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    Default Best computer for old DOS games

    I want a Windows 3.1/DOS computer. What would be the best one to get that can play old DOS games the way they were meant to be played? I'm sure many different kinds would suffice, but there must be a brand that is better than others, plus what sort of specs and hardware would be ideal to get the most out of every game...

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    I used to play dos games on my 486 PC that cost me 1500.00 about 20 years ago. You can probably find one at a garage sale or craigslist

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    Quote Originally Posted by ebenezer View Post
    I want a Windows 3.1/DOS computer. What would be the best one to get that can play old DOS games the way they were meant to be played? I'm sure many different kinds would suffice, but there must be a brand that is better than others, plus what sort of specs and hardware would be ideal to get the most out of every game...
    This is kind of a broad question. Almost like asking what Nintendo is the best to play old Nintendo games. "Old" could mean 80s or it could me 90s or anywhere in between. There are tons of versions of processors and this will largely decide what you can play. For instance, many games made before say 1991 could be CPU dependant, meaning they will too fast or too slow if you have the wrong processor for the game.

    Since you mentioned Windows 3.1 I will assume you want to play games circa 1993. For that I recommend a 486 CPU with 8MB of RAM and DOS 5.x or perhaps 6.22. Go with 16MB if you want to play bigger CD games.

    Brand doesn't matter so much, because by that time most machines were just as good as the IBMs they were cloning. Still, I am partial to Compaq, IBM and Packard-Bell computers of the time.
    If you want a real "all-around" machine, I would say get something with a 100+Mhz Pentium and 32MB of RAM and a powerful 2D graphics card and even a Voodoo card. This will get you compatibility and speed needed for the last DOS games (Quake, Duke 3D, Doom II, Carmageddon, Mechwarrior 2 etc) as well as be more than quick enough for older 90s games. It will be way too fast for many really old games though, most anything after 1991 or so should be fine.

    Also check out the "Post your DOS machine" thread here on DP for lots of great examples.
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    i say use your current computer and run dosbox. spec the emulator accordingly.

    virtualization is a good way to go about it too. if a certain game wont work you can just respec the virtual pc and load it up with whatever you want.

    only thing about PC games being played the 'way they were meant to be' is make sure you have a keyboard and (sometimes) a mouse

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    I'm a big proponent of playing games on the original platform rather than emulating, but I've got to agree with poofta when it comes to PC gaming. The only difference between playing a game on a "vintage" pc and dosbox is all the hassles of setting IRQs and loading TSRs and whatnot. I can see the value of playing an early 80's pc game on a real CGA monitor with an old fashioned clicky keyboard, but if it's a Windows 3.1 VGA game from 1991, who cares?
    Last edited by blue lander; 10-25-2009 at 04:18 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blue lander View Post
    I'm a big proponent of playing games on the original platform rather than emulating, but I've got to agree with poofta when it comes to PC gaming. The only difference between playing a game on a "vintage" pc and dosbox is all the hassles of setting IRQs and loading TSRs and whatnot. I can see the value of playing an early 80's pc game on a real CGA monitor with an old fashioned clicky keyboard, but if it's a Windows 3.1 VGA game from 1991, who cares?
    While I may agree, and in fact I do play all games I can on DosBox, I still prefer to play them on the real thing with a real CRT monitor and all of that. I have an IBM 5150 with a CGA monitor for the really old stuff, so that works for those DosBox screws up on. Me, I just like messing with memory managers and disk drives and failures and all of that.. Ha
    PC Game Collector - DOS and beyond

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    Quote Originally Posted by phreakindee View Post
    While I may agree, and in fact I do play all games I can on DosBox, I still prefer to play them on the real thing with a real CRT monitor and all of that. I have an IBM 5150 with a CGA monitor for the really old stuff, so that works for those DosBox screws up on. Me, I just like messing with memory managers and disk drives and failures and all of that.. Ha
    you know, dosbox DOES output to crt monitors, right ? =D

    its a pc, there is absolutely no difference what hardware the program runs on as long as you can get it to run. video output aside, the control scheme and the position of your body has stayed the same since when the programmer intended it.

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