VOGONS


Reply 20 of 46, by Unrealcpu

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foil_fresh wrote on 2020-10-20, 00:43:
I think the SS7 / K6-2/3+ builds with a solid DOS compatible yet 3d capable video card paired up with both an ISA and PCI sound […]
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I think the SS7 / K6-2/3+ builds with a solid DOS compatible yet 3d capable video card paired up with both an ISA and PCI sound card is more than enough to play the majority of games.

If you get the right motherboard, a slot 1 system can also do it - my P2 266 is an early unlocked model and can go from 133mhz to 300mhz by using bios settings. I've got an awe64 for SB16 digital audio, and a pci yamaha card for that sweet sweet opl3 music. the video card (Riva 128) can do vesa extensions meaning later DOS games run quite nice on it too. A Voodoo 4mb is on it's way to take care of the early 3D-in-DOS stuff like screamer/tomb raider. Playing DOS games in Windows allows the Yamaha PCI sound card to stretch its legs - the XG midi is straight up awesome (for it's price).

In Windows, it's good up to early '98 in terms of 3d game performance. The sound card handles Directsound really well as well as a few titles using a3d and eax. OpenGL and D3D are compatible with the Riva128 but the VRAM limits it. Any DirectX 5 game will be easy enough to run.

I'm yet to tackle any super speed sensitive games that need 386 speeds but I think with the right speed settings and also caches off it will probably get to those speeds.

I bought a k6-3+ processor at 450mhz.. I do own a gigabyte ali chipset forgot the model but it is rare. I did plan on using this for my voodoo 5500 card and of course i have bought several IDE to SD card for my hdd replacement and a drive to replace the floopy , sorry for the name. it uses a usb stick

Reply 21 of 46, by Unrealcpu

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chinny22 wrote on 2020-10-20, 09:11:

dionb summed up the how many PC's question pretty good.

As for the OS Win98 dos mode is fine 99.9% of the time. So if your installing that OS anyway no real need to install dos.
Dos 6.22 or earlier are better choices for around the 486's and below which struggle to run Win9x

Cool thanks for my 486 mobo build i will use pure dos. I litterly have parts in antistatic bags all over my basement on tables. I used to do alot of good will hunting at outlets. Its amazing the parts that come through there. I could not believe i found a voodoo 5500 pci in working order. I also found a p4 3ghz engineer sample with a kick ass mobo and ram on the board 🤣 for 2.00

I also paid 2.00 for the 5500. crazy.

Reply 22 of 46, by Unrealcpu

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firage wrote on 2020-10-20, 13:07:

Whether that is possible completely depends on your definition of "full."

I definitely noticed on a test build not completely done that some games act weird on win98se , wold3d. f117a etc, jill of the jungle.
Maybe my drivers are not right but in windows, but in restart in ms dos they work great . right now this is a socket 7 on a p233mhz mmx

I can disable the cache in software b ut not in the bios. Using a gateway mobo that has 2 usb ports. I am still stuck on installing a mouse with drivers, and a joystick/sound card drivers as well. I ran some program from id software and this it found my irq/dma to play sound blaster properly and added i t t o my autoexc bat or config

Reply 23 of 46, by Unrealcpu

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debs3759 wrote on 2020-10-20, 15:11:

I don't care how many PCs it takes to do everything I want to do. I need enough to test every generation of CPU, socket and graphics card, just because. I also need another room to store them all in 😀

Got pretty much everything to achieve this, just no longer got room to set them all up 😀

I just wish CRTs were always available and easy to find. I have a single SGI 21" sony monitor , pretty rare that works when warmed up. however i need to fix the g2 or replace a cap. I have the tool to do it with software but would rather learn how to replace the bad capcitor causing the g2. anyone good at repairing sony trinitrons?

The monitor is super rare , I bought it in 2004 refurb for 400.00 probably worth 600-700 now

Reply 24 of 46, by Unrealcpu

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Law212 wrote on 2020-10-20, 15:40:
I like to have multiple machines, I have a 486, a Pentium 1, 2 pentium 2s and a pentium 4 (and a modern gaming PC) I dont have e […]
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I like to have multiple machines, I have a 486, a Pentium 1, 2 pentium 2s and a pentium 4 (and a modern gaming PC)
I dont have enough room in my place right now unfortunately to have the setup I want, but i make it work for now.

Im still setting up my computers to get them how I want them and running well (the 486 i just got the 5.25 inch floppy drive working, and now need to get the cdrom and soundcard working... )
the pentium 1 seems to overheat....
the p2s and p 4 work fine.

