utahraptor wrote on 2020-08-11, 20:03:
After reading the concerns regarding Total Annihilation & Sim City 2000 performance on a 486 platform I am also considering an a […]
After reading the concerns regarding Total Annihilation & Sim City 2000 performance on a 486 platform I am also considering an alternate socket 7 MMX build. I have a few concerns:
Will Dos still be fully functional and considered authentic?
Does this platform fully support the windows 3.1?
Will the motherboard be fully supported or will various pieces have no drivers or be unsupported?
Will I still be able to make full use of the AWE 32/64 or other external MIDI devices both in DOS and Win 3.1?
Well the good news is if you use archive.org to look at motherboard vendor's websites, often Socket 7 is the "beginning of time" as far as their websites are concerned. So you may be able to get a copy of the manual.
With socket 7 there's no reason not to go ahead and bump up to Windows for Workgroups 3.11 rather than sticking with 3.1.
Socket 7 (AT) boards have so little onboard that it's hard to think of what drivers you would run into, so long as you stick with a generic (AT) board and not an OEM board. I can't think of a driver issue that wouldn't equally apply to a 486, the major one being 32-bit disk access in Win3.x with a drive over 504MB (which you can get around with MH32BIT). Along with the FAT16/2GB max partition size issue, which someone else pointed out already.
I'd say it's comparable to running Windows 98SE on a Pentium 4 - the earlier the
socket 7 board video card (which is the limiting factor IMO), the more likely it is to work, and obviously Win 3.x was quickly dying at the time, but it wouldn't be unusual to run 3.x on such a machine for some special purpose. For example, I remember taking a computer-based test at a Prometric (or similar) testing center in the early 2000s and it seemed like the machine was Win 3.x. It wouldn't be surprising for a single-purpose machine like a cash register or catalog lookup station at a library to have run it, either. Socket 7 actually predates Win95 by a few months.
I see no issues with those sound cards. Socket 7 was already standard by the time AWE64 came out (1996).
Sounds like a build that would be fun to work on! I wouldn't sweat "authenticity;" for DOS/Win3.x. Socket 7+DOS is no more inauthentic than stragglers sticking with WinXP in 2012. If you're like the rest of us I bet you'll be back to build another machine in 6 months or so once you get more of the background! And at that point you can promote this to a Win9x machine and build another DOS one.