First post, by jheronimus
I finally gathered enough hardware to cover most sound/music standards under DOS. As such, I'd like to build a single machine that hosts:
- an AWE32 CT3990 PnP with 32MB RAM;
- a GUS PnP Pro with 8MB RAM;
- a MusicQuest MPU controller card clone;
- an MT-32;
- an SC-55.
(I also have a Yamaha SW60XG, but realistically I don't think I can fit another wavetable device)
I have space for two builds on my desk, and the other machine is a Pentium 3@500 with Voodoo 5 and AWE64 Value with 8MB RAM. So I don't exactly need a "fast" DOS machine or Glide compatibility (or 3D in general). That includes pseudo 3D FPS games, like Duke Nukem 3D or Dark Forces. So here are some examples of games I'd like to play on this build:
- Crusader: No Remorse;
- Wing Commander 1/2/3;
- Ultima Underworld 1/2;
- System Shock;
- Lands of Lore;
- Legend Entertainment quests (like Eric the Unready).
I'd probably pick Windows 95 (RTM release) as my OS. I don't want Windows 98SE (it's already on my Pentium 3) and I don't want later releases of Windows 95 that come with Active Desktop/IE4. I also can't use DOS+Windows 3.11 as I need to use AWE32 with soundfonts and protected mode games.
So it looks like I need a machine that covers years between 1990 and 1995 and supports speeds between 386@33 and Pentium@133 but doesn't specifically need Pentium capabilities (no Quake or Magic Carpet). Thing is, I really want to keep this machine different enough from my Pentium 3 build, which is why I'm trying to narrow down the games list as much as possible.
With that in mind, what kind of machine would you build?
I've already seen some builds here, including batyra's incredible Socket 7 build but I was interested in hearing what kind of machine you guys actually use for projects like this.
I'm heavily leaning towards a fast 486/VLB machine. It can go one of two ways:
- AOpen VI15G (SIS471 chipset) + Intel DX4@100 (writeback cache) + Cirrus Logic 5428 or S3 805 (getting the latter tonight) + dual IDE HDD setup. Probably the most stable fast 486 I can build;
- QDI V4P895GRN/SMT V1.1 (Opti 895 chipset). Being an Opti 895 board it's better suited for running AMD 5x86 — I can probably even try 160MHz to get 40MHz FSB. This should get me closer to early Pentium performance (sans FPU) at the cost of stability.
Obviously I like this idea because it's different enough from a Pentium 3. Also, turbo on DX4 should give me mid-386 performance for Wing Commander. But maybe there are other considerations that make Socket 7 a better pick for this project?