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View Full Version : Memory expansion for an IBM 5160 clone - is it worth the price ?



Jolaes76
February 29th, 2016, 01:00 AM
Hello All,

I would like to know whether it makes any sense to buy an EMS memory board for a Turbo XT motherboard (4.77 - 10 Mhz, 640kb conv. RAM already installed)
Specifically, are there any CGA/EGA/VGA games that would run nicely (as in, not lagging horribly) on this machine IF it had a small amount of EMS ? (Maybe XMS, I do not know if there are any for XMS 2.0 / 3.0)

I suspect none of the games (or the likes) on AC's V'ger XT manifest would qualify but I thought it would not hurt asking.

lyonadmiral
February 29th, 2016, 04:20 AM
I had a PC with a 1 meg EMS board and I can tell you it did not make a difference.

SomeGuy
February 29th, 2016, 05:02 AM
EMS memory is primarily used by productivity applications such as Lotus 1-2-3, not pukey little games. This enabled one to load and quickly process larger spreadsheets or word processor documents.

EMS style memory is bank switched memory and primarily used on 8088/XT class computers.
XMS is 286 or 386 protected mode memory made available to DOS. This type of memory is not possible on an 8088/XT.

Jolaes76
February 29th, 2016, 08:20 AM
Thanks, I got it. I am still interested to see those "pukey" games, running at the historically correct speed... maybe there are a few very late ones with Adlib support that do not demand a 286 or better.

krebizfan
February 29th, 2016, 10:12 AM
EMS can have a benefit on very early DOS games that were ported from an 8-bit system and have a lot of loading of new scenes and levels from disk. Make a disk cache or ramdisk and speed all the loading from disk.

Trixter
February 29th, 2016, 10:22 AM
Specifically, are there any CGA/EGA/VGA games that would run nicely (as in, not lagging horribly) on this machine IF it had a small amount of EMS?

As previously discussed, no. EMS was only used by applications, editors, programming tools, and environments (Lotus 1-2-3, Turbo Pascal, Geoworks Ensemble, etc.). If you have an unbearably slow hard disk, using EMS as a disk cache can help speed up the I/O of a system.


I am still interested to see those "pukey" games, running at the historically correct speed... maybe there are a few very late ones with Adlib support that do not demand a 286 or better.

Since you have a Turbo XT (10MHz) system, there are quite a few games that support Adlib that should be enjoyable. A quick list off the top of my head:

Indianapolis 500
Prince of Persia
Any King's Quest SCI game (Leisure Suit Larry 2 and 3, King's Quest 4, Space Quest 3, etc.) as they don't require a lot of speed and have nice music

Beyond that, poke around here: http://www.mobygames.com/browse/games/dos/tic,1/ti,21/1988/ and here: http://www.mobygames.com/browse/games/dos/tic,1/ti,21/1989/ and see if anything grabs you.

Jolaes76
March 1st, 2016, 12:49 AM
Thanks Everyone,

Now I am happy with the XT clone as it is, skipping the expensive EMS board upgrade.

As for storage,
incidentally, all out of mortal fear that I am stuck on a 720k floppy raft on uncharted bitstreams of 8 bit PCs,

1.) I bought an 8bit NIC + burnt in XTIDE BIOS,
2.) bought a Goldstar Prime 2 that can do 8 bit IDE (XTA, as far as I know)
3.) bought an XT-CF adapter...
and finally
4.) discovered that I have working 8 bit MFM controllers that can operate (although not at full capacity) my only MFM HDD, a 40 MB NEC drive

so, with all routes being opened, I can decide whether go mediev ahemm. orthodox with MFM or slap in a CF card instead.


Special thanks for the list of games to try, Trixter! I have found an ancient compilation of yours (xtfiles.rar) which is also in queue :)