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What advantages does ScummVM offer as compared to DOSBox?
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Joined: 17 Mar 2009
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What advantages does ScummVM offer as compared to DOSBox? 

For example, why might I want to play Full Throttle, The Dig, Day of the Tentacle, etc. in ScummVM instead of DOSBox?

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Post Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:31 pm 
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It's a kind of hard to compare them because they have a very different concept.

DOSBox emulates a complete operating system (DOS) and hardware typical for former systems running DOS.

ScummVM on the other side doesn't do that. Instead a couple of engines have been rewritten in a way that they can run in different environments (operating system & platform wise). That is the reason why only certain games are supported (games using the engines that have been rewritten for ScummVM) and why ScummVM has ports to a lot of different operating systems & platforms.

If you take the different concepts into account you can imagine a couple of advantages:
- with ScummVM you often don't need to install & setup the games using the old DOS installation/setup programs, you just have to copy the resource files ScummVM needs
- once you have a folder needed for ScummVM you can copy them to all devices you own and can run ScummVM (e.g. Android/iOS cellphones/tablets)
- with ScummVM you don't need to care about emulation speed, while in DOSBox you often have to modify the cycles so that the game is running with speed feeling natural or to play with sound that doesn't stutter or having issues

There are probably a lot of more advantages and porrible also a few disadvantages...

So for me the main advantages using ScummVM for games supported by it compared to DOSBox are: easier to set up, can play on more platforms including Android/iOS mobile devices, no game speed issues

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Post Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:55 pm 
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Joined: 02 Mar 2007
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Location: Manitoba, Canada

Repeating some info, but...

DOSBox provides a compatible environment to run the original game executable authentically; exactly as it did in DOS back in the day (more or less).

ScummVM replaces the game executable so that the game can run on modern operating systems instead of DOS. Sometimes this comes with some benefits (like playing KQ6 with the high res dialogue portraits from the Win3.x version but with the coloured cursors of the DOS version) but it's a result of reverse engineering the game code and interpreting what it was supposed to do as best as can be told from experimentation, so the replication is not 100% the same even though it's the same game files. Though, for the most part the playing experiences are pretty much exactly the same because everyone involved has simply done some darn good work. Most differences would be under the hood and not obvious to the average player.

ScummVM's benefits (besides what I mentioned earlier) is the ability to play supported games on any system ScummVM is ported to (with some exceptions for certain games sometimes). To be fair, DOSBox is also ported to multiple systems but unless you're versed in DOS configuration it can be a pain to get up and running, plus there's probably more memory usage overhead in using DOSBox than ScummVM. With ScummVM it's basically plug & play, start and go. There are some things that ScummVM doesn't faithfully replicate, like say the hi-res dithered EGA graphics driver for Sierra SCI1.1 games. So, pros and cons to both.

Originally posted by Bakhtosh game speed issues

Not true in the case of certain Sierra games (SCI1.1 games to be exact). There are speed issues that aren't solved at all because of the way SCI1.1 depends on system cycles sometimes to iterate game cycles (play the intro to SQ5 to see what I mean). Unless more work has been done on SCI1.1 than since I last played with it.
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Post Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:37 pm 
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Personally, if I have to choose between DOSBox and SVM I prefer the genuine full DOS experience. Since I am fluent in DOS command-line it's not a big trouble for me to install a game, move into folders and run it, although I understand there are people who would prefer the click-and-go option of SVM

However what SVM can do and DOSBox can't do is running non-DOS games. For example if you have the Amiga or the Mac files of the original Monkey Island, you can have the Amiga or Mac experience through SVM. This is also true for early Windows games that can't be run neither in DOSBox nor in modern Windows, the option is again SVM.

This was the case with the Pegasus Prime game which was released only in Mac and when it was re-released for Windows, it was thanks to SVM.

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Post Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:16 pm 
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Joined: 20 Dec 2012
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I don't know if it makes sense in modern machines, but with older machines DOSbox ismore resource hungry, resulting in delays, stutterng etc. Same with some emulators like UAE. Gameplay with SVM is more smooth as the game runs as a Windows application.

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Post Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:49 am 
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Joined: 06 Sep 2006
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Location: Belgium

For the info, we also fix original bugs. That's clearly an advantage compared to emulators.

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Post Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:27 pm 
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