VOGONS


First post, by gerry

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

A recent thread got me thinking again about how I tend to allocate an OS to a given PC

Some people prefer 'stretching' the PC, i.e. putting the latest OS on it that the PC can handle and others like to overspec, to see the OS fly

as a general rule I go with the following (using intel/microsoft as guide)

8086 or 286 : DOS

386 or 486 with 2mb ram or more: DOS and Win31

Late 486 (66+) or Pentium 1 60-133 with minimum 16mb ram : Windows 95

Pentium 1 mmx to Pentium 2 with 32mb ram or more: Window 98 or NT

Pentium 3 up to about 1ghz with 128mb ram or more : Windows 98 or Windows 2000

Pentium 3 1Ghz+ and Pentium 4 with 256mb ram or more : Windows XP

After that i'd consider it to be 'modern' (well, sort of!)

there's no real formula of course, its just a rough guide i keep internally from experience, I've seen systems considerably under or overspecced for a given OS, yet running ok

what's your approach?

Reply 1 of 34, by Joseph_Joestar

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

There is some merit to installing Win98 on a 1GHz+ CPU.

Turn of the century games like Unreal Tournament and Deus Ex do benefit from the extra horsepower, while being able to shine using 9x drivers for Glide and A3D.

Using Audigy drivers with a Sound Blaster Live
Installing DOS drivers on an Audigy2 ZS
OPL3 vs. ESFM vs. CQM vs. SBLive
OPTi 82C930 review

Reply 2 of 34, by cyclone3d

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2020-09-09, 14:22:

There is some merit to installing Win98 on a 1GHz+ CPU.

Turn of the century games like Unreal Tournament and Deus Ex do benefit from the extra horsepower, while being able to shine using 9x drivers for Glide and A3D.

I am building a 98 setup that is running a C2D X6800 at 3.3Ghz and a Geforce FX5950.

Also have another 98 system running a C2D and a 7900GTX.

Basically I go for maxing out system specs for what the OS and hardware and software I am targeting will work with.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 3 of 34, by Cobra42898

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

640k or less of ram (8086, etc) = dos 3.2/3.3
more ram, PCs up to 486 = dos 5.0/6.0/6.2/6.22
Pentium 1, 8.4gb limiy hdd = win95/95a
late p1, slightly more ram or i want over 2gb partitions = win95b/c
Pentium 1/2/3 with USB ports Win98
p1/2/3 with no ISA slots: winme /win 2000pro
p4 winme/2000pro/xp

theres a bit of wiggle room at each level. it can vary depending on exactly what games and programs you want to run, or or if you hate one particular OS for some reason. i think each has its place. IMO, once you have no ISA slots generally DOS mode isn't particularly useful. xp has a long life but the better implementations of it really need better hardware. i ran 2000pro as a DD on a 1ghz p3 for ages. rock stable. its an underappreciated OS I think. As is ME.

Searching for Epson Actiontower 3000 486 PC.

Reply 4 of 34, by Tali

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Not sure if my opinion would be popular here, but I just go with what I used to have at the time. So it is ok for me to have W98 on both a late 486 and a P2. Considering where I'm from, it was not uncommon to see quite a menagerie of systems during the same "era". This also applies to different components and peripherals. Basically, we had what we could get and make use of. I still remember using an old 9 pin dot matrix Citizen MSP-15E printer with a Celeron 300A. That was the age of all them bubble jets, mind you...

That said, I divide machines into "OS eras", and anything that could be reasonably expected to run that OS falls into that. Naturally, that produces a bit of an overlap in some cases. Also, I generally use Intel as a reference.
So,
"DOS times" are anything up till early Pentiums,
W3.1 would be 386 and 486,
W95 would be 486,
W98 would be 486(late) to P3 (don't recall anyone using that on a P4)
W2K would be P2-P3 mostly,
XP would cover anything from P3 all the way to first Core Duos,
Vista for me is S775 P4 up till circa Q6600 heyday,
7 is pretty much Q6600 - present.
10 is... well, running it since Sandy Bridge (though tried before on Q6600, mobo's BIOS wasn't too happy)

Note that I've excluded ME and 8, as I've never had first hand experience of them. Seen 8 on a laptop, but didn't care enough.

Regarding video cards, there's an interesting pattern. Now that I think of it, most of the time GPUs were a few years younger than CPUs, as we'd keep upgrading those if/when possible, while at the time a significant CPU upgrade meant a new mobo also, along with new RAM... basically, something you couldn't afford to do frequently. So GPUs would be fresh, normally from "value" segment, and used for a long time also. I still had a PC with TNT2 M64 when GF FX series came out. And that PC was the same 300A Celeron.

EDIT: I also remember using a server 1 GHz Coppermine long into P4 era, it even got a GF6200 in its PCI slot for running Lineage II... and it did. To a point. At lowest possible resolution, of course!

