Pentium II Win'98SE Retro Rig.

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Pentium II Win'98SE Retro Rig.

Postby Atreus » 2017-8-09 @ 13:13

Here I want to share some information about my Retro Rig based on Pentium II 333MHz on Gigabyte GA-6EM rev 1.8 motherboard.
Firstly I've build PIII 600MHz with 256MB RAM and integrated Sound Card based on ESS Solo-1. Motherboard was Biostar M6TZF. It was a lot of fun to install Win'98SE and drivers. Especially for this sound card. I needed to manually copy needed files drom instalation packs just to have a proper Midi files in system. But this is completely different story.
After some time and looking on Ebay and Allegro, I'd found an Gigabyte GA-6EM motherboard. It's tiny, simple and have some charm in it. But when I read about specs on internet, I've resigned from buying it. Months were passing and this mobo was still for sale. No one wanted it, so I thought "I'll give it a try, even if I prefer to have faster PIII...". So after finalizing payment and waiting about 1.5 month the board was finally mine.

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Motherboard after arriving.

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Comparison of sizes with M396F (386SX).

In the meantime I've bought the fastest CPU for it. It is full PII 330MHz with 66MHz FSB. Codename SL2S5. Unfortunately CPU have different case, so I needed to disassemble CPU brackets from motherboard.

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After checking everything if it will fit together, I've taken mobo to take a bath.

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When mobo was clean, it was dryed in oven for about 20 minutes in temperature 50 degrees of Celsius. And left to cool down and dry if somethings left between IC's and mobo for another day.

In the meantime I've decided to use a small PC case which I bought some time ago from Germany. It's not beautifull and have some limitations, but I give it a try.

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First limitation was that it utilizes different size ATX PSU. I needed to cut bigger hole.

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When I was doing that I also cut hole for fan in front of the case.

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Second limitation is the size. It's shorter than Sound Blaster AWE32 CT3900, so I needed to install SB CT3600. But maybe I'll change it for Sound Blaster 16 CT2230 with NEC XR385.
Here is a photo of inside the case.

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I'm thinking about changing 3.5" cage for disk drives. With this one I can install only 1x 3.5" FDD and 1x 3.5" HDD. Nothing else.

As for now configuration of this PC is:
- PII SL2S5 overclocked to 416MHz (yes it's working with FSB set to 83MHz)
- 256MB of RAM (Kingston KTD-OPGX1N/128)
- GFX Card: Gigabyte AV32S (Ati Radeon 7000 32MB)
- GFX 3D Card: Innovision Voodoo II 12MB
- Sound Card: Sound Blaster CT3600 with 2MB RAM
- 1x FDD 3.5" 1.44MB
- 1x FDD 5.25" 1.2MB
- 2x HDD 3.5" 20GB
- 1x TEAC DVD-ROM


Even if it's overclocked. it's working very stable in Win'98SE. F.e. "Clive Barker's Unduying" runs very well on Voodoo II :D This game was my testbench for this computer on all 3 FSB settings 66/75/83 MHz.

Goals to do with this computer.
- changing all caps
- changing 3.5" drives cage
- choose between SB CT3600 or SB CT2230 with NEC XR385
- custom made front panel in PC Tower case
- adding XT-IDE ROM to be able of using larger HDD

Already done:
- changing heat paste in CPU
- changing cooler on CPU. Old one was very noisy.
Last edited by Atreus on 2017-9-21 @ 09:04, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Pentium II Win'98SE Retro Rig.

Postby oeuvre » 2017-8-09 @ 22:49

Lame, the images aren't loading for me
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Re: Pentium II Win'98SE Retro Rig.

Postby Atreus » 2017-9-21 @ 06:44

Post updated.
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Re: Pentium II Win'98SE Retro Rig.

Postby Tetrium » 2017-9-21 @ 07:48

I remember those very tiny Slot 1 boards. I thought they were cute :blush:
The case you selected for it, seems to be very fitting for it.
The fan opening you cut, I'd recommend doing this to anyone. It makes for improved air circulation and less noise.

I've got one of such very tiny µATX Slot 1 boards which I gotten in a funny way and it's one of the boards I wanted to use but never got around to it. Nice to see someone else using such a board, I had kinda forgotten about it!
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Re: Pentium II Win'98SE Retro Rig.

Postby chinny22 » 2017-9-21 @ 14:40

Nice different system.
Not like the majority with a full size M/B with P3
I'd use the final spare slot for better soundcard for windows and after that what else do you REALLY need in a games rig right?
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Re: Pentium II Win'98SE Retro Rig.

Postby 5P133 » 2017-10-03 @ 20:50

Very cute case.
I wasnt brave enough to bath my components.
ATrend ATC 6220 + PII400 + 256MB RAM PC133 + Ati Rage Fury Pro 32MB + Creative Labs Voodoo2 8MB + Aztech 2320 + Win98SE
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Re: Pentium II Win'98SE Retro Rig.

Postby Atreus » 2018-1-20 @ 17:27

I have problems with this small motherboard. My suspicions are for damaged AGP port.
Firstly I was blaming ATI Radeon 7000. When I try to run any 3D game on Direct 3D. Game jumps out to Windows and close itself without any warnings. Under Voodoo II the same title runs normally. I've checked with Catalyst 5.9 and 6.2 which I've found on internet. Also with DX9.0C, DX9.0 and DX8.1. There's no difference. Effect is the same. Any 3D title jumps out to WIndows 98 SE. Tests under DXDiag are being passed normally.
I've also changed CPU from PII 333MHz to Mendocino 500MHz on slotket. Effect is the same. Problems with 3D titles under Direct3D on Radeon 7000. On Voodoo titles are working.

I've checked the same components (Radeon 7000, Voodoo II, 256MB RAM) on MSI MS6160 motherboard with Mendocino 500MHz. 3D games runs normally on this motherboard.

I don't know what to do now. Motherboard is nice, compact, without integrated Sound Card... But those problems with every title on Direct3D...
I can try to check everything again with Radeon 9250 or GeForce 4 Ti4200...
Or maybe there's a problem with ISA Sound Card. But games are running normally in this setup on Voodoo II...

For Retrorig PC I can choose between motherboards which I have:
Gigabyte GA-6EM showed in this post but with problems with Direct3D on Radeon 7000.
MSI MS6160 with Mendocino 500MHz, chipset Intel FW82443LX, integrated sound Creative ES1373.
Biostar M6TZF which is tested by me with Coppermine 1.1GHz (1100/128/100/1.75V), chipset Intel FW82443ZX, integrated sound ESS Solo-1 (ES1938S).
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Re: Pentium II Win'98SE Retro Rig.

Postby Radical Vision » 2018-1-20 @ 19:17

Nice the board is some mid range Gigabyte, all important caps are SanYo, good choice. ABIT boards like BE6, BE6-II all of them are using crap caps and they need replacement, too bad only Gigabyte and not many ASUS ones have good caps.
The mobo bath is with 99% alcohol or ?
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Re: Pentium II Win'98SE Retro Rig.

Postby Atreus » 2018-1-20 @ 19:57

20180120 19:57
Bath is simple soap with water... Nothing special. I wanted to get rid of dust. And btw. I'm doing this with all other dirty parts so It's not a reason for that kind of behavior with Radeon 7000 and Direct3D...
After reading some post here on vogons about some problems with radeon 7500 + ISA sound cards I'm starting suspecting this as a reason for my poblems...

20180120 22:41
I have enough for today. Another 2 hours wasted with trying to solve this mysterious problem.
Changing SB AWE32 CT3600 to AudioDrive ES1869F didn't change anything. Result is the same. Games jumps out into Windows.
Removing Voodoo II from system and installing new Windows, drivers, DX8.1 finally gives me "Blue Screen of Death" after running game under Direct3D...

20180121 10:18
Another 3 hours wasted. I've added Diamond Monster Sound MX100 to system to check if it can be a problem with sound going through ISA SB. Installed fresh Win98SE, updates, drivers, DX8.1. Effect's still the same. Games running under Direct3D jumps out into windows after couple of seconds...
There's left only one more try. Fresh Windows with only AGP card Radeon 7000, without any other cards which means no sound etc...
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Re: Pentium II Win'98SE Retro Rig.

Postby Atreus » 2018-6-14 @ 10:20

Forgive me post under post, but too long time passed since last one.

Somethings changed today. I still had problems with this motherboard. Clean installation with only Radeon 7000 and SB AWE32.
After 1 hour I gave up, but later I was still thinking and suspicions goes to RAM. I was using Kingston 133MHz RAM which are very stable in Biosta M6TZF. I've changed them into some unbranded 100MHz and as for now (about 1.5 hour) 3D Mark 1999 is working and doesn't jumps out into Win'98.
Now I've made 3rd benchmark with overclocked FSB.

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After installing "Clive Barker's Undying" I've played in this game for about 30 minutes without any problem on overclocked FSB from 66 to 83MHz and PII from 333 to 417MHz. :blush:
This game requires DirectX 8. As seen on photos 3D Mark 1999 didn't gain any improvement from changing DX7 to DX8.
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Re: Pentium II Win'98SE Retro Rig.

Postby chinny22 » 2018-6-14 @ 11:44

Fingers crossed,
I had bad luck earlier in the year with some Kingston 133 RAM, 3 out of 5 were bad from 2 different sellers.
Not trying to say its a bad brand or anything, it's old and even brand name stuff dies eventually. I just wish it was me that purchased it new with its lifetime warranty.
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Re: Pentium II Win'98SE Retro Rig.

Postby oeuvre » 2018-6-14 @ 15:57

nothing like running machines outside of their cases
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Re: Pentium II Win'98SE Retro Rig.

Postby Atreus » 2018-6-15 @ 03:20

@oeuvre
Don't worry. Computer is in case now. Like on photo is the best way for me to test something. I have access from every side to computer components.

Now it's time for the best part. Playing with IRQ and DMA. Surprisingly win98se messed up with them. Radeon is on DMA 5, SB AWE32 on DMA 10, IRQ 3 and 7 etc...
Later installation of couple DOS games...
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Re: Pentium II Win'98SE Retro Rig.

Postby Atreus » 2018-9-24 @ 18:18

Today I've been playing around changing thermal paste in PII CPU.
Dissasembling that particular CPU which I own (SL2S5) was a nightmare. I couldn't easily pry plastic case in one corner, because one pin was keeping it so tightly that I've bended some part of plastic case and broken my plastic tool to open phone cases :(
Also I've damaged a little aluminium case by using small metal screwdriver but I didn't had other choice. I didn't want to completely destroy plastic case...

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And here is my CPU in all it's dirty glory ;)

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And after cleaning old thermal paste.

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After adding new thermal paste, I've assembled everything together and added 50mm fan cover and new cooler.
Zip ties are keeping two legs from radiator, because they like to jump off their place...

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Now will be time to assemble everything together and turn on machine :)
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Re: Pentium II Win'98SE Retro Rig.

Postby kb77 » 2018-10-10 @ 12:05

I bought two such boards - they came with Celeron (333 MHz), YMF724 based PCI sound cards, S3 Trio 3D AGP graphics card and some oldschool network card (BNC+RJ) that I got rid of immediately. I think I got them from the same source (ha ! they also have Adax stickers), as they were pretty dirty ;) Didn't bother washing them yet, I just roughly air dusted/wiped one, the other one is a backup.

I replaced the DIMM (32 M) with the biggest I had at the moment that would be supported by this board (128 M), put the 1 GB CF card into CF-IDE adapter and installed Win 98 SE. Quite a nice rig for OPL3.
Though with a self made SB Link cable I do not get any OPL sound from some of the tools... Luckily Adlib Tracker 2 works fine under DOS. Pity these sound cards had no SPIF connectors installed (need to do this myself).
OK, I need to dig this old ALS007 (ISA) card that was my first sound card in PC, it has this funny "LS212" clone of YMF262 (over the years I collected a dozen or so soundcards with OPL2 and OPL3 clones). With a limited number of PCI/ISA ports I cannot have SW1000XG (have couple of them laying around) + Sound Blaster Live + Ensoniq Soundscape Elite (my 2nd PC sound card) + YMF724, well... maybe I need to buy some bigger board ;)
Last edited by kb77 on 2018-10-12 @ 08:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pentium II Win'98SE Retro Rig.

Postby zyga64 » 2018-10-11 @ 12:40

AGP implementation in those early boards (ALI, SIS, Intel LX), well... sucks. High demand for electricity is not covered by circuits on the board. However, S3 Trio 3D works stable :) Maybe ATI Rage Pro is also good choice if you want to be period correct.
1) i430HX / P233MMX / 64 MB / Virge DX+3Dfx / Vibra16s / DOS / Win98
2) i440BX / P!!! 450 / 256MB / Diamond Viper V550 / AWE64 / DOS / Win98SE
3) i865G / E2160 / 1GB / Ti4200 / YMF724 / DOS / Win98SE / XPSP1
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Re: Pentium II Win'98SE Retro Rig.

Postby kb77 » 2018-10-11 @ 19:36

zyga64 wrote:AGP implementation in those early boards (ALI, SIS, Intel LX), well... sucks. High demand for electricity is not covered by circuits on the board. However, S3 Trio 3D works stable :) Maybe ATI Rage Pro is also good choice if you want to be period correct.


Zyga, come back to the C64Power please, we are missing you ;)

Arrgghhh.... Ymf724 + Als4000 is not the best combination in fact. I did not manage to relocate OPL3 from Ymf724 card to e.g. 0x398 (although this seemed to be possible). I did not find any option in the Als4000 drivers to do so either. OK, next attempt would be with the ALS007 ISA card - not only it has the physical OPL3 chip, it also has a better amplifier.
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Re: Pentium II Win'98SE Retro Rig.

Postby zyga64 » 2018-10-12 @ 19:32

kb77 wrote:Zyga, come back to the C64Power please, we are missing you ;)


I have not yet matured to this step :) May I propose you to join 3dfx.pl forum ?

kb77 wrote:Arrgghhh.... Ymf724 + Als4000 is not the best combination in fact. I did not manage to relocate OPL3 from Ymf724 card to e.g. 0x398 (although this seemed to be possible). I did not find any option in the Als4000 drivers to do so either. OK, next attempt would be with the ALS007 ISA card - not only it has the physical OPL3 chip, it also has a better amplifier.


Why do you want to have OPL3 at 0x398 ? You'll lose compatibility. Only for Adlib tracker 2 ?

Speaking about ALS100 (I belive it is similiar to ALS007), only half of the outputs of OPL3 is connected to the ALS chip.
So we have only compatibility to OPL2 (9 channels). In this case sound output from AT2 is strange. However there is older OPL2 version of AT2. In this version everything sound like it should, except of course 18 channel modules. This is my observation.

Yeah, the holy grail - most compatible sound card. Creative CQM synthesis sounds strange. Some ISA cards are speed sensitive. And I don't like playing with resources, when 2 cards are present in one PC...

Personally I started to build machine to cover widest range of time, with most compatible sound card (ideally with native OPL3). Now, I'm in the stage of 3 machines (in my signature) and I think this isn't my last word :)
1) i430HX / P233MMX / 64 MB / Virge DX+3Dfx / Vibra16s / DOS / Win98
2) i440BX / P!!! 450 / 256MB / Diamond Viper V550 / AWE64 / DOS / Win98SE
3) i865G / E2160 / 1GB / Ti4200 / YMF724 / DOS / Win98SE / XPSP1
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Re: Pentium II Win'98SE Retro Rig.

Postby Atreus » 2018-10-14 @ 10:00

Yesterday I've received cheap RAM Heatsinks from China which are installed roght now. They aren't needed in this configuration, but this component now looks a lot better inside case ;)

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Re: Pentium II Win'98SE Retro Rig.

Postby Madc0w » 2018-10-16 @ 19:16

Damn those do look good. Do you need to get anything specific for older models of ram? Or will most ram heatsinks just fit?
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