PCem a retro computer emulator!

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Calavera
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PCem a retro computer emulator!

Post by Calavera »

Apparently PCem has been around for awhile but I only just learned about it recently. It can emulate tons of retro computers up to the Pentium II era. It is pretty cool. You select what motherboard,cpu,gpu and sound card you want in the machine. There are tons of options. The first one I did was a Windows 98 SE machine with a Pentium II 300mhz and a Voodoo3 3000 GPU.

The thing about it is it apparently takes a really fast CPU to fully emulate an old PC. With the Pentium II 300mhz some things run fine but other things slows the emulation down to 50 percent. Some things will run fine while others slow it down. For example I tried Bioforge in MS-DOS mode in Win98 and it ran fine. Then I tried The Secret of Monkey Island Talkie Edition and it ran horribly. I changed the CPU down to a Pentium 166mhz and then it ran fine. The CPU in my computer is a Ryzen 5 3600x which apparently isn't enough for a Pentium II! Even when I changed it down to a Pentium II 233 it still ran some things too slow. I ended up changing to a Pentium MMX 233 and it seems to be running fine.

It is fun to mess around with and is perfect to run older games. It is just like using a real PC so you will need all the drivers for whatever setup you choose. It felt like a real achievement when I was finally able to get the AWE32 sound card to run in DOS. :olol:

Here is the website:
https://pcem-emulator.co.uk/

If you have any interest at all in messing around with old computers I highly recommend you check it out.
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ian
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Re: PCem a retro computer emulator!

Post by ian »

I'll check it out next time I can't be bothered getting one of my retro computers down or up from their storage/hoarding places and wanna play a game.

Usually I'd just gather the one I want and matching peripherals to use for a single game and then put it back when I'm done, but I've hurt my neck/back/arms and lifting old computers is painful at the moment. Old shit is all too heavy... I have keyboards that weigh more than a 43" 4K TV! and just thinking about period correct monitors is making my back worse.
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Dr. Zoidberg
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Re: PCem a retro computer emulator!

Post by Dr. Zoidberg »

I've heard of it but never tried it. Sounds like it will be too powerful for my PC unless I want to run it in 386 mode.

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ian
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Re: PCem a retro computer emulator!

Post by ian »

Running in 386 mode is all you need!
If I should Die Hard Arcade before I Alan Wake.
PREY the Lords of Lore my Soul Calibur to Take
-Two Interactive.

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Roofus
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Re: PCem a retro computer emulator!

Post by Roofus »

I run it for messing around with old OSes. I've never tried anything faster than a P1 MMX but it runs that great

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Calavera
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Re: PCem a retro computer emulator!

Post by Calavera »

Dr. Zoidberg wrote: Mon Sep 18, 2023 8:18 pm I've heard of it but never tried it. Sounds like it will be too powerful for my PC unless I want to run it in 386 mode.
What CPU are you running? Unless it is really old I'd say Pentium 1 would work.

I've been messing around with it picking a really slow CPU and running a few games. It is amazing what less than 100mhz can do. Windows 98 SE not only ran fine with ha 75mhz Pentium but I was also able to run Driver's Education '98 in 3DFX mode with a Voodoo3!

Windows 98 can also run on a i486sx 16mhz!

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Dr. Zoidberg
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Re: PCem a retro computer emulator!

Post by Dr. Zoidberg »

Actually the CPU in my laptop is a Ryzen 5800H, so that's not that bad.

In my desktop it's a Xeon E5-2687W, an 8 core/16 thread CPU from 2012. At launch it cost US$1890. I got it for A$56 off Aliexpress.

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