Tails Pentium 4 Windows 98

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Tails Pentium 4 Windows 98

Postby tails » 2019-9-13 @ 07:22

I'm just starting to look into building my first retro Windows 98SE machine and thought I'd keep a log of it here to open it up to questions, comments and sarcastic remarks.

What I'm wanting to have this machine do is to provide entertainment during the research and build phases, then a pleasant Windows 98 experience with some compatibility back into DOS and forwards into Windows XP. Mega compatibility isn't high on my priorities but is always a nice bonus.

I have some parts on hand that I can use even if they aren't the absolute most perfect or period appropriate which I may use. I just hope that they work.

The inspiration for this machine comes from AnandTech's Buyer's Guide: High-End Gaming - August 2002 (https://www.anandtech.com/show/962/2). My logic is that since Windows XP was released in August 2001, A high-end gaming PC from a year later should provide a nice level of overkill, still with plenty of driver support.

Processor
Intel Pentium 4 2.4B GHz

I could get something faster or with Hyper-threading but would it matter at this speed?

Motherboard
Gigabyte 8I865GVMK Socket 478, Intel 865 chipset, dual-channel DDR

RAM
2x256MB Legend L1264D37-BU1HDHDC DDR 400MHz PC3200
or
2x256MB Kingston KVR333X64C25 256MB DDR 333MHz PC2700
or
1x512MB DDR 400MHz

I could go for either one. The mobo does support dual channel ram but I'm still not sure how Win98 likes it, if I will notice the difference or if it even matters at all. There is also the possibility of adding way more ram through various mods but I don’t believe I will see any benefit if only using software from around that time.

Storage
~100GB SATA HDD or SSD

I’ve heard of some issues with using an SSD. Still looking into it

Graphics Card
Gigabyte GeForce FX5500 GV-N55256D REV:1.0 256MB AGP 8x

This seems to be a popular choice for 98 builds and I have easy access to one, so why not?

Sound Card
Creative Sound Blaster Live! CT4830

It supports AdLib, DirectSound, DirectSound3D, MPU-401, Sound Blaster, Sound Blaster 16/Pro and there are reports of people getting it to work in DOS.

Power Supply
Any modernish PSU that I can find laying around for a good price. Does brand matter for these?

Case
This is the hardest part to find so far. I'm not looking for any specific brand as long as it gives me that nostalgia hit.

I'll make updates in this thread as I go.


How does this look to people who might know more than me about this stuff?
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Re: Tails Pentium 4 Windows 98

Postby kolderman » 2019-9-13 @ 07:30

Seems like a run of the mill win98 box to me. And yes win98 benefits from dual channel ram. Stick to directx8 and below and the gpu should be fine, although its a mid range card be aware. If uour motherboard has a 4pin 12v atx connector you can use any modern power supply without issue. SB Live is a good card with best compatability with win98 titles.
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Re: Tails Pentium 4 Windows 98

Postby Srandista » 2019-9-13 @ 08:32

You don't need to care about Hyper-Threading, since Windows 98 works only with one core.
My overkill "retro" PC - ASRock 4CoreDual-VSTA, Pentium E6500K, 512MB/4GB RAM, Radeon 9500@9700 (Softmod), ESS Solo-1 + Dreamblaster X2, 80GB IDE HDD, Win 98/XP
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Re: Tails Pentium 4 Windows 98

Postby Weebob » 2019-9-13 @ 08:52

Looks good, similar to a build im trying to finish after my P3 died.

Dont worry about the Hyper Threading, win-9x/me are not multi-processor-aware. I had to turn off Hyper Threading on my P4 541 to get Win98 setup to even start correctly.
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Re: Tails Pentium 4 Windows 98

Postby tails » 2019-9-13 @ 11:07

kolderman wrote:Seems like a run of the mill win98 box to me. And yes win98 benefits from dual channel ram. Stick to directx8 and below and the gpu should be fine, although its a mid range card be aware. If uour motherboard has a 4pin 12v atx connector you can use any modern power supply without issue. SB Live is a good card with best compatability with win98 titles.


What are the problems with pushing up to directx9?
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Re: Tails Pentium 4 Windows 98

Postby kolderman » 2019-9-13 @ 12:11

tails wrote:
kolderman wrote:Seems like a run of the mill win98 box to me. And yes win98 benefits from dual channel ram. Stick to directx8 and below and the gpu should be fine, although its a mid range card be aware. If uour motherboard has a 4pin 12v atx connector you can use any modern power supply without issue. SB Live is a good card with best compatability with win98 titles.


What are the problems with pushing up to directx9?


The FX series famously blows with dx9. But they are excellent for dx8 and below due to support for early dx features that ati had long abandoned by this time (e.g. radeon 700/9800). Dx9 is for a winxp build, with a much more powerful gpu like a radeon 5850 or geforce 8800. But you are building a win98 box which is better targeted at dx8 and the fx5700 is fine for that.
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Re: Tails Pentium 4 Windows 98

Postby chinny22 » 2019-9-19 @ 08:41

I'm guessing the SSD problems are related to Win98 doesn't support any trim. I think some 3rd party programs may exist but haven't looked into it at all.
although this isn't your daily driver so usage will be pretty small, I'd except it to last as long as a SSD in a daily driver anyway.

Power Supply, Brand matters just the same as a currant PC, You want a good quality PSU not some cheap thing with its voltages out of spec. Apart from tht go with your favorite brand or what ever is a good deal.

Other then that looks good solid Win98 build, any upgrade's will be relatively small and probably not worth the money.
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Re: Tails Pentium 4 Windows 98

Postby tails » 2019-10-17 @ 09:10

Ok, started the build. Not all parts came together as planned, but it should achieve the goal of a win9x nostalgia hit.

CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2.4B
Motherboard: MSI 865PE Neo 2
RAM: 2x256MB Corsair VS256MB400
GPU: Gigabyte GeForce FX5500 GV-N55256D REV:1.0
Soundcard: Creative Audigy 2 ZS
Storage: Hitachi 250GB Deskstar
PSU: CoolerMaster RS430-PCAR
Case: Antec SLK1650

11-129-149-12.jpg
11-129-149-12.jpg (8.79 KiB) Viewed 74 times


I probably won't use the HDD space but it was on hand and I can partition it all up neat and tidy. Planning to partition into OS, Installed software and Software library.

Strangely my case doesn't have the side vent like every photo I've seen, but I do like mine. I'll post a pic of the real thing once it's all running.

I'm still tossing up if I want more speed from the GPU by using a faster card and sacrificing Table Fog & 8-bit Paletted Textures. I can't find any reasons other than some old games like it. Yeah, which ones? Do I care? Not sure. I'll use it for a bit and then decide.

And I'm away! But not without some issues. These are the ones so far:
Windows installer can't find my optical drive: viewtopic.php?f=46&t=69788
ScanDisk dislikes me and my HDDs: viewtopic.php?f=46&t=69798
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