List of CPU speed sensitive games

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This is a list of games that do not run properly in some ways on CPUs faster than what was common than at the game's release. 1990+ for the most part, since before that, this was more often the case than not: As a general rule, games for IBM XT computers require a 8088 4.77 MHz to play right.

Some CPUs, for example AMD K6-2 and earlier Pentium IIs have selectable multipliers, which may help with achieving the lower speeds recommended for some of the games in this article. Additionally, disabling L1/L2 caches will slow down the processor as well, e.g. a Pentium III with disabled caches will be comparable to a 386. Setmul is a software utility by forum member gerwin that allows multipliers and caches to be changed/disabled and enabled without a reboot. For certain P54C Pentiums, it also allows manipulating Test Register options for further speed control.

Also, it is possible to use a slow 3D card to slow some of the games down, especially with the early proprietary APIs; a special case here are Rendition Vérité cards, since their slow VGA performance will also bottleneck DOS games using these modes. Finally, as a last resort one may try slowdown utilities such as CPU Killer and Mo'Slo.

For games with unlisted CPU specs refer to the requirements published by the developers.

DOS

Game title Symptoms with faster CPUs Maximum suitable CPU Fix available?
Aces of the Pacific (1992) Slippery flight controls 486 25 Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Alien Carnage (1993) Runtime 200 error P233MMX; K6-2/III 500MHz; M II-433GP Run TPPATCH on every .exe file, including harry*.-0 (except harry.-0), which are also .exe files for Pentium Pro 180 and faster; Pentium MMX 266; all PII and Celeron; K6-2/III faster than 500MHz and all AMD Geode NX and Athlon
Alien Legacy (1994) Runs too fast; scrolling is too fast; some bugs seem to manifest at extreme speeds resulting in certain ships disappearing without acknowledgement in the game P150?? Adjust the in-game speed setting first. If insufficient, reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Alien Trilogy (1996) Runs too fast on higher P3s  ?
Alone in the Dark (1992) Animations too fast 386DX 33 Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Direction keys need to be tapped extremely fast to run AITDRUN: https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=37118#p326838
Arctic Adventure (1991) Gives runtime error on P100  ? Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Betrayal at Krondor (1993) glitching MIDI music / game freezes on startup 486 25 (SB); 486 16 (GM) Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Bubble Ghost (1987) Runs too fast/slow 386SX 16
Carmageddon (1997) Runs too fast  ?
Comanche CD (1994) Runs too fast  ?
Day of the Tentacle (1993) garbled Adlib music 486 16 Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Descent (1994) Runs too fast with ~higher PIIs P233 Increase resolution
Descent II (1996) Normal game speed, but mouse sensitivity drops down on high framerates P2 300?
Double Dragon (1988) Locks up before final battle and player 2 will have fewer moves 8088 4.77
Duke Nukem II (1993) With certain sound cards, Sound Blaster digitized sounds might not play 486 16 Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Dune (1992) no speech P2 333
Dyna Blaster (1992) locks up 486 50
Game Wizard 32 Pro 3.0 (cheat tool) locks up P3 500
Halloween Harry (1993) See Alien Carnage
Hard Drivin' (1990) Music is ear-piercing and game runs too fast overall on P100  ? Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Hi-Octane (1996) Speed problems P100
Inca (1992) from game's readme: "If you are running this product on a system faster than a 486-DX33, there is the possibility of graphics trashing in some parts of the game." 486 33 Reduce clock speed, de-turbo, or disable cache with Setmul
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (1993) garbled Adlib music 486 16 Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) With Adlib sound "Runtime error R6003 - integer divide by zero" when using a Sound Blaster 16 card with a 486 or faster computers 386DX 40 (SB16); 486DX 25 For the the 256 color VGA version: "486 Upgrade" patch. For 16 color EGA version, on older CPUs with integrated L1 cache you can turn off the L1 cache to avoid the problem.
Jazz Jackrabbit (1994) Runtime error 200 P233MMX; K6-2/III 500MHz; M II-433GP TPPATCH for Pentium Pro 180 and faster; Pentium MMX 266; all PII and Celeron; K6-2/III faster than 500MHz and all AMD Geode NX and Athlon, or reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride (1994) Speed bug with one or two puzzles  ?
Knights of the Sky (1990) Runs too fast 386SX 20 Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Lemmings 2: The Tribes (1993) Requires HDD smaller than 504 MB (CHS limit) or else the copy protection checksum calculated by the installer is wrong  ?
Lotus III: The Ultimate Challenge (1992) Crashes with invalid opcode error P2 350 There is fix on Vogons
MegaRace (1993) Speed powerups make your car speed up way too fast P100? Use a slower CD-ROM drive. The speed powerups speed up the car as fast as your CPU and CD drive can handle, so using a slower drive can help.
Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournament (1996)  ?  ?
Might & Magic III (1991) Animations too fast 486 16 Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Might & Magic: World of Xeen (1994) Flashing mouse cursor when hovering over game window, map, and char page 486 40 Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
One Must Fall 2097 (1994) Runs too fast 486 66 Adjust the in-game speed setting first. If insufficient, reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Operation Stealth/James Bond 007: The Stealth Affair (1990) OPL2 audio is extremely corrupted on P100 386? Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Pharaoh's Tomb (1990) Gives runtime error on P100  ? Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Quarantine (1994) Runs too fast on P3 486 33 ? Use Slowdown, reduce clock speed or disable cache
Quest for Glory III (1992) Garbled General MIDI 486 16 Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny (1992) Combat dialog scrolls too fast to read fast 386 Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Realms of Arkania: Star Trail (1994) Combat dialog scrolls too fast to read 486 33 Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Red Baron (1990) Joystick won't detect on Pentium MMX P133 Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Rise of the Dragon (1990) Animations are too fast, in-game clock runs too fast making it borderline impossible to play the game let alone beat it 486DX2-66? Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Secret of Monkey Island, The (1990) With Adlib sound "Runtime error R6003 - integer divide by zero" when using a Sound Blaster 16 card with a 486 or faster computers 386DX 40 (SB16); 486DX 25 For the the 256 color VGA version: "486 Upgrade" patch. For 16 color EGA version, on older CPUs with integrated L1 cache you can turn off the L1 cache to avoid the problem.
Garbled MT-32 music with fast CPUs  ?
Sam & Max Hit the Road (1993) Crashes on start, freezes in setup program P133? Reduce clock speed with Setmul
Sid Meier's Colonization (1994) Crashes with Integer Divide by Zero error with Pentium 200MMX P166 Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Sierra games no sound card detection P200
Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and The Time Rippers (1991) Bugs every time a sequel police is on the screen 386?
Space Quest V: Roger Wilco - The Next Mutation (1993) unable to initialize audio hardware 486 25 (SB); 486 16 (GM) Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Star Control (1990) FM sound malfunction P150
Star Control II (1992)  ?  ?
Super C (1990) OPL2 audio is extremely corrupted on P100 386? Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Syndicate (1993) crashes at startup P166 Its confirmed that game is run even on C2D, Xeon 56xx without slowdowner, problem is probably elsewhere than i cpu speed.
Terminator: Future Shock (1995) too fast on high P2  ? SkyNET version
Test Drive III (1990) Runs too fast 386DX 25 Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Theme Park (1994) Runs too fast 486 66?
Thor's Hammer: The Trilogy (1995) Inconsistent in-game speeds (turning around and opening doors very slow) P3 600 reduce clock speed or disable CPU cache
Toonstruck (1996) Speed bug with one or two puzzles  ?
Ultima Underworld (1992) Keyboard movement too fast on fast Pentiums 486 66 Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Ultima Underworld II (1993) Keyboard movement too fast on fast Pentiums P60 Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Ultima VI (1990) Runs too fast, music distortion 386DX 25 Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Ultima VII: The Black Gate (1992) Runs too fast 486 33 [1] Reduce clock speed, de-turbo, or disable test registers with Setmul (note: game is immune to disabling L1 cache, but not immune to de-turbo or setmul test register settings)
Vette (1989) Sometimes doesn't start on a P100 and if it does run controls are too sensitive  ? Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Warcraft: Orcs & Humans (1994) scrolls too fast, water animation too fast, but playable 386DX 33
Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness (1995) Scrolls too fast with PII, but playable P133? Battle.net Windows version works fine
Warlords II Deluxe (1995) Crashes on startup with fast CPUs 486 66
Wing Commander (1990) Runs too fast 386DX 33 Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Wizardry VI: Bane of the Cosmic Forge (1990) Runs too fast 386DX 33 Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Wizardry VII: Crusaders of the Dark Savant (1992) "Divide Overflow Flaw/Reboot" on Pentium processors 5x86; Nx586; MediaGXm; Geode GX1 Pentium reboot patch for all Pentium, 5K86, 6x86, Geode NX and laters
Worlds of Ultima: Martian Dreams (1991) Runs too fast 386DX 25 Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
Worlds of Ultima: Savage Empire (1990) Runs too fast 386DX 25 Reduce clock speed or disable cache with Setmul
X-Com UFO Defense (1994) Scrolls too fast/ Shots fired very fast, Still very Playable P90 Adjust fire/scroll speed to your liking, not always effective
Zool (1992)  ?  ?

