VOGONS


First post, by AlessandroB

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With DX4 cover DOS game with ISA sound card, having a second system with chipset Z77 and i5 for everithing else... the gap is too big? Not want to use DOSBOX or similar, everithing must be real software/hardware.

games from 1990 to 2000

Reply 1 of 13, by SScorpio

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That i5 running XP will be fine for about 2003+. But you'll have issues with the 9X era. And even later DOS games that need a Pentium.

A Pentium MMX or K6-2/3+ would give you higher headroom and give you better down clocking than a DX4.

Reply 2 of 13, by BitWrangler

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Socket A mobile would cover it pretty good.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 3 of 13, by dormcat

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DX4 would have a hard time running post-VESA DOS games, 3D-accelerated games, or Win9x games. A Z77 MB with Sandy / Ivy Bridge Core i5 can run anything from WinXP to the majority of modern games (with the exception of the most demanding ones) but would be very difficult -- if not impossible -- to run Win9x games.

You either need another build for Win9x, or you can raise your "DOS game with ISA sound card" from DX4 to something like Pentium-MMX or K6 like SScorpio said; they can be slowed down to 386 if necessary. However, a Socket 7 build would have a hard time running some late Win9x games like Thief 1 & 2 that required 400+ MHz CPU and couldn't be played on WinXP.

Reply 4 of 13, by AlessandroB

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I suspected it… and could a PentiumIII 450 fill this gap? I ask this because I like IBM computers, especially desktops and Pentium2 / 3 class ones are easily found. On top of that, the low frequency Pentium 3s are the last to have ISA slots.

Reply 5 of 13, by waterbeesje

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As you have the dx4 for dos support and the i5 for xp and up, the p3 450 with loads of ram and a good gforece 4 mx or voodoo 3 would do the trick. They cover win 9x and late dos games no problem.

But the disadvantage would be, there's less space for a downclock on it is you intend to use that. Especially with IBM stuff, as they may have removed these options from bios. If it's purely intended for 9x go for it 😀

ISA was still common here, but it survived into the P4 / thunderbird era 😀 but those boards are less common and harder to find.

Stuck at 10MHz...

Reply 6 of 13, by AlessandroB

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waterbeesje wrote on 2022-03-19, 11:39:

As you have the dx4 for dos support and the i5 for xp and up, the p3 450 with loads of ram and a good gforece 4 mx or voodoo 3 would do the trick. They cover win 9x and late dos games no problem.

But the disadvantage would be, there's less space for a downclock on it is you intend to use that. Especially with IBM stuff, as they may have removed these options from bios. If it's purely intended for 9x go for it 😀

ISA was still common here, but it survived into the P4 / thunderbird era 😀 but those boards are less common and harder to find.

to be honest, in the XP era I wasn't playing anymore and I don't care about having a computer that spans those years. I was hoping they would be covered by i5. Patience, so the IBM 300GL with 450Mhz and ISA + PCI (but not AGP) will ferry me up to the latest 9.x games. The DX4 strangely has the bus at 8Mhz or 16 I don't remember and therefore scales down well if I need it. For the more "esoteric" things, however, I have a 5150.

Reply 7 of 13, by SScorpio

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AlessandroB wrote on 2022-03-19, 12:07:

to be honest, in the XP era I wasn't playing anymore and I don't care about having a computer that spans those years. I was hoping they would be covered by i5.

The i5 can cover the XP era, and aside from some tweaking you need to do for certain games, IE some only like a single-core, most games can run their best with later hardware.

XP was released near the end of 2001, and DirectX 9 came out in 2002 for 98, ME, and XP. The hardware that was designed for DX9 started losing support for older features, but the last cards to support XP mostly have no issues running DX9. On the Nvidia side, this is the GeForce 700 series from 2013.

Building a single PC to cover from 1990-2000 isn't really possible without compromises. While there was some 3D acceleration before, the 3DFX's Voodoo 1 that came out in 1996 changed the market, and games started running needing Pentiums. And in those early days of 3D accelerators, it wasn't uncommon for a new card to come out that double the performance of what you just bought 10 months ago. You can always go with something that's faster, but then you start losing the ability to slow things down for the 1990-95 range.

I don't have nostalgia for the 8086 and early days of the 286, so I personally use these machines to cover what I want to run.

  • Pentium 233MMX, with SB16, Yamaha 719, Voodoo 1, and a WP32 McCake. This can be slowed down to support the 386, 486 33/66 era of games. It can handle SB Pro, SB16, and WSS for digital audio, and has OPL 2/3, as well as SB's version which some people hate but what I grew up with. The MP32 McCake gives me an MT-32 on a daughterboard as well as SoundFont support. Sure there's no Tandy or UltraSound support, but it supports sound in everything I've thrown at it.
  • An Athlon 64 3000+ Cool 'n Quiet for 98SE. Its multiplier unlocked and can go down to 500Mhz, it's still a little faster than a P3-450. Geforce FX 5500 which supports older Direct3D features, SB Audigy, and Aureal Vortex 2 for audio. This computer can handle the late SVGA era of DOS, along with the Windows 9X games that don't play well in XP.
  • Finally for XP is an i5-3450 on a P67 board with a Geforce 750ti and SB X-Fi.

