DOS Gaming PC Gets Necessary Updates

PC-104 is a standard computer form factor that most people outside of industrial settings probably haven’t seen before. It’s essentially an Intel 486 processor with lots of support for standards that have long since disappeared from most computers, but this makes it great for two things: controlling old industrial equipment and running classic DOS games on native hardware. For the latter, we turn once again to [The Rasteri] who is improving on his previous build with an even smaller DOS gaming rig, this time based on a platform even more diminutive than PC-104.

The key of a build like this is that it needs native support for the long-obsolete ISA bus to be able to interface with a SoundBlaster card, a gold standard for video games of the era. This smaller computer still has this functionality in a smaller package, but with some major improvements. First, it has a floating point unit so it can run games like Quake. It’s also much faster than the PC-104 system and uses less power. Finally, it fits in an even smaller case.

The build goes well beyond simply running software on a SoM computer. [The Rasteri] also custom built an interface board for this project, complete with all of the necessary ports and an ISA sound chip, all while keeping size down to a minimum. The new build also lets him give the build a better name than the old one (although he phrases this upgrade slightly differently), and will also let him expand some features in the future as well. Be sure to check out that first build if you’re new to this saga, too.

10 thoughts on “DOS Gaming PC Gets Necessary Updates

  1. PC/104 has nothing to do with the processor, its the board format and form factor. Basically a stackable SBC system. You can get them with Atom and even Intel Core processors. PC/104 is specifically ISA interface and there are newer versions that are PCI and PCIe.

    1. I’ve seen pc/104s for sale with first generation Pentium chips. I’m a bit surprised to read that the format continued all the way up to Atom and Intel Core processors. ISA is pretty much baked into the standard. I didn’t think anyone made an ISA bridge for such new CPUs.

      At least judging by what I see on Ebay it does seem that 486s are most common among PC/104. Looking at the price people want for them I can’t even imagine what an Atom or a Core processor PC/104 board would go for!

  2. This is a truly amazing build!
    The maker could consider selling kits or arrange ready made shopping carts for this build to make it easier for people to order exactly the same parts.

  3. I’m confident we’ll see soon* some mini PC with a real 16-bit ISA port either x86 based like this one or FPGA based (ao486 core comes to mind)

    * chipageddon notwithstanding

    1. If we could have more hardware add ons for MiSTER i wish for cartridge ports, but ISA ports for ao486 would be interesting too! maybe PCI too? Put in some real SoundBlaster (or clone) and 3d accelerator and you are good for emulation of anything up till win98.

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