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DOS gaming: 386DX40 with 16mb or 32mb.

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    DOS gaming: 386DX40 with 16mb or 32mb.

    I have my 386 rig all decked out and ready for gaming. I currently have 16mb and have slots to allow up to 32mb. For dos gaming back in the 386 era days, is jumping to 32mb overkill or should i just stick with 16mb? Thanks.

    #2
    What OS is it running? 32mb is plenty, and pretty much all DOS games will run fine on 16mb.
    Last edited by DOS lives on!!; October 4, 2011, 01:24 PM.
    ~Ian~

    Remember, wherever you go, there you are.

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      #3
      I have Dos 6.22 and Windows 3.11 installed but I will be doing all my gaming in DOS. So I take it 16mb will be plenty?

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        #4
        Yes, if 4mb can run Windows 95, then 16mb will definetely run DOS. I play DOS games on my Compaq Portable III, which only has 2.1mb.
        ~Ian~

        Remember, wherever you go, there you are.

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          #5
          16MB should be more than plenty. Games that ran decently on a 386 and needed more than 4MB were rare. Even my Pentium era DOS games only need 16MB.

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            #6
            For 386 era games 4MB is plenty, the very last generation DOS games needed 16-32MB (and we are talking Pentium era there).
            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

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              #7
              I run mine with 32mb. Mostly out of principle. I have it setup with a 8mb ram drive and i'm working on a system where it would copy teh game to ram then run it from there and always save the changes to hard disk when the game closes.
              It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

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                #8
                That's plenty. I'm gaming on a 33 MHz 486 DX with 8 megs ram, but then again I'm running old IBM games from 1979-1988 on it which ran on less ram then that (what did the '82 computers ship with. 256 Kb?).

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by luckybob View Post
                  I run mine with 32mb. Mostly out of principle. I have it setup with a 8mb ram drive and i'm working on a system where it would copy teh game to ram then run it from there and always save the changes to hard disk when the game closes.
                  A Ram Drive Sounds interresting. I've heard of it but never attempted it. Is it pretty simple to do?

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Compgeke View Post
                    That's plenty. I'm gaming on a 33 MHz 486 DX with 8 megs ram, but then again I'm running old IBM games from 1979-1988 on it which ran on less ram then that (what did the '82 computers ship with. 256 Kb?).
                    I'm really curious about what IBM games you're running from 1979-1980? The PC was released in 1981.
                    All snarkyness aside, I am actually very interested in the earliest IBM games. I've started a nice archive of DOS/PC games, if anyone is interested in adding to it or obtaining it, PM me.

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                      #11
                      A game like Quake would be happy to put most of that 32MB to use, but playing Quake on a 386 is like watching a slideshow.
                      My Retro Computing and Vintage Gaming Blog : http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by barney View Post
                        A Ram Drive Sounds interesting. I've heard of it but never attempted it. Is it pretty simple to do?
                        If you are using dos 6.22, its as simple as adding a single line to the config.sys file. Like this:
                        C:\DOS\RAMDRIVE.SYS 8196 /A 512 256

                        its what I use for mine. I'm playing with batch files to copy the game to and from memory, with varying degrees of success, but overall most games seem to accept it. It works REALLY nice on Star trek 25th anniversary. Usually there is a 2-3 second load time between screens and using a ram drive it's reduced to practically a blink of an eye.
                        It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

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                          #13
                          If you've got HIMEM.SYS already loaded, XMSDSK is probably a better choice as it uses no base RAM for operation.
                          Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

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                            #14
                            I can vouch for XMSDSK. It works very well, and I utilized it extensively for several years. Plus you can make it use the top of memory, rather than the bottom, so it'll work with Windows 95/98 if you want. Not that you'd be running either of those on your 386, most likely.

                            But yeah, a ramdisk makes running DOS programs a lot faster. Stuff loads and saves instantly. And little, if any, 386-era (or even 486-era) DOS software required or even utilized more than about 4 MB of RAM. 4 MB was the standard for a long time, and most people who ran Windows 3.1 when it was mainstream ran it with 8 MB. On a strictly DOS machine, you'd be just fine leaving 4 MB free for programs and using whatever you have above that for a disk cache and a ramdisk.
                            my blog: http://dfarq.homeip.net
                            I wanna live where it's always Saturday. --Guadalcanal Diary

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                              #15
                              I could be misspeaking here but in general older dos games won't acknowledge more than 640K of RAM anyway. Unless you're running a game that uses dos4gw to get around that boundry I don't think it made much of a difference how much RAM you had. I'm not sure which games used protected mode memory or were aware, I'm sure someone here knows of a list of them somewhere though.
                              Looking to acquire: IBM 5100, Altair 8800

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