13 January 2019

Theoretical Optimal Machine for Windows XP

When Windows first released in 1985, eight years later Microsoft made the best 16-bit Windows in the name of Windows for Workgroup 3.11. Then another 8 years made the best 32-bit Windows called XP and yet another 8 years the best 64-bit Windows 7 was born.

After that PC kind of hit the wall in term of hardware requirement for general users, although clockspeed has been stagnant for different reason and CPU maker has to resolve to multicore and parallelism. For the memory usage, it is not the "640K ought to be enough for anybody." case but  it is 64-bit memory addressing that ought to be enough for anybody. The problem was serious that Windows even try to backpedal, adapt and imitate the supposedly inferior (by hardware resources) mobile platform to get new users. We have been in 64-bit x86 era for 15 years and in term of memory it is far from reaching the limit. Compare that to 16-bit and 32-bit x86 era which each last for a decade.

Going back to the title, by now we may count by hand the number of new hardware driver that support Windows XP so what the optimal hardware for 32-bit XP? Hmm... I imagine:

ASUS Z9PA D8 mainboard (a)
Intel Xeon E5-2673 v2 (b)
128GB DDR3-1866 Non-ECC UDIMM (c)

Geforce GTX 980 (d)
Matrox m9188 (e)
LSI MegaRAID 2208 (f)
Creative E-MU 1616m (g)
an extra USB 3.1 Controller in PCIe :)

(a) It's ATX and fit XP limitation of Dual Processor. All onboard components support XP.
(b) XP limit: max 32 logical processors, in this case HT is enabled. Using Broadwell,  E5-2697 v4 will be optimal without HT.
(c) XP supposedly see it through 37-bit PAE and could use RRamdisk to hosts  multiple pagefiles.

(d) CUDA 6.5.19 has official driver for it, Titan X is possible with DevId injection mod.
(e) The only video card support a  lot of monitors in XDDM mode, up to 8.
(f) ASUS special PIKE module for 8 channel RAID SAS 6G
(g) Although very old this is the only with good DAC/ADC, hardware DSP and EAX/gaming compatible.

Well using later Intel generation also works, but it wont be optimal as some component such 10G Ethernet or USB3 will be unusable/disabled. With such configuration I think even 32-bit XP can do amazing task as long as parallelism achieved by multi-processes  manner such master-slave processes or jobs queue manager for optimal memory usage.


  1. Hi there,

    Can I ask you if you are going to update your wget,curl releases please? They are very useful.


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