First post, by videogamer555
Here's a suggestion to the developers of 86Box. As of now, you can mix and match machine types and display types. For example, you can emulate a modern PC with an old ISA-bus MDA (monochrome display adapter), an impossible combination based on separate settings in the Machine and Display settings tabs in the settings menu of 86Box. Likewise you can emulate an old IBM-XT with a 3D-capable graphics card, another impossible combination. My suggestion is to make it so that only graphics cards that would work in the machine you are trying to emulate are visible in the graphics card selection menu, so you can't emulate impossible combinations of computers and graphics cards.
And it's not just a matter of the bus used, IDE or ISA. Not all motherboards with the same card slot type would work with all the same graphics cards, even if the graphics card would fit in the slot. For example, an IBM PC with an ISA bus, would NOT work with a more modern SVGA, XGA, or VESA type graphics card (those that support 256 or more colors and resolutions of 640x480 or more pixels), even if the card was designed for the ISA-bus. Other factors like chipset, and other electronics on the motherboard itself determine whether or not a given card is compatible with a given computer.
I would like to see the team that makes 86Box do some research on which of the dozens of graphics cards it can emulate, would actually work in which of the dozens of the computer it can emulate, and then make the graphics card selection menu only allow you to select graphics cards that are compatible with the computer that you've selected to emulate. I want the system I'm emulating to be realistic, not an obviously fake mix&match of computers and graphics cards as you can do now. I've already got an idea of which cards work in some of the older computers like the original IBM-PC only working with MDA and CGA graphics cards when using real hardware, so I can configure that realistically. But I don't know about other combinations of computers. What kind of graphics cards would work in a Tandy, or Amstrad, or Intel 286 or Intel 386 computers? I'm pretty sure that 286 can do EGA or lower, and 386 can do VGA or lower in real life. Not sure if you would need a Intel 486 to do SVGA though, or if 386 can also do SVGA.
So when experimenting with the various computers that 86Box can emulate, since I don't know what most of them are capable of in terms of supporting graphics cards, it would really help if the "display" menu would only show cards that would be supported by the computer you had selected in the "machine" menu, so I can make a more realistic setup with any computer I select to emulate in 86Box.