VOGONS


First post, by antillies

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Hello there,

This is the second thread that I've started on this site, apart from this. I'm pleased to report that - thanks to the help of members here and elsewhere - my efforts were successful insofar as the objective above. I wanted to make a post chronicling my journey, not only to give thanks to those who helped me, but also to serve as another potential source of guidance to those who might ever look to do the same.

I want to first thank the site as a whole and its maintainers. When the idea of creating a dual-boot gaming setup first entered my mind, Vogons was mentioned multiple times in the first few Reddit posts I happened upon. It's wonderful that such a resource of knowledge exists and continues to cultivate such enthusiasm. I would also like to thank user the_ultra_code, whose Socket 478 & Pentium 4 build first served as my example that doing this would be possible.

Allow me to move quickly to the build itself for those who are primarily interested in the specs. I'll save my narrative and further appreciation-heaping for later.

My Pentium 4/Socket 478 Dual-Boot Windows 98 & Windows XP Gaming Setup

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Specifications
Motherboard: ASUS P4P800 Deluxe with Socket 478
Chipset: Intel 82865PE
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 3.4GHz
CPU Cooler: Intel Heatsink with Cooling Fan, A80856-002, for Socket 478
Memory: 4x 512 MB Kingston HyperX PC3200
GPU: EVGA e-GeForce 6200 DDR 256 MB AGP 8x
Sound Card: Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS (Dell variant) PCI Card
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 320 GB 3.5" 7200RPM OEM
Optical Drive: ASUS DRW-24B1ST DVD/CD Writer
Power Supply: Corsair CX450M 450W 80 Plus Bronze
Case: Antec VSK4000E U3 Black SGCC steel Micro ATX Mid Tower

For more images, please see the full Imgur album.

The Journey
I grew up with computers, starting with Windows 98 (perhaps even W95, though I may have been too young at the time to remember) through XP and onward. The consciousness of my nostalgia was informed in many ways by the games I played across those two operating systems. Recently, a desire to be able to play those games in a more native environment came upon me. But - you may say - you can get many of these to run on modern OS's, and from GOG and even Steam! And while that may be true, I felt irreversibly drawn to replicating my earlier experience as much as possible. Furthermore, I thought the journey itself would be fun and help me learn more about computing in general.

Although I am not new to computer building, this was my first foray into assembling a more antiquated setup. Cursory searches (which drew me to Vogons) made it seem like a dual-boot system was possible, but I had little idea where to begin. I had no knowledge or familiarity with older hardware - I did not know where the benchmarks fell or what parts went best with others. I tailored my initial investigation after the XP system I had growing up, which I am fairly certain had an AMD Athlon CPU. I thought it would be appropriate to pair it with an AMD GPU, which is what I proposed in my initial request for help.

I received many helpful suggestions, and the general consensus for what I was trying to do was to pair, contrary to my original direction, a Pentium 4 with a Socket 478 motherboard. I agreed with this for the following reasons:
1. As users noted, the associated chipset (865) with Socket 478 motherboards had a longer range of support when it came to both Windows 98 and XP. This meant greater (and still existing) driver support. As I knew finding drivers might be tough given the older parts, I leaned toward limiting difficulty in that way.
2. Socket 478 motherboards more commonly have AGP ports (which would ease use of an AGP graphics card between both operating systems), as well as more "modern" connectors (e.g. SATA)
3. I had been under the impression from a little bit of former research that during the era I was targeting AMD processors beat out those of Intel; this turned out to not be the case.
4. If I selected an AMD Athlon CPU, I would need to ensure the power supply had a 5v rail. Given my lack of familiarity with what this meant, I was more comfortable using a modern PSU, so opted not to pursue the AMD processor route (and thus also avoid Socket A motherboards).

Once I had decided on the CPU and motherboard combo, the rest fell into place fairly easily. I knew the latest game I wanted the build to be able to play on the XP-side of things was Star Wars: Battlefront, which required a graphics card compatible with DirectX 9 and with 256 MB of VRAM.