Reply 8 of 13, by waterbeesje

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Indeed, the 450 would be great for up to DX7 at most, after that it just lacks speed and support. But there the XP machine will take over just fine 😀

Stuck at 10MHz...

Reply 10 of 13, by flupke11

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I'd use a cheap P4 with AGP to cover the Win9x and early XP games (dual boot Win98SE/XP), and use the Z77 for anything newer than 2004 (triple boot WinXP-Win7-Win10). As you have the 486 for pure DOS, the ISA -slot is less of a necessity on the middle pc. The PIII 450 might also lack the necessary oomph to deal with the later games.

But if they are still cheap where you live, please start a collection 😀. Socket 370/462 and Slot 1/A pc's are becoming harder to find cheap here where I live, but P4's are still fairly cheap.

There's absolutely no reason not to have 25 pc's to cover all possibilities (given time and space 😉).

Reply 12 of 13, by dormcat

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SScorpio wrote on 2022-03-19, 14:04:

I don't have nostalgia for the 8086 and early days of the 286, so I personally use these machines to cover what I want to run.

Wow I've got a somewhat similar but much less spectacular list as I tried minimizing the cost of retro computing, utilizing as many as my own old stuff and e-waste as possible:

  • DOS build 1: Dell Dimension XPS (customized Intel Advanced/EV) (o) + Pentium 120 OC to 133 (o) + S3 Trio64V2/DX 2MB (e) + SB AWE32 (o). The Dell MB has a stripped-down BIOS so I can't control its cache, but it has the only Baby-AT case that accommodates the full-length AWE32, as my existing ATX cases either have a supporting structure for 3.5" HDD blocking this card, or way too new (with USB 3.0 ports and just one external opening) for a Baby-AT MB. Not to mention the board requires Dell's proprietary PSU (shrug). Therefore this build is reserved for VESA/SVGA-era of DOS games and some Win3.1 ebooks on CD-ROM.
  • DOS build 2: Asus TXP4 (e) + Pentium-MMX 233 (e) + S3 Savage4 Pro (o) + SB Pro 2 (o). Similar to yours, this one can be slowed down to 386 or 486 33 era of games. I'd wish to have a TXP4-X instead but beggars can't be choosers. 😅
  • Win98SE build 1: Gigabyte GA-6VXC7-4X-P (e) + Pentium 3 800EB (o) + Gigabyte GV-R9000 Pro II (a) + SB Live! Value (e). For VERY late DOS games Win9x games that requires primitive 3D acceleration (JetFighter 3 in my case) as well as Win9x games that either need no 3D (Fallout, Civ2) or having trouble using later video cards e.g. Need for Speed High Stakes and Jane's F-15.
  • Win98SE build 2: Asus K8V-MX (a) + Sempron 3100+ (e) + Gigabyte GV-R96P256D (a) + SB Live! Platinum (o). Most late Win9x games works on this build as it can handle 1600x1200 resolution with ease.
  • WinXP build: Gigabyte GA-P31-ES3G (h) + Core 2 Duo E7400 (h) + Asus EAH5670/DI/1GD5 (e) + SB Live! 5.1 (e). Planning to upgrade it with recent acquisition of SB Audigy 2 (h).

Legend: (a) = auctioned, (e) = e-waste, (h) = hand-me-down, (o) = old stuff I own

AlessandroB wrote on 2022-03-19, 21:53:

but DX4 will be the only computer with ISA. Will it be powerful enough to satisfy anything that requires an isa sound card?

It really depends on which game(s) you want to play. There's a specific niche of games sitting right between the dusk of DOS era and the dawn of DirectX; the original Tomb Raider and JF3 I mentioned above were typical examples. If you don't have any or don't plan to play those then worry not.

Reply 13 of 13, by AlessandroB

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I try again ... and instead switching from dx4 to a pentium4 with the following characteristics?:

-Intel® Pentium 4 1.5GHz with 400MHz1 Front Side Bus 256KB std and max / ECC / full speed
Processor and L2 cache in FC-PGA2 in mPGA478B socket

-Intel 845 chipset / 82845 Memory Controller Hub (MCH) /
82801BA I/O Controller Hub (ICH2) for PCI 2.2 bus, ATA-100 EIDE, ethernet MAC, USB, Low Pin Count Interface / 82802 Firmware Hub / National® 87360 Super I/O for diskette, parallel, serial, keyboard, mouse

can i get almost to the end of DOS games with DX4 and then start immediately with pentium4? Could it be compatible via PCI with the ESS ES1938S Solo-1 cards I own? I could if it were compatible to use the Pentium 4 for the heavier DOS games if it worked

tnks