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Delusional performance of a 486 DX33

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Reply 20 of 35, by Baoran

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Cyberdyne wrote:

So strange to think i played all full Quake in 1996 from start to end with software rendering 320x200 and with a 486 DX-2/66 god, back in the day we were true masochists. 😵 I got a Pentium 133 in 1998... everything flied in there, but another sadistic period started, Half-Life with a Pentium 133, thank god i had a Voodoo to help me a little, but the in game loading times were miserable.

I was probably worse. I played doom on 386 33Mhz and 4Mb ram back then. Not sure exactly but probably 5 fps or less.

Reply 21 of 35, by BinaryDemon

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21603 wrote:

Also back in the day I was stupid enough to install Windows 95 on my machine and play the demo for Jedi Knight. Quake runs better.

Ha I ran JK2:Demo on an underspec’d machine as well- my DX4-100 with 12mb ram. I believe it said the minimum specs was P-75 and 16mb ram, so I was super impressed it ran decent at lowest resolution.

Check out DOSBox Distro:

https://sites.google.com/site/dosboxdistro/ [*]

a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

Make your dos retrogaming experience portable!

Reply 22 of 35, by BinaryDemon

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HanJammer wrote:

but I guess that amusement and excitement of playing these games as kids was more important back then than high fps.

This. Our expectations were lower. Most of us probably ran Doom at 20fps, and it was revolutionary. Now if my games run at <60fps then I’m annoyed.

I can believe people played Quake at <10fps.

Check out DOSBox Distro:

https://sites.google.com/site/dosboxdistro/ [*]

a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

Make your dos retrogaming experience portable!

Reply 23 of 35, by derSammler

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jmarsh wrote:
21603 wrote:

A CF card wouldn't be hurting performance in any way would it?

Not if you've got 16MB of RAM... assuming you do have smartdrv running?

Do not use Smartdrive if your storage is flash-based, as it will have a negative effect. Smartdrive is there to avoid lag caused by mechanical access times, which do not exist on flash-based media. All you do is to waste memory, which games can no longer use.

http://retro-net.de/blog.html

Reply 25 of 35, by The Serpent Rider

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I can believe people played Quake at <10fps.

Not sure about <10fps, but 486DX 133Mhz with 10-15fps is at least bearable.

Most of us probably ran Doom at 20fps, and it was revolutionary.

Doom, for the most part, is fine on 20fps. Because shooting is aim assisted. Quake has no such luxury.

That simply isn't true; compact flash in most cases doesn't support DMA and ends up slower than actual IDE drives. Its advantage is simplicity and convenience, not speed.

That's why IDE DOM or IDE/SATA SSD are better. Although fast access time is not affected majorly by PIO/DMA modes, so even CF card is better here.

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Reply 26 of 35, by RaverX

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leileilol wrote:

eh, quake on a high-end 486 was fine. that's how I beat it (and even played online). 11-20fps was perfectly acceptable in the day.

Indeed, 20 fps was considered ok back them, especially when running in software mode. But I highly doubt you'll get that in Quake in software renderer on a 486, no matter how "high end" it is. I had a Cyrix 6x86 PR233 and I got about 20 fps. And, although slow (in Quake) compared to a Pentium, that Cyrix is much faster than a 486.

Reply 27 of 35, by 21603

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Honestly surprised it runs this good. Perfectly playable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbcFvUOGA44&t=14s

Except for the sound. The poor sound card can't keep up at all.

BinaryDemon wrote:

This. Our expectations were lower. Most of us probably ran Doom at 20fps, and it was revolutionary. Now if my games run at <60fps then I’m annoyed.

I can believe people played Quake at <10fps.

I'm going to put it down to this and that my machine is operating perfectly, it's my memory of this that isn't.

I still weirdly like to play these games like this as that's where the nostalgia feels are strongest. I do have a Pentium 200 and a freshly built Pentium III to play things like Quake and Duke3D on, but they don't run games nearly as garbage enough for my tastes.

Maybe I'll get another CF card and install Windows 95 on it for some true nostalgic torture. Or not. DOS is king 😎

Reply 29 of 35, by badmojo

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I played countless hours of DOOM on my 486SX 33 back in the day and more still once I upgraded to a DX2 66, but even the DX2 feels quite laggy today. I too have super fond memories of my 486 but there was a reason every fibre of my being was screaming out for upgrades back then. Ample computing power is modern invention.

If it's broke, then fix it!

Reply 30 of 35, by brostenen

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I tried to run Quake back then on a 5x86-133, and it just sucked so much, that I had to stop playing it.

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Those cakes make you sick....

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Reply 31 of 35, by Errius

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Does Quake have a 'legoland mode' like QuakeWorld?

Even with a fast computer, that's how I used to play because it made it easier to see enemy players and projectiles.

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Reply 32 of 35, by appiah4

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I played Doom on a 486DX33 and the experience was enjoyable enough (at a window size one or two steps below full) that it was my most played game of 1994. However when Doom II came out it ran considerably worse. I saw it play so much smoother on a rich friend’s P60 that I upgraded to a DX4-100 in 1995.

Then in late 1996 a friend brought over a game to show it off, we installed it and to be honest I was not impressed by the brown slideshow so I just scuffed at it. Then one day he let me try it again on his P90. I upgraded to a Pentium 133 in 1997 and played QuakeWorld day and night on a 56K modem for the next two years..

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Reply 33 of 35, by AvalonH

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21603 wrote:
It's perfectly playable for me, minus sound because that comes out of the speakers like something is being destroyed inside my P […]
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jesolo wrote:
Quake responsive and playable at 4fps on a 486DX-33? At what resolution are you playing Duke Nukem 3D? Anything above 320x240 wi […]
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Quake responsive and playable at 4fps on a 486DX-33?
At what resolution are you playing Duke Nukem 3D? Anything above 320x240 will be stuttering on all low to mid range 486 PC's.
Minimum requirements for Duke Nukem 3D is a 486DX2-66.
Dont expect stellar performance on a 486DX-33.

It's perfectly playable for me, minus sound because that comes out of the speakers like something is being destroyed inside my PC. I think everyone should try Quake on a 486 for the experience.

Duke is running at the minimum 320x200. With even low details in game it's still not playable.

Bottom of the box says 100% IBM or compatible 486 PC with 8MB RAM. It probably should say DX2/66 as a minimum.

Are you running emm386. If so rem it out of config.sys and it should speed up. Dos benchmarks in doom and duke on my DX33 around 25% slower with emm386 and V86 mode enabled.

Reply 34 of 35, by leileilol

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Technically, Quake requires a 387.

Errius wrote:

Does Quake have a 'legoland mode' like QuakeWorld?

d_mipscale/d_mipcap's what you're looking for, though it really won't do much for performance (much like gl_picmip didn't do anything for performance and was a visual cheating excuse). Where 486s usually choke at are when it updates the surfacecache for the dynamic lights. Also there's no dual pipeline span drawers that only the Pentiums can do. Having the walls drawn with fixed point integer *could've* made Quake much faster on 486s and 686s...

It's also not just high clocks alone that matter. Certain S3 PCI video cards are very useful for 486 quaking. "You needed a Pentium" seems like revisionism. Sure it runs best there, but you certainly never NEEDED one!

(by the way for disclosure, this is all from first-hand experience; not parrotting Phil's channel I don't ever watch anyway, since I notice a lot of anecdotes formed from philvids in many recent arguments here on the assumption of authority)

by the way, DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x

Reply 35 of 35, by Errius

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Yes, that's it. I remember I had a key bound to increase/decrease detail as required. It would cycle through various d_mipcap/d_mipscale settings before returning to default.

I remember trying GLQuakeWorld, but didn't like it, and went back to the software client.

eta: I still have my old scripts. Here was my setup:

alias l1 "bind [ l2;gl_flashblend 1;d_subdiv16 1;d_mipcap 3;d_mipscale 40;r_dynamic 0;gl_playermip 2;gl_picmip 2;echo Detail 1"
alias l2 "bind [ l3;gl_flashblend 1;d_subdiv16 1;d_mipcap 2;d_mipscale 10;r_dynamic 0;gl_playermip 2;gl_picmip 2;echo Detail 2"
alias l3 "bind [ l4;gl_flashblend 0;d_subdiv16 1;d_mipcap 1;d_mipscale 5;r_dynamic 1;gl_playermip 1;gl_picmip 1;echo Detail 3"
alias l4 "bind [ l5;gl_flashblend 0;d_subdiv16 0;d_mipcap 0;d_mipscale 1;r_dynamic 1;gl_playermip 0;gl_picmip 0;echo Detail 4"
alias l5 "bind [ l1;gl_flashblend 0;d_subdiv16 0;d_mipcap 0;d_mipscale 0;r_dynamic 1;gl_playermip 0;gl_picmip 0;echo Detail 5"
bind [ l1

Windows XP End of Support is on April 8th, 2014. Click Here to learn more.