VOGONS


First post, by MrYossarian

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I'm a big fan of retro games, and, playing old games on modern hardware with emulators and all that sort of stuff never really cut it for me. So, about a year ago, I went ahead and bought myself an old retro PC in order to play Windows 98 games.

It's a Compaq EP/P650/10/9/128c. Apparently it's not a very popular model among the Compaq fans, but hey, I'm pretty happy with it despite how unpopular it is.

Specs:
OS: Windows 98 Second Edition
CPU: Pentium III 650 MHz
RAM: 512 MB (2x 256 MB)
GPU: GeForce 2 GTS 64MB
HDD: Seagate ST340014A (40GB)
Sound: Sound Blaster Live! CT4780
Network: 3Com 3C905-TX

I use it to play Half-Life (WON), Tomb Raider III, Unreal Tournament and Deus Ex so far, but, I'm planning to have way more games for it.

When I first got it, it came with a Matrox G4+ video card, a Compaq CT5805 sound card, a 20 GB hard disk and it had no network card. I replaced them because I figured the video card wouldn't be powerful enough for Unreal Tournament and Deus Ex, as for the audio card, I just don't think it had enough features. If some of you are interested to get the video card and the sound card, just hit me up and we can arrange something.

Here's some pictures of the computer:

20220710-202200.jpg
20220710-202217.jpg
20220710-202935.jpg

Would love to have you guys' feedback!

Reply 1 of 6, by kiacadp

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The case looks nice. Got a similar system although paired mine with Voodoo 3 and half the ram. What happened to those stickers they don't look right 😁
Also, some pictures of the inside would be nice 😊

Reply 2 of 6, by Con 2 botones

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Very Nice!
I believe that case can be used both vertically or horizontally (optical drives can be placed both ways, if I am not mistaken).
Compaq and Fujitsu Siemens are my favourite brands when it comes to Retro-PC.

The Matrox G400 is more period correct to Pentium III 650mhz and is capable (at least at 800x600 or even 1024x768) for all the games mentioned but Deus EX.
Sure, GF2 GTS will play all those much smoother.

Reply 3 of 6, by MrYossarian

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@kiacadp
I will send pictures once I get back home. And I wish I could have a Voodoo 3, but, they're super expensive to get now unfortunately.

@Con 2 botones
Thank you!
Yeah I never really tried to put them vertical, in fact, I don't think I could, I don't think there's enough space to flip the optical drive.

Reply 4 of 6, by buckeye

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Really don't understand why that model isn't popular. That's a solid machine, would be extremely
happy with it!

Intel D865GL Pentium 4 2.4ghz. 512MB DDR 400 Geforce2 GTS 64MB SB Audigy 500W 98SE
Intel SE440BX P3 450 256MB 40GB Voodoo 3000 16MB SB 32pnp 350W 98SE
MSI x570 Gaming Pro Carbon Ryzen 3700x 32GB DDR4 Zotac RTX 3070 8GB WD Black 1TB 850W

Reply 5 of 6, by biohazardx9

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same as my P3 compaq except mines a 500.

Compaq boards are pretty well built and often adopted technology ahead of its time. on my P2 rig it will accept a usb keyboard in the BIOS. if it weren't for DOS games, I'd be using a usb keyboard.

I will be using usb fully on my P3 rig though. I have a roccat skeltr I use on my Ryzen build but actually works in windows 98 just fine (alright I can't use the swam app to customize it but all keys do register). so I can use a USB switch (not a KVM) and flip between the two. I have not tested the skeltr on the P2 via PS/2 dongle yet and I suspect it wont work. My Roccat Kone EMP oddly enough shows up as both an optical mouse and a keyboard (I guess the macro buttons and firmware needs accessing via the USB HID mode)

Enjoy! these things are great. Just be aware of the floppy controller though. on my P2 at least I have to use a ribbon cable WITHOUT a twist in it. if I use one with a twist, the bios freaks out and disables the controller..... I wonder if the twist is actually built into the motherboard socket? it seems that way. Just means I can't use both a 5.25 and a 3.5 at the same time. (I can use a 5.25 if I use an adaptor to convert it to a standard floppy plug).

Reply 6 of 6, by biohazardx9

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if I'm also not mistaken you should have the 100 FSB version. There were two types (thankfully very easily identifiable just by looking at the board).

66FSB version - This will have three ISA slots and three PCI slots being ISA slot 1 and PCI slot 3 being physically shared (they occupy the same rear slot on the chassis)
100FSB version - this will have two ISA slots and four PCI slots being ISA slot 1 and PCI slot 4 being physically shared

The bios is very interesting because on my P2 rig, certain sized HDD's wont show up on autodetect correctly but the system will still use it and boot accordingly.

The board is also very odd in that it has no reset switch header, no PC speaker header (PC speaker is soldered onto the board and mines dead), there is a misc header on the front panel pins designed for SCSI HDD LED. I have not tried it but I think you are supposed to bridge the SCSI card's LED header to this one and then the main chassis HDD LED will work for both SCSI and the onboard IDE. of course you can use this header also for any SATA card you put in that also has the header.

I suspect this was there because some builds obviously had SCSI as an option and perhaps used faster HDD's under SCSI and/or tape drives.

utilizing any 3com network card will make it show up in the bios and you can toggle it's PXE boot loader on/off. it will extension itself to the compaq BIOS as well, pressing F12 to PXE boot while it boots up.

Well done though great build, you'll love it. UT99 is such a great game that I can literally play for hours on end.