As a necessary part of our daily lives, it’s only natural that we would end up with aged and seemingly obsolete computer hardware eventually. Often we can be tempted to simply throw these old machines out and turn to upgrades, but that raises the issue of unnecessary electronic waste. Taking a look at some older games and contemporary interactive entertainment experiences, we want to examine how it’s possible to find life yet in your old computer systems. Old PCs can be much more flexible than we might assume, at least if you know where to look.
What Games Are Available?
This question will naturally depend on the power of your older system, but regardless of the machine’s original era, it’s possible to access a far wider library than many think. In basic terms, you’ll at least have access to thousands of older PC titles and emulated console games. Outside of the video gaming sphere, players can also usually engage with some new but lower requirement online slots titles like those from online casino Betway. Here, slot games like Mayan Eagle and Immortal Romance are far lighter than video games, and can usually be played on systems more than a decade old. Even live games should play fine, provided you follow the steps of this guide carefully.
Step One: Clean an Old Machine
Before worrying about installing the new, we first have to do away with the old. Cleaning a PC requires a two-pronged approach, managing both the computer’s internal storage and its physical case interior. First of all, let’s look at the physical.
The inside of a computer case is an area that many people overlook, often for years. During this time, a case will inevitably be filled with dust, and this dust can significantly impact performance and thermals. In some instances, too much dust build-up can cause a system to thermal-throttle, reducing overall performance, so we want to eliminate this variable.
If you’re facing a PC while looking at the front, the left side of the case is the one we want to remove. There are usually just a couple of big screws keeping this place, which can be taken off easily. Once the side is removed, marvel at years of dust build-up, and take the computer somewhere you don’t mind getting dirty. Compressed air from a can is your go-to here, or you can use more advanced tutorials if you need to get deeper into a system.
Once your PC is plugged back in, we then need to turn to the storage. Machines inevitably get bloated over time, so we’re going to want to start fresh. First, backup any media you want to keep onto external drives, find an install disk for the operating system, ensure you have the registration code handy, and then go through a full reformat as explained at Wikihow. Reinstall Windows from the CD or DVD, and then continue to the next step.
Step Two: Update all Necessary Drivers
With the hard work out of the way, you’ll now need to ensure all of your component software is up to date. Sometimes you might have an old disk laying around to perform this task for you, but there are easier solutions. Download and install any of the programs noted from this page on Techradar, and follow the install prompts. Note that you’re probably going to have to restart the PC multiple times during this process, but that’s normal. When complete, we can now move on to the games.
Step Three: Installing Your Entertainment
If you’re after the online casino titles as mentioned above, all that you’re going to need to do is access the webpage as you normally would. For PC games, a good starting place can be online stores like GOG and Steam. These will automatically configure many games with programs like DOSBOX if necessary. Otherwise, users can also turn to 3rd party websites to find a wide selection of full and complete legal titles to download.
The other potential path worth considering is that of emulation, to play console or mobile games on a new system. For this use, we’d recommend the program RetroArch to get started. This acts as a frontend for many different emulators, downloading and managing systems like Bluestacks with little effort. As for games, it’s legally safe to download any that you already own on an original system, so ROM sites are a solid bet.
If the above sounds too good to be true, that’s because it a rare case of the exception proving the rule. Too often we get caught up in the flash of the biggest AAA titles that we forget the road traveled, of older games that hold up perfectly well to their newer cousins. In the case of some online games, you might not even have to turn back the clock at all. From this point, all you need to do is keep regular PC maintenance in mind, and your new old gaming machine could keep you entertained for years to come. Just remember to clean out the case from time to time.