I should mention now that two principles guided my part selection: 1) authenticity was not a huge concern of mine; if I could substitute a modern part (ideally, less expensive), I was fine with that and 2) a lot of the advice I got was to go the cheaper route when it came to selecting era parts; since I was not trying to "max out" my build, this also made sense to me.

User mothergoose729 suggested a GPU in the GeForce 6 Series and user chinny22 shared a build of his that featured a GeForce 6800 Ultra (256MB, AGP). I used the Vogons' wiki to understand the range of selection better and to narrow my choices down. Combined with the above advice, I opted for a GeForce 6200, as I found a good deal and it ended up being less expensive than the higher-range GeForce 6 Series cards.

For the audio card, the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS appealed itself to me so I settled on that fairly quickly. The motherboard, CPU, CPU cooler, and RAM I secured in a single lot, which made those decisions rather easy. For the rest of the build I targeted inexpensive modern parts, which you can find in the list at the beginning. Altogether, I spent somewhere between $250-300 on the build in its entirety.

Assembly
Putting everything together went fairly quickly and easily with two minor exceptions. The case I chose ended up being pretty tight to fit the motherboard inside. I had to mess around with the angle of entry before I succeeded. The other issue I encountered had to do with the power supply. Originally, I had purchased a Corsair CV450 450W. In my excitement to have all the parts picked out, I neglected to consider that the physical layout of my motherboard might necessitate a different power connection than the 24-pin ATX main power connector that my primary rig worked with. Upon installing the CV450, this ended up being the case. The P4P800 needs a 20-pin ATX main power connector plus a 4-pin 12V connector. The non-separable 24-pin connector physically would not fit in the 20-pin slot because the edge of the slot prevented entry. This gave me a moment to consider the issue and find a PSU that would work. I opted for the one listed in the specifications. When it arrived, the main connector worked just fine but I did confuse myself a bit by thinking that the 4-pin connector (the one separated from the 20- plus 4-pin main connector) was the 4-pin 12V connector I needed on the opposite side of the board. I was soon disabused of this notion because the shape of the 4-pin 12V slots were opposite that of the 4-pin connector. This puzzled me for a bit and I thought I had messed up again, a mistake I'm sure you would have all made clear to me. Researching it a bit, I discovered, to my relief, that one of the 4-pin connectors with the CPU power cable was actually what I needed. I took it out of the box and amazingly it fit the shape of the slots.

Installation
My plan for creating the dual-boot environment was as follows:
1. Following the advice in this thread, I was going to partition my drive in the following way:
a. Install Windows 98 on a C: FAT32 partition of 5GB
b. Install XP on a separate NTFS partition of 10GB
c. Allocate the remaining space to a third FAT32 partition to be accessible to both operating systems
2. Install Windows 98
3. Use the HimemX workaround to "hide" the additional memory from Windows 98
4. Install XP
5. Create the remaining FAT32 partition

The actual installation of Windows 98 went seamlessly but it was after the fact that I struggled with installing both the memory fix and drivers.

When I first powered up, I was not getting a video signal to my monitor. I made sure the graphics card was slotted correctly but still no signal. I worried the card itself might be the issue but on a hunch I removed three of the four memory sticks (leaving the system with only 512MB of RAM) and it booted right up. A second problem I ran into was that the motherboard was not picking up my optical drive. I remembered reading somewhere (either on Vogons or in the manual) about needing to change the IDE mode for legacy systems. I navigated through the BIOS setup until I found what I thought was the appropriate option. I changed it from "Enhanced" to "Compatibility," and that did the trick.

The first time I ran the Windows 98 install I allowed the installer to partition the drive but ultimately, after running through it many times, I settled on creating the partition myself before beginning the installation process. I did this by following these steps:
1. With the Windows 98 install CD inserted, power on, and choose "Boot from CD-ROM"
2. Then, at the next menu, choose "Continue without CD-ROM support"
[This will bring up a command line prompt]
3. Type "fdisk"
4. Create a new primary partition (size it as you will; I chose 5000MB)
5. Exit fdisk and proceed with install, choosing "Continue with CD-ROM support" when the option is again presented to you, and allowing the installer to format the partition to FAT32.

