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The best way to play Windows 9x games?

Sandi1987

Member
Dec 28, 2015
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Which is the best way to play Windows 9x games? Is there any working emulator
except PCem which is slow? I want 100% working Windows 9x emulator with 3DFX and no lagging. VMware and VirtualBox doesn't support 3D-Acceleration in Windows 9x.
 

Sandi1987

Member
Dec 28, 2015
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There is no 100% Windows 9x emulator with 3DFX support and no lag. I think nGlide, dgVoodoo and GOG games is the best way. Many games works with patches in Windows 10.
 
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BSim500

Golden Member
Jun 5, 2013
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Which is the best way to play Windows 9x games? Is there any working emulator
except PCem which is slow? I want 100% working Windows 9x emulator with 3DFX and no lagging. VMware and VirtualBox doesn't support 3D-Acceleration in Windows 9x.
Installing Windows 95/98/ME "native" is really not going to work on modern hardware. Aside from obvious lack of VGA / audio drivers, you'll be missing other stuff like USB3, SATA, xinput (modern game controllers, etc). Last time I looked trying to run Win 9x "virtualized" didn't support 3D acceleration and the fake "3DFX card" was usually software emulated.

Coming from someone who loves replaying older 90's games, it's 1000x easier to just install W7/10 and apply common compatibility patches / community fixes as required per game. PCGamingWiki, per game fan sites and GOG support forums are good resources for that stuff. The only games that really don't work at all on modern 64-bit OS's are 16-bit (non-DOS) Win 3.1 games made around the 1992-1996 era, but those aren't the same as the Win 9x era games you mention which typically means DirectDraw / DirectX 5-7 stuff made between 1995-1999). All of my collection of those can be made to run just fine under W7-10. DOSBox & ScummVM handle DOS games, many popular titles have been patched by community modders for both compatibility & widescreen support, alternate renderers (inc nGlide, dgVoodoo), modern source ports fix even more yet still remain true to the original gameplay, GOG releases typically have pre-applied fixes, others have official remasters, etc.

Probably be easier if you posted a list of games you want to run. You'll be surprised how much does still run fine with the right tweaks.
 

Sandi1987

Member
Dec 28, 2015
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For the vast majority of us, thats not practical. So I guess virtual machine.
But Virtual Machines doesn't support 3D-Acceleration in Windows 9x only in Windows XP and later OS (DirectX 8 and later). Old computer sucks unless you have 3DFX Voodoo.
 

Sandi1987

Member
Dec 28, 2015
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Is it too hard to someone create Windows 9x emulator with Intel Pentium CPU and Voodoo with normal speed?
 

BSim500

Golden Member
Jun 5, 2013
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Is it too hard to someone create Windows 9x emulator with Intel Pentium CPU and Voodoo with normal speed?
What games are you trying to run? Do they run too fast (eg, physics locked to clock speed)? For some games there are patches for that, for others there are background utilities that can soak up CPU cycles at a higher priority than the game causing it to slow down. DOSBox can control how many cycles to issue as a built-in feature (CTRL F11/F12), etc. There is no hardware accelerated Win9x emulator though that I'm aware of. If you posted what games you're having issues with, maybe some of us can help with common fixes / workarounds?
 
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Feb 25, 2011
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Is it too hard to someone create Windows 9x emulator with Intel Pentium CPU and Voodoo with normal speed?
Well, the CPU "emulator" part is done. I can run Windows 9x on a VM just fine, and it's plenty fast. The problem is the GPU emulation - nobody's written anything that really does the trick.

Most of the games I played back then supported software rendering, and worked alright doing it. That's probably what I'd try first if I were inclined.
 

Triloby

Senior member
Mar 18, 2016
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Is it too hard to someone create Windows 9x emulator with Intel Pentium CPU and Voodoo with normal speed?
You do realize that PCem right now is the only emulator that attempts to emulate both Intel Pentium and Voodoo Graphics as best as possible? It is the only Windows 9x emulator (so to speak) that can play old Glide-accelerated games. Except you haven't really told us which Windows 9x games you want to play, and you've already mentioned that PCem is too slow for you (PCem is a CPU-heavy emulator), so I'm assuming that you don't have a good host CPU.

There is a fork of PCem called 86Box which has optimizations for different generations of CPUs, although I don't know if that will help you much. Otherwise, the only other option you may have is using dgVoodoo, nGlide, buying games on GOG.com, or creating a second partition on your HDD to install Linux and use Wine.

And if that doesn't help, the best way of doing it is to grab actual legacy hardware to play old Windows 9x games as faithfully as possible.
 

PingSpike

Lifer
Feb 25, 2004
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I thought there was at least preliminary support for an emulated voodoo card in dosbox. I remember reading about it on vogons forums.

I once tested my 3dfx voodoo card doing PCI passthrough to a virtual machine running Windows XP and it actually worked. But the original voodoo didn't have any direct3d drivers for XP I could find so I only tested Unreal Tournament Glide.
 

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