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using the right version of windows os for your vintage daw rig



so you want to build a vintage retro windows DAW??

you can pretty much go by the amount of ram in the motherboard
heres a run down, note when i mention ram im talking about the max amount the board can take
not how much u have, go buy some ram!! ;)

intel motherboard /w <64mb ram = windows 3.1
intel motherboard /w <128mb ram = windows 95 osr2.5 @
intel motherboard /w 256-512mb ram = win98se / windows ME
intel motherboard /w 1gb ram = Windows 2000 / Windows ME / $
intel motherboard /w 2gb ram = Windows 2000 / XP pro (32bit)
intel motherboard /w 4gb ram = Windows 2000 / XP pro (32bit) / *
intel motherboard /w 6gb ram = Vista (64bit), Windows 7 (64bit) / *
intel motherboard /w 8gb ram = Vista (64bit), Windows 7 (64bit) / *
intel motherboard /w 16gb ram = Vista (64bit), Windows 7 (64bit) / *

if your pc has 6gb or more of ram, it may be best used for a more modern os + more modern programs
pc hardware with less then 4gb of ram can be bought very cheaply so why not buy a different system
to run old programs and run a 64bit os on your 6gb+ram hardware

@ win95 is alot more difficult to deal with, crashes are rampant,
reboots 10 times to get anything done. its not reccommended to mess with windows 95 but if you are crazy enough to try it,  between 256mb-380mb ram is reccommended
if using a vintage motherboard (prior to 1997), (6 x 64mb SIMM modules)
if using a pII/pIII mainboard (2-3 x 128mb DIMM modules)
if using a p4 or higher motherboard (2-3 x 128mb DDR)
see attached for example of one of these mid90s boards
*windows xp 64bit is not reccommended due to lack of support by some of the major software companies
not to say that its not possible, but u will run into restrictions for example no protools system works on xp64bit
$ if your motherboard manufacturer provides win98se/ME drivers for your board it may be suitable for win9x build
in this setup no more then 512mb ram is to be used, which would usually mean using 2 x 256mb DDR modules for the ram
you may be better off skipping vista, and using windows 7, meaning that you may have more options for compatible software
there are plenty of software that is compatible with vista, but if u are interested in trying a large amt of software u most likely will run into some that require 32bit vista and do not support 64bit, while some versions of apps would require windows 7 (32 or 64bit)

using the best fit os for your hardware is step 1..
finding + installing + learning the appropriate software for that operating sytem is step 2!!
this site is for exactly that purpose! to help you find plan & build a vintage DAW setup
that can still kick some ass even 15-20 years later!

ive attached typical examples of  motherboards  from the mid90s-early 2000s

an additional note about win95.. there was specific support written into the final update (osr2.5) for the p6 microarchitecture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P6_%28microarchitecture%29) so it may be best fit to use a pentium III cpu for win95 (using OSR2.5) despite the gains offered by p4 + above. this would mean using a motherboard from the 2000-2001 time period. the Tualatin was the last core based on the P6 micro-architecture www.cpu-world.com/Cores/Tualatin.html


--- Quote ---Period correct (Vintage AT Systems)

8086/XT     DOS 3.0 / 5.0   
286... Windows 3.0 & 3.1
386... Windows 3.11
486... Windows 3.11 & Windows 95 & WinNT 3.51
Pentium... Windows 95, NT4
Pentium MMX... Windows 98, NT4, 2000
Pentium II, Windows 98
Pentium III, Windows 98se
Pentium IV... 2000/XP

386 will run Win95, but depending on which 386 cpu, it wont be worthwhile
better to keep to win3.x / DOS on 386 platform

--- End quote ---

i have this win98se computer with a thing that says it is side stepping ram for way more than 512mb.  I wonder if win98se is even able to use the extra?


--- Quote from: 11223312344321 on November 25, 2018, 12:25:36 PM ---i have this win98se computer with a thing that says it is side stepping ram for way more than 512mb.  I wonder if win98se is even able to use the extra?

--- End quote ---

that feature was probably put into the motherboard to allow people with 2-4gb of ram installed to boot into win98 probably in the early 2000s time period when XP/2000 + 98se were still both popular os choices;
if you have more than 512mb ram in win98se it will cause problems and crashes; so they built that feature into the motherboard to ignore the rest of the ram it looks like


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