Hardware Helping Hand – Oldschool PC Way

You’ve got a 3GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, a 35″ monitor running at 4800×2400 , 10-speaker digital surround sound speakers, a Voodoo9 Xtreme 2+ (with the latest drivers), and mad, even bitchin’, gaming skillz for Clash Royale gemmes. For some reason, though, your Quake 7: Fleshfest stutters on occasion, and even Solitaire seems to lag. Even worse, you sometimes get the dreaded “blue screen of death” (BSOD). Your best friend, on the other hand, has a 386, 1MB RAM (including the Extended RAM), a 12″ green screen monitor, and he uses the PC speaker for sound. His machine will run Q7F just fine, though, and it never, ever crashes. What’s the frickin’ deal?!

It’s time to optimize your machine for better gaming performance, and just better performance overall. Before we delve into this, some assumptions have to be made. We are assuming the following as your minimum system:

– Win 95/98
– 300MHz or faster CPU
– 64MB or more RAM
– The latest drivers for your hardware (sound card, audio card, etc.)
– 1.5GB free hard drive space
– Virus-scanning software with up-to-date virus definitions
– A basic knowledge of how to use a computer
– A day or so to do all this stuff

If your machine does not meet these requirements, then it’s probably more important for you to upgrade first. Upgrading may very well solve several of your game-related problems. Also note that this article is geared toward users of Win95/98. Some of the suggestions we go into here will simply not apply to users of Windows NT.

We’ve put these optimizations in the order that they should be done. Start at the top, and skip the steps that don’t apply to you. Note that I’ve done all the things listed here to my own PC; I wouldn’t tell you to do something without trying it myself first. However, if weird things begin happening, it’s possible to undo all of these steps (except the FAT conversion) by reversing the instructions.

OK, it’s time to go play tech nerds! (At least our machines don’t crash.)