PC Operating System Comparison

From BYOAC New Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page is a candidate for deletion 
Reason given: {{{1}}}
If you disagree with its deletion, please explain why on its discussion page.
If you intend to fix it, please remove this notice, but do not remove this notice from articles that you have created yourself.
Make sure no other pages link here and check the page's history before deleting.


Back in the day, MAME was developed to run from DOS and users had to use a Windows frontend or Mame32 to get it running in Windows. From MAME v0.37b15 onwards, Windows became the MAME developers' platform of choice.

Running an older version of MAME from pure DOS will allow you to run a large number of games at a higher speed than would be possible on the same computer running Windows.

These days, a DOS system can take a lot of work to set up correctly, due to the lack of software support from motherboard and device manufacturers. For these users, a Linux install makes a lot of sense.

Each of these three operating systems has advantages and disadvantages.

OS DOS icon.gif DOS


  • Boots to your Front-End faster
  • Stable, does rarely crash
  • Can display on an arcade monitor without special hardware
  • Using batch files (.bat) a high degree of customization is available (including menu creation)
  • Low cost


  • Newer hardware may not work under DOS (such as TV - Out and USB) without special software.
  • Command line interface, only suitable for experienced computer users.
  • No longer supported

OS linux icon.gif Linux


  • Free
  • Open Source
  • More likely to support newer technology than DOS


  • Lower market share
  • Can be complicated to set up

OS windows icon.gif Windows


  • Huge market share advantage
  • Software generally is developed primarily for Windows (MAME and most front ends included)
  • Much larger selection of software


  • Is difficult to display on arcade monitor without special hardware
  • Longer boot time
  • Security holes (however less relevant in a stand-alone environment such as an arcade cabinet)
  • Frequent operating system patches needed
  • Higher cost

OS apple icon.gif Mac OS X


  • Low software maintenance requirements. (negligible occurrence of viruses, trojans, spyware)


  • Higher initial cost
  • Fewer choices for front-ends (only 1 cabinet friendly front end avlailable)
  • Several major encoder manufacturers do not create Apple compatible encoders
  • Fewer choices for gamepads and hackable controller parts
  • Fewer emulators have been ported to Mac OS X
  • Much smaller homebrew application development community

Relevant Links

  • Purple MAME - a good (but outdated) site on getting DOS Mame running on a cab.
  • Dos Mame Support - another good site on getting DOS Mame running on a DOS cab, including getting sound cards working and memory management.
  • How to make DOS Menus - a site showing how you can create menus in DOS (great for boot menus).

TODO: add FreeDOS add links to some Linux distros