Can I set up home network to boost older PC (pref Windows)


May 28, 2010
Hi guys,

Basically, I'm trying to play co-op with a friend on my home PC plus using xbox 360 controllers (with or without xpadder depending on each games' supports). I can't get any game to allow 2 player options to appear on my PC, even though my hard/soft wares support split screen or can connect & divide or replicate over 4 monitors, no game's software will allow two characters to play over the one system. Obviously there'd be no way peripherals like controllers/keyboard be allocatable to each player obviously & there is more required than the display to support two instances of the game running over one PC. I'm thinking the only way to play with friends (no internet connection needed) like on a real xbox is to hook up a home network via lan using 2 pcs.

My problem is that I don't really have a second computer. The only one at hand does not have high enough system requirements to simply link up a home network and play. The only way I think if I can make the second computer see the first as a server and share processing power and GPU (VC) power.

I have a quad core system with 2x radeon 4870s as my primary and an old p4 with an AGP slot that supports and nVidia card that was good in the days when the p4 wasn't so obsolete that obviously needs boosting. Most games seem to only address 2 threads/cores. ************* **(btw apologies for my naivite, no idea how networking rly works. If possible would be great to assign 2 for the use of my main system when playing certain games and allocate the other two cores to boost the other system if there is any type of software that would allows this kind of control???)************

So over this home network with above specs, can I boost the p4 system's processing power/GPU sharing if I could make one system run like a server and allocate it's resources to the second system? Or share both?

*Sorry for the totally obvious blunders, I've never set up a network for some reason and have no idea about the basic mechanics or terminology involved even though I should understand your responses as I'm otherwise fairly computer savvy.

*I think the second computer (p4 crapper) has an AGP slot so I can't just put one of my VC cards into it if anyone was going to suggest that

*I am unfamiliar with linux and usually recommended operating systems that a quick google search suggested but it seems there may be software to assist with setting this up on Windows? I'm using Windows 7 on the primary system. Must the secondary match or is XP on that a problem?

I was going to hook them up together via the wifi router using ethernet cable to set up a lan network. From there I have no idea how to instruct the system to reallocate CPU power if this is possible. Same goes for RAM (obviously different types) and VC components (esp as one is nVidia vs ATI and AGP vs PCIe if this matters).

Suggestions please? No matter how curly I like workarounds so a challenge is no problem. A flat "Not possible would be a much larger disappointment. Thanks in advance.



For games, this is not possible. Your 2nd computer will need a lightening fast network connection like a supercomputer cluster to be able to offload game and rendering on the primary PC. Games are real time and thus this is even harder to accomplish (even in theory).

Your best bet is to either get your friend to bring his computer, or the two of you pitch in and get a used computer, or something else along those lines.

At best, you can set your more powerful computer as the server, offloading some very minor processings from the slower computer, but this is very negligible.