I think i am heading this route with all the hardware i have 🤣

Reply 25 of 46, by Unrealcpu

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Doornkaat wrote on 2020-10-20, 18:45:
Does full also imply a good, playable experience with all features avaliable at acceptable fps? And will this be possible with o […]
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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2020-10-20, 18:33:

Whether that is possible completely depends on your definition of "full."

Full means full. You can launch practically anything from XT to late DOS era and any Win9x game.

Does full also imply a good, playable experience with all features avaliable at acceptable fps?
And will this be possible with only officially released off-the-shelf hardware that's been regularly avaliable to consumers and not require designing your own ICs or PCBs?
If so please post your method or link to a comprehensive guide.

I guess I am trying to run everything to the point when games first started supported vsync . However there are some old dos games that simply do not sound perfect unless you have a CT1600 , since i think the sb16 started emulating the older cards.

I am also big on Mister FPGA and can tell you the 286 and 386 plays really well but speech is messed up on soundblaster, games are all out of whack and are not perfect because of speed sensitive games. I really do not think FPGA will be perfect on older computers for a very long time , but its a WIP and could happen one day. Also can anyone explain why russians on ebay have all the good old motherboards for sale 🤣.

Reply 26 of 46, by dionb

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Unrealcpu wrote on 2020-10-20, 20:06:

[...]

Thank for your input. I too have collected everything as well but have not had time to make a system with software. Even though I grew up during this era I have to relearn how to edit autoexc.bats and install drivers. I have several CT1600 cards, awe32 , awe 64 gold etc. 3dfx vooodoo 2000-3000 and a 5500 card as well as one VLB card. My collection of processors are extreme from 486 to k6-3 plus and higher. I am just not collecting 286-386 era processors although it would seem a good 386DX 40 is the way to go but maybe i can reduce cache on the 486 mobo idk. My goal is to play as many games as possible in the most accurate way i remembered. I did aquire a mt-32 also. I basically have been collecting anything that can run 80s to mid 90s programs accurately . I am not too concerned about p2 -p3 era games

With that much hardware I'd say you need a couple of systems 😉

Of course, how you played back in the day depends on what you had back then. I was stuck on 386-16 until 1995, then P60 until 1999...

The difference between 386DX-40 and a 486DX-33 is negligible. Get a 486 motherboard with turbo button and option to disable cache (usually a jumper) and you can go lower than on the 386. That would pair nicely with the CT1600. Only problem is hooking up the MT-32, if you have an MPU-401 or a Musicquest card, that would be perfect. A modern reproduction would be second best. Third option is to add an AWE32 - but they are all more or less buggy on MIDI and don't support intelligent mode, so you need SoftMPU for the really old games. Stick the VLB card in there and you're good for 1981-1994 or so.

Above that, you could manage with a single system with a P3 or similar, preferably with high 133MHz FSB that you can clock back; you can stick a Voodoo in there, if it has ISA it could do the AWE64, and then run dual-boot Wi98/DOS. Alternately you could do two different computers, a DOS machine with say K6-3+ and a Win98 machine with the fastest P3 you have with that V5-5500. No need for ISA in that one, so less compromise needed.

When I do get round to running DOS games, I use a UMC U5S-33-based system for most older stuff, with a bunch of replica sound cards (Snark Barker = Soundblaster 1, incl CMS, SSI-2001 clone and Tandy and Covox things once I can find the time to get the damned things to work), plus a MusicQuest card for MIDI; for later DOS I built a K6-2 350 system with my son, with a GUS and an AWE64; for Win98 I have a P3-1400 with integrated Trident Cyberblade, a Voodoo2 and a PowerVR PCX2 and whatever sound card I can fit that doesn't cause the PCX2 to crash the system (currently an ALS-100 card, after trying and failing Aureal Vortex2 and an SBLive). That latter system is very much in line for replacement, but my ECS P6S5A-T SiS635T system currently doesn't boot, so big pile of work there. Also the U5S system has weird lock-ups and compatibility issues (things like OPL2 sound working in one game but being a distorted mess in another) which need a lot of troubleshooting. See how I end up spending more time tinkering than actually playing 😉

Reply 27 of 46, by clueless1

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Practically it gets cumbersome having multiple systems that you have to jump back and forth on. For me, my first love is MS-DOS from 1990-1996 so my main retro PC is a P200MMX. I also have a Win9x system but almost never use it because those games seem to play well (with GOG installers) on modern hardware and look "right" on LCD displays. DOS games only look right (to me) on a CRT and play right on real hardware. I used to have 4 PCs set up:
486
Pentium 200
P3 933
modern system

and it was cool for awhile, then I noticed I spent 99% of my time on the modern system and the Pentium so I gradually put the other systems away.

