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486 vs pentium dos computer


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#1 mehguy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 5, 2014 12:38 PM

I'm looking into a machine that can run early to mid 90's games. Which computer would be best to run them at the correct speed?



#2 segasaturn OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 5, 2014 12:54 PM

It honestly depends on that you want to run. What programs do you want to run? Generally though, the 486 would be better for DOS games. The 486 runs more dos software than Pentium 1. On the other end, the Pentium 1 is faster and can do more up to date windows 95 software, etc,. So honestly, what do you want to run?



#3 mehguy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 5, 2014 1:01 PM

It honestly depends on that you want to run. What programs do you want to run? Generally though, the 486 would be better for DOS games. The 486 runs more dos software than Pentium 1. On the other end, the Pentium 1 is faster and can do more up to date windows 95 software, etc,. So honestly, what do you want to run?

 

Well I would like to run true dos. So I want to run of the last dos games (such as full throttle) 



#4 segasaturn OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 5, 2014 1:16 PM

To be true to DOS, I'd pick the 486 personally. The system requirements for Full throttle is a 486dx at 33mhz. So personally I would go for a fast 486 processor, so you can run relatively new software on DOS (the Pentium 1 processor is a little overkill for pure DOS if you ask me). And the 486 can run much more compatible original DOS software compared to the pentium. So my vote is a fast 486 like I said.



#5 mehguy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 5, 2014 2:02 PM

To be true to DOS, I'd pick the 486 personally. The system requirements for Full throttle is a 486dx at 33mhz. So personally I would go for a fast 486 processor, so you can run relatively new software on DOS (the Pentium 1 processor is a little overkill for pure DOS if you ask me). And the 486 can run much more compatible original DOS software compared to the pentium. So my vote is a fast 486 like I said.

Will a 486dx still run Lemmings fine?



#6 roland p OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 5, 2014 2:06 PM

dosbox?

#7 Seob OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 5, 2014 2:23 PM

Maybe a amd 5x86-133 would be a great processor. One of the fastest 486 processors available(there was a 150mhz version).I had one and it was great for dos games and could run windows 95 games. For some older games you would need a stepdown program, like for wolfstein3d, otherwise it would run to fast.

#8 AtariLeaf OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 5, 2014 2:31 PM

Maybe a amd 5x86-133 would be a great processor. One of the fastest 486 processors available(there was a 150mhz version).I had one and it was great for dos games and could run windows 95 games. For some older games you would need a stepdown program, like for wolfstein3d, otherwise it would run to fast.

 

I remember running into that problem with Stunt Driver by Spectrum Holobyte - a game that ran fine on a 486 but a Pentium 1 gave it fits even with slow down software. It just behaved strangely.



#9 The Usotsuki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 5, 2014 2:47 PM

I never had issues with Wolf3D being too fast even on a DX5/133.



#10 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 5, 2014 2:52 PM

The quintessential dos gaming computer was
either a 486 DX2/66 or a 386DX40.. depending on which era you're interested in.

Additionally, most slowdown programs worked good on processors without cache. Once on-chip cache became industry standard these slow-down programs had all sorts of erratic timing and stuttering issues.

#11 AtariLeaf OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 5, 2014 3:10 PM

The quintessential dos gaming computer was
either a 486 DX2/66 or a 386DX40.. depending on which era you're interested in.

Additionally, most slowdown programs worked good on processors without cache. Once on-chip cache became industry standard these slow-down programs had all sorts of erratic timing and stuttering issues.

 

That would explain the erratic behavior Stunt Driver gave me on a pentium 1



#12 Torr OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 5, 2014 3:23 PM

Go with a 486DX/66Mhz

 

The only benefit of have a P1 would be to play later DOS games that ran in 640x480, but most of those could be run in 320x200 as well, the Higher Res modes were optional, like TekWar, Witchaven, Duke Nukem 3D, Quake, SkyNet, Tomb Raider to name a few...

Basically the DOS games that were coming out at the end of the DOS Era, when Win95 was starting to become the standard.

 

However maybe with a good video card a 486 can run 640x480 smoothly, that's one thing I never had back in the day... I had a Compaq Presario that I upgraded to the hilt, but the Video (Cirrus Logic, not sure how much, if any RAM) was on-board with no way to upgrade.



#13 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 5, 2014 4:03 PM

That would explain the erratic behavior Stunt Driver gave me on a pentium 1

Maybe.. The DX2/66 also had a cache, but it was a small one. And most caches on the 486 were write-through as opposed to write back. This meant the program still had to talk to main memory at a fixed rate (bus speed clock) when writing. Like in a classic computer so to speak.

Write backs allowed more decoupling of the core from the bus. And the code thus had no idea how fast it was running. It could talk to just the cache, and the cache would determine (on its own schedule) when to write to memory. Creating perfect isolation for a tiny program. Stuff that fit in the cache ran at full speed with no waiting on main memory. There was no timing reference.

