Dos 7.1 Himem/EMS- boot freeze on HP z400 X58 6c/12t - solved+philosophic discussion about machine sense and progress

Getting old software/games running on older hardware.

Re: Re:

Postby dr_st » 2018-6-28 @ 06:56

@gdjacobs
I also love these posts where people make some generic meta-claim not addressing at all the actual topic of discussion. I love them so much, that I make some myself from time to time. But not in this case. :) Go ahead, please tell me how someone needs a Core i7 six-core running pure DOS. :lol:

@ruthan
Lots of words, zero sense. There is nothing "logical" about building the setup you are trying to build here. If you actually care about playing games and enjoying them, DOSBox will give it to you ten times over, with any choice of General MIDI soundfonts, and MT32 emulation, and controller emulation, and speed control. Every single DOS game on such a system will run better via DOSBox than on "actual hardware". There is no need to waste hundreds of hours to find out "what is better for particular game". The answer is going to be the same every single time.

There is no need to take things to absurd levels. You don't need "zillions" of machines, you don't need "prove 386, 486, early pentium, etc" builds. To cover 95%+ of practical gaming use cases (assuming "gaming on real hardware" is an actual use case in your eyes) you only need two systems: one modern, one retro, and the retro can be a K6-2/K6-3/P-III/early P4 setup (depending on the gaming era where your priorities lie, and how many ISA soundcards you want to have). This will give you the bonus of natively supporting early Windows games; later Windows games will probably run well on your modern setup.

In some cases there is sense in getting an in-between system (late P4 / early core) for native WinXP games with EAX/A3D. But that's pretty much it - 2-3 system is what one needs to faithfully cover 99.9% of practical stuff. Everything else is just hobbyism run amok - whether trying to get a period-correct system for every single year (as some guys try to do), or trying to cram everything into a single box (as others, including yourself try to do).

Yes, it's just a hobby, and we all have silly hobbies that we waste hours and days on. As long as we see it for what it is - there is no problem. :)

P.S. I wonder if you can get AHCI mode and EMM386 functioning together by using a clever combination of I= and X= switches. Would you like to investigate? :-D
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby agent_x007 » 2018-6-28 @ 08:52

ruthan wrote:
agent_x007 wrote:Because it's LGA 1366, the most flexible platform ever created (up to this point) :)
I recommend hardware locking 5 of the 6 cores available and disabling HT in BIOS.

PS. I used DOS 6.22 on i7 980X ;)
You can use 512MB+ memory, if you install Loew's patch for Win 98.


I wonder if you were able to make Sounds card for games working in Pure dos with LGA1366? Because for now, dont know anybody who does make it with anything newer than Core 2 Duo MB.
Yes, I was (in most cases).
But I used Aureal Vortex 2 + DreamBlaster X2 combo for DOS (easiest to run and great compatibility for PCI sound and DOS/Win98). Also, I have it working on video :D
My thread : LINK
BTW. Yamaha YMF 724E-V (PCI), worked as well.

PS. @dr_st I want to use my "can be done" rig in the future, however in a slightly different setup :
DOS/Windows 98 + Windows XP + Windows 7/10 (not 100% sure about Win 7).
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Re: Re:

Postby gdjacobs » 2018-6-28 @ 15:34

dr_st wrote:@gdjacobs
I also love these posts where people make some generic meta-claim not addressing at all the actual topic of discussion. I love them so much, that I make some myself from time to time. But not in this case. :) Go ahead, please tell me how someone needs a Core i7 six-core running pure DOS. :lol:


I dunno, maybe they want to try pushing DN3D a little further at high res. It seems reasonable to say that you don't see a lot of utility with a certain setup, or that it's limited in utility, but no more than that, I think.

For a better specific case where I think you're a little overenthusiastic about your point of view (I won't come right out and say that you're wrong), I can name titles that require EMM386 and some that conflict with it. Do you suggest that everyone F8 when they can't load EMM386? I know I'd prefer to do a little copy-paste and have a couple of memory configurations in the bag to save any such hassle.

