Is anybody ever tempted to cobble a 486 together?

Just to play games like X-Com, Darklands, Ultima V/VI/VII, Privateer?

It’s been eating away at me for a few months. Maybe a 486DX33? DX2? 386DX40? A lot of games are synchronized with clock speed, so they’ll run too fast on say a DX2/66 but too slow on a 386.

X-Com will work under XP with a bit of tweaking. I still fire it up fairly regularly.

What tweaking do you need to do?

All of that stuff runs fully emulated on modern machines under Dosbox. U7 too, but for U7 you’re better off using exult.

I have a 486-33 just for such an occasion, to play my older games. It runs DOS 5.0 and QEMM which gives me all the conventional memory I need. I mostly use it to play X-Com 1 and 2 and the Wing Commander games.

There’s a P-200 in the garage somewhere, but usually software emulation is the way to go.

Last summer, I gathered all my excess spare parts and had enough to build two older systems: a K6-2 350 MHz for playing Win 98SE games (late 90s) and a 486 DX4-S 100 MHz for DOS games and Windows 3.11 (early 90s).

In addition to the classics you mentioned, the 486 rig has stuff like Doom, Sam & Max, Monkey Island 1 & 2. I think Tie Fighter and Master of Orion are on the K6-2.

Now ask whether I’ve had time to play these games, after tweaking AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files to get them to run.

I have a 486 for just that purpose, although its actual purpose seems to be to hold the carpet down. But it’s there if I need it.

And Darklands also runs perfectly well on modern systems. I think maybe the sound doesn’t work, but the sound wasn’t very good anyway. Also Populous 2 works really well on a current rig.

I’ve thought about building a nostalgia rig mostly for Win95/98 games. Running old Dos games under Dosbox with a userfriendly front end like Dfend works great, but I’m having one helluva time trying to get Independence War to run on my XP machine.

OTOH, I suppose a dual boot (Win98/XP) would be suitable but I don’t know if my 6800GT and my Creative X-Fi would run under Win98SE.

Where can one find old 486 and early Pentium computer parts (CPU/MOBO/memory etc)? Ebay the way to go?

Didn’t most boxes from that era have a nifty turbo button for this kind of thing?

Make sure to get a Tseng Labs ET6000 chipset video card!

Ebay is good; if you have a local freecycle e-mail distribution list for your community, you might score some great (i.e., free) older stuff through that method as well.

All of these can be played on a modern system, and they’ll look better than ever :)
(ScummVM for the LucasArts games, and many choices for Doom)

I can’t scrounge up anything as low as a 486 personally, so I’m seriously going to have to
look into DOSbox before GalCiv2 day :P

Have a gander at - it has guides on getting round various errors, patches, and so on. In the end I had the game running near-flawlessly.

Hercules Dynamite 128 FTW!!!

As an old-time game player, I’ve had a variety of rigs. Right now, though, most of your DOS gaming needs are going to be met best on DOSBOX and a fast (AMD 3000+ or better) rig.

The hard games to run are the earlier Win9x ones, like the first Cyberforce, I-76, and the like – even if XP can choke it down, the game will simply run too fast. The last DOS games are a pain in the ass, too (Carmageddon) – they still need DOS to run, but since DOSBOX is really pretty much a 486 emulator, it can’t provide enough power.

About a year and a half ago I tried putting a Pentium 100 together from all spare parts in order to run Privateer. I didn’t have a harddrive so the OS had to fit on a floppy. After about a week of trying to free up enough Conventional memory, I found the light of DOSBox, and threw that POS out the window. Emulation is so much easier on the nerves.

I have most of the bits of a 486 stuffed away in a closet and parts drawers; I think all I’d need is a floppy drive and a sound card.

Every time I think about reassembling it though, I remember that I don’t have enough time to do all of the current stuff I want, let alone wallow in nostalgia. Same goes for most of the emulators I’ve installed, too.

Just out of curiosity any of you get I-war (the first one) to run under XP?