Author Topic: Which version of Virtual PC to play old DOS / Windows games?  (Read 1206 times)

Offline Bolkonskij

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Which version of Virtual PC to play old DOS / Windows games?
« on: February 19, 2022, 07:02:18 AM »
Clearly, there isn't much you'd like to do on a Windows machine if you come from a Mac. But the platform arguably had some great games that never made it to Mac OS. Unfortunately.

I've recently been re-installing Virtual PC 3 on OS9 to look into old Windows classics. In particular "Command: Aces of the Deep" which is a WW2 submarine simulation and my absolute favorite. It does run great in an emulated Windows 98 setup and Virtual PC 3 when setting the display to 256 colors. (note: don't try the DOS version, but the Windows one!)

If I remember correctly (bear in mind, 20 years ago, not getting any younger) Virtual PC 4 actually offered a worse performance with games than VPC3 did because of they essentially did a complete rewrite and dropped some support. I definitely remember people talking about holding out on upgrading to 4 because of that. Anyone remember more details?

I do wonder what the ultimate version of VPC on OS9 is for playing games? What have you been using and what was your experience? (good or bad)
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Offline teroyk

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Re: Which version of Virtual PC to play old DOS / Windows games?
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2022, 04:51:18 AM »
VPC 2.1.3 (very first that works with Mac OS 9) emulate little smaller PC than later VPCs:
- PentiumMMX (not PII MMX, like later)
- S3Trio32/64 1MB/2MB/4MB (many times more is better, but not always)
- Sound Blaster Pro (=8-bit 22khz with OPL2, not Sound Blaster II, like later)
- 126 MB RAM (not max 512 MB, like later)
When you know that, it is worth to try for some games that meets those requirements.
Thump rule is set color depth 256 in both Win and Mac and full screen is fastest.
(ok..if you are hc, you can try 16 colors in Win side, some times it really helps, some time not).
And set 640x480 resolution both...if it run fast enough, then try more VPC2 support up to 1600x1200.

Later versions can be faster, but they give more resources also for multitasking and that is
why emulation some times jumping (VPC 5)..or even can stop, if you don't touch any key or mouse (VPC 6).
All VPC versions have good and bad points, so it would be nice that somebody make list what VPC version
is good to what games and apps. Something like this (..sorry hard to get lines to match,but you might undestand):

App/game         | VPC2 | VPC3 | VPC 4 | VPC 5 | VPC 6 | WIN version | PC Settings               | Test Machine          | Remarks
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notepad          | Yes  |      |      |      |      | Win98          | 64Mt/1Mt Vram         | G3 266 Mhz 192Mt | Should work fine in every version
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
etc.             |         |          |          |           |          |                    |                                |                             |

Empty=not tested yet
Yes=fast enough
No=not work at all
slow=too slow, but work
fast=too fast, but work
Y/N=works, but some problems, write to remarks more info.
I bought my first new Mac when OS X 10.1 released. And I bought that Mac because it had Mac OS 9 too. And I bought my first 68k Mac when Apple stopped PPC Macs.

Offline Bolkonskij

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Re: Which version of Virtual PC to play old DOS / Windows games?
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2022, 06:14:44 AM »
Great post, teroyk! I've actually settled with VPC 3.0.3 which performs fairly well. (i picked the Win 98SE version from the Mac Garden, in case someone's interested to follow). You're definitely spot on about setting colors to 256. I ran VPC with thousands of colors initially and even old DOS games like Mad TV played a choppy. Setting the color to 256 solved the problem. Given VPC's rather bad reputation for game support, I'm surprised by the performance.

Just returned home from a trip to the local Good Will style store and I found a fully boxed copy of Battle Isle 2 and Empire Earth. The first requires a 386 PC or higher, the latter a 350 Mhz one. We'll see how that works out!

And I agree, such a list would be awesome! I know that a couple of people were using VPC rather actively to play Windows games and they surely shared their experiences with others. There just ought to be such a list somewhere, It's probably buried in some usegroup posts or something. If I find the time tonight, I'll do some searching.
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Offline DieHard

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Re: Which version of Virtual PC to play old DOS / Windows games?
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2022, 10:42:48 AM »
Just a quick mention, that in our download, there is...
Quote
The Download Folder also includes a fully working Win '98 SE Hard Drive Image

http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php/topic,4223.0.html

So if you don't have the time or the patience to install '98 SE (second edtition) with all the bells and whistles, I already did it for you :)

Offline teroyk

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Re: Which version of Virtual PC to play old DOS / Windows games?
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2022, 01:55:53 AM »
So if you don't have the time or the patience to install '98 SE (second edtition) with all the bells and whistles, I already did it for you :)

But does somebody have Virtual PC 2 or 3 with Windows 95? Those CDs have Win95 hd image made by Connectix that should have customized Win 95
that should speed up/make more responsive than normal Win95 installation with additions and if I remember right there was some problems implement
same kind of customization for Win 98.