Also, DOSBox is great (and can be patched to be even better), but it's no panacea. Just in terms of sound, look at the variety of FM and MIDI synths in the wild and how people's preferences vary. DOSBox can emulate the most common configurations, but it has no hope of doing so for everything. What about early DOS 3D APIs? DOSBox can be patched to do Glide and that's it.
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby oeuvre » 2018-6-28 @ 16:36

TBH I just have a main desktop, laptop, and a Pentium 200 Aptiva. Aptiva does pretty much all the retro stuff I want it to do and anything else I can use my main PC and VMWare, 86Box, etc.
HP Z420 Workstation Intel Xeon E5-1620, 32GB, AMD FirePro V7900 2GB, SSD + HD, XP/7
Main Desktop Intel i7 6700, 32GB, AMD RX580 8GB, NVMe SSD + HD, 10
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Re: Re:

Postby dr_st » 2018-6-28 @ 17:31

gdjacobs wrote:I dunno, maybe they want to try pushing DN3D a little further at high res.
What, 200 FPS at 1600x1200? (probably on an LCD that's capped at 60Hz). For benchmarking purposes or for actual enjoyment?

gdjacobs wrote:For a better specific case where I think you're a little overenthusiastic about your point of view (I won't come right out and say that you're wrong), I can name titles that require EMM386 and some that conflict with it. Do you suggest that everyone F8 when they can't load EMM386? I know I'd prefer to do a little copy-paste and have a couple of memory configurations in the bag to save any such hassle.
Very few actually conflict with it. More conflict with it taking over specific regions, but that's what the switches are for.

The way I see it - if you happen to play a particular selection of titles, and it's about 50-50 on when you need EMM386, versus when you absolutely can't have it, then maybe a boot menu makes sense. For the more common case, you may have one or two games that you very rarely play, which cannot stomach EMM386, and for those, you might as well just reboot and hit F8 (hey, you need to reboot anyways).

I have hundreds of DOS titles on my system and I really don't recall any of them having issues with the EMM386 in my configuration. My experience with these discussions is that people take one or two specific, rare examples and try to pass them off as norm.

gdjacobs wrote:Also, DOSBox is great (and can be patched to be even better), but it's no panacea. Just in terms of sound, look at the variety of FM and MIDI synths in the wild and how people's preferences vary. DOSBox can emulate the most common configurations, but it has no hope of doing so for everything.
DOSBox (+Munt) emulates everything that people need to play and enjoy games in a faithful way. The rest depends on your soundfonts. Yes, audiophiles can argue until the cows come home about the advantages of very specific synths for specific games, and how you must have a SBPro, SB16, GUS, MT32, SC55 and 10 more derivatives (Disney Sound Source, anyone?) to get "the real experience". I'm not going to argue with audiophiles, but for this kind of thing they are going to need a real retro system anyways (and typically more than one). The best you can get with a clumsy "one-size-fits-all" solution like ruthan is building is basic SB/FM emulation, and that's it.

gdjacobs wrote:What about early DOS 3D APIs? DOSBox can be patched to do Glide and that's it.
Good question - what about them? I'm embarrassed to say that I know next to nothing about early DOS 3D APIs other than Glide. How many are there? How many games actually utilize them in a way that makes a difference? Don't you need special hardware? If so, then again - a modern build hacked to do retro is not going to cut it.
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby ruthan » 2018-6-28 @ 23:07

agent_x007 wrote:But I used Aureal Vortex 2 + DreamBlaster X2 combo for DOS (easiest to run and great compatibility for PCI sound and DOS/Win98). Also, I have it working on video :D
My thread : LINK
BTW. Yamaha YMF 724E-V (PCI), worked as well.

PS. @dr_st I want to use my "can be done" rig in the future, however in a slightly different setup :
DOS/Windows 98 + Windows XP + Windows 7/10 (not 100% sure about Win 7).


Im not familiar with Aureal Vortex 2 + DreamBlaster X2 combo for DOS, is there Aureal Vortex SB emulation driver, or you using something special?

BTW i already have that machine, what you trying to build, with Core 2 Duo Conroe865, i didnt tested Windows 10, but Windows 7 64 are running.

I saw in your HW list - 2 GPUs, how you want to use them together? I heard that Windows 98 need to have primary GPU in first slot, i had slots of issues with 2 different Nvidia cards, on new oses.. that is one of reason why i want to make newer machine working - Gigabyte / HP boards has primary GPU slot selection bios feature and i can confirm, that it working with Windows 98.
Other hint from me is use ATI / Nvidia combo.. X300 - X800 are working for DOS / Windows 98 and have better compatibility and Geforce 6/7 cards from my experience (for example when you run Dos application from Windows 98 in fullscreen, there is nvidia bug => black screen, for 512 VRAM card, you also need rLoews paid patch), you also mitigate 2 nvidia cards problems in modern OS.

