Choosing a primary GPU within DOS

Discussion about old graphics cards, monitors and video related things.

Choosing a primary GPU within DOS

Postby dumpsterac1d » 2019-4-15 @ 16:48

Hey all, I've been frankensteining a P4 computer with 3 of my favorite PCI GPUs ( Post describing the purpose of this PC here. )

Is there a way to disable 2 of the 3 GPUs for a DOS install? I'd like to get a Cirrus Logic PCI card and not use the other two that I've selected as Win98 and XP cards when loading into DOS. This is relatively straightforward within Windows XP and 98, but for DOS, I'm not quite sure how to proceed, or if there are ways to address which card to use though maybe an autoexec edit, or if there is a 3rd party program I can load @ system start that can help with this.

This is mainly for compatibility's sake! I want to have 3 clear delineations between the OSs on what games go where. Most will do just fine on 98 with a DX8 compatible card, but I'd like the other two as options if need be.
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Re: Choosing a primary GPU within DOS

Postby BinaryDemon » 2019-4-15 @ 17:12

Configure the DOS videocard as the primary in bios? I’ve never seen a bios that actually lets you pick between various PCI cards but it would probably default to the pci videocard in the first slot.
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a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

Make your dos retrogaming experience portable!
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Re: Choosing a primary GPU within DOS

Postby dumpsterac1d » 2019-4-15 @ 18:51

I checked my BIOS before posting this and unfortunately it isn't one of the rare cases where i can designate a primary video device.

Hopefully I will be able to do as you say and plug things in in the right way where it detects something first, but I'm not optimistic.
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Re: Choosing a primary GPU within DOS

Postby cyclone3d » 2019-4-15 @ 19:37

You could always modify the cards or the motherboard and have some switches mounted on the case or on on a slot cover that would allow you to disable power going to the cards you do not want to use.

For that matter, you could even use a rotary switch from a data switch.

You would have to make sure to only operate the switch(es) while the power to the computer is off.
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Re: Choosing a primary GPU within DOS

Postby dumpsterac1d » 2019-4-16 @ 13:33

Interesting!

I installed a second GPU last night, successfully got XP to ignore 1 card and 98 to ignore the other. Really interesting to note is that the POST messages and pre-load happened on the card that was on the lowest number slot! Hoping that this remains true after getting a card that's optimal for DOS.

Will post results here.
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