My builds, parts and doubts...

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My builds, parts and doubts...

Postby JoaoAS » 2018-5-06 @ 11:48

Apart from my 2 work laptops, I have 2 desktops and been gathering some more parts to make other builds. I'm thinking of building a third one, as i shall explain later. For now, my current desktop which is running Windows XP (as for some reason is not coping well with windows 7, and later windows just don't install) and was built in 2005:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (lightly overclocked to 2.2GHz)
DFI Lanparty nF4 SLI-DR (awesome board, a dream for overclockers back in 2005)
2x1GB Team Elite DDR400 (in the beginning it had 1GB Twinmos Speed Premium with BH5 chips, which benefitted from the board's higher vdimm, but one of the dimms broke down)
Radeon X850 Crossfire (cheap swap, used to have a regular X850XT but is in need of a reflow)
Maxtor 250GB sata2 + Samsung 200GB Sata + Seagate 80GB IDE
NEC 3500 DVD-RW, LG DVD-ROM, floppy drive, zip drive
LC Power modular 480w psu
All of the above inside a nice SuperFlower SF-561T2-BK

This system may remain more or less untouched, apart from an eventual change of psu, as i don't think it is in the best condition (a little whining, and it's not from the fan).

Now for my Windows 98 system:

Pentium 4 1.5GHz
ECS P4VXASD (socket 423 and supports SDRAM and DDR)
1x512MB DDR333 (used to have 1GB, but removed the other dimm for windows 98)
GeForce 2 MX 64MB
PCTV tuner/capture card
Maxtor 20GB (to be replaced with a Samsung 40GB) IDE
Samsung CD-RW, LG DVD-ROM, floppy drive
400w psu, all inside an oem case from around 2004

Thinking about an "upgrade" (not really) to this system. Since I managed to get 2 rdram sticks to add to the 2 I already have, I thought of replacing the motherboard with an MSI 850Pro2 (the one with the weird Rimm configuration) with 384MB RDRAM (2x128+2x64). What do you think? Worth it for the "rdram thing"? The only problem with this is that the MSI has some bulging capacitors so it won't be used without being recapped. I also have another cpu(1.4GHz) and could make another P4 build, but for now space is an issue so it is not in the plans, as I plan to build a third older system.

Here are both, AMD on top, P4 on the bottom:
Image

Now for the third system...I have some parts, and my doubt is around the OS and the graphics card. The planned build:

Pentium II 350MHz (I also have a 333MHz, which is passive cooled, but is only 66MHz FSB)
FIC VB-601 (also have a VB-609 from an old HP vectra computer, but this only has 3 dimms, as opposed to the 4 of the vb-601, and also a weird front panel connector and a more limited bios)
Some SDRAM (the board has 4 slots and i have a lot of ram modules, so anything up to 1GB is possible)
Creative Ensoniq ES1371 or CT4810 (both pretty similar, so won't make much difference)
Maxtor 20GB (from the P4)
cheapo network card (i have some 3 or 4 3com cards somewhere)

For OS, i still don't know what to install here. The 3 possibilities are 95, 98SE or NT. If I install 98SE, the P4 may be upgraded to windows 2000. The purpose is playing win 9x era games, and also some dos games.

With that in mind, what graphics card should I choose? What I have available for it:
  • S3 Trio 64V+
  • S3 Trio 64UV+
  • Matrox Productiva G100 4MB
  • Matrox Millenium G200 8MB SGRAM
  • Riva TNT2 M64 32MB
  • Hercules 3D Prophet 4000XT 32MB (Kyro) (Needs to be recapped, but there are only 3 caps so should be easy)

Thanks for reading, and i'll appreciate all your comments!
Work: Dell Inspiron 15R 5520| Toshiba Satellite L40-18L
Linux: Bottom half of Toshiba Satellite A200-2C5
XP: A64 X2 3800+|DFI Lanparty nF4 SLI-DR|2x1GB DDR|X850XT
W2k: P4 1.5|ECS P4VXASD|512MB DDR|GF2 MX
[WIP]W98: P2 350|FIC VB-601|512MB SDR|3D Rage Pro
JoaoAS
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Re: My builds, parts and doubts...

Postby RaYaNt3 » 2018-5-06 @ 12:40

Some things I'd like to comment:

-You can install W98 everywhere you can and later also install W2000 (automatically creates a dual boot menu when you install it), so I think you don't have to choose only one... For me is almost a must a proper OS convivence...

-Also you can try this before adding a second 512mb stick of ram in W98... You can put 1gb in total (just for sport)...

1. MaxFileCache: Set it to 512 MB (524,288 KB), or less, in the [Vcache] section of System.ini to reduce the maximum amount of memory used by VCache (use maxfilecache=524288) .
2. System Configuration Utility: Use the SCU to limit Windows to using 768MB, or 512MB, or less
- or - enter
MaxPhysPage=30000
in the [386Enh] section of System.ini.

http://www.thpc.info/ram/vcache98.html


I use maxfilecache=512000 <--- I don't know why but sometimes maxfilecache=524288 crashes some games...

And that's all I can say...

Retro hardware is like a drug... You know... So enjoy your shit!
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Re: My builds, parts and doubts...

