1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What pc would you say is retro?

Discussion in 'Retro Gaming and Vintage Computing' started by Cyber-Mav, 21 Oct 2020.

  1. Cyber-Mav

    Capodecina

    Joined: 30 Jul 2005

    Posts: 16,018

    Location: Midlands

    How far back we talking here? Socket 7 or older? 32 bit only? If its 64bit cpu then not considered to be retro?
    Your thoughts?
     
  2. Tee Hee Johnson

    Mobster

    Joined: 30 May 2007

    Posts: 4,487

    Location: Glasgow, Scotland

    Anything before Pentium 4 is what i consider retro.
     
  3. clv101

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 10,807

    Location: Bristol

    Agreed, I think of the Pentium 4 as the first 'modern' processor.
     
  4. Zefan

    Don

    Joined: 15 Jan 2006

    Posts: 31,106

    Location: Tosche Station

    Foe me it comes down to hardware that wouldn't reasonably be able to run anything close to a moder operating system. Windows 7 does seem to actually be actually finally, properly dead now, but it took a long time and as a result my feelings drag with it. For me this means tstik consider any hardware that would need an OS older than 7 to function properly, which I think is anything pre Core 2, or Athlon X2 ish.
     
  5. Quartz

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Apr 2014

    Posts: 13,849

    Location: Aberdeen

    For me, retro means DOS-based, and that includes Windows 9x. Windows 2000 marks the change. No, Windows NT and 95 / 98 don't count. Windows NT was too restrictive. With Windows 2000 I had a decent Windows OS in which I could both run games and be productive without rebooting and didn't crash. OS/2 worked fine for me in the 90s until copy protection mechanisms became obnoxious. But when Windows 2000 came out I switched immediately.

    My backup PC would probably be entirely fine running Windows 2000.
     
  6. jsmoke

    Capodecina

    Joined: 17 Jun 2012

    Posts: 10,617

    Athlon xp.
     
  7. Haze

    Mobster

    Joined: 10 Jan 2007

    Posts: 3,781

    Not sure I would call any pc "retro" unless you are classing something like a BBC or Amiga or old IBM as PC's
     
  8. almoststew1990

    Soldato

    Joined: 12 May 2011

    Posts: 5,623

    Location: Southampton

    I think it's not a hard boundary between retro and not retro, and more of a grey area. I also think there might be 3 categories. Modern, not modern, and retro. It's also going to be (at least partly) based on feelings and nostalgia rather than any more measurable quality.

    If you say its "you can't comfortably do every day tasks on the hardware today", well, Windows 7 no longer has proper support from Microsoft causing people to move on from it, but I could probably do my work for the day on my 386 with W3.1 and MS Works installed - just writing a report and basic excel stuff today. XP sits in the middle but is even more vulnerable than 7 is now and you need an old version of spotify, no steam support, old browsers etc.

    If you say "the only reason you would buy it is because of its inherent value and your desire to have it and not for the computing power it provides", or similarly "it has been comprehensively superseded so why would you use it" then I think the cut off would be Pentium 4 as the youngest retro PCs. But you can get a similar age Socket 939 with PCI-E which is not that retro. Core 2 Duos and DDR2 ("not modern") are literally pennies and are usable in Windows 10 but Pentium 4's and DDR RAM are starting to get more expensive.

    Some of the PCs we build just for fun, like my C2Q 4890Xfire PC, are not really retro but offer no modern gaming value - the £40 I spent on the two graphics cards could have bought me a second hand R9 280 or something which could at a stretch play modern-ish games.

    Even when playing retro games there is retro within retro. The easiest way to play 3D accelerated games from say 1998 to 2007 is XP or 7 on a core 2 Duo and pretty much any PCI-E graphics card, but we chose to do it on a range of much worse systems - any of which I would class as retro because of that.

    Vista and a 8800GT are retro because of their status rather than age. W7 and an 8600GT is not retro because they don't have that status.

