New hard drive = Wing Commander Marathon!

I never called you an idiot Mav. But you obviously are one if you take anything Ghost says seriously (or take anything I say seriously either).
Here's my suggestions/insights for a "Wing Commander" PC, capable of playing every retail WC game made (these are the minimum requirements):

-"Mega-Mutha" multisync monitor (I suggest a 20 incher!)
-CPU: anything from 300Mhz on upwards
-RAM: 64 MB
-4 GB HDD or more (ideally a HDD w/ 7200 RPM speed)
-SB 64 ISA sound card
-Voodoo 2 card or better (Voodoo neccessary for WCP/SO Glide gaming goodness)
-Ergonomic keyboard (MS natural type), for more comfortable extended flight sessions
-Saitek X36 combo (stick/throttle)
-Speakers as you like (I'm not much of an audiophile)
-56K modem (for you Armada diehards; I confess I don't know much about Armada's requirements for online play--feel free to correct me)

-DOS 6.22 or equivalent (PC-DOS or DR-DOS v6 or better should do nicely
-Win 3x (if for no other reason than to better configure the "old" X36 driver/configuration software)
-Win 9x (hey, if you can get Win ME/2000/XP to work on it, go for it, but 9x is pretty reliable)
-Partition Magic (even older versions to v3-4 or so should do), for easiest HDD setup, esp. for setting up for multiboot
-Freeware XOSL program (eXtended Operation System Loader, from to run your multiboot setup, once you've sliced up the HDD the way you want it
-Needless to say, drivers for all the applicable H/W (vidcard/sdcard/controller combo/etc.)
-LAST BUT NOT LEAST:Any WC game you can beg, borrow, steal or otherwise bring to the table! (Me, the only thing I lack is WC: KS; I got all the other ones, incl. Priv 1 & 2...)

These spec's may sound kinda primitive, but you need to remember that the last WC release was in '97-98 (WCP/SO) era, and these were more "state of the art" for the time than they currently are. Here's the rationale for these choices:

1) These are the spec's of the system I've been using for the last 4 years, and it's never let me down!...
2) If all you're doing on this box is WC, 4 GB HDD is plenty of room, and ditto for the 64 MB RAM.
3) SB 64 ISA soundcard for better quality and no-fuss/no-muss sound configuration: No messing around with stupid "DOS-box" sound/driver issues (if you wanna play WC 1-4 under Win 9x), like on more advanced PCI cards.
4) Voodoo card for proprietary Glide graphics on WCP/SO. This may be accomplished via a multi-videocard/video switchbox setup, if you wish to play "other" games as well. Voodoo 2 (esp. in SLI setup) would be ideal, or maybe Voodoo 3.
5) Saitek X36 is, to this day, one of the best HOTAS setups ever made. The advantage of this over the more recent "X45" combo is that it is usable/configurable in DOS/Win 3x, as well as Win 9x (None of the more modern combo's do that, that I know of)... Just be sure you get the older driver/configuration software for it.

Patent pending, copyrighted. all rights reserved, etc. ... Discuss amongst yourselves. :D

(P. S. to Admin's: Feel free to relocate this as its own thread on the Tech forum; I just posted it here 'cuz I was responding to LOAF's initial bringing it up here)
I wouldn't call those specs primitive at all, even today I'd be lucky to have some of those things.
Here's what I'm building right now. Feel free to make any comments... if they're good, I'll change stuff. :)

Basic System:

CPU: P3 600... fast enough to do Prophecy with the high res patch... slow enough that you can still knock it down to play WC1 fairly easily.

Hard Drive: 80 GB... okay, there was a sale. 80 cost less than 60. So sue me :) I've divided it into one 40 gig Win98 partition, one 2 gig DOS 6.22 partition and then a whole mess of small FAT-16 logical drives. Has enough space to copy all the WCIV and (someday) Prophecy DVD movies.

Floppy Drive: Epson dual 3.5/5.25" drive... works great for getting old data off of 5.25" disks.

DVD Drive: Pretty much anything will work fine.

128 megs of RAM.

Motherboard: I tracked down an Abit BX6 (rev 1) for this... since it's got three ISA slots, it's the best quality 'modern' board I could think of.


