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visual c++ 7.1 vs 7.0 vs 6.0

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i wanted to see if there are some major differences / general differences between visual c++ 7.1, 7.0 and 6.0. the reason why i need to know what differences there are is because i wan't to be sure i am compiling the most appropriate run time files or components for game development so that all goes well and it will be supported on windows 95 as my target os and of course, i would want it to run all the way up till windows 10. 

it's also important to know because so far, i have not gotten an answer on the relationship between installing other software such as platform sdk and directx 8.0a sdk or other things. from what i've researched, you normally would / should combine visual c++ runtime files with the directx 8.0a sdk, however, do i also need the platform sdk or would having just the directx 8.0a sdk + linking visual c++ files be the general steps of making my game? 

another issue is the whole linking part in general, some people mention visual basic or visual studio should be installed for game development, but as far as i know, only visual basic 6.0 works on windows 95, at least, i have not have any confirmation on whether visual studio .net 2002 - 2003 work and if so, what exactly do these programs do in relevance to making my game. i have looked at the box on visual studio .net 2002 and it has windows 95 listed in the support list, however this doesn't tell me anything about whether it installs on windows 95 / and or what the program does exactly, how to use it in general or why i would need it alongside anything else.

to be more straightforward with the whole visual c++ versions, i mainly wan't to know which version offers the best performance if i want to make a RPG game and i need the game to use the least amount of resources as possible and be as least taxing on the CPU, since i would like to implement a lot of detail, pixel shaders, textures, vertex shaders, shadows, lighting, water, etc, i really want to know which exact software / APIs, runtimes, etc that i would need so my game can be compiled / made in the most efficient way possible, so for example, i would not want to implement the programming language python at all in my game.

Edited by cov3rt

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