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
DOS PCI Graphics Card Benchmarks

Reply 28 of 46, by The Serpent Rider

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And will this be possible with only officially released off-the-shelf hardware

You need industrial LGA775 board with ISA slots and ICH5 south bridge. Or at least Socket 478. Although some later industrial PCI-E boards will also work (few can support ISA DMA).

Does full also imply a good, playable experience with all features avaliable at acceptable fps?

Yes. Pentium 4 and Core 2 can be throttled directly and through ACPI, which will provide good range of performance options.

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me

Reply 29 of 46, by firage

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I'm pretty sure just the presence of ACPI will already limit a set of old games that are hardcoded for a conflicting MPU IRQ, among any other similarly reserved resources. Newer systems reserve adapter ROM areas and can be exploited for a lower amount of conventional memory in DOS. You may need a bunch of ISA slots or even -5V power to run some old sound standards. Every single video card seems to have some set of games they're incompatible with. 3.5"and 5.25" floppy drives AND a GoTek don't work in one build. A3D 2.0 and EAX don't come in one Win9x card. It just depends on exactly what someone wants to do, as one system cannot cover everything with full features.

Anyway, rambling, when you're either in it for the hardware aspect or for targeting every game ever made, more is more.

My big-red-switch 486

Reply 30 of 46, by Unrealcpu

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I just tried out exodos , and cannot believe how good it is , i am sure it is not perfect but it is pretty dam close.

With the ability to change filters, use any controller , up cycles , decrease cycles in a sec i am liking this ,

Makes me just want to build a modern pc with a 50" oled just to play dos games with 2xsai and other filters.
I am sure there is lag but most games i think doesnt matter much. what are your thoughts o n exo dos ? I like how all the manuals are just in launch box with this front end

Reply 31 of 46, by Jorpho

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Unrealcpu wrote on 2020-10-23, 05:39:

what are your thoughts o n exo dos ? I like how all the manuals are just in launch box with this front end

It's primarily a collection of copyrighted material and is largely kind of illegal, isn't it?

Reply 32 of 46, by Joseph_Joestar

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firage wrote on 2020-10-21, 16:31:

I'm pretty sure just the presence of ACPI will already limit a set of old games that are hardcoded for a conflicting MPU IRQ

I think this depends on the motherboard. On many boards that use the Award BIOS, you can completely disable ACPI and free up the IRQ used by it. On the other hand, my KT7A assigns an IRQ > 10 to ACPI by default, which shouldn't interfere with the classic 2/9 that are used by MPU-401 devices.

A3D 2.0 and EAX don't come in one Win9x card

Sensaura cards can do both, at least in theory. In practice, compatibility is hit and miss, but it does work some of the time.

Using Audigy drivers with a Sound Blaster Live
Installing DOS drivers on an Audigy2 ZS
OPL3 vs. ESFM vs. CQM vs. SBLive
OPTi 82C930 review

Reply 33 of 46, by Errius

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Baoran wrote on 2020-10-20, 19:15:

I was actually surprised I could run dos games that require 4.77Mhz cpu on my pentium 3 build because I didn't plan it that way when I built it. It makes it most versatile pc I have built even though I would not call it perfect.

Yes, I tried booting a 2.8 GHz P4 with a Dig Dug booter disk (i.e. a game from 1983), and it was perfectly playable. (I couldn't get joystick to work though.) Some clever coding there.

“Your mission is to attack and destroy the Apple Computer manufacturing plant. You are allotted 35 bombs and 60 lasers."

Reply 34 of 46, by chinny22

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Unrealcpu wrote on 2020-10-23, 05:39:
I just tried out exodos , and cannot believe how good it is , i am sure it is not perfect but it is pretty dam close. […]
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I just tried out exodos , and cannot believe how good it is , i am sure it is not perfect but it is pretty dam close.

With the ability to change filters, use any controller , up cycles , decrease cycles in a sec i am liking this ,

Makes me just want to build a modern pc with a 50" oled just to play dos games with 2xsai and other filters.
I am sure there is lag but most games i think doesnt matter much. what are your thoughts o n exo dos ? I like how all the manuals are just in launch box with this front end

Never used exodos but as their page admits it "uses a combination of Dosbox and ScummVM" their the emulators doing the work, exodos just gives you a nice pre-packaged bundle and front end.

Dos games are really well supported by emulation and it's true you don't really need a physical PC for dos gaming accept some really special instances. Things like comparing music from different cards, early 3d acceleration that never went mainstream, nothing that would stop you playing a game outright.

