VOGONS


First post, by Allanar

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Hi Boys...
my English is not very good so I apologize ... 😀

I would need your help.
I want to build a retro gaming PC from 1999, but all components must only be until 1999.
I do not want to use everything above this year.

I already have a keyboard, a mouse, speakers,a monitor and windows 98SE

I want to use Pentium procerosr, Voodoo graphics, Sound Blaster and Windows 98.
I don't know exactly what to choose to make it work well together.

I don't know if I should go to the best thing that could be bought in 1999 or something weaker will be enough

I will play games that I want to play on it until 1999 and it was a little over the year 2000.

Can you help me please.

Well thank you Allanar

Reply 1 of 12, by Deksor

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For 1999, with Voodoo graphics and sound blaster, what you could have was :
- A slot 1 pentium 3 (I don't know the speed that were available at the time but I'd say about 650/700MHz max)
- A slot 1 motherboard with i440BX chipset
- A 3Dfx Voodoo 3 3500 (3000 or 2000 can be bought for cheaper though)
- A sound blaster live

Though you may also want to with a ISA sound blaster (Sound blaster 16/AWE64 ...) or a good clone for better DOS compatibility (DOS was dead by 1999 but this computer could still many of them fairly well). It depends of what you want 😀

Trying to identify old hardware ? Visit Ultimate Hardware 2019

Reply 3 of 12, by chinny22

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Agree with the above but alternate option for the video card is a GeForce 256 paired with Voodoo 2 SLI

The GeForce card will give you stronger performance in D3D games and V2 SLI can out perform the lower Voodoo 3 cards.
This is NOT a cheap option though!
Personally I'd either just stick with a Voodoo3 or TNT2 paired with V2 SLI depending how many non glide games you play.

Reply 4 of 12, by Allanar

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Deksor wrote on 2021-01-03, 22:04:
For 1999, with Voodoo graphics and sound blaster, what you could have was : - A slot 1 pentium 3 (I don't know the speed that we […]
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For 1999, with Voodoo graphics and sound blaster, what you could have was :
- A slot 1 pentium 3 (I don't know the speed that were available at the time but I'd say about 650/700MHz max)
- A slot 1 motherboard with i440BX chipset
- A 3Dfx Voodoo 3 3500 (3000 or 2000 can be bought for cheaper though)
- A sound blaster live

Though you may also want to with a ISA sound blaster (Sound blaster 16/AWE64 ...) or a good clone for better DOS compatibility (DOS was dead by 1999 but this computer could still many of them fairly well). It depends of what you want 😀

Thank you very much,I have a question:

- it is better to choose slot 1 or socket 370
- what specific motherboard would you recommend for Pentium 3 550 MHz,slot 1 or socket 370
- how much RAM was maximum for that time 128MB or 256MB,100MHz or 133MHz,it´s better to have 2x64MB or 1x 128MB or it doesn't matter...
- sound blaster live 5.1 sb0100 this card could be bought by that year
- what speed was for CD-RW drive and DVD drive...

Thank You...😀

Reply 5 of 12, by Deksor

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It depends of your budget and the period correctness you want to achieve. I don't think there were socket 370 pentium 3s in 1999

Imo a good amount of RAM for 1999 is 128MB. 256MB is you want to go overkill.
For the amount of sticks, I don't think it'll change anything. This is before the days of dual channel 😀
100MHz sticks will be fine, the i440BX doesn't officially support 133MHz fsb anyways .

For the motherboard, I don't know. I'm using a Abit BH6 for my late 1998 system. As it was released in the second half of 1998 it should be ok for a 1999 build too 😀 (and I know for a fact that a pentium 3 can work on these). Otherwise, maybe a Asus P3B (I've never found one yet, but they seem great too).

Actually many i440BX boards will support the Pentium 3 fine 😉

for the SB live I don't know. Someone else must know
I think the fastest or near-fastest CD-Rom drives were available by 1999 (24x/36x/48x. *maybe* even 52x). As for DVD drives, they were probably still kinda slow, but I don't know what speed.

Trying to identify old hardware ? Visit Ultimate Hardware 2019

Reply 6 of 12, by ildonaldo

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If you want to build a period correct 1999 PC this timelines may help:

GPU-History: http://www.vgamuseum.info/index.php/history-tree

CPU History: http://www.vgamuseum.info/index.php/cpu

RAM Histroy: https://www.reddit.com/r/hardware/comments/5cr2j2/how_much_ram_did_computers_have_over_time_timeline/

For my builds it's "no CF-disks, no Floppy emulators, no modern cases etc.", only the real and authentic stuff whenever possible/sensible/affordable.

Reply 7 of 12, by Allanar

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ildonaldo wrote on 2021-01-04, 22:11:
If you want to build a period correct 1999 PC this timelines may help: […]
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If you want to build a period correct 1999 PC this timelines may help:

GPU-History: http://www.vgamuseum.info/index.php/history-tree

CPU History: http://www.vgamuseum.info/index.php/cpu

RAM Histroy: https://www.reddit.com/r/hardware/comments/5cr2j2/how_much_ram_did_computers_have_over_time_timeline/

thank you will help you 😀

Reply 8 of 12, by Allanar

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if I would like to use :
Pentium III 600EB (FSB 133MHz) Coppermine slot 1
Voodoo 3 3000 AGP,3.3V AGP 1.0 ~ Max: 2X AGP
SDRAM 128MB 133MHz

is a kind of motherboard made until 1999 on which it will work together

Reply 9 of 12, by Warlord

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voodoo 3 should handle the overclocked agp bus fine, make sure you have a slot cooler or a fan blowing on the voodoo. Make sure to find a board that will run at 133mhz stable because not all boards do this. Otherwise you will have problems.