When the installation finished and I booted to the desktop for the first time I ran into two issues:

1. I noticed the colors were off and it seemed like certain features (such as the 3d screen savers) had artifacts or were pixilated. Eventually I figured out that this was due to the lack of installed drivers for the GPU. I put in the driver CD that accompanied the graphics card and ran a setup file on the CD to install the drivers. Like that, the problem disappeared (and now I had access to more resolutions and more color schemes other than only 2- or 16-colors). Another problem cropped up though - when I tried to verify that the issue with the 3d screensaver had been resolved, I got an error saying that an "illegal program" was running and that Windows would have to stop it. The detailed error message referenced the kernel and included memory addresses. I was puzzled. I thought maybe it had to do something with the graphics acceleration so I turned it off, which solved the problem and I was able to bask in the wonderful nostalgia of 3d pipes.

2. The second issue had to do with the sound card. Initially, the sound card was not recognized. Though I did not realize it immediately, it presented as an unknown PCI Multimedia Audio Device. Investigating why sound wasn't playing led me to notice a) the Volume Control would not open and b) the "play" buttons in Sounds were grayed out. I suspected the drivers for the card were likewise not installed (duh) so I inserted the install CD. When I attempted to install the drivers from the auto-run interface, the installation failed, saying that no Audigy 2 was installed. I did some research online and happened upon this post. I followed the steps, opening the CD in Explorer, navigating to Audio/Drivers/VxD and extracting the files there to a folder on the Desktop. I then went into the Device Manager, chose the unknown PCI audio device, and chose to reinstall the drivers, pointing it to the driver folder on the Desktop when prompted. Windows found the proper drivers, and the sound card was then recognized as a Creative Audigy Audio Processor.

Once I had the drivers installed, I turned my attention to getting the additional memory working. Initially, I followed the steps listed here, which involved editing both system.ini and config.sys. Note: this did not work for me. In fact, it ended up causing far more problems than it solved. I did get the setup working once with these changes but I had to start over due to something unrelated. The primary issue I ran into with this approach - owing primarily, I have to imagine, to the changes made to system.ini - was that after inserting the additional memory, I would get a screen with green and green-blue vertical lines at the point where Windows would boot to the Desktop. This happened time and time again. Each time I thought I had screwed up the install or not seated the RAM properly.

After redoing everything for probably the fifteenth time I was frustrated and sad that it wasn't working and decided to re-approach. I looked back over my sources and discovered this post by the_ultra_code , which suggested only one edit to make to config.sys. The "/MAX=524288" part of the line was new to me, as well as the suggestion of getting the HimemX file off of Sourceforge. I think when I originally downloaded HimemX I got it off of what I thought was the original site but I think now my copy of it may have been bad. Regardless, I was open to trying anything at this point to get a working install so I downloaded the copy of HimemX off Sourceforge (here), burned it to a disk, and, at the first boot to desktop, made the one line change to config.sys (no changes to system.ini this time) and dragged HimemX.exe from the CD to C:\Windows. I powered off, inserted the additional sticks of RAM, and powered back up. For the first time, I saw the HimemX screen, with white text on black, and Windows booted perfectly fine. I was shocked but relieved, and so very happy to have it all working.

Then came installing XP. No issues here. Chose to install it in the unallocated space, creating a separate NTFS partition of 10GB when prompted to by the installer. After the installation finished, got the video and audio drivers working. Easy enough.

