Sorry i havent time to proper response until now, i and my mother were babysitting my 7 years nephew for few days.
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.
Man, its not so simple. We already agreed that specific 286, 386 are machines etc.. is not good solution. For to say which machine we would need to create some compatible matrix with different machines /games with some pointing system and some subjective weighs for points in different category - to make it per user (subjective) and calculate score per machine. You also need some cells to calculate how much problem is for you invest some time effort, patch the games for modern system (Dos4GW on new machines for example often need some patches there is Pascal runtime error on new machines etc.. you need branched config files), use so slowdown utilities. -
Its lots of work, but it such ultimate evaluation table could be done - its not rocket science.
Who knows maybe X58 could be winner, as i say im quite happy with Core 2 Duo, machine its too slow for modern OSes. Im at the start of investigating X58 pure Dos compatibility - start was very promising , Windows 98 compatiblity is great, Windows Xp+ is near to 100%.
I really like to watch Phils videos, but when i see his 486,super socket 7, slots 1 builds etc.. i fell that is not for me, i mind less to fiddle with software things than with hardware, i dont want to keep multiple MBs and have zillion cards for every build. Im ok with glide wrapper, i have Voodoo 2 /3 cards, but will not use them for my builds its too limiting.
I hope, that is clear what i want to say. X58 could be not best, but i can say that is far form to be bad solution, but its worth to investigating and we will see.
I really like to squeeze maximum from 1 box / machine, all in one retro / modern solution has some additional work for sure, if pure Dos compatibility would be very good, i would tell, that slower machine are how to say it more thing of nostalgia than practical solution.. if pure Dos compatibility would be mediocre i would say that older machines are better solution and price of compromise is too big. Definitely when you not need pure Dos and Windows 98+ (Windows 9x Dosbox exluded) machine is what you want, i already could pronounce X58 as winner.
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
I have one, but there limited to CPU TDP - 35W / 45W and i all are too noisy at full load in comparison with proper cooler desktops with big CPU heatsink and fanless PSU which i have.
Space - is not only thing which argues against mores machine, time is money and there is maintenance overhead, especially on slow machines, manage let say Windows 7 on Core duo is simply slow, and there some good apps which are not for XP / Linux to make Windows 7 sense, when on such machine, especially when Xp is out of support.
Even manage new fast machine take time, there are always some problems with updating, drivers etc.
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.
You could look at Agents videos and benchmark, i would say that X58 is fast enough for even newer games, it could handle Geforce 970 / agent has Geforce its pretty same. If you need lots of weakers cores, there are cheap HP z800 dual xeon machines, otherwise is better Core i7 for single thread performance.
Now we know that pure Dos sound is not issue, that it is working.
Sata controller in IDE mode - i originally thought with my Core 2 Duo system, that IDE HDD/SSD performance would be limited to theoretical 133 MB/s what is slow to need SSD, but i find out, that performance is bigger. I did some investigation and i found out that these newer PCI boards, had multiple PCI buses and for disc transfers you it using multiple ones in parallel. Yeah there se still some AHCI new features, but performance difference is not so big.
I did not tested, but its worth to try to test, if pure Dos will work pure Dos controller in IDE mode and others controllers in AHCI modes - i guess is that it will if there will not some Dos readable partition for pure Dos on other disk connected to AHCI controller.. By the way Agent i thing proven it with his NVME disk, which is probably not blocking pure Dos and older OSes, because there are just ignoring it.. Other option would be multiple bios profiles and just to have IDE mode for pure Dos and Windows 98 and AHCI mode for modern OSes its working for sure.. with additional Sata controller - it need some testing and we will see, problem has solution. Agent has x58 board with IDE port, i havent, but if X58 machine project would get better, i will get one, i could use IDE controller - but its wasted slot and such build are slots hungry.
I would say than all presented possible problems, which you described, could be mitigated. I faced much more complicated problems, this is easy in comparison to other things.