Voodoo 5 5500 AGP -- plays all the 3Dfx stuff fine... and makes them look even better than they were originally with the FSAA rendering stuff! They even fixed Glide for the Voodoo 5 cards, so you can do the Prophecy 3Dfx Test!

Hollywood RealMagic Plus PCI -- DVD decoder card that allows you to play Wing Commander IV DVD (same as a Creative Labs DXR board... although it seems smaller, which is a plus here).

SoundBlaster Live 5.1 PCI -- for all your Windows 9x stuff. It'll play Wing Commander IV with surround sound and the movie with its full Dolby 5.1 track. And you can install the 'Prophecy' soundfont dealy from an old LiveWare...

SoundBlaster 16 ISA -- for the sound effects of everything but WC3 and WC4 in DOS. Be sure and get a *non-PnP* SB16 (any one with a CT number starting with 1 rather than 2). Jumpers sound scary, but they're the best way of making everything happy in DOS. Set the MIDI emulation stuff to port 300 just to get it out of the way.

Roland RAP-10 ISA -- for General MIDI music (Privateer, Privateer 2, Armada) and specialized digital stuff (WC3, WC4). Set it to port 330... no driver required!

External Stuff:

Roland MT-32 (External) -- A MIDI module that will play the special sound effects and best music in WC1, WC2 and Academy. Plug it into the MIDI port of the RAP-10 with a MIDI adaptor... thing.

33.6 Modem -- An external 33.6 modem is best for playing Armada. Easy to configure!

Thrustmaster FCS/WCS/RCS Combo -- The best joystick setup for WC is the whole Thrustmasted package... some games will support everything, (Privateer 2, for instance, likes the rudder pedals) and many will support at least the HOTAS setup.

Microsoft SideWinder FF -- Locate an original Sidewinder stick for all your Windows stuff... it's got a 'Prophecy' Force Feedback profile.

Keyboard: An old IBM PS-2 K(?)-type... I've got several WC keyboard layouts (Prophecy and Privateer) that fit on a standard keyboard. And the old ones are so rugged. A generic MS wheelmouse should work fine as the mouse... the laser-mice seem a bit problematic in DOS.

I haven't really decided on a monitor yet -- suggestions welcome. For speakers, it looks like I'm going to go with the Creative 5700 5.1 setup... I'm going to need a monitor TV-in for playing console WCs...

Stuff I'd like to get but probably won't for a while:

- I'd like to track down a 3DO Blaster. They're rarer than hens teeth, require a special CD-ROM and would simply fulfill the function already performed by my external 3DO... but it'd be neat to have one.

- I'd like to find a WC mousepad. Just to make everything look nice. :)

- I'd like to build some kind of specialized -- dare I say 'cockpit' -- to hold all this stuff together.
...KNEW I'd forget something crucial:


I know it's taken a lot of criticism, but moslo has always worked for me to be able to get WC1 to work on a faster PC. Prob is, U need patience to fiddle around w/ the settings (in 5% increments). I find 45% works for WC1 on my system...
I'm not so sure about the SB 16 sound card. I tried it and had to return it, it didn't fix Prophecy at all.
Originally posted by LeHah
I never called you an idiot Mav. But you obviously are one if you take anything Ghost says seriously (or take anything I say seriously either).

Is that like "Take my advice. Don't listen to anything I say."?
Unless I say "Seriously" or I'm talking about Wing Commander, take everything I say with a grain of salt.
Originally posted by Ghost

According my English teacher it is YOU not U :rolleyes:
Boy, you surely must know English better than me...

methinks the boy is beginning to learn about a thing we call (en Ingles) "irony"...
Away from petty squabbling and back to WC...

Just skimmed through...
Originally posted by Bandit LOAF
DVD Drive: Pretty much anything will work fine.
Including the WCIV-DVD?

Originally posted by Bandit LOAF
I'd like to build some kind of specialized -- dare I say 'cockpit' -- to hold all this stuff together.
Sounds like a brilliant idea! :)
Including the WCIV-DVD?

Yup -- the drive doesn't matter as long as you've got an appropriate decoder card.

All Wing Computer's internal guts have been installed! I'm gonna pick up a monitor this afternoon and start configuring... stuff.