I think alot of us here even with multiple dos rigs still use dosbox for that 1 game that just doesn't like any of our setup's for what ever reason.

So if simply playing the game is your primary focus I'd say it is probably the better option. Physical PC's just add that extra feel? nostalgia hit?

Win9x games are a different matter as well.

Reply 35 of 46, by Unrealcpu

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chinny22 wrote on 2020-10-23, 09:19:
Never used exodos but as their page admits it "uses a combination of Dosbox and ScummVM" their the emulators doing the work, exo […]
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Unrealcpu wrote on 2020-10-23, 05:39:
I just tried out exodos , and cannot believe how good it is , i am sure it is not perfect but it is pretty dam close. […]
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I just tried out exodos , and cannot believe how good it is , i am sure it is not perfect but it is pretty dam close.

With the ability to change filters, use any controller , up cycles , decrease cycles in a sec i am liking this ,

Makes me just want to build a modern pc with a 50" oled just to play dos games with 2xsai and other filters.
I am sure there is lag but most games i think doesnt matter much. what are your thoughts o n exo dos ? I like how all the manuals are just in launch box with this front end

Never used exodos but as their page admits it "uses a combination of Dosbox and ScummVM" their the emulators doing the work, exodos just gives you a nice pre-packaged bundle and front end.

Dos games are really well supported by emulation and it's true you don't really need a physical PC for dos gaming accept some really special instances. Things like comparing music from different cards, early 3d acceleration that never went mainstream, nothing that would stop you playing a game outright.

I think alot of us here even with multiple dos rigs still use dosbox for that 1 game that just doesn't like any of our setup's for what ever reason.

So if simply playing the game is your primary focus I'd say it is probably the better option. Physical PC's just add that extra feel? nostalgia hit?

Win9x games are a different matter as well.

I was surprised how good MT 32 just works in all the games, messing with exodos about 600GB launchbox pack just plain works with any joystick /controller. Pressing CTR-F11 and F12 controls the cycles to my liking on the fly. Coming from Mister FPGA gaming , i know emulation has lag which sucks but really in dos gaming I do not think it matters much. I still have a ton o f hardware that i need to mess with and it sucks it takes time to configure. I have so many other projects going on . But right now I am brainstorming a exodos computer with a nice 32" low latency QLED using graphic filters. I have a huge SGI aka Sony G520 that needs the G2 fix , very minor but works when warmed up , blacks are good and color.

Windows 98se gaming will be only good on a real system and I agree with that one. But exo dos and filters, manuals, box art , maps , cluebooks and launch box make this exo dos a cool setup. I know nothing beats soundblaster CT1600 sound or real MT32 and midi when it comes to comparing it with emulation and still want to build a retro PC.

But I am starting to think what if I bought a 50" OLED 🤣 and made this into a exodos gaming system.

Reply 36 of 46, by Socket3

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It's up to you really. If you have the space, $$$ and time, go for it. Nothing is quite the same as running a game on period correct hardware. Personally I use several machines for retro gaming - a 12MHz 286, a super socket 7 PC with a AMD K6-III, a 1.7GHz pentium PC and a QX6700 build for XP games.

Reply 37 of 46, by Unrealcpu

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Socket3 wrote on 2020-10-23, 19:03:

It's up to you really. If you have the space, $$$ and time, go for it. Nothing is quite the same as running a game on period correct hardware. Personally I use several machines for retro gaming - a 12MHz 286, a super socket 7 PC with a AMD K6-III, a 1.7GHz pentium PC and a QX6700 build for XP games.

what are you using for a display? CRTs are becoming rare and expensive. No filters for high res monitors running on old hardware

Reply 38 of 46, by domdec314

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I personally use multiple PCs. For 80's games I use a Micro8088 with a V20 cpu. For 90's DOS/Win9X games I use a Pentium III machine running Windows 98. For XP era and up I have a Core2Duo machine running XP. Finally, I have a Mac G4 tower for all classic Mac stuff. All four are plugged into a 4-way KVM that's easily switchable with keyboard commands.

Reply 39 of 46, by domdec314

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Unrealcpu wrote on 2020-10-24, 16:51:
Socket3 wrote on 2020-10-23, 19:03:

It's up to you really. If you have the space, $$$ and time, go for it. Nothing is quite the same as running a game on period correct hardware. Personally I use several machines for retro gaming - a 12MHz 286, a super socket 7 PC with a AMD K6-III, a 1.7GHz pentium PC and a QX6700 build for XP games.

what are you using for a display? CRTs are becoming rare and expensive. No filters for high res monitors running on old hardware

I highly recommend checking electronics recycling places. Last year I bought a nice 19" Dell CRT monitor for $15.