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Old 23 September 2010, 14:19   #1
zardoz
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PC Gaming via VMs

Off topic? Dunno.

Anyway, does anyone play older pc games via virtual machines? Depending on their age - for example win95 to winMe games that wont play under dosbox? I'm not too keen on installing abandware natively on my xp boxes to see if it works (security & malware issues for example).

So how about a few VMs? I've got DOS6.2 on floppy somewhere. I'm sure win98 / me could be tracked down. Even XP VM running on an XP machine should be fast enough for older games.

Is virtualisation fast enough? How does DirectX integrate with a computer's hardware (not at all I suppose)?

My one attempt is this http://www.abandonia.com/en/games/26170/7th+Legion.html, which failed to run under a Win2K VM ("program too big to fit in memory")
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Old 23 September 2010, 17:30   #2
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There's no good DirectX emulation yet as far as I know.

They have some support in VMWare (I think) but only for XP and up... not Windows 98.

But it has been useful to play certain games, such as Phantasmagoria 2 and Commandos.
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Old 24 September 2010, 12:46   #3
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VirtualBox passes the video capabilities of the host on to the virtual machine, if you configure it to do so. You might get somewhere with it.

I'm pretty sure a Windows port of Wine will emerge sometime in the near future to run older Windows games on newer Windows platforms.
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Old 25 September 2010, 19:17   #4
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It's very cheap and easy to get a good old Pentium II/III machine for running those old games. I have an old PIII with 3DFX Voodoo 5 and Yamaha sound card and Win98se/Dos 6.22 installed... It runs the majority of Windows/Dos games perfectly!

I bet you could find a decent old Win98 PC for around 10 or even free
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Old 25 September 2010, 22:51   #5
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I've not yet come across an old game which is worth playing which hasn't got some sort of patch, update or some downright jiggery-pokery to get it working under Win 7.

Fallout and Fallout 2, for instance. They almost don't work. Pallete corruption mucks the graphics up. There's a trick (which escapes me just at the moment) which fixes that.

The last version of Fallout 2 was released in 2002, so getting it to work 8 years later is a bit special.
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Old 25 September 2010, 23:20   #6
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I haven't used it, but I understand the VirtualBox has some DirectX support.
Their site isn't responding to me at the moment..

From some of the vids on Youtube, it's not bad, but doesn't run Crysis well.. ;-)

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Old 26 September 2010, 10:09   #7
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If you have a modern Intel CPU with a technology called VT-d "direct I/O" and two graphics cards then VM can allocate one card to one VM and full speed GPU DirectX is reportedly possible without any emulation.

http://software.intel.com/en-us/arti...of-io-devices/
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Old 26 September 2010, 16:56   #8
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That's interesting!
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Old 26 September 2010, 19:48   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
If you have a modern Intel CPU with a technology called VT-d "direct I/O" and two graphics cards then VM can allocate one card to one VM and full speed GPU DirectX is reportedly possible without any emulation.
Isn't XEN the only hypervisor using that technology currently?
(Although I believe KVM has code in the tree for it, but not standard release yet.)

[ Show youtube player ]
(You might want to skip the first 2 mins of the vid. Hmm.. More than that.. It's 6 and a half minutes before you see any 3D. He's showing device manager settings before that.)

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Old 26 September 2010, 19:58   #10
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A tad OT, but you can use the '&t=[x]m[y]s' parameter to link to a specific position in a vid : [ Show youtube player ]
Interesting stuff btw.
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Old 26 September 2010, 20:37   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desiv View Post
Isn't XEN the only hypervisor using that technology currently?
Dunno, VMWare VMDirectPath is the one I was thinking of.
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Old 26 September 2010, 20:54   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
Dunno, VMWare VMDirectPath is the one I was thinking of.
From what I can tell, it looks like VMWare implementation is aimed at SCSI and Network devices...

I seem to remember in XEN that video is a little different and they had to tweak it a bit to get it to work...

Also, for the OP, in order to do anything like this, you will need a hypervisor based Virtual Machine solution.
That is, the OS is XEN or VMWare ESX..

You won't be able to get this type of feature set with an application layer VM like VMWare Server or Virtual Box.

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