Update:
i did some research on primary GPU selection X58 boards, i opened first Gigabyte X58 and feature - named as - Init Display First is there.

Just for fun could you post your Geekbench 3 score to compare with my Xeon 5660 CPU, im not sure if Xeon would work with some standard desktop X58 board, and i checked price of Core for i7 x58, there are much more expensive than Xeons for same platform, paid $20 for mine.
Last edited by ruthan on 2018-6-29 @ 04:42, edited 1 time in total.
Im old goal oriented goatman, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos+prejudices. Hoarding=sickness. If you want respect, gain it by your behavior. I hate stupid SW limits, SW=virtual world, everything should be possible if you have enough HW.
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby agent_x007 » 2018-6-28 @ 23:25

I'm using Aureal Vortex 2 driver for DOS.
You only have to enable MPU401/wabeblaster header (ie. set volume high enough) in it for X2 module to work.

Core 2 Duo is too slow for me since I want to use a DirectX 12 capable card at least, with perfomance around GTX 970 or higher.

I used 7800 GTX (256MB ;)) as primary, and GTX 780 Ti as secondary, with switching off the not needed/non-working hardware in Device Manager for every Windows.
I did use Loew's patch (becasue I sure as hell, NOT going to use 512MB of RAM on Windows 10).
But 7900 GTX a 512MB card, worked fine on this setup when it was alone (no need for Loew patch).
The only downside to lack of primary graphics selector, is that you have to switch video inputs on monitor from primary GPU, for OS'es which utilise secondary GPU (Win 7 was problematic in this regard...).
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Re: Re:

Postby ruthan » 2018-6-29 @ 00:00

dr_st wrote:@ruthan
Lots of words, zero sense. There is nothing "logical" about building the setup you are trying to build here. If you actually care about playing games and enjoying them, DOSBox will give it to you ten times over, with any choice of General MIDI soundfonts, and MT32 emulation, and controller emulation, and speed control. Every single DOS game on such a system will run better via DOSBox than on "actual hardware". There is no need to waste hundreds of hours to find out "what is better for particular game". The answer is going to be the same every single time.

There is no need to take things to absurd levels. You don't need "zillions" of machines, you don't need "prove 386, 486, early pentium, etc" builds. To cover 95%+ of practical gaming use cases (assuming "gaming on real hardware" is an actual use case in your eyes) you only need two systems: one modern, one retro, and the retro can be a K6-2/K6-3/P-III/early P4 setup (depending on the gaming era where your priorities lie, and how many ISA soundcards you want to have). This will give you the bonus of natively supporting early Windows games; later Windows games will probably run well on your modern setup.

In some cases there is sense in getting an in-between system (late P4 / early core) for native WinXP games with EAX/A3D. But that's pretty much it - 2-3 system is what one needs to faithfully cover 99.9% of practical stuff. Everything else is just hobbyism run amok - whether trying to get a period-correct system for every single year (as some guys try to do), or trying to cram everything into a single box (as others, including yourself try to do).

Yes, it's just a hobby, and we all have silly hobbies that we waste hours and days on. As long as we see it for what it is - there is no problem. :)



I dont want to repeat myself, agent_x007 X58 already shows that my build make sense, you can check his thread compatibility reports..

DosBox - there is very long list of DosBox issues and main DosBox development is dead, there are some forks, but community is fragmented.
Last time when i checked every on my Core i7 quad some games like Daggerfall had performance issues, there is also quite big audio lag - someone claims 200-300ms, that on of reasons why here are quite few threads about new fast machines and PCI soundcards compatiblity.
I had K6-2 when it was new, it wasnt fast enough for newer Windows 98 games.. same as Pentium III, Pentium IV maybe, but its only one generation from my present Core 2 Duo retro build and 2 generation from X58 builds.. so its logical to try to make 1 step further, especially when such machines could run present OS and games - check again
agent_x007 videos - Witcher III no Core 2 quad are running quite well.

