First post, by keenmaster486
This might be fun, but I don't know how feasible it is.
When I was a kid I used to experiment a lot with Pentium 4 hardware, and became well acquainted with the difficulties involved in trying to run DOS on newer hardware.
What I am wondering is, if I have the right motherboard, could it be done?
Here's what I want to try to do:
- Has speed of at least a Core 2 Duo, want to go as fast as I can with this concept though
- Support at least 4 GB RAM
- Fast storage - at least SATA SSD
- Can run modern Linux acceptably
- Can run modern Windows (Win7) acceptably
- Can also run old OS's acceptably (DOS, Win 3.1, Win9x)
Here are some problems I anticipate:
- DOS compatibility: VGA/EGA/CGA graphics, surprisingly not too much of a problem even with latest video cards. Sound compatibility will require an ISA slot, or at least a PCI to ISA bridge? Does that exist? Or maybe there is a PCI card that has enough compatibility to work for the most part.
- Windows 3.1, Win9x, WinXP - video and sound also. Sound is not a big issue as there are plenty of PCI cards that would work. Video is another problem; perhaps if I got my hands on a PCI Voodoo 3 3000 or TNT2 or something though, that would solve the issue.
- Storage - Windows XP might be the only problem here. You can add SATA drivers during the installation process, I know that much.
- Speed issues in DOS, Win9x. Not too worried about this. I know there are patches I can use for that sort of thing, and none of my favorite DOS games or programs are speed-dependent.
Here are my initial thoughts on the hardware I might use:
- Motherboard: This is the big question. Not just any will work; ideally it should support at least a Core 2 Duo and have an ISA slot, but does this even exist? If I decide to forego the ISA slot, is there such a thing as a PCI to ISA adapter and do they work in DOS? This is really only for the sound card.
- CPU: Should be at least a Core 2 Duo but I would like quad-core or better if possible.
- Graphics card: Good enough for modern stuff, lightweight games, etc. -- for DOS/Win31/Win9x I think I will need a separate graphics card! Perhaps in a free PCI slot I could but a Voodoo3 or something
- Sound card: Either an ISA card if the MB I use has a slot, or a PCI card. Is there such a thing as a PCI card that has enough DOS compatibility to work properly with most games?
- Network card: I have an Intel PCI gigabit NIC that I'm pretty sure has drivers for every OS on my list. Otherwise just a 3C905 or something will serve my purposes well.
- Keyboard + mouse: USB; I assume the chipset will make virtual legacy PS/2 devices for the old OS's
I know there have been similar projects in the past but I cannot find them anywhere.
World's foremost 486 enjoyer.