Reply 5 of 34, by leileilol

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

Win2 - 286s 🤣
Win3x - 386/486SLC/486SX/DX < 66MHz (and never anything higher)
NT3.5 - 486DX4 100+
Win95 - 486DX2 66 / Pentium 75 - K6-2 266MHz / Pentium II 333MHz
Wint4 - Pentium Pro, Pentium 133+
Win98SE - K6-2 300MHz - Pentium 3 800MHz/Athlon 1GHz
Wink2 - Pentium III 600 - Athlon XP
WinME - K6-III 500MHz/ Pentium 3 800MHz - Pentium 4 1.8GHz
WinXP - Athlon XP, Celeron, Duron, Pentium M, Pentium 4, Pentium EXTREME
Win2k3 - Pentium 4 HT, Athlon64
Vista - Pentium D
Win7 - Core2Duo, Phenom, Core i3/I5/i7/i9, anything modern that's not fussy crap
Win10 - modern that's fussy crap which have ultimately submitted themselves to microsoft

apsosig.png

Reply 6 of 34, by Fujoshi-hime

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
cyclone3d wrote on 2020-09-09, 15:17:

I am building a 98 setup that is running a C2D X6800 at 3.3Ghz and a Geforce FX5950.

Also have another 98 system running a C2D and a 7900GTX.

Basically I go for maxing out system specs for what the OS and hardware and software I am targeting will work with.

Same. My WinME machine is an E5800 with X800 Pro and 1GB of RAM. Is that authentic for Windows 9X? Of course not. Does it do 1600x1200 8x FSAA at 60fps for any Windows 9X game? HECK YES. (Assuming the game goes to that high of a resolution). It runs the way I WISHED a computer did at that time. It's like racing a Model T against a base model 2020 Volkswagon Golf.

Reply 7 of 34, by Warlord

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Rule of thumb dont install XP on anything that can't handle 2gb of ram. Since the OS will run like crap with less.
As you can consume 1gb of ram with just a browser or some game running leaving you zero headroom

of course I can run XP on something under powered but from a gaming standpoint there is no practice reason to really do that. Besides if a game runs on XP it probs will run on win 10 so what r u even doing here.

Reply 8 of 34, by cyclone3d

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
Warlord wrote on 2020-09-10, 04:04:

Rule of thumb dont install XP on anything that can't handle 2gb of ram. Since the OS will run like crap with less.
As you can consume 1gb of ram with just a browser or some game running leaving you zero headroom

of course I can run XP on something under powered but from a gaming standpoint there is no practice reason to really do that. Besides if a game runs on XP it probs will run on win 10 so what r u even doing here.

Because you don't have to do stupid workarounds and other needless crap to get EAX and other things working that just work in XP.

I would rather have an XP machine and have stuff just work instead of fighting with it to get it to work.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 9 of 34, by Standard Def Steve

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

286-486 at any speed: DOS 6.22
Pentium, MMX, K6: Windows 95
PII, K6-2, Athlon, PIII under 1GHz: Windows 98SE or 2000
Tualatin, Athlon XP, P4, Athlon 64: Windows XP SP3
Pentium D, Athlon X2, sub-2GHz Core 2 Duo: Windows 7
2GHz+ Core 2 Duo, Phenom and anything faster: Windows 10

And because I have a closet full of PowerPC and earlier Mac stuff:
68000: System 6
68030: System 7.1
68040 and PowerPC 601/603 under 100MHz: System 7.6
PowerPC 603/604 over 100MHz - Mac OS 8.1
PowerPC G3 - Mac OS 9.2
PowerPC G4 at 450MHz - 1.25GHz: OS X 10.4.11 Tiger
PowerPC G4 over 1.25GHz and PowerPC G5: OS X 10.5.8 Leopard

Standard Def Rigs
Super P3: PIII-S @ 1.63 GHz/FSB155 | 2GB DDR-310 | 6800GT AGP | 500GB 7200 RPM
Super G4: 2x PowerPC 7455 @ 1.5 GHz | 2GB DDR-333 | 7800GS AGP | 300GB 10k RPM
Super G5: 4x PowerPC 970 @ 2.5 GHz | 16GB DDR2-533 | x1950XT PCIe | 512GB SSD

Reply 10 of 34, by gerry

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

interesting - we sort of converge so far, perhaps tending a little bit to ward having some extra power in the PC in comparison to a typical PC at the time of the respective OS launch, which is a good move for running the OS more swiftly

Reply 11 of 34, by gerry

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
Warlord wrote on 2020-09-10, 04:04:

Rule of thumb dont install XP on anything that can't handle 2gb of ram. Since the OS will run like crap with less.
As you can consume 1gb of ram with just a browser or some game running leaving you zero headroom

of course I can run XP on something under powered but from a gaming standpoint there is no practice reason to really do that. Besides if a game runs on XP it probs will run on win 10 so what r u even doing here.

