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Current motherboard compatible with DOS games (yes DOS)

Discussion in 'Soundcards' started by danielc56, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. danielc56

    danielc56 Guest


    My Biostar M7MIA motherboard finally gave up the ghost this week. It
    was one of the final boards to come with an ISA slot (for my
    SoundBlaster 64 card). It also had Socket A and DDR memory slots. I'd
    use Windows for regular work, and boot into DOS to play old games
    natively, no emulation necessary.

    I'd like to keep my DOS partition rather than use DOSbox, or similar
    software. I know its a bit of a longshot, but I'm looking for any help
    I can get. I'm wondering if there's a modern motherboard with one of
    the following:

    1) An ISA slot (yeah, right!)

    2) On-board sound known to work in native DOS, with downloadable DOS

    I don't really have room for a separate PC just for DOS games. And if
    I use an old motherboard I'll just run into the replacement problem
    again sooner than later. To save money, I'd like to keep as much of my
    current PC as possible (case, PSU, hard drives, etc.) I probably could
    afford a new entry CPU, and DDR2 memory, if needed.

    If you've heard of any ATX board with DDR/DDR2 RAM that meets one of
    the sound criteria I'd love to know. Thanks!

    danielc56, Aug 3, 2007
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  2. danielc56

    JAD Guest

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  3. danielc56

    danielc56 Guest


    Thank you for the reply. But I don't understand how a PCI/ISA
    converter would work in this case. Using my SB64 card over the PCI bus
    would introduce all sorts of recognition issues with DOS, drivers, and
    game config issues, wouldn't it? Would the card appear (and behave) as
    an ISA soundblaster card, even though it's connecting to the
    motherboard through the PCI bus? Would it only work with a plug-n-play
    OS? So many questions, I know...

    danielc56, Aug 3, 2007
  4. danielc56

    Mac Cool Guest

    Mac Cool, Aug 3, 2007
  5. danielc56

    DaveW Guest

    Sorry, but no such luck.
    DaveW, Aug 3, 2007

  6. Guess the ASUS P2B, P3B and CuBX line.

    They all have, at least one, some two and three ISA Slots.

    You can go up to 1400MHz P3. Soundcard is any working!!! Also the
    DMA-beasts, which have caused troubles to older AMD Chipsets. But you
    said DOS, well, and that is ISA, of course.

    As I mentioned, that Motherboards are compatibility beasts, where mine
    drives easily XP, fast as a ~2GHz AMD. Real Hz, I mean.
    In DOS you can start 1977 Basic interpreter and then it looks like you
    would have turned on an older 8bit Compy with the Basic, when starting
    ;-), All caches ON!!!

    What can I say more, sometimes I have the feeling it's more compatible
    to DOS Software than my mighty i486DX4-100 with the excellent Saturn-II
    Chipset. And it is.... remembering struggles with my SVGA and the
    onboard SCSI, where the Driver (just CD) consumed too much, et cetc etc.

    But. The i440BX is not to beat and more than satisfying for XP/Linux,
    when having a bit stronger CuP3, or better a Tualatin with the
    outstanding 2nd-Level Cache (512KB, XEON like performance).

    Just believe me ;)..... It's a bit fasster than most ~2Ghz AMD's
    around. At least with my Matrox Parhelia 512Bit AGP Card, which boosted
    XP as I would have built in +1Ghz :), amazing 2D Windows accelerator
    and still so good with DOS as the previous Matrox DOS-beasts, even
    S-VGA can be set (Matrox util) to proper Work, VGA is working as never
    seen before by me (crisp picture, hence Matrox... Ultra fast, DOS never
    seen such a crazy card ;-)), then the Optical! USB!/PS2! Mouse!!! for
    BRILLIANT, I have never had a better DOS underlay, indeed, and mad
    fast, of course due to many MHz.

    Best regards,

    Daniel Mandic
    Daniel Mandic, Aug 4, 2007
  7. danielc56

    John Dulak Guest


    One of the last motherboards made that included ISA slots was the:
    Soyo SY-P4I 845GV ISA.


    You can still find them occasionally or you can purchase a new system
    from this site that specializes in systems for industry.


    HTH & GL

    '' Madness takes its toll - Please have exact change. ''

    John Dulak - Gnomeway Services - http://tinyurl.com/2qs6o6
    John Dulak, Aug 4, 2007
  8. That's too bad, because I think that would be your best bet. Do you have
    room for just the second box and not the monitor etc.? If you do, you
    could stack the boxes and toggle between them with a KVM switch. I did
    that and it was a very good solution... I only stopped using it because I
    now use an old laptop for DOS.

    Charlie Wilkes, Aug 6, 2007
  9. danielc56

    danielc56 Guest


    Thanks for the valuable info! I'm glad to know that someone's keeping
    the ISA fire going!

    The iBase board you mentioned (MB-886) looks pretty good. A real
    modern product. That $300+ price is high, but maybe I'll get it with
    my tax return next year. I have an AGP card, so I'd have to look at
    replacing that as well. Although iBase also makes a couple P4/Celeron
    boards with ISA slots.

    I looked at the manual, and there are jumpers to disable the onboard
    video. The ISA slot is listed as (slave), any idea if that has an
    influence on ISA DMA ability?

    In the meantime I plunked down for a cheap socket A motherboard from
    newegg.com. I lost my ISA card temporarily, but I couldn't pay to
    replace so many components right now. But come early 2008, maybe I'll
    be playing Duke Nukem and Tie Fighter natively on my Core2Duo, hehe...

    danielc56, Aug 7, 2007
  10. danielc56

    danielc56 Guest

    I also have the Tie Fighter '95' version. Not as much fun as playing
    the original version for DOS, IMO...

    I've got one more question. What's the difference between a 'regular'
    motherboard and an industrial motherboard? iBase characterizes their
    products as industrial motherboards. Other than high price, is there
    anything that sets these boards apart from those normally found in PC

    danielc56, Aug 28, 2007
  11. danielc56

    Dave R. Guest

    IIRC, when we evaluated an iBase motherboard a few years ago, they used
    components with better temperature ratings so their motherboards could
    have a higher temperature rating. Seems like they also had other
    features like on-board flash RAM and digital I/O that some industrial
    applications can take advantage of, and one of the serial ports could be
    configured as either RS-232 or RS-422.


    Dave R., Aug 28, 2007
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