EDIT: there was double quote
« Last Edit: February 25, 2022, 02:22:09 AM by teroyk »
I bought my first new Mac when OS X 10.1 released. And I bought that Mac because it had Mac OS 9 too. And I bought my first 68k Mac when Apple stopped PPC Macs.

Offline DieHard

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Re: Which version of Virtual PC to play old DOS / Windows games?
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2022, 09:07:54 AM »
Quote
But does somebody have Virtual PC 2 or 3 with Windows 95? Those CDs have Win95 hd image made by Connectix that should have customized Win 95
that should speed up/make more responsive than normal Win95 installation with additions and if I remember right there was some problems implement
same kind of customization for Win 98.

1) My windows '98 Image has the additions already installed (that is the only difference) there is no special magic

2) I don't know why I bother, but this has been on the site for years... please use the forum search... sigh

Quote
Connectix Virtual PC v2 (with Win '95 Disk Image)
SN# VPC21-1005-9493
This is a Rare Image of the original Version 2.1.1 Factory CD !
It includes (2) Win '95 Virtual Drive images in the CD and The "Hard Drive Expander" Utility

The Download Folder also includes the the Updater to Version 2.1.3

http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php/topic,4222.0.html

Offline teroyk

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Re: Which version of Virtual PC to play old DOS / Windows games?
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2022, 01:37:15 AM »
2) I don't know why I bother, but this has been on the site for years... please use the forum search... sigh

 :-[

...And page even tell some information about older Windows 3.11 or even DOS.  :-[

For thanks I write something more information about get CD-ROM and file share drive work in those:
Copy from VirtualPC 1 CD-ROM files from extras folder to floppy (yes USB-drives work with VPC2.1.3)
and after virtual os is started, put floppy and go a-drive and install. Get floppy out and Restart Virtual PC.
Remember fileshare with DOS need to be 8+3 filenaming in folders too.
EDIT: Actually fshare.exe for win95 or win98 has better compability with win3.1 in VPC2..read readme from CD-ROM.

And some important for all VirtualPC version with all OS versions:
Older Virtual PC hd-images work with never Virtual PC, but if you use it then it might that i doesn't
work in older anymore, so remember use back up and keep them separe.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2022, 10:03:23 AM by teroyk »
I bought my first new Mac when OS X 10.1 released. And I bought that Mac because it had Mac OS 9 too. And I bought my first 68k Mac when Apple stopped PPC Macs.

Offline IIO

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Re: Which version of Virtual PC to play old DOS / Windows games?
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2022, 04:29:20 AM »
i use PCs for running PC executables.
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Offline teroyk

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Re: Which version of Virtual PC to play old DOS / Windows games?
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2022, 10:20:49 AM »
i use PCs for running PC executables.

Sometimes sharing files between operating systems is nice feature.
I bought my first new Mac when OS X 10.1 released. And I bought that Mac because it had Mac OS 9 too. And I bought my first 68k Mac when Apple stopped PPC Macs.

Offline Bolkonskij

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Re: Which version of Virtual PC to play old DOS / Windows games?
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2022, 09:42:42 PM »
Frankly, I wasn't aware of the image on here as it has become a habit to refer to the Mac Garden for all Mac-related downloads. Thanks for mentioning that!

Not a Windows guy. Does anyone know how high the compatibility in terms of running games on Windows 3.1 or Windows 95? Will many run on the first one but not the latter? (= is it worth the trouble getting an extra hard disk image with 3.1)
Cornica
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Offline IIO

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Re: Which version of Virtual PC to play old DOS / Windows games?
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2022, 06:17:55 AM »
no experience with games here, the only thing i can tell you is that 99% of the 32 bit apps will run under x64 and that it seems to be common on modern windows machines to emulate or vitualize older systems if required (say like OS/2 on AMD, windows 3 apps under windows 11, or whatever doesnt work natively for someone.)
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Offline teroyk

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Re: Which version of Virtual PC to play old DOS / Windows games?
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2022, 02:48:13 AM »
Not a Windows guy. Does anyone know how high the compatibility in terms of running games on Windows 3.1 or Windows 95? Will many run on the first one but not the latter? (= is it worth the trouble getting an extra hard disk image with 3.1)

Exact question would be is there good games for Win3.1? Go with Win95 and come here to tell when you have problem with Win 3.1 game with it. Ofcourse you can tell when they works too.
I bought my first new Mac when OS X 10.1 released. And I bought that Mac because it had Mac OS 9 too. And I bought my first 68k Mac when Apple stopped PPC Macs.

 


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