Build Log: Fast Win98/XP Build. P2/P3 era case with no airflow!

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Build Log: Fast Win98/XP Build. P2/P3 era case with no airflow!

Postby Asomodai » 2017-3-13 @ 10:31

Hello all.

This is a bit of a build thread. Looking to build a fairly fast but very compatible Win98 PC. Looking for a Modern look.

What I currently have:

Unused ASRock 4CoreDual-SATA2 R2.0
Pentium 4 661 3.6ghz Cedar Mill.
Terratec 24/90 Sound card with front panel.
2GB DDR2 Ram.
Rloews ram patch.

So I am currently on the look out for a Graphics card, PSU and case but I am not sure what to aim for. The motherboard is both PCI-e and AGP. I am not above using unofficial drivers.

Looking at a Nvidia 7950GT 512Mb and 7900GTX. I know in theory the 7900GTX is faster, but doesnt the 7950GT run cooler and quieter for not alot of performance loss? What would your pick be? Does the Rloew Max ram patch also fix the issues with having a graphics card with over 256mb Ram or is that a separate patch? I was thinking of using the spare AGP slot for a second graphics card which would be more compatible with certain games, what is the fastest card that doesn't have any massive issues running on Win98? Alternately, to the detriment of 98 performance but to the advantage of XP, I can get hold of a 7950GX2.

Not sure what case I should look at, I am looking to spend relatively little on this, maybe second hand. What do you guys think of the all aluminium Lian Li cases? Should i go for a Mid Tower or Full tower?
Last edited by Asomodai on 2017-5-22 @ 19:50, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Build Log: Fast Win98/XP Build. Modern case. Looking for advice.

Postby jade_angel » 2017-3-13 @ 15:02

Lian Li's cases are pretty good in general, but I personally prefer Fractal Design. IMHO - and this is just that, subjective opinion - Lian Li's cases tend to be a bit gimmicky, trying too hard to be cutting-edge, while Fractal Design seems to hit the high points on genuinely useful features without a lot of fluff. (Except that SSD mounting bar thing they have in a lot of their cases, I don't much like that and think it gets in the way - your mileage may vary.) As for mid versus full tower, I favor mids in general, but with a ton of stuff jammed in there, a full tower might be easier to work with. OTOH, they're more expensive.

As for graphics - do you care about GLIDE games? Any AGP cards I can think of that are more compatible than those PCI-e cards will be a fair bit slower too, I think, but I admit I've never actually tried Win98 on anything more modern than a T-Bird Athlon. After that I switched to Win2k, because the only games I played that didn't work right in Win2k were straight DOS games instead (and I played those on the K6 I upgraded from). If GLIDE games are a concern, you probably have enough oomph to run nGLIDE, but if you'd rather have the real thing, you could use a Voodoo5 5500 if you can find one, or a Voodoo3 3500 if not. Other options in the AGP slot might be one of the later AGP Radeons (but, driver pain with an nVidia in the same box).

If you want to boot into pure DOS sometimes, I *think* the PCI-e nVidias should work fine, but if they don't, an AGP or PCI Voodoo3 certainly will.
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Re: Build Log: Fast Win98/XP Build. Modern case. Looking for advice.

Postby x0zm_ » 2017-3-13 @ 15:40

jade_angel wrote:Lian Li's cases are pretty good in general, but I personally prefer Fractal Design.


I'm a fan of the older Lian Li cases. PC60, V1000 and the like. But those are far from modern. The new ones are all tempered glass and overpriced unless you are building a show system with over the top hardware.

Fractal design is an excellent choice. The Fractal Design R5 is a personal favourite of mine, you can get it with or without a window. That said, you can likely pick up a last generation R4 second hand if you are lucky. The differences are minor and only affect more modern PCs - radiator placement and the like.

Corsair also has some well built, well designed cases that are less minimalist. The new 400Q/400C might be worth a look if you can get it for a good price and don't mind the design.

In Win make some nice showy, but not overly practical cases. I'm personally looking at the In Win 303 for my current old PC. It's well priced ($109 AUD) and looks great, and solidly built from seeing and touching it in-store.

At the end of the day, there are some very solid and affordable mid tower cases these days, and the prices only get better second hand. Locally at least, you occasionally see people selling current generation cases to get the "upgraded" versions with the tempered glass windows as they slowly come out, so they sell off their acrylic one cheap.
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Re: Build Log: Fast Win98/XP Build. Modern case. Looking for advice.

Postby melbar » 2017-3-13 @ 21:25

jade_angel wrote:...you could use a Voodoo5 5500 if you can find one, or a Voodoo3 3500 if not.

jade_angel wrote:...but if they don't, an AGP or PCI Voodoo3 certainly will.


mmmh... , the asrock board from 'Asomodai' has an AGP 8x slot. NOT compatiple with AGP Voodoo's... only PCI possible.
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Re: Build Log: Fast Win98/XP Build. Modern case. Looking for advice.

