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HELP - Optimize my 486 computer.

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First post, by Intel486dx33

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My computer seems a little sluggish and I want to FREE up as much conventional memory.
I need about 1mb of conventional memory FREE to load some DOS games.
( FALCON CD )

Computer specs:
VLB motherboard
486dx4-100
20mb RAM ( FPM )
256kb motherboard cache
2mb video card
Sound Blaster Pro 2.0
540mb hard drive.
3com 3c509b
4x IDE CDROM DRIVE.

Here are my files.

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Reply 1 of 21, by kalohimal

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I usually put the I=B000-B7FF option to EMM386. It's monochrome text memory area and is generally unused (unless you're using a monochrome card).
DEVICE=C:\DOS\EMM386.EXE 2048 RAM I=B000-B7FF
If you're running DOS 6.22 you could use MSD to see how your programs are loaded into the UMB.
Also, if you do not need EMS then add the NOEMS option, it will turn off EMS while still providing UMB.

Slow down your CPU with CPUSPD for DOS retro gaming.

Reply 3 of 21, by HandOfFate

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Could you show the output of "mem /c/p"? That will show what is using up conventional memory.

Am486 DX4 120MHz, no L2, 16MB, Tseng ET4000/W32 1MB VLB, ESS ES1869 + Yucatan FX /// 5x86 133MHz, 256kb L2, 64MB, S3 Virge/DX 4MB PCI, SB16 /// Pentium III 1GHz, 512MB, Asus V7700 64MB AGP, SB Live!

Reply 4 of 21, by Intel486dx33

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# Mem /c/p

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Reply 5 of 21, by HandOfFate

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That's quite clean. It's possible that XHDD uses less conventional memory than SMARTDRV. It is also reportedly faster but I've never tested that.

JEMMEX can replace both EMM386 and HIMEM, and I think it uses 1KB of conventional in total. Not a big save but it might help with performance (or not, who knows!)

[edit] I just notice that MSCDEX is missing from the list. Did you disable it? If you want to save on memory you can use SHSUCDX as a replacement for MSCDEX. It's much more memory efficient.

Last edited by HandOfFate on 2020-08-06, 14:41. Edited 1 time in total.

Am486 DX4 120MHz, no L2, 16MB, Tseng ET4000/W32 1MB VLB, ESS ES1869 + Yucatan FX /// 5x86 133MHz, 256kb L2, 64MB, S3 Virge/DX 4MB PCI, SB16 /// Pentium III 1GHz, 512MB, Asus V7700 64MB AGP, SB Live!

Reply 6 of 21, by GigAHerZ

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You have videcdd, but no mscdex or any alternatives?

I would go for XHDD drivers for drives and loose the smartdrv. Possibly would try out other UMB drivers instead of himem.sys and emm386 and in the end, you could get conventional memory usage under 20kB.

"640K ought to be enough for anybody." - And i intend to get every last bit out of it even after loading every damn driver!

Reply 7 of 21, by JudgeMonroe

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It looks like you're already optimized. If you really need to squeeze more conventional memory, get rid of or find an alternative to Smartdrv.

You do not need the SB16 TSRs running (CTSBPRO and CTMMSYS) but these are loaded high anyway so won't make much difference to you. These drivers support the SBP-SET.EXE mixer utility in the auto exec but with an updated mixer (SBPMIXER.EXE or MIXERSET.EXE) the resident drivers are not necessary.

Falcon CD requires 616448 (602K) largest executable program size. Looks like you got it.

Reply 8 of 21, by Intel486dx33

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Yes, I have to straighten out my mouse driver issue.
Which should I use:
Mouse.exe
CTmouse.exe

Oh, Thanks.
I accidentally commented out the MSCDEX.exe in autoexec.bat

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Reply 9 of 21, by JudgeMonroe

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As mentioned previously, use SHSUCDX instead of MSCDEX. Load it high. You'll have room for either one after you prune the SBPro stuff.

Ditch Smartdrv.

Ditch IFSHLP.

Ditch SBMIDI.

CTMouse is fine most of the time.

Reply 10 of 21, by Intel486dx33

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Okay, Now I need to clean up the Win3.11 audio drivers settings.
I don’t know where all these drivers came from.

I have Sound Blaster 2.0 with Yamaha OPL.

What drivers don’t I need here ?

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Reply 12 of 21, by Intel486dx33

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JudgeMonroe wrote on 2020-08-06, 17:50:

It won't gain you memory or performance by "cleaning up" those Windows drivers; they're just files on disk.

Audio in Windows might sound cleaner ?

Reply 13 of 21, by chrismeyer6

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As long as you have the correct sound drivers loaded the others are irrelevant and deleting them won't have any effect on sound quality. You can mute unused inputs in your mixer to help clean up your audio output.

Reply 14 of 21, by Intel486dx33

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JudgeMonroe wrote on 2020-08-06, 16:46:
As mentioned previously, use SHSUCDX instead of MSCDEX. Load it high. You'll have room for either one after you prune the SBPro […]
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As mentioned previously, use SHSUCDX instead of MSCDEX. Load it high. You'll have room for either one after you prune the SBPro stuff.

Ditch Smartdrv.

Ditch IFSHLP.

Ditch SBMIDI.

CTMouse is fine most of the time.

If I comment these out windows runs very slow.

Reply 15 of 21, by cyclone3d

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Intel486dx33 wrote on 2020-08-06, 17:59:
JudgeMonroe wrote on 2020-08-06, 17:50:

It won't gain you memory or performance by "cleaning up" those Windows drivers; they're just files on disk.

Audio in Windows might sound cleaner ?

That's not how it works. Programs use those when they need them. The data doesn't just go through everything before it comes out of the computer.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 16 of 21, by JudgeMonroe

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Intel486dx33 wrote on 2020-08-06, 18:05:
JudgeMonroe wrote on 2020-08-06, 16:46:
As mentioned previously, use SHSUCDX instead of MSCDEX. Load it high. You'll have room for either one after you prune the SBPro […]
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As mentioned previously, use SHSUCDX instead of MSCDEX. Load it high. You'll have room for either one after you prune the SBPro stuff.

Ditch Smartdrv.

Ditch IFSHLP.

Ditch SBMIDI.

CTMouse is fine most of the time.

If I comment these out windows runs very slow.

You started this thread asking for conventional memory to run DOS games. Now you want Windows to run fast.

Set up a boot menu. Have an option for DOS and one for WINDOWS. Load SMARTDRV and IFSHLP.SYS only when you intend to run Windows. You do not need it for DOS.