There is also financial aspect, i bought my X58 machine - Xeon 6/12 core/ thread, 8 GB ECC, 160 GB HDD WD Raptor, DVD drive, with Quadro GPU (sold for 30E) even with floppy drive, just for 150E (or 120E when i substract GPU price), new machine with same performance is much more expensive.. also old retro hardware is getting more and more expensive, so emulate it on newer HW cheaper will make bigger and bigger sense.

Win XP - because im doing bad things, what you dont like, i make running XP even on newest Intel Z370 chipset with Intel 8700K hexa core with Geforce 970, so there not really need for XP specific machine, in future i would need only add second GPU for Windows XP - probably fanless Geforce 750, because Nvidia 10xx no longer support Windows XP and have board with primary GPU selection feature (i already have it).

dr_st wrote:P.S. I wonder if you can get AHCI mode and EMM386 functioning together by using a clever combination of I= and X= switches. Would you like to investigate? :-D

We could try it, i even suspect rLoew that has some paid patch for it, but for free its better..

Good question - what about them? I'm embarrassed to say that I know next to nothing about early DOS 3D APIs other than Glide. How many are there? How many games actually utilize them in a way that makes a difference? Don't you need special hardware? If so, then again - a modern build hacked to do retro is not going to cut it.

Well, there is list of Dos Glide games viewtopic.php?t=886
Most of them have Windows working 3D Acceleration ports, os its really big niche, but lets say that you have to see Blood 3Dfx port, before you die, its worst 3Dfx port, which i saw and fun to check it.

I have hundreds of DOS titles on my system and I really don't recall any of them having issues with the EMM386 in my configuration. My experience with these discussions is that people take one or two specific, rare examples and try to pass them off as norm.

Its funny, its 20 years ago, but i remember Dos memory hell, quite well.. maybe i havent best possible boot files.. that period 88-96 was time of very quick technological progress and some games where quite picky about Dos settings, others are funny rock solid - i still love that old Dungeon Master of box on everything.
Im old goal oriented goatman, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos+prejudices. Hoarding=sickness. If you want respect, gain it by your behavior. I hate stupid SW limits, SW=virtual world, everything should be possible if you have enough HW.
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby gdjacobs » 2018-6-29 @ 00:53

Rendition, S3, and Matrox all had publishers using their proprietary accel technology in DOS. Paradise Tasmania and 3D Blaster cards were used by only DOS titles. Even when there are ports available to other APIs, very often graphics are rendered differently between them.
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby ruthan » 2018-6-29 @ 00:54

agent_x007 wrote:I'm using Aureal Vortex 2 driver for DOS.

Aureal Vortex 2 - i checked ebay list, there are multiple vendors, of which specific card you can recommend?
BTW - i tried to make Audigy or SB live! to work, because its working everywhere from Windows 98 to Windows 10,
i saw on your list.. that you have 2nd sound card. How do you realize sound ouput switching?
Annoying audio cables re-connection, some manual jack switch or how? It tried to find with help of forum some sound input auto detection box, but i have failed for now..

agent_x007 wrote:I did use Loew's patch (becasue I sure as hell, NOT going to use 512MB of RAM on Windows 10).

Well its probably late, but you dont new rLoew patch for it, it could be done for free.. i found only czech translation how to fix it here from Rayer:
http://rayer.g6.cz/os/os.htm#WIN98-512MB
But its simple you have to use himemX from FreeDos instead of himem to limit maximal memory:
replace DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS /V
by this line for 1 GB: DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.EXE /MAX=1048576 /NUMHANDLES=64 /METHOD:FAST /VERBOSE
and adjust system.ini values.

This is working for already installed Windows 98 - installed with less memory or copied form other computer.. and safe mode is not working, to make it working you have installed this patch for io.sys, run it from Dos in C:\
http://rayer.g6.cz/os/w98iopat.exe

Same patch could be used also during installation, when you got that insufficient memory message (= too much memory in reality - more than 512MB), you just run it and add copy HimemX and add lines above and all its working for free.