XP needs 2gb ram? in my experience XP is ok down to 256mb for 'normal windows' applications of the 2000's, and ok with games when it has 512mb+, unless we're trying to run the latest games on it and go browsing the heaviest websites with Chrome - then I'd agree, but that's not an OS issue as the same 2gb minimum would be needed by Linux, Vista, 7, 8, 10 etc (even more now)

Good point regarding games - if it runs on W10 then why not have it on W10 and take advantage of the modern systems specs

Reply 12 of 34, by Cyberdyne

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Everything ISA gets a MS-DOS 6.22 for 2GB partition and larger partitions get a MS-DOS 7.10. I dable around with Enhanced DR-DOS, but not FreeDOS. Everithing with an available SVGA driver gets Windows 3.11 FWG and Windows 3.11. Then a cherry bonus is Windows NT 3.51 and OS/2 4.52. Speedier machines get Windows 98SE. Well then there are usually installations of GEM and GEOS. Other space occupies DOS games from different eras.

I am aroused about any X86 motherboard that has full functional ISA slot. I think i have problem. Not really into that original (Turbo) XT,286,386 and CGA/EGA stuff. So just a DOS nut.

Reply 13 of 34, by kolderman

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Golden rules:

Anything that runs DOS games must work with setmul to get down to slow 386 speeds. K5/6+, mmx, via C3.

There was no perfect ISA sound card for DOS, so stop looking for one...

...but if you realize SBPro compatibility is all you need, there are plenty of good options.

The best DOS gaming OS is more often than not win98.

Games from 99 onwards need more powerful PCs, socketA or Pentium4 or beyond.

No-one: successfully spans Win98 and WinXP eras in a single build. This means best building a dedicated XP box.

The FX series are both the best and worst: worst DX9 gpus, best DX8 gpus.

The retro era ended in 2006. From 2007 (vista/dx10) on, games tend to work well on the latest PCs and are on Steam.

Reply 14 of 34, by imi

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I've been using Win98 well into socket A, XP came later for me.

today I'd probably put the cap in between somewhere, win98 for early socket A Duron/Thunderbird and XP for later Athlon XP CPUs

Reply 15 of 34, by Almoststew1990

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

My basic formula is that Windows 98 stays on Slot 1 370 and XP gaming will be 775/939/Am2.

775 is quiet, cheap, scalable to Win 7 if needed. Slot 1 has ISA support and good chipset support in Windows 98.

This leaves a black hole for 478 and 754 as these are not powerful enough to run a wide range of XP games and are too powerful for 98. They're also hot and loud and sometimes don't have SATA support. Any 'Windows 98' game that needs 478 power will run under XP just fine.

I still do 478 builds though if I just want to mess with the hardware

Ryzen 3700X | 16GB 3600MHz RAM | Nvidia GeForce 1070ti | 1Tb NVME SSD | Windows 10
Athlon 3200+ @ 3800+ (Venice) | Some Ram | Nvidia GeForce GTX645 / 7950GT
Slot 1 896MHz | 384Mb 112MHz RAM | Nvidia GeForce 3 ti200 | AWE32

Reply 16 of 34, by Tali

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
kolderman wrote on 2020-09-10, 07:43:

...

The retro era ended in 2006. From 2007 (vista/dx10) on, games tend to work well on the latest PCs and are on Steam.

Wish it was so. Quite a few games (especially by EA, such as Dragon Age Origins) aren't too happy with Win10 for some reason. Even on Steam.

Reply 17 of 34, by jheronimus

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Definitely "overspec" for me:

386 — plain DOS with Norton Commander
486 to Pentium 133 — Windows 3.11
Pentium 166 to Pentium II 450 — Windows 95
Pentium II to Pentium III — Windows 98 (I don't build anything newer than that)

My Telegram blog about retro hardware (in Russian)

Pentium 133, 32 MB RAM, S3 Trio64V+, Crystal 4232, Dreamblaster X2 and Roland MT-32
Pentium III 1000, 512 MB RAM, Voodoo 5 5500 AGP, SB Live 5.1, SB32 CT3930, Gravis Ultrasound Max rev2.1

Reply 18 of 34, by appiah4

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

I have a Hardware By Year table I swear by:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Fqh7a … dit?usp=sharing

I think it's pretty accurate and spot on for period correct builds, including OSs available at the time. Most components listed are for top of the line hardware available at the time but for some things (Hard Drive, Memory, and occasionally GPUs where I excluded SLI/CF and Titan cards) I shied away from listing the absolute maximum possible and going for the what was commonly a luxurious amount for the time.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 19 of 34, by imi

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
appiah4 wrote on 2020-09-10, 14:45:

I have a Hardware By Year table I swear by:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Fqh7a … dit?usp=sharing

I think it's pretty accurate and spot on for period correct builds, including OSs available at the time. Most components listed are for top of the line hardware available at the time but for some things (Hard Drive, Memory, and occasionally GPUs where I excluded SLI/CF and Titan cards) I shied away from listing the absolute maximum possible and going for the what was commonly a luxurious amount for the time.

mhhh rainbows, that's pretty nice actually 😁