First post, by Almoststew1990
I've been building retro PCs since about 2016 and in the last five years I've not really messed with a Socket 370 system. I've picked up a broken Dell with a S370 that got sold as parts at some point but other than that I've always, by coincidence, found myself buying Slot 1 or Socket 478 / 462 systems (or later)...
So I made a conscious effect to buy some Socket 370 parts and my current "thing" is small builds. I bought this new old stock M-ATX case for £25 I think delivered. (These cases seem to house all the "MEGA RETRO GAMING PC VINTAGE NEW" pre-built PCs we have in the UK where someone build a basic P4 PC with an MX card, SBL or CMI 8738, the not very legit Windows 98 ISO installed, and sells it for £120).
Anyway. It's really small. Using my smallest optical drive and an SFX power supply, I have zero room up top for cables really! The grey bit with text on it next to the PSU is the CD drive (jumper positions) not the case shelf which you can't see at all.
M-ATX 370 boards with ISA are very expensive if you're not willing to wait for an actual auction to pop up. I got bored of waiting so I bought this ISA-less OEM board for £25. I also bought a 1GHz P3. I dug out of my sole Socket 370 cooler. It uses a quiet, modern fan. I put in my sole 133MHz SD-RAM stick (thankfully it's 512MB). The board has an i815 chipset and some kind of AC97 Analogue Devices audio chipset (which I won't be using).
I built it in the case and thanks to all the drives and cables being stored up top, it looks pretty clean! The only annoyance is for some reason the CPU fan header has been put on a different continent to the CPU socket so it's a bit of an ungainly stretch for the fan cable. I've put the ubiquitous Sound Blaster Live SB0100 in there and my GeForce 3 ti 200, but it's well camouflaged in the picture!
All assembled it looks quite neat. Because it's an M-ATX build it can sit on my desk without being overbearing, and I can have an XP or Windows 7 PC under my desk. My monitor has VGA and DVI inputs and the speakers have two inputs. The PCs will share a wireless keyboard and the XP/7 PC will use the mouse that goes with the keyboard and the 98 PC uses a PS/2 mouse.
I think I'll be playing some late DOS games and Windows 98 games on this PC. However having used it, it doesn't feel as "special" as a slower Slot 1 PC with an ISA slot. It feels more like a (slow) Pentium 4 PC, as in, I might as well have just used that instead. Most of my games would run just fine on a say 650 Slot 1, or need 1.4GHz or something, 1GHz seems a strange speed!
Ryzen 3700X | 16GB 3600MHz RAM | AMD 6800XT | 2Tb NVME SSD | Windows 10
AMD DX2-80 | 16MB RAM | STB LIghtspeed 128 | AWE32 CT3910
I have a vacancy for a main Windows 98 PC