Year rLoew will say that his patch has other improvements and you can use more than 1 GB in Windows 98 with it (for other money he has even some RAM patch for use all free RAM, even fore than 4 GB for Ramdisk), but 1GB (there is specific proven value - i dunno exactly something like 1160MB) is working great with HimemX.. I had some Geforce 7 512 MB (later i discovered that Geforce 6/7 with 256 MB is problem same) issues on AMD970 board with Windows 98 and his patch, so i bough even his RAM patch and other,s but didnt see any difference from HimemX and to say true it didnt fix my Geforce 7 problems with that particular boards, with others machines it worked.. but as i wrote at the end i realized that Radeon X800 or X850 is much better solution for Windows 98 and Dos and it working without patches.
Im old goal oriented goatman, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos+prejudices. Hoarding=sickness. If you want respect, gain it by your behavior. I hate stupid SW limits, SW=virtual world, everything should be possible if you have enough HW.
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby agent_x007 » 2018-6-29 @ 06:30

Phil used this one : LINK, and I used SQ2500 version (but on black PCB).

Since my Hex boot was more like experiment, I simply switched my headphones minijack between outputs manually (I had to restart PC either way because of BIOS settings change, and it wasn't in case - so it wasn't that big of a deal for me).
As a more permament solution, you should get a mixer box with two or more inputs and at least one output.

HimemX and system.ini tweaks couldn't help me when I installed over 2GB of RAM.
Win98 simply refused to boot (memory error), regardless of what tweaks I did to system.ini settings. It might have been moded GF 7000 series driver at fault here, however I wanted GF card in this setup (I do own x850 XT PCIe).
rLoew patch fixed this issue for me and 12GB of RAM worked on Win98 with GF 7xx0 card.
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Re: Re:

Postby dr_st » 2018-6-29 @ 06:31

ruthan wrote:I dont want to repeat myself, agent_x007 X58 already shows that my build make sense, you can check his thread compatibility reports...
"I can get it to work" and "It makes sense" are not the same thing. But, yes, his compatibility is very impressive with working sound and General MIDI.

ruthan wrote:DosBox - there is very long list of DosBox issues and main DosBox development is dead, there are some forks, but community is fragmented.
DOSBox has issues, pure DOS has issues, the games themselves have issues! The difference is that with DOSBox, most of the issues can be worked around by changing the configuration, and a lot of it can be done even on the fly without restarting the program. Worst thing - you have separate configuration files for specific games. When it comes to running DOS games on real hardware, you often need to reboot your computer with a separate configuration, and that's assuming there is not an inherent hardware incompatibility, which cannot be resolved without swapping out components / systems.

ruthan wrote:I had K6-2 when it was new, it wasnt fast enough for newer Windows 98 games.. same as Pentium III, Pentium IV maybe
That's why I said "depending on the gaming era where your priorities lie". A K6-II is a great solution for DOS and early Windows games, but if you want later Windows games - go for a stronger system. Even later Windows games probably run just as well on modern hardware; worst thing - you'll need to have an XP dual boot (which you already have).

ruthan wrote:also old retro hardware is getting more and more expensive, so emulate it on newer HW cheaper will make bigger and bigger sense.
That's precisely what DOSBox (and other PC emulators, like PCem) are for and that's what they are doing (with slightly different accents / priorities). What you are doing is something different, and in fact opposite from hardware emulation.

ruthan wrote:Win XP - because im doing bad things, what you dont like, i make running XP even on newest Intel Z370 chipset with Intel 8700K hexa core with Geforce 970, so there not really need for XP specific machine, in future i would need only add second GPU for Windows XP - probably fanless Geforce 750, because Nvidia 10xx no longer support Windows XP and have board with primary GPU selection feature (i already have it).
So you see - it's even simpler - you only need two systems. If your ultra-modern system can run WinXP, then you only need a retro box. And a K6/P3/P4 with an ISA slot to support native DOS soundcards make for a better retro box than your current setup. Of course, there is the hardware availability problem, as working old motherboards, GPUs are becoming more scarce (and more expensive). It's not insolvable yet, but it may get there in the future. At that point, however, I feel that emulation would be the better approach, if the goal is to simply enjoy the games, and not expand the boundaries of human knowledge (which in itself is a noble cause :)). That's based on the fact that already in the current state of things I find emulation of old games in most cases superior than playing on real hardware.

ruthan wrote:Its funny, its 20 years ago, but i remember Dos memory hell, quite well.. maybe i havent best possible boot files.. that period 88-96 was time of very quick technological progress and some games where quite picky about Dos settings, others are funny rock solid - i still love that old Dungeon Master of box on everything.
Yep, I remember that quite well myself. As I said, it took some time for me to get the best boot files (and the most compatible sound cards as well, even if they are not the best sounding :-D).