Windows

Game title Symptoms with faster CPUs Recommended CPUs Fix available?
Al Unser Jr. Arcade Racing (1995) Runs too fast P166?
Atlantis: The Lost Tales (1997) Animations are too fast, and audio can get out of sync in cutscenes.  ? Use DXWnd to lower the framerate so that the animation speed is better. Audio may still get off sync sometimes, though.
Betrayal In Antara (1997) Day/Night transitions + movement too fast P233 GOG.com version works fine
Cossacks: European Wars (2001) Runs too fast in multiplayer?  ?
FIFA Football 2002 (2001) Crashes to desktop P4 2.0
Gex: Enter the Gecko (1998) Lack of framerate limiter may cause the game to play too fast in certain situations  ?
Grand Prix Legends (1998) Runs too fast P4 1.7 GHz CPU patch for version 1.2
Havoc (1995) Too fast on late PII P2 300?
Hexplore (1998) Crashes after a minute on fast P4 and above P3 500? Fix for Modern Systems
Imperialism (1997) World map scrolls too fast plays fine with patch Patch 1.1 (slight scrolling delay added)
Interstate '76 (1997) Broken physics?  ?
Jane's US Navy Fighters 97 (1996) Runs too fast  ? Increase resolution; Jane's Fighters Anthology version works fine
Jeopardy (1994) Question timer is too fast  ?
Master of Orion II (1996) Battle screen scrolls too fast, minor issue P166?
Monaco GP Racing Simulation 2 (1999) Runs too fast P4 2.0
No. 11 Downing Street: Ninja Nanny & Sherrloch Sheltie (1993) Animations play too fast in cartoon quality mode P100?
Pro Rally 2001 (2000) hangs P4 2.0 Install with [2], update to 1.1, [3], may not work with AMD FX CPUs
Sega Rally Championship (1997) Direct3D version plays too fast  ?
Silver (1999) Timing issues with a certain bell puzzle on high P4 P3 1.0 GOG.com version works fine
SimCity 2000 (1995) African Swallow mode runs as fast as the processor is capable of running, which on fast post-1990s processors can be way too fast  ?
SimCopter (1996) Runs too fast/glitchy and crashes on P4 3.2 GHz/98SE K6-2 350 Use DXWnd to lower the framerate so that the speed is normal and prevent crashes.
Speed Busters (1999) crashes P4 2.0 GOG.com version works fine
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Fallen (2000) CPU throttling issues  ? Use Direct3D renderer
Star Trek Generations (1997) Runs too fast  ?
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Klingon Honor Guard (1998) Crashes to desktop in the "Advanced Options" menu, CPU throttling issues  ?
Streets of SimCity (1997)  ?  ?
TNN Outdoors Pro Hunter (1998)  ?  ?
Unreal (1998) erratic speed-up/slow-down  ? See 3rd post here, and this launcher.
Unreal Tournament (1999) CPU throttling, erratic speed-up/slow-down  ? See main article for details. Also read here and here.
Virus: The Game (1997) Runs too fast  ?
Wipeout 2097/Wipeout XL (1997) Runs too fast  ? supposedly available

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