The last difficulty I ran into was creating my third and final partition on the drive. I originally tried to use FDISK on the Windows 98 install CD to create a FAT32 partition that would take up the remaining space. However, as Windows 98 can only see up to about 40GB on a drive, I didn't feel comfortable leaving almost 240GB unallocated (not that I needed it for games, but I'd rather have it used than not). I tried to use DISKPART and Disk Manager on my Windows 7 machine but they could only format NTFS partitions of that size. After some trial and error (and, as a result, additional install passes), I turned to the MiniTool Partition Wizard to do the work. It succeeded in creating a FAT32 partition of about 290GB on the drive but it consequently broke the boot config file. When I reinserted the drive and booted back up, it could not find the install of Windows XP. I followed the steps listed here under "Fix #2: Manually attempt reubild of boot.ini" to repair the boot config. The solution worked as prescribed and I was able to boot back into XP.

Conclusion and Thank You
Building a dual-boot system of Windows 98 and XP from scratch proved much more challenging than I had originally anticipated, and was certainly more difficult than if I had bought a used XP system already assembled. However, although frustrating at points, I thoroughly enjoyed the process. It taught me quite a lot, and it's incredibly rewarding to have built my own setup. I apologize for being long-winded but I wanted to share my exact process on the off-chance it might help someone else who finds themselves in a similar situation. Should anyone be curious of one part or another, or have specific questions, please do not hesitate to reply or to contact me by PM. I would be more than happy to answer any questions you might have.

My one regret for the process was not taking enough time to look for a slightly better case. The Antec was about as inexpensive as they come and compact. However, it was far from ideal when it came to cable management and the number of fan mountings. I think if I were to do this over I would instead go with a model in the Corsair Carbide series, perhaps either the 100R or 110R. They're slightly larger than the Antec I went with but offer better cable management options, more fan mounting points, and a tempered glass side panel.

I would like to take these final words to thank those more appropriately who have helped advise me and give me guidance, either through direct solicitation or through example:

mothergoose729, foil_fresh, and chiny22 for their invaluable suggestions and insight that put me on the right path. I could not have found my own way without their help. Also, thank you to chinny22 for his P4P800 build and suggestion about how to partition drives for a dual-boot 98/XP environment.

the_ultra_code, for inspiring me with his Pentium 4 Socket 478 98/XP setup and showing me that what began as only an idea in my mind was in fact possible. And for his helpful clarification on the proper way to implement the HimemX fix.

aha2940 for his input and clarifications.

Reddit user BadManiac, for his helpful post and for being the first to respond to my inquiries regarding guidance.

Reddit user dexter311 for his response to a similar request and, especially, his two inspiring and quite beautiful retro gaming builds.

Reddit user cdoublejj, who was the original referral to this wonderful site.

rob8086
The Serpent Rider
boxpressed

Thank you again, to all of you. And thank you to this great site. You've helped me realize something that has always been a dream of mine. Thank you thank you.

Reply 1 of 17, by Socket3

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One alternative nobody seemed to mention is a socket 754/939 built. An AMD64 3200+ and a VIA K8T800 motherboard will work great with win98. It does not need a strong 5v rail and socket 754/939 motherboards are quite common.

I really like your current build, but I do advise you replace the 6200 with something that has a bit more muscle - a 6600 or x700 should be easy to find. Personally I recommend a 6800 GT or x800pro or x800xt for gaming at 1600x1200.

Reply 2 of 17, by Wolfbayne

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I agree about replacing that really quite poor Geforce 6200. It's probably good for most Windows 98 games but you won't be gaming much in Windows XP with later games.
You can get a Radeon X800 PRO for around $/€ 40-50, or a Geforce 6600 GT/ 6800 or 7600 GS for around the same money on ebay. They are all roughly in the same performance ballpark and they'll be a massive improvement for you.

Reply 3 of 17, by foil_fresh

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glad you got it all built and running. strong system. also a big agree about the video card suggestions above.

https://technical.city/en/video/GeForce-FX-56 … eForce-6200-AGP

1/2 the memory bandwidth, 1/4 of the memory clock speeds, 1/8th of the memory bandwidth of a mid ranged 2004 card.

Performance is one part but compatibility is also a factor - FX5xxx series graphics cards have better compatibility with older 3d games from w95/w98. The 6xxx series will have way more power though. Don't go into the 7xxx series for geforce - there's no official w98 support.