I suppose I need to finally tone down my rhetoric here, and focus on my main point: my objection is not to the existence of such builds or the interest of folks of investigating how far one can go before hitting a compatibility wall, and whether there are ways around it until you hit the next wall, etc. That's all awesome (I sometimes do it myself, albeit in other fields). I just want there to be a word of warning to "newbies" of the retrogaming scene, lest they mistakenly believe that such contortions are somehow required if they want to play and enjoy their oldies. This is absolutely not the best and not the most compatible approach. If anything, it takes "the path of most resistance". But that's part of the fun, no? ;)
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Re: Re:

Postby gdjacobs » 2018-6-29 @ 13:42

dr_st wrote:What, 200 FPS at 1600x1200? (probably on an LCD that's capped at 60Hz). For benchmarking purposes or for actual enjoyment?

DN3D starts to hit a wall at 1600x1200, so if you want to run it at high res, you need a monster core. I'm talking about 45-50 FPS with a high clocked S939 machine.

It's worth noting that Dosbox performance is better than straight DOS on the same hardware, although it has limitations as I've stated before.

dr_st wrote:Very few actually conflict with it. More conflict with it taking over specific regions, but that's what the switches are for.

Agreed, although I do like the Ultima series. Also, lots of hardware utilities work better/completely/at all without EMM386 running.

dr_st wrote:DOSBox (+Munt) emulates everything that people need to play and enjoy games in a faithful way. The rest depends on your soundfonts. Yes, audiophiles can argue until the cows come home about the advantages of very specific synths for specific games, and how you must have a SBPro, SB16, GUS, MT32, SC55 and 10 more derivatives (Disney Sound Source, anyone?) to get "the real experience". I'm not going to argue with audiophiles, but for this kind of thing they are going to need a real retro system anyways (and typically more than one). The best you can get with a clumsy "one-size-fits-all" solution like ruthan is building is basic SB/FM emulation, and that's it.

More power to him if he's able to get it to work, although DOS compatibility on S775 and AM2 systems was already beginning to get spotty (especially for sound), so I agree with you that there will probably be practical limitations and difficulties in this type of build.

To me, different sound hardware is like oil painting vs watercolour. Some people do argue about it, but that doesn't preclude most from enjoying what's on the canvas. I'm not sure if you're suggesting there's "one true way" or it doesn't matter what you use, but in both cases I think you're wrong.
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby ruthan » 2018-6-29 @ 16:30

agent_x007 wrote:HimemX and system.ini tweaks couldn't help me when I installed over 2GB of RAM.
Win98 simply refused to boot (memory error), regardless of what tweaks I did to system.ini settings. It might have been moded GF 7000 series driver at fault here, however I wanted GF card in this setup (I do own x850 XT PCIe).

HimemX is not limited by real ram size, im using it on machines with 4,8,12,16 GB of RAM.
Im old goal oriented goatman, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos+prejudices. Hoarding=sickness. If you want respect, gain it by your behavior. I hate stupid SW limits, SW=virtual world, everything should be possible if you have enough HW.
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Re: Re:

Postby dr_st » 2018-6-29 @ 19:18

gdjacobs wrote:DN3D starts to hit a wall at 1600x1200, so if you want to run it at high res, you need a monster core. I'm talking about 45-50 FPS with a high clocked S939 machine.
Is 45-50 FPS bad for DN3D? The original DOOM is perfectly smooth capped at 35FPS. Maybe it's because of the low 320x200 resolution, or are there meaningful engine differences that make Build less smooth at the same frame rate?

gdjacobs wrote:To me, different sound hardware is like oil painting vs watercolour. Some people do argue about it, but that doesn't preclude most from enjoying what's on the canvas. I'm not sure if you're suggesting there's "one true way" or it doesn't matter what you use, but in both cases I think you're wrong.
The point I try to make is actually neither. It is that if you want to experience different sound synths - it is, again, easier to do via emulation than on real hardware, especially on a modern system, where you are inherently limited in what you can connect. Even on a retro system - you still need to get that original hardware.