Reply 10 of 12, by Tali

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Not much to add, other than you may be more interested in easy underclocking, rather than overclocking. Try to find a board with BIOS-controlled FSB, so that you can easily drop your 600MHZ down to below 450. There are some DOS games that don't work on 450+ but are quite fine at 300.

Also, if you can, get a board with SBLink. This would allow using a PCI sound card in DOS as if it was a "proper" DOS era card, with its own IRQ, DMA, etc. Naturally, that would imply the card has to support it as well. Alternatively, get an ISA-compatible motherboard. That said, unless you want to risk it, stay away from ALi or VIA chipsets, go Intel. Don't remember which, but there were some that has ISA slots, yet the way those were connected meant DOS wouldn't see anything on them. In other words, 440BX is your best bet.

If you do go the PCI and SBLink way, a fine choice is YMF724/744-based cards. Most have good SNR, quite a few have SBLink, and every single one supports SB Pro standard. So for DOS that is awesome, while for Windows, unless you want 3D effects, anything is fine. For 3D, however, you have two options: something Creative with EAX, or Aureal A3D (Vortex II recommended, as it's newer than Vortex 1, yet being 1998, still fits in your time frame). You could even go with two cards. Vortex cards are still reasonably affordable, but beware eBay. Some folks try to sell C-Media as Aureal by relabeling the chip. Not that there is anything wrong with C-Media (it has it's own 3D, which can emulate EAX and A3D, to a reasonable extent), but it doesn't (at least, shouldn't) cost 60+ USD that Aureal usually sells for. Also, YMF-based cards can also emulate both EAX and A3D, so, unless you want the real thing, you don't want a second card. Note that in either case emulation isn't perfect.

Another warning, though: YMF cards don't support some compression formats for PCM sounds, notably, ADPCM Duke Nukem uses. But there are very few games that do. I'm not going into detal regarding DOS, because if that was your thing, you wouldn't be building a P3, and it is a whole another can of worms regarding sound. But if you are interested, I am sure there are plenty of people here that could tell you everything there is to it, including stuff Ensoniq or Yamaha themselves did not know 😀

Regarding GPU, just two questions: 1) what games do you plan to play, and 2) how important is DOS compatibility? (how far down the rabbit hole do you plan to go with DOS)
In any case, peruse this chart to make an informed decision.

Reply 11 of 12, by Joseph_Joestar

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Tali wrote on 2021-01-05, 08:02:

So for DOS that is awesome, while for Windows, unless you want 3D effects, anything is fine.

Well, YMF 7x4 cards do have Sensaura, when VxD drivers are used. That gives you A3D 1.0 support as well as EAX 1.0 and EAX 2.0 emulation.

In my experience, EAX compatibility is hit and miss, and doesn't sound so great even when it works. On the other hand, A3D sounds phenomenal. Be sure to try it with Thief and Unreal Tournament '99 using headphones. The Sensaura HRTF accuracy in those games is remarkably good. I have shared some of my experiences with it here: Sensaura on Yamaha YMF 7x4 cards

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 12 of 12, by Tali

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2021-01-05, 08:37:
Tali wrote on 2021-01-05, 08:02:

So for DOS that is awesome, while for Windows, unless you want 3D effects, anything is fine.

Well, YMF 7x4 cards do have Sensaura, when VxD drivers are used. That gives you A3D 1.0 support as well as EAX 1.0 and EAX 2.0 emulation.

In my experience, EAX compatibility is hit and miss, and doesn't sound so great even when it works. On the other hand, A3D sounds phenomenal. Be sure to try it with Thief and Unreal Tournament '99 using headphones. The Sensaura HRTF accuracy in those games is remarkably good. I have shared some of my experiences with it here: Sensaura on Yamaha YMF 7x4 cards

Indeed, and I did say it has compatibility. But yes, it is hit and miss. I had a CMI8330, which also had Sensaura, and Unreal was awesome. But I don't recall using it anywhere else, plus, at the time, I didn't have a "proper" A3D to compare to. Therefore I was reluctant to press this as a 100% proven point, more as a curious fact. And lately I was hit with a case of "broken rosy glasses". Basically, I purchased a sound card exactly like the one I had back in the day, and then I thought it was the best thing even including sliced bread. Nowadays I could hear some noise, hissing, high frequency artifacts, etc. So, my own memory of that card are way better than what it is. Maybe because then I used it through an old HiFi, that wasn't quite as hi-fi as the name suggests. And now I use studio monitor headphones.

So, to an extent, it is compatible, therefore would work in some cases. But I don't wish to create a false impression that it is something to be relied on - it may not be perfect in each and every game (then again, nothing is).