screenshots on those ways. Additionally, we could accept any format that you are capable of snap the score chart. So set your smartphone ready, right? If you use CALLUS
, take in mind that you need to lower your screen deep colour to 16 bits and you will be able to take a screenshot with Windows: PRNT SCREEN
key.. Callus is easy, but this is a pain!
What if the score chart hides after 2 or 3 seconds? Wait until the intro. The machine will show you the current chart. (Did you remember the alert about clogging the machine with coins? This is because the machine will not show the chart if coins inserted, so you must expend all the coins prior to see the chart again).
Can I use my USB pad! well, some pads works, some not..you could try it under the Game menu, Redefine Keys.. and try it. NOTE TO CHEATTERS:
Due to the nature of emulators is more than easy to make cheats in game, like spawn more lives, slow down the pace, etc.. So we strongly encourage our participants to not do any cheat. We don´t cheat! right?. Well, in this point I want to say that there are better systems to play due to keyboards, gamepads. We cannont warrant a perfect balance between contestants, so please, don´t take things too serious, NefariousOaf
will win, isnt?. Oh, it's possible to "continue" the game using the 2nd player slot, but this will be considered as cheat!, so only one live!
Using USB pads will not be considered cheat. Keys works flawlessly, but due to the wide spectrum of hardware available, maybe your keyboard will not work nice, so feel free to ask and I'll try to find a solution, alternative keys, etc.. CONCLUSION:
At last! Feel absolutely free to ask me any details involving your set-up, mechanics, whatever..
Special Thanks to jpier
for his help! he's a good man. UPDATE at 05/10/2015
Update First Step: Removing direct link download due to copyright concerns. Update Second Step with new details about ROM and Emulator and the way it works. Update Date Format to dd/mm/yyyy to mm/dd/yyyy on Post's dates. Pew pew pew..boom!
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