Whereas DOSBox gives you a pretty-good sounding FM (said by many to be more faithful to original OPL3 than certain clones), General MIDI capabilities (for which you can find sound fonts to mimic the most popular synthesizers of the DOS era), MT-32 capabilities (you need Munt or a DOSBox with that built in). I believe you can also get GUS with the correct Ultrasound patches. And all this is done completely in software, free of hardware compatibility issues. No, it won't sound exactly the same as the original hardware. Yes, it will sound close enough to most people. And in any case it won't be more of a clone than a PCI soundcard + Dreamblaster daughterboard, which is the most you can get on a modern system running DOS (and that's amazing in itself, until recently I did not even know wavetable daughterboards would be possible).
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby ruthan » 2018-6-30 @ 23:35

@dr_st
"
I can get it to work" and "It makes sense" are not the same thing. But, yes, his compatibility is very impressive with working sound and General MIDI.


Yeah this all what it is really about, research / science (yeah retro computers is easy science for dummies) is about move limits, its fun too.. buy, for other people which could just use explorers guides, it could be very practical projects.. even shows dead ends (if you are good enough to admit that something is not working.. i have friend astrophysicist / geologist who spend 20 year in try to solve some mathematics problems.. at the he admitted defeat and move to economic theories become start in this profession ), its good for such projects and science.

Reboots on new computers is not issue, crtl+alt+del it takes 15secs - 2x arrows keys press in boot manager (im using Grub / Clover for all OSes) and Win98 boot menu and enter , i remember 286 days when boot took at least minute.

Best solution:
Ok you stand for 2 machines - modern and legacy. I really think than that 1 modern machine + second most modern as possible for retro compatibility or even only 1 most modern machine, which capable retro gaming are viable competitors. Why, there are some arguments:
- i would argue, that for someone who really need working computer is not 1 modern machine enough, regardless retro gaming i still need backup modern machine to resume work, if main machine fail.. and working on notebook is not ideal - even when you connect external monitors etc.. So is good to have retro machine, which is capable for modern OS, browsers, IDEs etc.. - in one piece.
- Fast retro machine is also good - for visitors, for example they can browse internet on it, i can play new multiplayer games in old Lan party style with my nephews...
- id something broke, is always easier to diagnose and replace newer components
- Dos game are for 8086 to 486 and few for Pentium, so even Pentium III machine is few generation from initial hardware
- if dont care about pure Dos or Windows 98 Dosbox, Windows 98 working very well on Z97 Haswell / Broadwell boards / AM3 boards / on MSFN rLoew with someone made Z170 working
- 2 machine instead of 3, need less space and cables, or time to reconnect things
- if you hate slow computer and waiting as do i, speed maters too.. is few seconds there, some slower data transfers there, in few years, it accumulate in few days just wasted in waiting process..

Only important metrics to measure how good /bad such builds are IMHO :
1) Compatibility with games
2) Money
3) Time effort need to make it happen, because time is other name for money, if are not already retired and alone..

ad 1)
- Fast machine has already near to 100% comp XP / Windows 7 / Windows 10 / Linux - its great bonus.
- As i wrote above Windows 98, except Windows 98 dosbox, is running quite good on quite modern boards, after you make machine booting and drivers for video / audio / storage / network working, compatibility is very good.
- ok finally pure Dos games, you have to make SB emulation working, otherwise is machine from Dos gaming useless..
- but after that i would say, that at least 60% of games are working out of box on new Intel machines, without any fiddling
- and with some branched config files / patches and some CPU speed / Video atd adjusting utilities you could get at least 80%, more likely 90% of compatibility, look at Agent007 report, they are quite good..
- if would be compatibility under lets say < 70%, i would say its waste of time, its better, so it make sense.. There are lots of people with great knowledge and skills, which could help you make most of games running, it would be better and better - better utilities, better compatibility libraries/ guides, more knowledge..

ad 2)
- Some old hardware is very expensive and it would be worse and worse, there would be more and more fakes and half working old cards etc.
- For now are platform like X58 are real sweetpot- in storage is lots old company one or double Xeon workstation, later it would be some Sandy / Ivy bridge machines.

ad 3)
-It depends on knowledge, which you already have, or need to get, and as wrote above if there is good guide from researcher, that amount of time could rapidly decrease and you now what to expect..
-you not need wait month to try some new cards from eBay and after fail, wait other month, if its working for someone its very good guide..