    For me personally, 775 is not retro, 478 is retro, 939 is sort of a grey area, 754 is retro and AM2 is not. Vista is retro, arguably more so than XP as you have to specifically want to make a Vista PC to do it. Nvidia 9000 series is not retro, 8000 series is grey area, 7000 series is retro. AMD 5000 series is not, 1000 series is, the ones in between are a grey area - which is quite a big grey area.
     
  9. Cyber-Mav

    Capodecina

    Joined: 30 Jul 2005

    Posts: 16,018

    Location: Midlands

    775 is deffo not retro some chips on that platform have a fair bit of grunt and can run windows 10 too.
    looks like its got to be a 32bit only or less cpu to be classed as retro.
    got to set a hard limit on this cuz i got people saying nehalem cpus are retro which is not right.
     
  10. Armageus

    Don

    Joined: 19 May 2012

    Posts: 12,916

    Location: Spalding, Lincolnshire

    I think a general cut off point can be when 64 bit processors were launched

    So anything up to and including Northwood P4's and anything up to and including the last Socket A Athlons
     
  11. Cyber-Mav

    Capodecina

    Joined: 30 Jul 2005

    Posts: 16,018

    Location: Midlands

    and what about gpus? everything AGP and downwards is retro pcie is not retro?
     
  12. Quartz

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Apr 2014

    Posts: 13,849

    Location: Aberdeen

    So before 1991 and the MIPS R4000?
     
  13. Quartz

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Apr 2014

    Posts: 13,849

    Location: Aberdeen

    I think that everything before integrated 3d (Geforce 256?) should be retro.

    Jeebus but this thread is showing how old I am.
     
  14. GeX

    Soldato

    Joined: 17 Dec 2002

    Posts: 6,486

    Location: Manchester

    For me it's not so much the hardware, but the software it can run.
    I have an LGA 775 board that supports Win98, that's retro to me. It means I can play Win 9x and DOS games on it.
    It has an FX5200 GPU in it. Not as retro cool as a Voodoo 5 or Geforce 4 - but it has hardware support for fog and lighting effects that 9x era games need. No newer cards have that.
     
  15. Cyber-Mav

    Capodecina

    Joined: 30 Jul 2005

    Posts: 16,018

    Location: Midlands

    old stuff like that i binned a long time ago, riva tnt cards, voodoo 3s, ati rages, cirrus logic, nec videologic power vr addon type card all binned. doubt anyone uses them these days other than to just look at?
     
  16. almoststew1990

    Soldato

    Joined: 12 May 2011

    Posts: 5,623

    Location: Southampton

    So the 5900 PCIE is not retro but a ATi 4650 AGP is?

    I think DX 10 is a cleaner cut off for the start of Not Retro
     
  17. Cyber-Mav

    Capodecina

    Joined: 30 Jul 2005

    Posts: 16,018

    Location: Midlands

    ahh yes there were some interesting crossover cards being back ported to agp, both nvidia and ati used to have pcie to agp bridge chips used in the cards. guess those are not gonna be retro?
     
  18. cee-S-dee

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 5 Dec 2002

    Posts: 1,531

    Location: The 80's

    If it natively supports Win98... its retro :)
     
  19. Journey

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 10,000

    Location: West Midlands

    Pentium 60/66/90 era, going back to the 486 and older is obviously vintage computing these days, but I feel that the early 90's prior to the Slot 1 Pentium II's coming out and some sort of 3D graphics accelerator becoming common place is real retro. Basically borderline 3D crossover territory. :)
     
  20. mmj_uk

    Caporegime

    Joined: 26 Dec 2003

    Posts: 25,613

    It all depends on what you want to do with it, by today's standards AMD Bulldozer is pretty retro as nobody in their right mind would buy one now for current day usage.

    If you're talking about DOS gaming then a processor without on-die cache running at full speed is probably most suitable.