If you are planning to play the oldest windows games as well as the newer games in XP then i would put my money into a top tier FX card, but if you're playing later win98 games and XP games then a 6800 is fantastic.

radeon cards are worth looking into also.

Pentium MMX 166MHz / Shuttle HOT591-p / S3 Trio3d2x / SB 16
Pentium II 266MHz / Lucky-Star 6ABX2V / Riva128 / AWE64 / AW744L
Pentium III 950 MHz / SY-7VBA / Voodoo 3000 / Aureal Vortex 2
Pentium IV 3.4GHz/ GA-8S655FX / Geforce 6800 GT / Audigy

Reply 4 of 17, by chinny22

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Journey's half the fun right?
Was interesting to read how it all went what went well and what didn't as we hit different problems with different areas.
Rekon you did well, Win98 is temperamental even on more period correct hardware let alon systems with massive ram and hard drives.
And yeh initial setup is frustrating but it means you get to know the hardware much better.

First thing I thought was I really like the case! Nice and simple lines, and most important a floppy drive bay! for my P4 I wanted plenty of fans but this would be something I'll keep in mind for earlier ATX builds.

Re the GF6200, Personally I think its a good choice for now, Play all your Win9x games and see if you hit any compatibility issues as that will mean dropping back to earlier cards like a FX
Likewise if you hit performance issues in XP then you'll also know something like FX will also struggle.
or maybe just maybe, everything works just fine!

One suggestion is to get a Gotek Floppy emulator. I wouldn't call it a necessity but its useful for system rebuilds and boot disks.
Overall I'd call this project a success 😀

Reply 5 of 17, by antillies

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Thank you all for the feedback.

@Socket3

Socket3 wrote on 2020-04-05, 23:34:

One alternative nobody seemed to mention is a socket 754/939 built. An AMD64 3200+ and a VIA K8T800 motherboard will work great with win98. It does not need a strong 5v rail and socket 754/939 motherboards are quite common.

That would have been a great alternative. I'll keep that in mind if I ever come back to pursuing an Athlon build. Thanks.

foil_fresh wrote on 2020-04-06, 06:29:

glad you got it all built and running. strong system.

chinny22 wrote on 2020-04-06, 12:08:
Was interesting to read how it all went what went well and what didn't as we hit different problems with different areas. Rekon […]
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Was interesting to read how it all went what went well and what didn't as we hit different problems with different areas.
Rekon you did well, Win98 is temperamental even on more period correct hardware let alon systems with massive ram and hard drives.

First thing I thought was I really like the case! Nice and simple lines, and most important a floppy drive bay!
[...]
Overall I'd call this project a success 😀

Thank you both for the kind words. : )

@chinny22

chinny22 wrote on 2020-04-06, 12:08:

for my P4 I wanted plenty of fans but this would be something I'll keep in mind for earlier ATX builds.

This is something I'm worried about - if I do opt to get a higher end GPU (or even retain the current setup), am I running the risk of things getting too hot if I stick with the single fan? Would it be your recommendation to move to a better case? I think this Antec one has the option to add on to the front but two fans still feels too few.

RE: upgrading the graphics card

I got Battlefront and KOTOR2 up and running. Battlefront ran fine, and so did KOTOR2; however, I noticed some fuzziness in the 3d models and textures in KOTOR2. I could only bump up the graphics settings so far before lag became noticeable. Same for Battlefront - put on 4x AA and it suddenly became extremely sluggish. I'm certainly not opposed to upgrading the card. The 6200 was just a good deal I found that I thought would run all the 98 games well plus do what it needed to do for the few XP games I'm wanting to play. But I'm certainly not opposed to upgrading the card, particularly if it will allow KOTOR and Battlefront to run that much more smoothly.

The consensus I'm seeing is either to drop back to a higher end 5xxx/x7xx card (foil proposed the FX 5600) or move down the line in the 6xxx series (6600 or 6800 GT/pro). I'll start looking and see what I can find. Updates to come, no doubt.

