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.|