Rescued retro desk PC becomes the latest device to run Doom — AMD Duron-based system unsurprisingly lets you shotgun blast imps without major issues

Doom running on a Time Icedesk desk PC.
Doom running on a Time Icedesk desk PC. (Image credit: ctrl-alt-rees on YouTube)

Joining the un-ending list of devices that can run Doom is a slightly more conventional, but still vintage, find of an early 2000s desk PC running a locked Windows 2000 install. YouTuber ctrl-alt-rees replaced the drive for DOS and Doom goodness.

The retro desk PC was sourced from a (soon or now-demolished) community center on eBay, sold for £30 according to the original video title alongside its accessories. The community center had sourced the desk from British PC manufacturer Time, who were reportedly defunct by 2005. Besides the desk PC itself, the setup also came with an extra CRT monitor (unused for the video), fax machine, and a similarly ancient printer.

The main desk PC construct has two front-mounted disc drives under the desk, alongside typical USB I/O. A CTX LCD monitor is attached to the top of the desk PC as well, flanked by Time speakers that also run their cords inside the desk. A membrane keyboard and ball mouse are also included among the peripherals secured atop the desk PC.

Time Icedesk Specs

  • Gigabyte Micro ATX GA-7VKMP Motherboard
  • AMD Duron 1100 Single-Core CPU, runs at up to 1.1 GHz
  • 1 Gigabyte of RAM, with another empty slot open
  • LG 52X CD Drive
  • Seagate Hard Disk Drive (swapped for Flash Card before playing Doom on DOS), since it originally ran Windows 2000
  • FlexATX Power Supply
  • 56K Modem (used a USB to 56K modem for compatibility)

Once ctrl-alt-rees finally got DOS running, he wound up using it to upgrade to Windows 98 in order to make playing Ultimate Doom with audio possible on this hardware. He used Windows' MIDI driver as well, which made it sound suitably chunky for the era. Before closing the original video, he also discusses plans for small drive upgrades to the desk PC to make it more useful as a go-to hub for his retro hardware.

Of the endless list of outrageous Doom-playing devices, a good-ol' fashioned retro PC is definitely the most tame of the ones we've covered recently. Of course, it's a retro PC from a defunct UK manufacturer, but still. Compared to lawnmowers, air hockey tables, and even more inexplicably, Notepad, this is probably the most typical thing Doom has been run on in a while. Well, Ultimate Doom, anyway.

Freelance News Writer
  • artk2219
    Looks like they could toss in an Athlon XP 2600+ for a nice performance boost.

    https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA-7VKMP-rev-32/support#support-cpu
    https://www.cpu-world.com/Compare_CPUs/AMD_AXDA2600DKV3C,AMD_DHD1100AMT1B/
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    Once ctrl-alt-rees finally got DOS running, he wound up using it to upgrade to Windows 98 in order to make playing Ultimate Doom with audio possible on this hardware.
    If you have compatible hardware sbemu is great for running dos with audio on all kinds of old PCs.
    Comes pre build as an image, clone to usb if the system supports usb boot or to a sd/cf file if you have a converter of those to ide.K6-AlpCEqpcView: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6-AlpCEqpc&ab_channel=PhilsComputerLab
    Reply
  • Neilbob
    My goodness, I forgot all about Time Computers. Their presence was always heavily focused on complete systems, on the high street, so their prices always seemed a little on the hefty side, which was a shame because their stuff generally seemed pretty decent.

    Another of a great many companies ultimately turned into a splat-stain by the internet.

    The whole running Doom on this seems a bit unremarkable to me. It really wasn't that hard to accomplish for PCs of this era, but whatever. Yay Doom I guess.
    Reply
  • felipetga
    Not surprised, used to run DOOM on my old 386DX 40mhz, 4mb EDO Ram, Trident TGUI9680 1MB. Good ol'times
    Reply
  • King_V
    I was gonna ask, why is this an accomplishment? I've still got an old Super 7 system (AMD K62+ running at 400MHz I believe), and a Slot 1 system that's got a 1GHz CPU (can't remember if it's a Celeron or Pentium 3) with one of those Socket 370-to-Slot 1 adapters.

    Both have an Ensoniq AudioPCI card, and easily more RAM than was common at the time. I can't imagine either of them would have ANY trouble running Doom, considering that even pre-Pentium hardware could do so.
    Reply
  • vijosef
    The minimum requirements for the original doom (1993) were 386, with 4 Mb of RAM.

    How is news that it runs in a computer from the 2000 with 1 Gb of RAM?
    Reply
  • 35below0
    felipetga said:
    Not surprised, used to run DOOM on my old 386DX 40mhz, 4mb EDO Ram, Trident TGUI9680 1MB. Good ol'times
    I believe this was the minimum required to play Doom, or close to it. Some 386s could not do it, and 286s had no hope.
    iirc a coprocessor was needed, but my memory is blurry.
    Reply
  • dalauder
    vijosef said:
    How is news that it runs in a computer from the 2000 with 1 Gb of RAM?
    Exactly my thoughts. WHY is this a published article? Was there an error and it's from 1985 instead of 2005?

    Wake me up when you run Doom on a mid-90's graphing calculator.
    Reply
  • artk2219
    dalauder said:
    Exactly my thoughts. WHY is this a published article? Was there an error and it's from 1985 instead of 2005?

    Wake me up when you run Doom on a mid-90's graphing calculator.
    Already done my friend, it's available for the ti83 and ti83+, both of which were originally released in 1996. They both use the venerable Zilog Z80 at 6Mhz and the regular Ti 83 had a whopping 32KB of RAM, while the TI 83+ had an astounding 128KB. That said, these little calculators would have made some nice early 80's microcomputers. The base specs are actually more powerful than the NES and Sega Master System, its a shame they dont have a dedicated graphics processor.

    https://www.ticalc.org/archives/files/fileinfo/238/23843.html
    Reply
  • OneMoreUser
    vijosef said:
    The minimum requirements for the original doom (1993) were 386, with 4 Mb of RAM.

    How is news that it runs in a computer from the 2000 with 1 Gb of RAM?
    This TH so pretend news is good enough.

    Also I gotta wonder about the photo, the act of playing Doom using a mouse seems just wrong.
    Reply