I know there were slow down programs for the pentium, but I don't know their specific names because I was all into win95 stuff at the time. Most slowdown programs just inserted a delay loop. And this delay loop would run at incredible speed inside the later processor's buffers and caches. Being isolated from memory accesses, and the fixed timing references derived from that activity, these slo-mo utilities had no idea how long of a loop to make. And you'd get speeds all over the charts.

#14 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 5, 2014 5:58 PM

Now that I'm un-drunk let me simplify that 4 U.

 

 

The 486 had a simple cache. It buffered read-from-memory operations. The CPU could read from its cache at full core speed.

 

When it came time for the CPU to write to memory, it had to do so at regular bus & memory speed.

 

Look up the terms "write-back" and "write-through" to learn more.

 



#15 Osgeld OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 5, 2014 8:50 PM

Another problem with a Pentium and some dos programs is that the CPU is separated from the bus, on older chips like the 486 on down, the cards, once installed are wired direct to the CPU, and if a programmer was being "clever" It probably wouldn't work on a Pentium (ie doing magic tricks with the video).

 

and yes lemmings on a 486 runs fine, it runs fine on a higher end 386


Edited by Osgeld, Sun Oct 5, 2014 8:51 PM.


#16 AtariLeaf OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 6, 2014 3:39 AM

The sad thing is I used to find 486's on a regular basis. Thrift stores used to carry them regularly. Actually they don't carry computers at all around here anymore, let alone something that old.



#17 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 6, 2014 3:58 AM

IDK.. It seems that everyone (except retro-enthusiasts) has this hateful passion and are all too willing to throw away any old technology. My sister's neighbor just tossed 4 Pentium II systems. Not that they're worth anything. And the people that will find those nostalgic aren't at that stage yet.

 

Most thrift stores aren't allowed to accept or sell old computers due to privacy and data retention and liability issues, even if the hard drive is removed. Where is the logic in that?



#18 Torr OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 6, 2014 4:39 AM

The logic is in the circuits! ;)



#19 mehguy OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 6, 2014 5:47 AM

So what some good games are for the 486dx? I'm interested in shmups and arcade like games and also like RPG's.

 

Also, let's say I find a 486 with windows 95 installed onto it, does windows gets installed on TOP of dos or replaces dos?


Edited by mehguy, Mon Oct 6, 2014 5:50 AM.


#20 youki OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 6, 2014 5:57 AM

Personnally i would go for a Pentium 1 / 90 Mhz. 

 

I use PC since 1984 when i got my first 8088 XT . then 386DX20 (in 89) and next Pentium 90 Mhz (bugged!) (in 93) .

 

I never had any problem to run dos games on the pentium , even the older ones.  (of course for the really first one, i used a slowdown program) .    No problem with Stunt Driver , or what ever games.

 

The advantage of the Pentium is that you can really also enjoy confortably  the last dos games.



#21 Torr OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 6, 2014 8:13 AM

Do NOT put Win95 on a 486... the operating system itself may run, but any game making USE of Win95 is going to want a Pentium (It's all about the Pentiums!)

 

For a SHMUP, get a 486DX and Raptor: Call of the Shadows. You will NOT be disappointed!



#22 Seob OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 6, 2014 8:36 AM

Do NOT put Win95 on a 486... the operating system itself may run, but any game making USE of Win95 is going to want a Pentium (It's all about the Pentiums!)
 
For a SHMUP, get a 486DX and Raptor: Call of the Shadows. You will NOT be disappointed!

No a 5x86-133 (a80486) will run win 95 just fine. Had no problem with it. It has the hated p rating of a pentium 75.

#23 Hatta OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 6, 2014 8:57 AM

To be honest, you need one of each.  An 8088, 286, 386, 486, and Pentium.  You can probably skip a PII and go for a PIII though. 



#24 dafivehole OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 6, 2014 9:52 AM

 
Also, let's say I find a 486 with windows 95 installed onto it, does windows gets installed on TOP of dos or replaces dos?


Good question... wasn't windows just a shell for DOS?

Roger

#25 Hatta OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 6, 2014 10:09 AM

Both sorta.  Windows 95 is self contained, it's installed over whatever DOS you were using before. It contains it's own DOS, 7.0.    You *can* still run DOS 6.22 on another partition, if you really want to.  But it takes some sysadmin gymnastics and there's little benefit to it. DOS 7 is perfectly compatible with 6.22 and supports FAT32 and long file names.  There's no performance hit or memory penalty worth mentioning.

 

Save bare DOS for your 386.  Even if you never intend to use the GUI, you're better off installing Win 95 than DOS 6.22 on a 486. 






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