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Would it make sense to use DosBox under Win98?

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First post, by C0deHunter

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I mean most of older games run fine with my PIII-800 (although I have to invoke SetMul L2D for certain games), but I just wanted to know your opinion.

- PIII-800E
- Abit BH-6
- 256MB SD-RAM PC100
- AWE64 Gold
- Sound Canvas 55 MKII
- MUNT (emulating MT-32 on a separate Win7 Intel laptop)
- SoftMPU
- Roland UM-ONE mk2 (USB MIDI adapter)
- Windows 98SE (using PhilsComputerLab *pure* DOS option to play, and launch 1998-1993 games from a DOS prompt)

Basically I switch to *pure* DOS mode, when I want to play 1988-1993 games, and then load Win98SE for Quake I/II/III, SiN, Unreal, etc.

But the prospect of *Save states* seems very inciting to me. (been using the SVN Daum builds on my Win10 machine with no issue, but haven't found a version that has save-state feature for Win98SE)

Thanks!

PIII-800E | Abit BH-6 | GeForce FX 5200 | 256MB SD-RAM PC100 | AWE64 Gold | Sound Canvas 55 MKII | SoftMPU | 16GBGB Transcend CF as C:\ and 64GB Transcend CF D:\ (Games) | OS: MS-DOS 7.1-Win98SE-WinME-Win2K Pro (multi-OS menu Using System Commander 2K)

Reply 1 of 8, by Kisai

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C0deHunter wrote:
I mean most of older games run fine with my PIII-800 (although I have to invoke SetMul L2D for certain games), but I just wanted […]
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I mean most of older games run fine with my PIII-800 (although I have to invoke SetMul L2D for certain games), but I just wanted to know your opinion.

- PIII-800E
- Abit BH-6
- 256MB SD-RAM PC100



Current feature-enabled builds of Dosbox pull about 128MB ram alone, depending on features that have been turned on. A stock 32-bit version comes in under 80MB just to idle but spikes up to 150MB on Windows 10. As such I would probably not recommend it, though the only thing stopping any particular build of DOSBOX from working on Win95/98 is SDL as a shared library being compiled to work on it since all the OS-dependent invocation occurs there.

Save states however are not an official feature, and thus a build that uses it may have a completely different memory footprint and performance metric.

With that said, I would not recommend using an older PC for anything but the group of games that explicitly need Win95/98. DOS games essentially max out at Pentium 66Mhz (The Pentium 90 with the FDIV bug came out the same time as Win95) and everything after that point is overkill. Likewise a PII/PIII era PC should be running XP at the most.

Reply 2 of 8, by DosFreak

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It makes sense if you have a Windows 98 machine that you play games on and it would be difficult to get the games working properly in DOS.

For the official version of DOSBox to use dynamic core you need 64mb+ of memory which you have covered.

Your processor would allow you to run pre-1993 games well.

For save states you can compile a build of DOSBox with the saved states patch.

Use either VS2005/VS2008 for <=2000 compatibility, mingw w/gcc or mingw-w64 w/gcc with SDL 1.2

For DOSBox builds that use SDL2 you can try Kernelex w/ core updates which should work but if those builds were compiled with VS then they need to have been compiled with VS2017 w/ XP support or below.

The only other ways I know of for saved states on that computer would be by using Connectix VPC v5.1 with it's horrible DOS support or there used to be an old DOS programs that was a TSR that allowed saved states but I can't remember the name.

DOSBox Compilation Guides
DosBox Feature Request Thread
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How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
Running DRM games offline

Reply 3 of 8, by leileilol

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Yeah. Speed sensitive games still give DOSBox practical application on machines even as old as Pentiums. but all those big 'feature' forks are just too hoggy and bring on too much modern dependencies that would regress the DOSBox targets.

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long live PCem

Reply 4 of 8, by chinny22

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I keep thinking of doing this for those 1 or 2 games that don't run well on my retro box's but then I figure if I'm emulating I may as well do it on my daily driver.
But even then it makes sense if say your P3 is attached to a bit of hardware like a CRT that you want the game to also use.

Reply 5 of 8, by C0deHunter

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Well, exactly! As one of the members here mentioned sometime ago in another thread, the actual retro peripherals are what makes the *experience* more nostalgic and close to the real thing as possible.

I am running this old PIII system with CRT, mechanical keyboard, etc.

PIII-800E | Abit BH-6 | GeForce FX 5200 | 256MB SD-RAM PC100 | AWE64 Gold | Sound Canvas 55 MKII | SoftMPU | 16GBGB Transcend CF as C:\ and 64GB Transcend CF D:\ (Games) | OS: MS-DOS 7.1-Win98SE-WinME-Win2K Pro (multi-OS menu Using System Commander 2K)

Reply 6 of 8, by Tertz

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DosFreak wrote:

The only other ways I know of for saved states on that computer would be by using Connectix VPC v5.1 with it's horrible DOS support or there used to be an old DOS programs that was a TSR that allowed saved states but I can't remember the name.

Game Wizard 32 Pro 3.0 seems had such option. not sure this worked with games needing a memory driver
this app may need to reduce CPU speed to <= ~500 MHz, what P3 should allow by switching bus clock to 66 MHz

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Reply 8 of 8, by DosFreak

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Yup if your computer and the cards in it are older than 6 months throw that shit away preferably in the ocean. Same goes for software as well.

Closed.

DOSBox Compilation Guides
DosBox Feature Request Thread
PC Game Compatibility List
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
Running DRM games offline