DOS Benchmark Pack
Download the above file and unpack it onto your retro DOS PC! I usually put it as C:\DOSBENCH folder, but it doesn't have to be!
This pack consists of a range of 3D and CPU benchmarks as well as tools. I made this because I want to make life easy for anyone new to DOS retro gaming. If you've built a DOS retro PC, how do you know that it performs like it should? Sometimes you can forget about the turbo button and the machine runs slower without you knowing. So a consistent set of benchmarks makes it easy to compare your machine with others.
To use the Benchmark pack, after you have unpacked the ZIP file, just run DOSBENCH.BAT. It's a simple batch file driven menu that looks like the screenshot below. Just press the corresponding numbers or letters and the benchmark will commence. I recommend booting without any drivers, no mouse, no optical drive. This can be accomplished by pressing F5 when you see the "Starting MS-DOS" screen. You can also make a boot floppy.
I will now talk about each benchmark a little bit!
Option 4 is the same benchmark but runs at 640x480 resolution and is much more demanding. At the end of the benchmark it outputs a score as well as FPS. It's the FPS figure that is of interest. If the benchmark doesn't work for you, you might have a VESA issue with your graphics card. You can try the menu options for loading Display Doctor or UniVBE.
No DOS benchmark session is complete without Doom! This is the shareware release and runs a timedemo. On a slow machine this can take quite some time, therefore I've added a separate benchmark running Doom with minimal details. This works great for 386 machines, a SX 33 for example gets around 15 FPS.
At the end of the benchmark you will see a value for realticks. To workout the FPS you need to use this formula:
FPS = 74690 / realticks.
So let's say your machine gets 5000 realticks, the FPS would be
74690 / 5000 = 14.938 FPS.
Note that I have configured the screen to be fullscreen in order for the benchmark to be more demanding for faster machines. Keep this in mind when comparing results.
Quake at 320x200 resolution. Note that this benchmark needs a FPU, so it won't run on a 486SX or 386DX unless you have a separate maths co-processor installed.
On a 486 this benchmark is very demanding and can take a long time. After the benchmark, the console will open and show the frames per second.
There are also options for 360 x 480 and 640 x 480. The latter requires a VESA 2.0 compatible card. Do look at the screen, because the game won't give an error, but just run at 320 x 200 instead.
TOPBENCH 3.8. It also runs in real-time, so pressing the turbo button for example has an immediate effect.
Finally there are some tools that can help you out. They are:
- CHKCPU which can ID your CPU and show you clock speeds, multiplier and cache information
- CACHECHK which runs tests and tells you how much L1 and L2 cache you have
- MTRRLFBE and FASTVID which enable Write Combine for extra VGA performance on certain CPUs. Works mostly on Intel systems, like a Slot 1.
- For adding VESA support we have three versions of Display Doctor and UniVBE. These might not work properly and have to be installed, let me know, I might have to remove these options