Postby JoaoAS » 2018-5-06 @ 15:14

Yeah, I've thought about multiboot, and that will probably be the answer. Maybe 2k/98SE on the P4, NT/98SE on the P2. 95 should be out of the equation for the usb support, that ends up being very useful. I'll test with more ram and see if it works, if it doesn't, will definitely use that MaxFileCache trick.

RaYaNt3 wrote:Retro hardware is like a drug... You know... So enjoy your shit!


Damn right, this is very addictive but also very fun. Perhaps the most fun is in testing and swapping...Good then that I have more parts to play with!
Work: Dell Inspiron 15R 5520| Toshiba Satellite L40-18L
Linux: Bottom half of Toshiba Satellite A200-2C5
XP: A64 X2 3800+|DFI Lanparty nF4 SLI-DR|2x1GB DDR|X850XT
W2k: P4 1.5|ECS P4VXASD|512MB DDR|GF2 MX
[WIP]W98: P2 350|FIC VB-601|512MB SDR|3D Rage Pro
JoaoAS
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Posts: 4
Joined: 2018-3-17 @ 19:14
Location: Portugal

Re: My builds, parts and doubts...

Postby repaxan » 2018-5-08 @ 02:46

Wow, someone else with a P4VXASD :D

How is that motherboard working out for you? Mine seems really unstable and finicky but I can't figure out if it's normal for the board or not.

Were you able to get the DDR333 to actually run at that speed?
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Re: My builds, parts and doubts...

Postby JoaoAS » 2018-5-08 @ 15:49

I haven't lost much time with it, but so far it could be more stable. I've had one or two crashes, and sometimes it decides not to detect the video card. Besides that, the rear usb ports sometimes don't work. Those have been some factors that made me think about de MSI board, but it will be hard to have some time to recap it before the world ends :lol:

The ram I don't remember what speed it was running, but I may check that out during the weekend.
Work: Dell Inspiron 15R 5520| Toshiba Satellite L40-18L
Linux: Bottom half of Toshiba Satellite A200-2C5
XP: A64 X2 3800+|DFI Lanparty nF4 SLI-DR|2x1GB DDR|X850XT
W2k: P4 1.5|ECS P4VXASD|512MB DDR|GF2 MX
[WIP]W98: P2 350|FIC VB-601|512MB SDR|3D Rage Pro
JoaoAS
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Posts: 4
Joined: 2018-3-17 @ 19:14
Location: Portugal

Re: My builds, parts and doubts...

Postby chinny22 » 2018-5-10 @ 13:16

As you already have a XP and Win98 PC you could make the P2 a crazy fast Dos/ Win3x PC.
All your Video cards have good DOS compatibility and 3.x drivers.

Otherwise I'd turn the P4 into a Win2k PC as that OS is actually plays 90% of WIn9x games fine and loads more stable (and gives you an excuse for the RAM upgrade)
And make the P2 your Win98 PC
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Re: My builds, parts and doubts...

Postby JoaoAS » 2018-11-17 @ 20:33

Well, i now have a little time to tinker with this :happy:

So, a brought home the "new" P2. As it is now:

P2 350MHz
FIC VB-601
512MB SDRAM (should be 768, but it only detects 128MB per dimm, don't know why)
TNT2 M64
Creative ensoniq es1371
CD burner, dvd-rom, floppy
2x IDE HD, don't remember the sizes.

Plans?

-Ram: As it doesn't detect all the ram, I may reduce it to 256MB which is more than enough por W98
-VGA: TNTs is too new for this, I think. I have the original Matrox G200 it had, but since then i found a ATI Rage Pro AGP 2x. Is it any good?
-Sound: also found a Creative soundblaster pci 128 (ct4810 IIRC), but the sound should be similar. Besides that, I managed to find a mediaforte soundcard i had never heard of. Fetched of a P3 system, so newer than this. It is a SF-256-PCS-02 (like this one: https://f.aukro.cz/images/sk6930826386/400x300/1ee9ee8c-d84e-4645-a4dd-f0221af73a0f), and from what i can see, i'm missing a cable (https://media2.24aul.ru/imgs/5142ac244ffdaa1ad8c3c7b2/), and it has a FM tuner. I can't find drivers for it, does anyone here know if it is any good? It would be cool to use the FM tuner.
HDD: Probably a pair of seagate 40GB, gives me a lot of space.
ODD: i may take out the dvd-rom, don't really need it in this pc.

What do you think of it?

On another subject, I found an Adaptec AHA-2940U SCSI card, but the bios doesn't seem to detect it (nor does the OS). It is a pity because I have a SCSI disk i'd like to test, but can't. The card powers up and the LED is on, but not much else. Ideas?

Thank you for your patience, I will bring updates during the week.
Work: Dell Inspiron 15R 5520| Toshiba Satellite L40-18L
Linux: Bottom half of Toshiba Satellite A200-2C5
XP: A64 X2 3800+|DFI Lanparty nF4 SLI-DR|2x1GB DDR|X850XT
W2k: P4 1.5|ECS P4VXASD|512MB DDR|GF2 MX
[WIP]W98: P2 350|FIC VB-601|512MB SDR|3D Rage Pro
JoaoAS
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Posts: 4
Joined: 2018-3-17 @ 19:14
Location: Portugal


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