BeOS-compatible Pentium 3 and 4 computers?


Hi all,

I need to run BeOS 5.03 on either a P3 or P4 machine. Can’t use Haiku, because I need to use a specific program that only works in BeOS. Can anyone tell me what they have used in the past that was native for BeOS? Preferably a machine with built-in sound and video, although I do have a SoundBlaster Live! sound card and an S3 AGP video card that will work natively. I had a couple Dell Optiplex P3 machines years ago that were nearly full-native, but I forgot what they were. Thanks.


I always built my own machines, except for my first Pentium (which ran BeOS prettt well!)

I was using an Abit motherboard back in the P3 days. I’m not sure exactly which one… maybe the VL6? I remember the VP6 and BP6 were popular because they supported dual CPUs. I don’t remembered my P4 motherboard. It was probably also an Abit.

Edit: Fortunately, Newegg still has my order history from back then. My P4 motherboard was an Asus P5GPL


Hi, thanks for the reply. Do you recall what worked natively on the Asus P5GPL ? I see it has onboard Ethernet and sound.


As the gcc2h Haiku want to be BeOS binary compatible, it would be maybe easier but for sure better to get that specific program to work with Haiku, so have you reported the incompatibility? A crashlog would do the Trick.


Hi kp3ft,

BeOs was compatible with processors up to PIII.
Usage of P4 needed an unofficial patch.
You can use dual PIII motherboards, back then I had a dual PIII 733 on an MSI motherboard.


I have 5.1d0 on a dual Athlon MP+ tyan board.


I used BeOS on an Intel 440BX chipset motherboard with dual Pentium III 550Mhz processors. SoundBlaster Live worked perfectly for audio.

One thing to watch out for is too much memory, above 1GB causes problems for BeOS. Pentium IV processors also have problems (clock rate miscalculations make time move at the wrong speed, there is a patch for it).

If you don’t want to run it on real hardware, you can use a virtual machine. I use VirtualBox to run BeOS, works well enough, though sound is mangled. Story at


P3 Desktop Dell Optiplex sx150
Will Run Beos 5.03 , Max and Zeta 1.5…
No problems at all… your best bet
add Video Card ATI 7500 + Driver

Intel motherboard with P4 D865GLC
Will Run Beos 5 + Beos Max + and Zeta 1.5
Will need Video + Sound + Network Cards and driver

ASUA AMD A7v400-mx
Will Run Beos 5 + Zeta 1.5 will need patch for Max
Will need Video + Sound + Network Cards and driver

IBM T40 will Run Beos 5 + Max + Zeta 1.5
Gateway 450 ROG will Run Beos 5 + Max + Zeta 1.5


Yes the patch is needed for early P4 typically 1.5-1.8
however no patch needed for higher speed P4 over 2.0


Thanks for sharing the info! :slight_smile:


Good info, thanks! Did you mean “gx150”? Also, with the two laptops, do you recall if anything didn’t work, like ethernet, etc.?


Yes, this was the GX 150 Pent 3. Running Be,MAX, Zeta.
Results were the same as with the Laptop below.
For Laptops, since I wanted to see if they would work,
BeOS, BeMax and Zeta I loaded all three…
For Beos and Max ATI Radeon 9xxx video driver needed.
For Beos and Max Sound and Ethernet NOT needed
For Zeta ALL native. So far no crashes or freezing.
Mostly Music and Video playback via VLC for Zeta.

Both Dell Desktop and the IBM laptop were worth
$40-50 each. You can find great deals on Ebay.


Wow! Just got a Gateway 450ROG, and it’s a real pleasure to use BeOS on it with no compatibility issues. Everything works… sound, video, ethernet. Installed the USB driver and patches so USB is working now also. I used the BeOS MAX Ed 4.1 version.

Install OpenTracker 5.1.5 after installing the USB patches/driver… it fixes the file-transfer problem with USB thumbdrives. Otherwise, only the first 112kb or so of a file gets transferred, and/or other quirky things. Not sure about other OpenTracker versions.


Thanks for the feedback. You may wish to add laptop cooler and/or clock down the CPU, may get hot. Im running all three,Zeta 1.5 BeOS5.03 and Max4.1 + share partition.