Silpheed on an IBM 5150 PC

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

This is sort of an addendum to my recent Silpheed review. Just a quick video I made while working on my review, showing my testing of Silpheed on my 4.77MHz IBM PC upgraded with 640K RAM.

I mentioned in the video that while you can play it on any PC with 512K RAM and a CGA card, you really need an 8MHz 286 AT-class machine or better to run the game at full speed. While it’s certainly playable on an IBM PC/XT range machine, I’d really recommend the AT (or even a low-end 386) machine to get the best results and a constant frame rate.

Still, for the amount of action on-screen and the filled polygonal graphics being used, it’s impressive to see this run a 4.77MHz PC. The introduction “attract sequence” is what suffers the most, taking craptons longer than it should to display the whole thing. Still, it’s all possible on the IBM PC with no hard drive and a simple upgrade in RAM and that’s quite awesome to me.

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5 comments on “Silpheed on an IBM 5150 PC

  1. Trixter says:

    The development machine used for porting the game to DOS was an 8 MHz 286 with EGA. So hey, that’s probably the target platform.

    Silpheed is incredibly hard; I’ve never gotten past the last level. I used to have a cheat patch for one of the version of the game, but I’ve tried to repatch both versions from currently-available references and it just crashes, so I guess I’ll never get to the end.

    • I didn’t know that but it certainly makes sense. An AT-range PC is the best config I’ve found for the game through personal testing.

      And yes, the game is stupid hard. I was looking around for some kind of cheating capability myself so I could at least get some footage of the later levels for the review, but wasn’t able to find anything that worked. Furthest I’ve gotten is level 7.

  2. Sam says:

    IBM 5150 + Silpheed + Ad Lib = ???

  3. Frode says:

    The CGA and MCGA drivers are WAY slower than the EGA driver.

    I experienced microscopic to none slowdown when I played this game on my 6 MHz XT/286 (5162). However, it should be noted that the 5162 runs at zero waitstates, which gives it a performance similar to a regular AT at somewhere between 7 and 8 MHz. Experiments in comparasion to DosBox shows that this is approximately 1 MIPS; about 3 times as effective as a regular 4.77 MHz PC/XT, or about twice as fast as a 8 MHz turbo-XT.

    BTW, Playing this game with a real MIDI device is just awesome.

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