Windows 98SE Media Rig

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Windows 98SE Media Rig

Postby T-Squared » 2019-7-05 @ 07:19

In 2016, to help myself out of a rough emotional spot, I decided to make good on my plan of making an old MS-DOS gaming rig. (One that would work with my VR setup)

At least, that's how it started. I had a bunch of parts, but no case and no power supply.

My best years in experiencing gaming were from 1992-2004. After that, I never really was able to get interested in modern gaming.

I started with a 200 MHz Pentium (actually a 233 MHz CPU limited by the clock speed of the motherboard), with:

  • An 8MB ATI Rage All-in-Wonder
  • An 8 GB hard drive
  • 40MB of Memory (I think...)
  • Sound Blaster 16 CT1740 Sound Card
  • Intel EtherExpress 10/16 or D-Link DFE-530TX Ethernet Network Card


At the time, I was running a computer at 1997 specs, and that was good for MS-DOS gaming.

Eventually I realized that in order to run later games, I needed lots more power, speed, and memory.

So, I saved my money. I tried one motherboard, but it was buggy, and didn't like the video card (ATI Radeon 7200) I tried to install in it.
I tried another. It worked, but updating the BIOS to the latest version was impossible with my chip reader.

With a new job, and searching for a motherboard with the maximum possible amount of everything, that idea came closer and closer until I was able to get a nice Chaintech 6BTM motherboard. It accepted the video card, and memory that I had laying around (I believe). I tried finding an updated hacked BIOS that allowed hard drives higher than 80 GB, then using XTIDE, until someone mentioned that Windows/DOS is unstable with any systems around 120 GB in size, so I gave up and decided to use 80 GB hard drives.

After a few video card missteps, I have the following specs and additions for my computer rig:

Main System
  • Chaintech 6BTM Motherboard (Intel 440BX) with fully-updated BIOS:
    -1 AGP Slot
    -4 PCI slots
    -3 ISA Slots
  • 4 RAM Slots (448 MB total)
  • 3.5" Floppy Drive
  • 5.25" Floppy Drive
  • Rewritable CD/DVD Drive (only to read CD/DVDRWs)
  • 3 80GB Hard Drives (Two for video recording and storage)


Cards
  • ATI Radeon 9000 All-in-Wonder Video Card (The low-profile version was the only one I could find after writing this entire spec sheet)
  • S3 Trio Virge 375 (For MS-DOS Gaming + VR Testing)
  • (My Sound Blaster Audigy seems to have blown out, because I can't get proper stereo MIDI music or 4.1 surround sound)
  • Generic 4-Port USB PCI Card
  • D-Link DFE-530TX Ethernet Network Card (This card is in a bit of a jam right now, because the ethernet port needs to be replaced)
  • Forte VFX-1 Headgear VIP Board (connected to the S3 Trio Virge), with VFX-1 Headgear VR Helmet
  • Sound Blaster 16 CT1740 Sound Card (For MS-DOS Gaming)

Additional Peripherals:
  • 1 Samsung DVD-VCR Combo
  • 1 Direct-Dubbing DVD-VCR Combo (Recording direct to VHS from DVD)
  • 1 2006 Sony Blu-Ray Player
  • 2 LCD monitors, one connected to the S3 Trio Virge, one to the ATI Radeon
  • TV-VCR Combo for Composite Video Output from computer
  • VFX-1 Headgear VR Helmet
  • Microsoft Sidewinder Force-Feedback Joystick
  • 4.1 Surround Sound Speakers

And a grand majority of all these items were either bought on a budget, or already in my computer collection.
Last edited by T-Squared on 2019-7-24 @ 05:32, edited 1 time in total.
T-Squared
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Re: Windows 98SE Media Rig

Postby LightStruk » 2019-7-23 @ 14:46

Does the Virge support FASTVID? Or is it otherwise a strong VGA / VESA card for DOS gaming? I ask because I also had a Virge once, and the 3D acceleration (cough DECELERATION) looked just awful. Terrible dithering and everything.
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Re: Windows 98SE Media Rig

Postby T-Squared » 2019-7-24 @ 05:26

LightStruk wrote:Does the Virge support FASTVID? Or is it otherwise a strong VGA / VESA card for DOS gaming? I ask because I also had a Virge once, and the 3D acceleration (cough DECELERATION) looked just awful. Terrible dithering and everything.


The Virge is for VR gaming, but it's also for strong MS-DOS gaming, plus a secondary monitor.
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Re: Windows 98SE Media Rig

Postby swapna31 » 2019-8-26 @ 11:59

Excellent thread...!!!
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