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 could argue that modern games are much more about GPUs that about CPU, but i dont have too.. Agents benchmarks results are impressing - but yeah his machine is overclocked and noisy - it could be solved by CPU all in one water block for $100 or less. X58 is workstation platform, you can use Core i7-990X its quite best even in these days: https://ark.intel.com/products/52585/Intel-Co … 0-GTs-Intel-QPI
For cpu power demonstration, im always using Geekbench 3 numbers, there is -Core-i7-990X stock result:
https://browser.geekbench.com/geekbench3/8249391 - 3300 single thread / 19400 - multi thread
My fastest normal "peasant" desktop available 8700K:
https://browser.geekbench.com/geekbench3/8626373 has single - 4489 / 24 400 // And its DDR3 vs. DDR4 expensive 3000 MHz comparison
More typical beefy gamer pc now have Core i7 Skylake quad Core i7-6700K:
https://browser.geekbench.com/geekbench3/8643408 - and guess what.. performance is 3660 single / 14885 multiple.. so again single is same as X58 fastest CPU and multiple score is 1/4 slower and again its with DDR4.. and i X58 system probably using slower rams and you could invest to faster DDR3 ram too, if performance would be problem.
Just for example my Core i7 5960X - 8c /16t much newer architecture https://browser.geekbench.com/geekbench3/8480195 - 3000 / 22 000 - with Dual channel memory, it support quad channel, but had only 2 sticks.. with quad numbers would be i dunno 10% faster, maybe, maybe 15% in mutlicore..
I always filtered Windows 32 (more scores because 32bit version is free) Geekbench 3 score with stock CPU speeds..
Im lazy too search Ryzen gen1 results, but games performance at low res and high framerates would be probably same or better due Ryzen weak single point.. I dont even talk about some legacy SW performance problems, yeah even with Dosbox, some Ryzen unconditional lovers really dont like Dosbox testing..
https://pctuning.tyden.cz/ilustrace3/obermaie … 700x/dosbox.png
https://pctuning.tyden.cz/ilustrace3/obermaie … 7-7820X/dos.png
These CPU are really fast because have lots of cache and have there is triple channel vs dual channel for normal desktops, and Intel generations performance boost is small.. and x58 faster CPUs has TDP 135W vs. desktop 95W for desktop - it making difference too (i saw in Agents bios that it could be level dont - if prefer silence in front of performance, i dont care about it - for older OSes- Bios profiles are your friends). Problem of these CPU is worse power saving - you need good cooler and not TSX instruction support, which you give you up to 20% boost in apps, which would be TSX heavy.
So really not problem in CPU speed..
As i already wrote with such machine you could have the best result from both worlds..
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.
Sorry im not really someone who understand sound.. i only hate if there is noise or some unwanted sounds and want games to play sounds and music. As i write above SB emulation is working with Yamaha 744 and Agents 724, Adlib emulation working too. General midi - i tried Blood and Warcraft II - device is found, test sample is playing, but not hear anything.. i dunno maybe some bad configuration, some jumper on card - or maybe this is not working, im ok with SB for game music.
Agent could try it too.
Wavetable daughterboard - well, my Aopeon yamaha has not that special header for cards like Dreamblaster.. but i saw some awfull gameport wavatable adapter, maybe it would work. Agent is using Aureal Vortex 2 instead of Yamaha why that is why..
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).
To be honest there is not probably too much good Windows 3.xx games or significant number of Windows 95 games, which are not working in Windows 98, yeah this niches.. where i dont hesitate to use DosBox, where you can run Windows 95 image, or PcEm emulator.
If Agent dont mind we can continue in his X58 thread with some compatibility reports are discussions.. because this thread name is already very misleading and more philosophical discussion and discussion under what X58 could or couldnt do..
Update X58: Some Dos compatibility results:
X58 + Yamaha7x4/AureaV1/2 Sound-pure Dos7.1- compatibility list(+i865/VIA) +research+ultimate configs, WIP- gurus needed
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 raw HW.