----
Newer hardware have 1 more advantage, you never know, when someone will write some new driver or utility which will make to working something which is not working.. Imagine SB compatible emulator / wrapper for Realtek HD audio or fixed drivers for Creative cards on new chipset etc.. There some crazy project like Adlib on LTP port etc.. You never know what could move the barrier..
Modern hardware have also possibility to just exit retro gaming and you can still use machine for modern things.

Yeah situation could change quickly, if some could create good Windows 98 emulation with 3D drivers + some significant Dosbox improvements will come, i would say that retro machines are waste of time, luxury items for collectors.. But for now, i think that my solution is good one.
Im old goal oriented goatman, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos+prejudices. Hoarding=sickness. If you want respect, gain it by your behavior. I hate stupid SW limits, SW=virtual world, everything should be possible if you have enough HW.
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby dr_st » 2018-7-01 @ 09:03

I see your point - you are advocating not to have a dedicated retro system, but a system that combines retro and modern, so you can have fewer systems overall.

It is true that someone who seriously works on computers generally needs more than one modern system (a backup system). I disagree that working on laptops is always sub-optimal; good business laptops with docking station support can be hooked to an external monitor+keyboard+mouse+everything setup via the dock, and then it feels exactly like a desktop setup. New Thunderbolt docks bring this capability to any laptop, not just business models with mechanical docking station. However, that is besides the point; If you have such a setup - it takes as much space as a full desktop, and the laptop-vs-desktop argument is a different one, not related to this discussion.

If someone, for the purpose of saving space wants to have just two systems, both of which are sufficiently modern, and at least one of which is retro-capable, then your research project is indeed tailored exactly to these needs.

I don't believe you can reliably get it down to just a single system and still keep pure DOS compatibility. It seems that sound in DOS is not working on your setup, which means you are at this point is stuck a few generations back. Plus, you needed to stick the SATA controller in IDE mode, which is sub-optimal for newer OSes.

As I see the current status of the reserach, agent_x007's first generation Core-i system is the farthest you can go with pure DOS games, and it is already many years behind the current top-of-the-line systems, so you probably want at least one newer than that. Furthermore, assuming that one wants a primary system which is always fairly modern, you will have to upgrade that system from time to time, and more and more things will keep breaking.

I will further argue that, in the end, if you have a modern system (Core 2 Quad or higher), where you run a modern OS, but also want to also play DOS games on, then it is still generally better to do it in DOSBox inside the modern OS, rather than working hard to set up pure DOS compatibility and rebooting. Yes, rebooting is faster than before, but not always as fast as you claim, and the biggest problem with it is that you have to drop all your work, shut down the OS, reboot, play your game, then reboot back. With DOSBox you can do it all on the fly.

DOSBox already has great compatibility (probably better than a modern system running DOS on real hardware), and its audio options are also more versatile (see my separate discussion with gdjacobs in this thread).

To me, the most interesting part of these research projects is the fundamental ability to get working Sound Blaster + General MIDI audio in DOS via a PCI sound card + wavetable daughterboard / MPU-401 via gameport. Because this capability is generic useful for many, many generations of systems, that have PCI but not ISA which will allow many people to add DOS game support to whatever system they happen to have, without chasing a specific configuration (other than the audio hardware). Thus, the specific tweaks required to push compatibility one generation forward are not so exciting for me. :)

I am specifically keeping the "early Windows" games out of this discussion, because it's a whole different world compared to DOS. For starts, you do not need ISA audio or SB emulation, so you have a wider variety of audio hardware available, and less compatibility requirements. Also a lot of these games can still run in XP and even NT6+ versions of Windows (sometimes with specific patches).
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby agent_x007 » 2018-7-01 @ 10:15

If you don't have ca$h for wavetable board, you can always use OPL3LPT dongle : LINK
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby dr_st » 2018-7-01 @ 11:36

agent_x007 wrote:If you don't have ca$h for wavetable board, you can always use OPL3LPT dongle : LINK

How does that help? It seems to address a different requirement than a wavetable board, and is not cheaper. I must be missing something. :)
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby agent_x007 » 2018-7-01 @ 11:48

If you want OPL3 native sound, this is the way to do it on modern systems without the need of PCI sound card.
For example : If you want to use Voodoo 1/2 but you got only one PCI port for sound/graphics (if you "catch my drift") ;)
Sure no special effects, but music will work.
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