Thank you all again for your interest and feedback.

Reply 7 of 17, by antillies

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vetz wrote on 2020-04-06, 22:51:

Impressive post! Hats for for describing all your problems along with the solution/workaround.

Thank you very much! I hope my chronicle wasn't too long-winded but it was important to me to show the process in case it might help others trying to do the same thing.

@Wolfbayne

Wolfbayne wrote on 2020-04-06, 06:13:

You can get a Radeon X800 PRO for around $/€ 40-50, or a Geforce 6600 GT/ 6800 or 7600 GS for around the same money on ebay. They are all roughly in the same performance ballpark and they'll be a massive improvement for you.

A few questions for you, or for anyone else, really.
1. The GeForce 6600 GT has only 128MB of VRAM, while my current 6200 has 256MB - will that make much of a difference, or will the greater capability of the 6600 over shadow any VRAM-related discrepancies?
2. I was under the impression that Windows 98 was only supported through GeForce Series 6 - are there drivers for the 7600 GS that can make it work with 98? Where would I find those, if so?
3. Does anyone have an opinion on the 6800 GS? I know the Ultra and GT are more touted. I've also seen an XT model floating about. Do those stack up to the GT/Ultra at all or are they of poor quality?

Reply 8 of 17, by vetz

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antillies wrote on 2020-04-07, 06:15:
A few questions for you, or for anyone else, really. 1. The GeForce 6600 GT has only 128MB of VRAM, while my current 6200 has […]
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A few questions for you, or for anyone else, really.
1. The GeForce 6600 GT has only 128MB of VRAM, while my current 6200 has 256MB - will that make much of a difference, or will the greater capability of the 6600 over shadow any VRAM-related discrepancies?
2. I was under the impression that Windows 98 was only supported through GeForce Series 6 - are there drivers for the 7600 GS that can make it work with 98? Where would I find those, if so?
3. Does anyone have an opinion on the 6800 GS? I know the Ultra and GT are more touted. I've also seen an XT model floating about. Do those stack up to the GT/Ultra at all or are they of poor quality?

I wouldn't say RAM is your biggest issue, but the throughput in the games you're running. Those games are pushing it on the 6200, especially since it was regarded as an entry card when it was released. Now you're running Battlefront2 and KOTOR2 (both released in 2004) probably at 1280x1014 or 1600x1200? It's no wonder it will struggle if you also apply AA and AF.

The problem here lies with builds trying to do everything and the requirements in todays gaming. Now we must have high-res and 60fps, but back then we were more than happy with 1024x768 at 30 fps. I have a 6800GT in my P4 build (very similar build to yours), that has served me well and it overclocks to Ultra specification with no issues. Even with that card it is hard to for instance run the more demanding WinXP games in 1600x1200 with everything maxed out, which is why I'm considering a pure WinXP build. I also recently acquired a X850XT PE for 30 USD so I'll be testing that out before I build a new system.

If you are going to spend the money to upgrade your 6200 I'd go for an ATI X800 or X850 as they are cheaper than the 6800 Ultra. The only drawback is that I personally find Catalyst control center from that era to be worse than Nvidia. I don't think upgrading to the 6600GT is worth it. Going for a 6600 will not give that much improvement compared to the 6200 if your goal is to play 2004+ games with all on ultra settings.

Last edited by vetz on 2020-04-07, 12:37. Edited 7 times in total.

3D Accelerated Games List (Proprietary APIs - No 3DFX/Direct3D)
3D Acceleration Comparison Episodes

Reply 9 of 17, by chinny22

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Your case is probably fine, remember this is mid 2000's tech and cases from that period were only just starting to take cooling seriously.
Download something like speedfan and keep an eye on your temps, check against google if they are above average then you can work out if have a problem or not.

vertz has summed up everything I was about to say about the graphics card. Duel boot with 98 means you have to sacrifice some speed in XP.
It's not a bad time to build a pure XP build, the hardware needed for a powerful XP PC is in currently the "cheap obsolete" period but that means building another PC

and now you know how some of us end up with more PC's then days in the week 😉

Reply 10 of 17, by antillies

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vetz wrote on 2020-04-07, 08:44:

Now you're running Battlefront2 and KOTOR2 (both released in 2004) probably at 1280x1014 or 1600x1200? It's no wonder it will struggle if you also apply AA and AF.

