In search of a DOS gaming PC (but short on apartment space), I recently purchased a HP Compaq t5710 thin client. Although it was built in 2004, the hardware is very well suited to DOS and Windows 98 gaming. Some hardware features:
- 800MHz Transmeta Crusoe processor (x86 compatible)
- 256MB PC2700 DDR RAM (plenty for DOS and Windows 98)
- ATI Radeon 7000M graphics (first-generation Radeon, surprisingly good DirectX/OpenGL 3D performance)
- VIA VT8231 chipset (featuring built-in Sound Blaster audio)
- 1 PCI expansion slot
- Wired Ethernet, 4 USB 2.0 ports, microphone and headphone jacks, PS/2, VGA, Serial, and Parallel ports
It ships with a 512MB flash module, fitted to a standard 44-pin IDE - which makes for an easy storage upgrade. I purchased a 4GB flash module for ~$7. You can also use an IDE to Compact Flash adapter.
The VIA VT8231 supports Sound Blaster emulation, allowing for Ad-Lib and Sound Blaster audio in DOS games. In addition, the PC Speaker audio gets routed through the headphone jack - a nice touch.
A PCI expansion slot is fitted to the motherboard, which gives us a lot of upgrade options. I’m very keen to try a Voodoo II and other PCI sound/video cards.
Lastly, like some laptops, the PS/2 port supports a splitter cable - so you can connect keyboard and mouse simultaneously
Find a more detailed hardware overview on my YouTube channel: