Image Map Image Map
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: Building a retro computer that covers a broad range of uses

  1. #1

    Default Building a retro computer that covers a broad range of uses

    I put together a retro system with that I wanted to be usable to run a wide variety of DOS and Windows 9x programs and games. I finally ended up putting together a system with the following specs:

    - Intel SE440BX-2 motherboard
    - 850 Mhz Pentium III Coppermine
    - 512 MB of PC100 RAM
    - Geforce 2 MX/400 AGP Graphics card
    - Intel Pro/1000 GT PCI network card
    - 4 Port USB 2.0 PCI adapter
    - GoldStar Prime 2 9434 ISA multi I/O adapter (to add a 2nd floppy drive as the motherboard only allows one)
    - Creative Labs Sound Blaster Vibra 16 ISA sound card with a genuine Yamaha YMF262 chip
    - 120 GB SSD with a StarTech IDE to SATA adapter
    - SATA DVD RW drive with a StarTech IDE to SATA adapter
    - 3.5" 1.44 MB & 5.25" 1.2 MB floppy drives

    This handles a wide range of scenarios. I can boot to DOS and by disabling the PIII L1 cache get to the performance level of low end 386. Please share your thoughts on retro computers you may have built to cover similar usage needs.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    33,388
    Blog Entries
    18

    Default

    You can't simply build a single computer to cover the entire range of applications. I have piles of various systems from XT clones to P4 and later.

    For example, you can't run the original version of Fastback with anything but an AT or XT--anything else will be too fast (uses CPU loops for timing).

    Well, you did ask for thoughts...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    4,567
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    That is roughly the same as my tweener so it should be good. I have a FX5000 era video card but that seems overkill for most of the Win9x era games I have tried so your slower video card should suffice. Any game needing much more graphical oomph needs a beefier CPU as well.

  4. #4

    Default

    True, you can't cover every computing situation with one computer. I have XT/AT class computers for older stuff and higher end systems for more demanding software. This system covers a lot of ground and seems a great compromise. If you really want the widest variety of stuff on one platform then you can always use DOSBox or PCem, but emulators are not nearly as fun as having the real thing

  5. #5

    Default

    I rather like DOSBox.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  6. #6

    Default

    I also use DOSBox and PCem quite a bit too

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    33,388
    Blog Entries
    18

    Default

    So you can run Fastback 1.0 on it?

    I don't think so, somehow.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    So you can run Fastback 1.0 on it?

    I don't think so, somehow.
    ?????
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  9. #9

    Default

    I'm not a gamer but I'm currently in the process of building another Tweener out of parts i've had stashed away for years, Specs are "currently"
    QDI Advance 10B Motherboard
    6 X PCI 1 x ISA 1 x AGP slot
    PIII 1GHz CPU
    512Mb Ram
    48X CD-ROM Drive
    1 x 80Gb Maxtor Hard drive
    1 x CF card accessible from the rear
    6 Port USB 2.0, 4 at the front and 2 rear ( I disabled the crappy onboard UHCI )
    S3 Savage 4 AGP Video 16Mb
    1 x 1.44Mb floppy drive
    Booting between DOS 6.22 / Win 3.11, Win 95B, Win98SE and XP
    I disabled the crappy onboard sound and found some sound cards to try out and will probably swap out the CD-ROM drive for a DVD RW and need to fit a 360k floppy drive.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Ohio/USA
    Posts
    7,824
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Games have always been coded funny directly to the hardware using all kinds of tricks that will cause problems on systems with too much disk space, too much RAM, or just too fast even with cache turned off. Even if the game works sometimes the installer will crash. And then you have the problem with having the correct sound card installed for that era game.

    For me I just have a house full over every kind of PC I could ever want.
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •