VOGONS


First post, by GeorgeMan

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Hello folks!
I decided to build a PC for my family. Basic stuff, internet, movies, games like The Sims 3-4 etc.
I investigated what is the latest hardware with official support for Windows 98 yet compatible with newer OSes, so that I could have fun with old games.
Long story short, I bought an Asrock 775i65G motherboard R3.0, with support for Core 2 Duo CPUs and official Win98 support (Intel 865 chipset), 2x1GB DDR 400 RAM, Nvidia GeForce 6800 Ultra, some HDDs and ready to go!
The heart of the PC is a Pentium DualCore (Penryn Core 2 Duo based), E6500K with unlocked multiplier, which runs at 2.93GHz (FSB 1066).

Here is the little special motherboard. It even has 2 sata ports with legacy mode option on the BIOS (recognises sata HDDs even on dos!)
mobo_zpsd3y1zg4e.jpg

The CPU was pretty damn cheap, came from China, works, and is multiplier unlocked!
cpu_zpsqy7veqcf.jpg

RAM was also cheap and works good. Basic parts fitted on. The cooler makes some noise but has copper core and is decent for that CPU.
set_zpsddpquzfg.jpg

The VGA was received in very filthy condition. I took everything apart and cleaned it. It's a Gainward 6800 Ultra 256MB, AGP of course.
vga1_zpsyp9ntsbk.jpg

vga2_zpshvcjfd9d.jpg

Oh, what do we have here? Production week 40, year 2004. Yet still fully supported under Windows 8.1!
vga3_zps169mmnqb.jpg

Other parts used:

  • Case: Raijintek Arcadia with 2x Arctic Cooling super silent 12cm fans (front & rear).
  • PSU: Hiper 425W
  • Sata SSD: Micron C300 128GB for Windows 8.1
  • Sata HDD: Toshiba 500GB 7200rpm for Windows XP
  • IDE HDD: Western Digital 160GB 7200rom for Windows 98SE (formatted to 120GB)
  • A black floppy with USB card reader for the sole 3.5" external bay
  • Typical Optiarc IDE DVD-RW black

Photos you'd ask. Here they are!
Some interior work. Note the ssd at the very bottom and the 2nd HDD below the DVD-RW.
in1_zpsd80ncm3u.jpg

in2_zpstalfrvyi.jpg

Motherboard's rear I/O plate is missing 🙁
out2_zpsuese9puz.jpg

Really like the front, looks good! 😀
out1_zps7uuvbi0h.jpg

POST screens please!
It's indeed a 6800 Ultra from 2004 😁 😁
post1_zpsvwzjnzts.jpg

2GB RAM properly initialized
post2_zpskjh73pxr.jpg

Boot menu. Select Toshiba and you have XP. 128 and there is Windows 8.1. WD1600JB aaaaand the old part (Win 98) boots!
boot_zpstl0jps3m.jpg

Win 8.1 up and running.
win8_zpsjzttjo0g.jpg

XP is also good!
xp_zpse82v8fqh.jpg

Wanna go retro? 98 please!!!
98_zpsbldx8vwq.jpg

On 98 everything's fully supported. But also on 8.1: I can even adjust the fan speed of a 11 year old vga card! 😁
tool_zpswg339ndt.jpg

Overclocking? No problem! Just increase the CMOS ratio (multiplier). Max=unlimited, as BIOS informs us :p
bioss_zpszml4vuhe.jpg

Hope you like it! 😀

Retro1: K6-2+ 550MHz | FIC PA-2013 ss7 | S3 Savage4LT 8MB AGP | 2x Voodoo2 SLi PCI | SB Pro2 ISA | 83GB HDDs | DOS 6.22 & Win98SE
Retro2: E6500K | AsRock 775i65G | Radeon HD3850 512MB AGP | SB Audigy 2ZS | 1500GB HDDs | WinXP & Vista

Reply 1 of 53, by ODwilly

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Very nice and versatile system!

Main pc: AsRock x370 Killer SLI a/c, Ryzen 5 2600, 1tb WD black nvme ssd, 24g ddr4 2400 @2933mhz, rx 480 8gb reference card, 2tb Hitachi Deskstar.
Retro PC: Soyo P4S Dragon, 3gb ddr 266, 120gb Maxtor, Geforce Fx 5950 Ultra, SB Live! 5.1

Reply 2 of 53, by obobskivich

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What drivers does the 6800 use under Windows 8? And do they have a complete control panel? I've been curious about using 6800 Ultra for a similarly wide-ranging setup. 😊

Neat use of that motherboard too. 😀

Reply 3 of 53, by GeorgeMan

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The biggest problem was 2gb ram with 98.
6800's latest driver for 8.1 is from... February 2015.
So you have control panel and the stuff. 😀 You can get the driver from nvidia's site directly.

Retro1: K6-2+ 550MHz | FIC PA-2013 ss7 | S3 Savage4LT 8MB AGP | 2x Voodoo2 SLi PCI | SB Pro2 ISA | 83GB HDDs | DOS 6.22 & Win98SE
Retro2: E6500K | AsRock 775i65G | Radeon HD3850 512MB AGP | SB Audigy 2ZS | 1500GB HDDs | WinXP & Vista

Reply 4 of 53, by havli

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Very nice, I have similar build myself - the same board but only with c2d e6400 and Radeon 8500 at the moment. 😀
I'm considering to buy faster cpu - how far does the e6500k overclock on this mb?

HW museum.cz - my collection of PC hardware

Reply 5 of 53, by tincup

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Cool! Nice concept and execution. High end W98, mid range XP and low spec W8, yet completely serviceable for the intended use.

If you ever feel the need for greater W8/XP performance you *could* load more ram by using R. Loew's "RLOEW W98 memory patch" [you have to buy it from him] and plug in a 7900GTX/512mb with the unofficial modded W98 drivers floating around out there...

Reply 6 of 53, by calvin

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I'm not terribly surprised 8.1 runs fine on such hardware. The 6xxx chips will stick around for a while due to the cheap nForce chipsets with 6150SEs that spring up everywhere. Core 2 is still competent, even with anachronistically slow RAM and disk I/O. The 8xx, among most chipsets of the time, is sane and supported by Windows' very large integrated driver library.

Windows is very backward compatible, especially the 32-bit version, and it often gets faster on old hardware. 8.1 only really shook things up by requiring NX. On my P3 running 7, a lot of drivers are from ~2003 (that is, USB 11b adapter, EtherLink XL, and SB Live!) and it runs well. If it could run 8.1, I'd imagine it would run better, due to optimizations made for small ARM HW.

2xP2 450, 512 MB SDR, GeForce DDR, Asus P2B-D, Windows 2000
P3 866, 512 MB RDRAM, Radeon X1650, Dell Dimension XPS B866, Windows 7
M2 @ 250 MHz, 64 MB SDE, SiS5598, Compaq Presario 2286, Windows 98

Reply 7 of 53, by GeorgeMan

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calvin wrote:

I'm not terribly surprised 8.1 runs fine on such hardware. The 6xxx chips will stick around for a while due to the cheap nForce chipsets with 6150SEs that spring up everywhere. Core 2 is still competent, even with anachronistically slow RAM and disk I/O. The 8xx, among most chipsets of the time, is sane and supported by Windows' very large integrated driver library.

Windows is very backward compatible, especially the 32-bit version, and it often gets faster on old hardware. 8.1 only really shook things up by requiring NX. On my P3 running 7, a lot of drivers are from ~2003 (that is, USB 11b adapter, EtherLink XL, and SB Live!) and it runs well. If it could run 8.1, I'd imagine it would run better, due to optimizations made for small ARM HW.

RAM raw throughput in MB/s is low, but overall latency/response is good and the system doesn't feel slow even in WIn 8.1. Dual channel definitely helps on that fact.
The SSD helps a lot too. With 8.1 up and running, only ~450MB ram get used. Even with Chrome and 3-4 tabs, I cannot reach above 1GB. Youtube full hd is definitely a no-go, though.
I did install the 32bit version. With up to 3GB of RAM there is absolutely no point in installing 64bit Windows versions.

havli wrote:

Very nice, I have similar build myself - the same board but only with c2d e6400 and Radeon 8500 at the moment. 😀
I'm considering to buy faster cpu - how far does the e6500k overclock on this mb?

The board vcore supply cannot be changed, so you are limited to FSB (limit 300MHz) and multiplier changes.
Something like 3,3-3,4 GHz stable is obtainable. Yet impressive for a 2003 chipset!

tincup wrote:

Cool! Nice concept and execution. High end W98, mid range XP and low spec W8, yet completely serviceable for the intended use.

If you ever feel the need for greater W8/XP performance you *could* load more ram by using R. Loew's "RLOEW W98 memory patch" [you have to buy it from him] and plug in a 7900GTX/512mb with the unofficial modded W98 drivers floating around out there...

I actually bought RLOEW's patch. I tried it first, and found to be the only thing that fixed memory corruption!
I still don't think I can find 2GB DDR1 DIMMS easily, and if I find them, I don't think Win 98 will live with 4GB well. What do you think?
Actually, was there a 7900GTX for AGP? I thought only 7800GS (and some rare 7900GT variant) were available for AGP.

Retro1: K6-2+ 550MHz | FIC PA-2013 ss7 | S3 Savage4LT 8MB AGP | 2x Voodoo2 SLi PCI | SB Pro2 ISA | 83GB HDDs | DOS 6.22 & Win98SE
Retro2: E6500K | AsRock 775i65G | Radeon HD3850 512MB AGP | SB Audigy 2ZS | 1500GB HDDs | WinXP & Vista

Reply 10 of 53, by calvin

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idspispopd wrote:

How slow can you clock the CPU?

A Prescott is basically the slowest you can go on LGA775 if he wants to manually swap.

2xP2 450, 512 MB SDR, GeForce DDR, Asus P2B-D, Windows 2000
P3 866, 512 MB RDRAM, Radeon X1650, Dell Dimension XPS B866, Windows 7
M2 @ 250 MHz, 64 MB SDE, SiS5598, Compaq Presario 2286, Windows 98

Reply 11 of 53, by ODwilly

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calvin wrote:
idspispopd wrote:

How slow can you clock the CPU?

A Prescott is basically the slowest you can go on LGA775 if he wants to manually swap.

There are also lga775 Celeron p4's IIRC

Main pc: AsRock x370 Killer SLI a/c, Ryzen 5 2600, 1tb WD black nvme ssd, 24g ddr4 2400 @2933mhz, rx 480 8gb reference card, 2tb Hitachi Deskstar.
Retro PC: Soyo P4S Dragon, 3gb ddr 266, 120gb Maxtor, Geforce Fx 5950 Ultra, SB Live! 5.1

Reply 12 of 53, by calvin

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...which would also be Prescott. They're oddly named Celeron D, despite not being dual cores.

2xP2 450, 512 MB SDR, GeForce DDR, Asus P2B-D, Windows 2000
P3 866, 512 MB RDRAM, Radeon X1650, Dell Dimension XPS B866, Windows 7
M2 @ 250 MHz, 64 MB SDE, SiS5598, Compaq Presario 2286, Windows 98

Reply 13 of 53, by tincup

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GeorgeMan wrote:

I actually bought RLOEW's patch. I tried it first, and found to be the only thing that fixed memory corruption!
I still don't think I can find 2GB DDR1 DIMMS easily, and if I find them, I don't think Win 98 will live with 4GB well. What do you think?
Actually, was there a 7900GTX for AGP? I thought only 7800GS (and some rare 7900GT variant) were available for AGP.

Yeah the RLOEW patch worked very well for me too and had I gone with it right off the bat it would have saved me a lot trouble and dead-end experimentation. But regarding the 7900GTX - my bad. In my haste to post I overlooked that you had an AGP based board and I think the 7900 only came in PCIe.. though I believe the 7900/7950 GS/512mb did...

Reply 14 of 53, by obobskivich

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There's a Gainward AGP card based on the GeForce 7900 (G71), but they were sold as 7800 in some markets. There is, or was, one on ebay quite recently. Found it: http://www.ebay.com/itm/131433926762 and XFX put the 7950 on AGP: http://www.ebay.com/itm/131446426534

I'm not sure they're worth the asking price in terms of performance (they're kind of oddballs though; I think part of the high pricing is due to the collector appeal), but either would be an upgrade over the 6800 for the most part (IME 6800 Ultra vs 7900GS, even on somewhat unequal CPUs, aren't terribly far apart in older benchmarks like 3DMark01 or AquaMark 3, but the 7900 uses less power and should do better in newer games/benchmarks). It does not have official Win98 driver support though, so you're using modified drivers to get it working with 81.98 or similar. It'd probably make more sense to stick with the 6800 and use a newer machine if you really need more robust SM3.0 (or higher) performance, since PCIe variants of these cards tend to be cheaper, and you can get newer/faster cards (like GeForce 8800, for example) as alternative options as well.

I'm not sure how the newer Radeon cards (X series and above) work with Windows 98, but X850 and higher should also offer a performance boost over the 6800, and they tend to cost less than the GeForce 7800 AGP cards.

Reply 15 of 53, by idspispopd

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calvin wrote:
idspispopd wrote:

How slow can you clock the CPU?

A Prescott is basically the slowest you can go on LGA775 if he wants to manually swap.

I meant how far the actual E6500K could be underclocked. I see in the BIOS screenshot a minimum multiplier of 6 so with the set frequency of 266 MHz this would make 1.6GHz. Can the frequency can be set lower?

Reply 17 of 53, by GeorgeMan

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philscomputerlab wrote:

Very nice time-machine you built there!

Thanks Phil! 😁 I'll try your DOS tests the following days. Please bring the link back to your signature. 😀

idspispopd wrote:
calvin wrote:
idspispopd wrote:

How slow can you clock the CPU?

A Prescott is basically the slowest you can go on LGA775 if he wants to manually swap.

I meant how far the actual E6500K could be underclocked. I see in the BIOS screenshot a minimum multiplier of 6 so with the set frequency of 266 MHz this would make 1.6GHz. Can the frequency can be set lower?

Yes, lowest possible is 95x6 = 570 Mhz.

obobskivich wrote:

There's a Gainward AGP card based on the GeForce 7900 (G71), but they were sold as 7800 in some markets. There is, or was, one on ebay quite recently. Found it: http://www.ebay.com/itm/131433926762 and XFX put the 7950 on AGP: http://www.ebay.com/itm/131446426534

I'm not sure they're worth the asking price in terms of performance (they're kind of oddballs though; I think part of the high pricing is due to the collector appeal), but either would be an upgrade over the 6800 for the most part (IME 6800 Ultra vs 7900GS, even on somewhat unequal CPUs, aren't terribly far apart in older benchmarks like 3DMark01 or AquaMark 3, but the 7900 uses less power and should do better in newer games/benchmarks). It does not have official Win98 driver support though, so you're using modified drivers to get it working with 81.98 or similar. It'd probably make more sense to stick with the 6800 and use a newer machine if you really need more robust SM3.0 (or higher) performance, since PCIe variants of these cards tend to be cheaper, and you can get newer/faster cards (like GeForce 8800, for example) as alternative options as well.

I'm not sure how the newer Radeon cards (X series and above) work with Windows 98, but X850 and higher should also offer a performance boost over the 6800, and they tend to cost less than the GeForce 7800 AGP cards.

I don't think I'll try an ATi on this setup.
If I ever find a 7950GT cheap enough, I'll buy and try it, but I think that for the next couple of years this is going to be a happy running PC with the hardware already fitted.

Retro1: K6-2+ 550MHz | FIC PA-2013 ss7 | S3 Savage4LT 8MB AGP | 2x Voodoo2 SLi PCI | SB Pro2 ISA | 83GB HDDs | DOS 6.22 & Win98SE
Retro2: E6500K | AsRock 775i65G | Radeon HD3850 512MB AGP | SB Audigy 2ZS | 1500GB HDDs | WinXP & Vista

Reply 19 of 53, by JidaiGeki

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Love it! Really versatile setup, and your build is very clean too 😀 your family will love it 😉

Just picked up an ASROCK 775 with AGP board myself, the 4Core Dual SATA, waiting for it to arrive at the moment. Focusing on XP gaming though.

If you do go down the XFX 7950 route, just be aware that the cooler needs to be watched carefully, it's a common point of failure and when it goes it takes the board with it. I bought one new and this happened to me several years ago - by the time I made a warranty claim XFX's distributor could only give me a GT240 PCI-E as a replacement 🙁 have a couple of Radeon AGP 3850s but I can only imagine that driver support under Win98 would be a right pain.