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josephdaniel
July 19th, 2013, 06:27 PM
Anyone know of any games or programs that use the 8087 co-processor besides Lotus 123 and auto cad?

cr1901
July 19th, 2013, 09:07 PM
I believe the original version of MATLAB, which floats around on the Internet, would use a coprocessor if available (otherwise use software emulation).

For those of you unfortunate enough to use it in your daily lives (like myself), as you might expect, the original MATLAB is something of a novelty on a modern computer compared to the product it is today, and is not compatible with scripts written on MathWorks versions.

SpidersWeb
July 19th, 2013, 09:46 PM
Apparently, SimCity (original) does. I haven't done any speed comparisons though.

krebizfan
July 19th, 2013, 10:11 PM
MS Windows supported the 8087 and would pass calls through the dll emulator to the physical coprocessor. Admittedly, that was just there for Excel support but I think some of the drawing programs also used it. Not many though.

An old FAQ file done by Norbert Joffa lists some programs benefitting from a coprocessor though I believe a few of these require a 286 or better for the processor:
- CAD programs (AutoCAD, VersaCAD, GenericCAD)
- Spreadsheet programs (Lotus 1-2-3, Excel, Quattro, Wingz)
- Business graphics programs (Arts&Letters, Freedom of Press, Freelance)
- Mathematical analysis and statistical programs (Mathematica, TKSolver,
SPSS/PC, Statgraphics)
- Database programs (dBase IV, FoxBase, Paradox, Revelation)

Mostly software that used the 8087 were scientific academic programs often written in Fortran. Not exactly exciting but it is out there.

Oh, here is a Mandelbrot program that requires coprocessor http://www.bmeijer.com/software/mandelbrot_fractal/index.html I hope this is related to one I remember that ran on an 8086 plus 8087. Also, maybe you can find a program called AVGAFRAK which supposedly was run on 8087

I don't know of a single game that benefitted from the X87. Even software that did complex scaling tended to use brute force integer approximations to avoid the whole issue of numeric coprocessors up until the mid-90s or so.

mmruzek
July 20th, 2013, 02:24 AM
There is an astronomy program called 'LodeStar' from Zephyr Services that used the 8087 to good advantage. LodeStar is a night sky type planetarium program that can calculate and plot a sky view, looking in any direction, for any date. I originally used the program as an observing tool with my telescope, and finally bought an 8087 ($100+) for my PC to speed up the results. The difference in performance was fantastic. Attached is a description listing. I still occasionally use this astronomy calculator program!

14443

Trixter
July 20th, 2013, 07:20 PM
FRACTINT (http://www.fractint.org/) will use a math coprocessor for anything other than a mandelbrot (and there are hundreds). And yes, the DOS version (http://www.fractint.org/ftp/release.20.0/dos/frain200.zip) still runs on 8088.

Beerhunter
July 22nd, 2013, 04:06 AM
IBM FORTRAN. The co-pro was a pre-req.

bear
July 22nd, 2013, 01:08 PM
Also required for IBM PC APL 1.0.

josephdaniel
July 22nd, 2013, 03:18 PM
I am going to have to try some of these, I have never even so much as tested my 8087 to see if it's real...

modem7
July 22nd, 2013, 11:31 PM
I have never even so much as tested my 8087 to see if it's real...
CheckIt Diagnostics software will check/test the 8087 maths co-processor.
The particular check/test is done during the 'System Board' test within CheckIt.
CheckIt refers to the maths co-processor as the "NPU" (numeric processor unit).

jharre
July 23rd, 2013, 06:17 AM
Microsoft's QuickBASIC 4.5 uses the 8087. I recall installing it on hard disk of a machine with an 8087 and later moving that hard disk to another IBM PC. It took some head scratching to figure out why other programs ran, but not QB45. Plugging in an 8087 solved the problem. So did re-installing without the NPU.

arrow_runner
July 23rd, 2013, 06:21 AM
There is an astronomy program called 'LodeStar' from Zephyr Services that used the 8087 to good advantage. LodeStar is a night sky type planetarium program that can calculate and plot a sky view, looking in any direction, for any date. I originally used the program as an observing tool with my telescope, and finally bought an 8087 ($100+) for my PC to speed up the results. The difference in performance was fantastic. Attached is a description listing. I still occasionally use this astronomy calculator program!

14443

Wait, you spent $100 on an 8087?

Stone
July 23rd, 2013, 07:34 AM
Wait, you spent $100 on an 8087?I'll bet that was a loooong time ago. :-) Whaddya' think 8087s cost 15 or 20 years ago?

mmruzek
July 23rd, 2013, 11:56 AM
Wait, you spent $100 on an 8087?

If I recall correctly, I spent $139 plus shipping. And on top of it, I bent a pin when I installed the IC in the socket and it didn't work the first try. It seemed like magic when I finally got it working with the astronomy program.

arrow_runner
July 23rd, 2013, 12:01 PM
It never crossed my mind that you bought this new... still very cool. The pricing on these looked screwy, I also didn't know that 8087-1 = 10MHz, 2 = 8Mhz, 3 = 4MHz.

dr.zeissler
May 25th, 2015, 10:41 PM
Windows 3.0 had a file called *87.DLL. I think that is used for machines, that did not have a real FPU?
Later Versions of the "landmark" Speedtest such as "speed600" also "benched" the FPU.

i have a IIT287 in my 286/10/EGA which has some instructionsets of a 387.

Scali
May 25th, 2015, 11:19 PM
Windows 3.0 had a file called *87.DLL. I think that is used for machines, that did not have a real FPU?

Yes, with DOS, applications also have a software emulation library for x87, if so required.
This can either be compiled into the binary, or supplied as a TSR.
The only issue is that on 8088/8086, the code needs to be specially compiled to handle emulation. This is done by placing intXX calls in front of the FPU instructions. The emulator is hooked into these int handlers. When you have a real FPU, the int-calls are patched out on the first call. Otherwise, the int handler emulates the instruction and continues execution.

On 286 and higher, an FPU instruction will generate an exception on a system without FPU. This means you don't need special code in front of the instructons. The emulator can be installed into the exception handler itself, and work completely transparently.

1ST1
May 26th, 2015, 04:50 AM
CheckIt Diagnostics software will check/test the 8087 maths co-processor.
The particular check/test is done during the 'System Board' test within CheckIt.
CheckIt refers to the maths co-processor as the "NPU" (numeric processor unit).

There are also versions of Landmark benchmarks which are checking the 8087 speed.