The issue is actually a bit more pronounced than that, in fact. I just checked and Battlefront was running in 1024x768 and KOTOR2 in 800x600, heh.

vetz wrote on 2020-04-07, 08:44:

The problem here lies with builds trying to do everything and the requirements in todays gaming.

I should clarify that KOTOR2 and Battlefront are my end-of-line games when it comes to usage. I planned the build knowing I would not be playing anything beyond that. Not sure if that changes your view of the 6600GT, but wanted to state it to avoid confusion.

vetz wrote on 2020-04-07, 08:44:

If you are going to spend the money to upgrade your 6200 I'd go for an ATI X800 or X850 as they are cheaper than the 6800 Ultra. The only drawback is that I personally find Catalyst control center from that era to be worse than Nvidia. I don't think upgrading to the 6600GT is worth it. Going for a 6600 will not give that much improvement compared to the 6200 if your goal is to play 2004+ games with all on ultra settings.

Thank you for those other options. Doing just a cursory look seems to show that you are right about their price point. Although I would be inclined to stick with NVIDIA, if I can get the additional performance for less I think I may very well go that way. I appreciate you cluing me in to them.

chinny22 wrote on 2020-04-07, 11:37:

Your case is probably fine, remember this is mid 2000's tech and cases from that period were only just starting to take cooling seriously.
Download something like speedfan and keep an eye on your temps, check against google if they are above average then you can work out if have a problem or not.

That helps me feel a bit better, then. And I didn't know about software like Speedfan - I'll definitely look into that. Is the acceptable range of operating temperature hardware-specific or are there some general limits that I should keep in mind?

chinny22 wrote on 2020-04-07, 11:37:

Duel boot with 98 means you have to sacrifice some speed in XP. [...] It's not a bad time to build a pure XP build

I appreciate the suggestion but I knew my current build would just hit the early 2000's. I don't have a need to go beyond that, at least not for now. But I'll bear that in mind, thanks. : )

Reply 11 of 17, by chinny22

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Temperatures are hardware specific but if you can't find your specific component something using the same core or generation will give ball park figure.

Very quick google seems to say the 6200 shouldn't be more then 85c under load and somewhere in the 40's when idle
Where as a SL793 (assuming you went with a Northwood) should be around 45c idle, high 50's under load.
If you did go with a Prescott and with the stock heat sink temp's will be fair bit higher but should still be under 80c under load

Reply 12 of 17, by mothergoose729

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Thanks for the update!

There is a lot that has been said in this thread already. Forgive me if I am repeating it.

Don't add windows 98 to a hard drive that is larger than about 120gb. Windows 98 has a nasty habit of getting corrupted on larger disks. You can patch windows 98 to behave better, but IMO that stuff is finicky at the best of times. Living with the flaws of windows 98 is easier than fixing them.

Dual booting windows 98 with windows XP can be done, I believe, but I would just add a second hard drive for 98 and one for XP, and switch them in the bios. So much easier.

Reply 13 of 17, by antillies

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chinny22 wrote on 2020-04-08, 10:51:

Temperatures are hardware specific but if you can't find your specific component something using the same core or generation will give ball park figure.

Understood, thanks.

mothergoose729 wrote on 2020-04-08, 16:29:

Don't add windows 98 to a hard drive that is larger than about 120gb. Windows 98 has a nasty habit of getting corrupted on larger disks. You can patch windows 98 to behave better, but IMO that stuff is finicky at the best of times. Living with the flaws of windows 98 is easier than fixing them.

Dual booting windows 98 with windows XP can be done, I believe, but I would just add a second hard drive for 98 and one for XP, and switch them in the bios. So much easier.

