System Requirements

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Only requirement is a port of libsdl for your system. DOSBox should compile on every system with a decent C++ compiler like GCC.


The system requirements for smooth gaming vary depending on the system requirements for the original game, the desired gameplay experience, and the hardware being emulated.

Protected mode games are very resource-demanding. Although they will likely run on a 1 GHz machine, it is unlikely they will run quickly or smoothly. Be sure to read the sections on special function keys used by DOSBox, and how to run resource demanding games.

Rough CPU Equivalency Chart

Host Architecture Host CPU Speed Emulated CPU Class (dynamic core) Comments
x86 (Pentium II) 400 MHz 386
x86 (Duron) 800 MHz 486
x86 (Pentium III) 1.0 GHz high-end 486
x86 (Intel Atom) 1.6 GHz high-end 486
x86 (Pentium 4) 3.0 GHz high-end Pentium Duke Nukem 3D tested, smooth at 640x480; Quake runs at ~40 frames per second in 320x200 mode.
x86 (Pentium M) 1.8 GHz Pentium II
x86 (Athlon XP) 1.8 GHz Pentium II
x86 (Athlon 64) 1.8 GHz Pentium III
x86 (Core 2 Duo) (any speed) Pentium III
Apple G3 500 MHz 3/486-class Games tested: Leisure Suit Larry 6, Fuzzy's World of Miniature Space Golf. Extrapolated from ~50% CPU usage on a 1GHz G4.
Apple G4 1.0 GHz 486-class Performance adequate for most DOS games. SVGA likely to be too much.

See also