Postby jade_angel » 2017-3-13 @ 21:28

Oh, good catch. Didn't know that!
Wintendo: Core i3-6100 | GTX 960
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Re: Build Log: Fast Win98/XP Build. Modern case. Looking for advice.

Postby Asomodai » 2017-3-14 @ 23:02

Cheers for the ideas guys.

I ended up picking a Nvidia 7950 GX2. A single card with two 7950GT's built into it. Only one of them will work under 98, but both will work under XP. Should be some pretty stonking performance! Unfortunately it will cover up the AGP slot as it is a two slot card.

Now onto the case and PSU!
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Re: Build Log: Fast Win98/XP Build. Modern case. Looking for advice.

Postby vetz » 2017-3-15 @ 00:45

I would advice against such a build based on my own experiences. You are going into unknown area with beta drivers and unoptimized support on most of your components. Be prepared for lots of strange errors. If you can live with that fine, but then I dont know if you intend to use this system or if its just for playing around with to see what is possible.

I hope you didnt spend money on that RAM patch. You can tweak it for free by using himemx.
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Re: Build Log: Fast Win98/XP Build. Modern case. Looking for advice.

Postby Asomodai » 2017-3-15 @ 09:49

vetz wrote:I would advice against such a build based on my own experiences. You are going into unknown area with beta drivers and unoptimized support on most of your components. Be prepared for lots of strange errors. If you can live with that fine, but then I dont know if you intend to use this system or if its just for playing around with to see what is possible.

I hope you didnt spend money on that RAM patch. You can tweak it for free by using himemx.


I am in it for the challenge and errors ;) My last build was a Dell D600 Laptop which had no right to run Win98 (I already bought the Ram patch for that one). I have it working perfectly!

Hopefully going to do some light gaming on it eventually, if it doesn't manage it then I will strip down to a more basic graphics card, not exactly expensive!
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Re: Build Log: Fast Win98/XP Build. Modern case. Looking for advice.

Postby MrMateczko » 2017-3-15 @ 15:59

512MB GPUs do require a separate patch from R.Loew.
Tweaks only work up to 1GB of RAM. And since R.Loew's RAM patch is much better than any RAM tweaks, let him use it, it's his money.
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Re: Build Log: Fast Win98/XP Build. Modern case. Looking for advice.

Postby vetz » 2017-3-15 @ 16:16

MrMateczko wrote:512MB GPUs do require a separate patch from R.Loew.
Tweaks only work up to 1GB of RAM. And since R.Loew's RAM patch is much better than any RAM tweaks, let him use it, it's his money.

Yes it's his money, but from alot of threads you get the impression that there are no alternatives than to pay the ridicolous price of 21 dollars for a patch. You don't need 4GB of RAM in Windows 98. Limiting the system to only accessing 512MB is more than enough for all games that can run in that OS.
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Re: Build Log: Fast Win98/XP Build. Modern case. Looking for advice.

Postby MrMateczko » 2017-3-16 @ 02:40

The point of having more than 1GB of RAM on 98SE is a topic on its own. I personally would much prefer a free SATA patch from him, it's paid too. Or the 512MB VRAM NVIDIA patch, paid too. At least those do give some immediate benefits. Too bad their prices are just as goofy :/
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Re: Build Log: Fast Win98/XP Build. Modern case. Looking for advice.

Postby Dreamer_of_the_past » 2017-3-20 @ 02:44

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Re: Build Log: Fast Win98/XP Build. Modern case. Looking for advice.

Postby Asomodai » 2017-3-20 @ 10:08

Just been given (For the cost of shipping)

Asus GEForce EN6600LE Silencer 256MB graphics card

Image

and

2 x 2GB DDR2 RAM PC6400 DIMM (EasyRAM)

Graphics card would be good backup If the 7950GX2 just doesn't pan out, pity they closed off four of the eight pipelines in the LE edition. I can also use the ram as the motherboard can be unlocked to run 4 gb. Will be dual booting this!
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Re: Build Log: Fast Win98/XP Build. Modern case. Looking for advice.

Postby agent_x007 » 2017-3-20 @ 17:13

I would recommend going Core 2 Duo E4xx0 instead of Pentium 4 HT.
More CPU power is good and Core 2 Duos can be downclocked to x6 multi if required.
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Re: Build Log: Fast Win98/XP Build. Modern case. Looking for advice.