I appreciate the caution but it’s working well so far. If any issues crop up, I’ll definitely consider splitting 98 and XP between two separate drives but both boot just fine as of now.

Reply 14 of 17, by melbar

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antillies wrote on 2020-04-07, 19:49:

The issue is actually a bit more pronounced than that, in fact. I just checked and Battlefront was running in 1024x768 and KOTOR2 in 800x600, heh.

I should clarify that KOTOR2 and Battlefront are my end-of-line games when it comes to usage. I planned the build knowing I would not be playing anything beyond that. Not sure if that changes your view of the 6600GT, but wanted to state it to avoid confusion.

I think it's worth to upgrade. Even to a 6600 nonGT. Look at these benchmarks I've found. See the performance to FX5900.

Testsystem:
Prozessor
Intel Pentium 4 540 (3,2 GHz)
Motherboard
Intel D925XCV (i925X Alderwood)
---------------------------
ATi Radeon X600 XT
ATi Radeon X600 Pro
ATi Radeon X300 SE
Nvidia GeForce 6600 (300, 300 MHz)
Nvidia GeForce 6200
Nvidia GeForce PCX 5900
---------------------------

Result: UT2004
6600 53% faster, 5900 60% faster

Result: Quake3
6600 49% faster, 5900 87% faster

Result: FarCry
6600 45% faster, 5900 29% faster

Result: Doom3
6600 23% faster, 5900 14% slower

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Reply 15 of 17, by melbar

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And from this starting point 6600 nonGT, please see for example the gap to a 6600 GT at FarCry and UT2004 benchmarks.

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Reply 16 of 17, by antillies

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A brief update, thanks to everyone for being patient.

After everyone's encouragement, I opted to upgrade the graphics card. I actually managed to get my hands on both a EVGA 6600GT and a BFG 6800 Ultra OC. I hadn't planned on having two new cards, it just sort of coincidentally happened at the same time, but I appreciated having the opportunity to try both out and compare. I ran some benchmarks with 3DMark 2001 on both default and maxed out values. These were the results:

- Default Values -
EVGA GeForce 6200 -8004
kqZqWcm.png

EVGA 6600GT - 15275
SoKKL5u.png

BFG 6800 Ultra OC - 17991
xWupStn.png

- Maxed Out -
EVGA GeForce 6200 - 1420
S0hp0p2.png

EVGA 6600GT - 9465
FkTqwLw.png

BFG 6800 Ultra OC - 14220
AMf1Yzh.png

Interesting to note that, at least on the default values benchmark, the 6600GT is not that far off of the 6800, but the latter really pulls away when the settings get clicked up. Also easy to see is how the 6200 suffered under the max values sorry friend

I downloaded and installed the 81.98 Forceware drivers for Windows 98 and the 93.71 Forceware ones for XP. I originally installed a different set for XP and the game requirements config for KOTOR2 was getting mad at me but that's since gone away after installing 93.71. If there are other drivers I should be using instead, please feel free to correct me.

Everything seems to be working well, minus the occasionally slip in KOTOR2 (with all settings maxed so I think that can be forgiven). Otherwise, Battlefront and KOTOR2 run flawlessly in-game at max settings. I think I'll be sticking with the 6800 assuming it keeps on chugging.

When I installed the 6800, I also installed a front fan inside the case, just because I'm paranoid. I also shifted the audio card down to the bottom PCI slot to give the 6800 more breathing room. Only other change I have planned is to use a USB 3.0 to USB 2.0 adapter (purchased and on the way) to connect the cable running from the front USB ports to the motherboard. It's just a bit more convenient to use those ports if I need to plug in a flash drive or what have you.

Thanks again for reading, and let me know if you have any more feedback.

Reply 17 of 17, by chinny22

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Not much to say. Pretty much maxed out as far as Win98 will allow you and most important does what you want 😀

Although that 3.5 bay is begging for a floppy or gotek drive, but that's just me 😉