ok a quick update, after realizing xp 32 bit grossly limits RAM, i found an old 7 install disc and updated the OS to win 7, and now everything i've tried is running pretty smoothly! some other questions for you all though-
A) although i fully understand that ideally a CRT monitor is the way to go to display these graphics, that's just not the direction i'm going with this computer, or a future cabinet. with that being said, what do you guys recommend to best replicate the look of these games as far as the mame plus resolution settings are concerned?
B) i'm downloading lots of update packs, a random example would be (MAME 0.157 to 0.158 Update Pack). i'm going to guess these are compatibility updates? where would i place these in the MAME plus file structure? roms folder?
C) would you all recommend trying to add a graphics card? things seem to work ok now, but i haven't run things like sega later games, (house of the dead, harley davidson la riders, daytona, etc) because i don't have that bios. would say, a 1 gb graphics card be recommended for something like this? or visual pinball perhaps?
D) where in the file structure for MAME plus do the BIOS files go?
E) one game i want to get working is daytona. i've only been able to find japanese versions, which don't run well anyways. without breaking the rules here, i'm not asking WHERE they might be found, but do working US versions of this exist at all? i have a steering wheel with force feedback which i would like to use in that game.
i know this is a lot, thank you all so much for any help you all might be able to offer, it's so appreciated