Postby Asomodai » 2017-3-20 @ 23:08

agent_x007 wrote:I would recommend going Core 2 Duo E4xx0 instead of Pentium 4 HT.
More CPU power is good and Core 2 Duos can be downclocked to x6 multi if required.


On this motherboard in theory I can go to a E7500. Is there a reason why I should stick with a E4XX0? At what core 2 duo would the single core performance be better then the P4?

Took me a while to find an ultra cheap case that had enough external bays without a stupid door on the front (Blocking Audio breakout box usage) and including a floppy drive slot. I went with an AVP Triton.

Image

Cheers!
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Re: Build Log: Fast Win98/XP Build. Modern case. Looking for advice.

Postby agent_x007 » 2017-3-20 @ 23:42

E7500 is a 1066MHz chip (no OC room on this board), E5400 or E4xx0 are 800MHz CPU's and can be Overclocked by ~33% :)
E4600 @ 1066MHz = 3,2GHz.
E5400 @ 1066MHz = 3,6GHz.
Question is : How good of a deal you have on it.
3MB will be useful, but if you want to OC (or are low on $$), PDC and E4x00 are good options.
Core 2 Duo E4x00, does not require beta BIOS to work properly (some 45nm chips can experience "locked lowest multi" problem).

As for Pentium 4 to Core 2 Duo (Single Core) performance...
You would need at least 2x higher clock speed on Pentium 4, to reach Core 2 Duo's single core.
In XP Core 2 Duo simply annihilates Pentium 4 (Single Hyper Threaded core vs. true Dual Core is not even a contest).

PS. On your board, you can go up to QX9770 : LINK ;)
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Re: Build Log: Fast Win98/XP Build. Modern case. Looking for advice.

Postby Asomodai » 2017-3-20 @ 23:57

agent_x007 wrote:E7500 is a 1066MHz chip (no OC room on this board), E5400 or E4xx0 are 800MHz CPU's and can be Overclocked by ~33% :)
E4600 @ 1066MHz = 3,2GHz.
E5400 @ 1066MHz = 3,6GHz.
Question is : How good of a deal you have on it.
3MB will be useful, but if you want to OC (or are low on $$), PDC and E4x00 are good options.
Core 2 Duo E4x00, does not require beta BIOS to work properly (some 45nm chips can experience "locked lowest multi" problem).

As for Pentium 4 to Core 2 Duo (Single Core) performance...
You would need at least 2x higher clock speed on Pentium 4, to reach Core 2 Duo's single core.
In XP Core 2 Duo simply annihilates Pentium 4 (Single Hyper Threaded core vs. true Dual Core is not even a contest).

PS. On your board, you can go up to QX9770 : LINK ;)



I am not interested in overclocking at all. I was aware of the quad core support, but the board does downclock them by some margin.

I was going to put the Beta Bios on the board so it can support the full 4gb Ram.

Managed to pick up a E7500 for £2.30 shipped ;) Cheers. for the advice. Even if it doesn't work out, i'll be happy with the P4.
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Re: Build Log: Fast Win98/XP Build. Modern case. Looking for advice.

Postby agent_x007 » 2017-3-21 @ 00:01

That is a good deal for E7500 :)
It will be great CPU for this setup (and with beta bios, it should work flawlessly).
Also : This MB doesn't support 4GB RAM regardless of BIOS (even beta BIOS has 32-bit adress limit).
Because of that, usable RAM for OS will be around 3GB (depending on GPU used).

PS. "Underclocking" you mentioned is only limited to locked multiplier CPU's :P
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Re: Build Log: Fast Win98/XP Build. Modern case. Looking for advice.

Postby Asomodai » 2017-3-21 @ 00:24

agent_x007 wrote:That is a good deal for E7500 :)
It will be great CPU for this setup (and with beta bios, it should work flawlessly).
Also : This MB doesn't support 4GB RAM regardless of BIOS (even beta BIOS has 32-bit adress limit).
Because of that, usable RAM for OS will be around 3GB (depending on GPU used).

PS. "Underclocking" you mentioned is only limited to locked multiplier CPU's :P


Cheers for that ;)

I saw that you had one of these running a 7950GX2. Did the card block access to the IDE connectors? I was hoping to run 98 off of IDE and XP and 10 off of SATA. Otherwise I may need to go for a PCI to IDE card...
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Re: Build Log: Fast Win98/XP Build. Modern case. Looking for advice.

Postby agent_x007 » 2017-3-21 @ 00:36

I was using 7900 GX2 (7950 GX2 "prototype", it uses the same drivers as later model).
My card was blocking both IDE ports :(

There is a chance, that shorter card will siply sit on top of the already plugged in IDE connector, while still being secured on PCI-e slot.
I was able to do this on second IDE port with my card (one closest to the edge on PCB).
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