VOGONS


First post, by Bruno128

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

As the thread title suggests.
No pure DOS games and also no modern games that run normally in XP. Only quirky ones and those relying on A3D 2.0, hardware that doesn't go well with XP.
Post your estimates/examples.

Now playing:
The Dig: 1995 VLB 486
Arcanum: 2003 Acrylic build


SBEMU compatibility reports list | Navigation thread

Reply 1 of 20, by bloodem

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

For me this would be an Athlon XP or Athlon 64 coupled with a GeForce 4 Ti 4200/4400/4600.

Faster than that is cool 'just because', but it will rarely bring any real benefit unless you target insane resolutions, AA & AF + very high framerates.

My fastest Win98 PC has a Core 2 Duo E8600 @ 4 GHz, 2 GB RAM and a Radeon X850 XT PCI Express. And it's crazy fast, not gonna lie, very cool as an experiment, and very stable for what it is.

1 x PLCC-68 / 2 x PGA132 / 5 x Skt 3 / 9 x Skt 7 / 12 x SS7 / 1 x Skt 8 / 14 x Slot 1 / 5 x Slot A
5 x Skt 370 / 8 x Skt A / 2 x Skt 478 / 2 x Skt 754 / 3 x Skt 939 / 7 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current PC: Ryzen 7 5800X3D
Backup PC: Core i7 7700k

Reply 2 of 20, by Jo22

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

Pentium III 733 MHz and GeForce 2 ? That's what my family/dad had when Windows 98SE was brand new.
I think it had 128 to 256MB of SD RAM, a 20 GB HDD (ATA) and on-board sound (SB16 compatibility option in CMOS Setup).
Oh, and it had USB. For this ELSA MicroLink V92 modem. Monitor was a beige 17" CRT.
(Big, fat active PC speaker boxes were bought separately. They were in silver and heavy.)

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 3 of 20, by Joseph_Joestar

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Depends on a couple of things. First, what's your cutoff point for Win98 gaming? Late 2001 as in just before WinXP came out? Or even beyond that? Then, what resolution and performance level are you targeting? Do you need games running at 1600x1200 with a locked 60 FPS while AA and AF are maxed out? Or are you happy with playing at period correct resolutions and variable performance levels, without AA and AF?

In any case, I concur with what bloodem said. A Pentium 4 or an Athlon 64 with a GeForce 4 Ti should be good enough for general use. And if you want to max everything out, go for a Core 2 system with a Radeon X800 series card. With either system, you can throw in a Voodoo 2 for Glide game compatibility, if that's important to you.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / YMF719 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 2100+ / ECS K7VTA3 / Voodoo3 / Audigy2 / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3400+ / Asus K8V-MX / 5900XT / Audigy2
PC#4: i5-3570K / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 970 / X-Fi

Reply 4 of 20, by ux-3

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

If you want to get things to run out of the box, you will be amazed how much power you will need.

I have been examining this with one of my favorite games, European Air War. I used a Voodoo 5500 AGP in high resolutions. I found that the frame rate would still scale with a Pentium 3 1100 overclock.
I then moved to an Athlon base and found further increases up to XP-2400. I didn't have anything faster for AGP 2.0.

You can of course load a patched and modified version of the game on more modern equipment and OS, but that isn't quite the same game. The original game only works up to DX 7.

After these experiments, I concluded that I would base my Win98 machine on a fast P3. Overall, I found the P3B-F to be the better base, expecially with ISA sound options.

Retro PC warning: The things you own end up owning you.

Reply 5 of 20, by PTherapist

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Personally, back in the day I never ran Windows 98 on anything faster than a Pentium III. My absolute cut-off point would probably be 2001-2002 era hardware, after that it's well into XP territory.

My current active 1998/1999 era gaming PCs are running on Super Socket 7 builds, with AMD K6-2 CPUs & Voodoo 3 Graphics Cards. They handle Windows games in Win98 up to around 2000/2001 quite well, with realistic back-in-the-day settings such as resolution, detail levels etc.

If you're looking to run Win98 and games at maximum settings, I'd agree with what others have already said - go with a Core 2 build and newer Graphics.

Reply 6 of 20, by Shponglefan

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

To echo Joseph_Joestar's point, it really depends on how you define your cut-off point for Win 98 gaming. There are games up to the mid-2000's that still supported Windows 98.

If you include those games then you're looking at a P4 or equivalent and at least a GeForce 4 or FX.

OTOH, if you're looking at games that can't run on XP (i.e. Win98 and earlier), then your cut-off date would be late 90's. In which case you're in Pentium III and GeForce 256 / Voodoo3 territory.

Pentium 4 Multi-OS Build
486 DX4-100 with 6 sound cards
486 DX-33 with 5 sound cards

Reply 7 of 20, by fosterwj03

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Display resolution is also a factor. If you don't mind 1024x768 in many 3d games, then mid-tier early-2000s cards and CPUs will work fine. If you want to run Call of Duty at 1080p max settings (like I do), you need something like a Radeon x800 (or better) or a GeForce 6800 (or better) with a pretty fast CPU.

Reply 8 of 20, by Jo22

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
Shponglefan wrote on 2024-05-15, 22:05:

To echo Joseph_Joestar's point, it really depends on how you define your cut-off point for Win 98 gaming. There are games up to the mid-2000's that still supported Windows 98.

If you include those games then you're looking at a P4 or equivalent and at least a GeForce 4 or FX.

OTOH, if you're looking at games that can't run on XP (i.e. Win98 and earlier), then your cut-off date would be late 90's. In which case you're in Pentium III and GeForce 256 / Voodoo3 territory.

The Pentium IV really is special in certain ways.
It had a really high single-core performance, but that wasn't all.

I vaguely remember reading that some instructions passed in one cycle,
which broke timing loops in certain code of Windows 3.1 Enhanced-Mode and Windows 95.

And to prevent this issue from happening again, modern CPUs are artificially slowed down here. Or so I heard.

Then there was the MHz, err, GHz race.
In its day, the Pentium IV had been overclocked to insane clock frequencies with liquid carbon-dioxide.

What's also nice, Hyper-Threading on Pentium IV platform is available, but can be disabled in CMOS Setup.
That option is ideal for running either Windows 98SE (1x CPU) or XP (2x CPU).

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 9 of 20, by Ozzuneoj

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

If I remember correctly, I used Windows 98SE well into 2002 or 2003 because I wasn't a fan of all the changes XP made... online activation? Automatic updates?? And what's with those themes??? I remember referring to the blue theme as Playskool's "My First OS" Windows Theme for Children.

I eventually warmed up to it of course... it was so much better than 9x in so many ways.

Anyway... I'm pretty sure the last iteration of my main PC that ran 98SE was powered by an Athlon XP.

Actually, I just found a list of specs I had recorded and saved back in March of 2003!

Windows 98SE + DirectX 9
AthlonXP 1700+ TBredB JIUHB302 @ 1812Mhz
Gigabyte GA-7VRX 1.1 (KT333)<< Worst_OCer_Ever
eVga Geforce 4 Ti 4400 @ 300\650 43.00
512Mbs PC-2700 (256Mbs- Samsung, 256Mbs- GIEL)
60Gb Maxtor Diamond Max Plus 9
Turtle Beach Santa Cruz
Logitech MX500

Later that year I got my NF7-S 2.0 and overclocked that 1700+ a bunch more. I can't remember if I was still using Windows 98SE at that point.

Anyway, that is probably, realistically, the most horsepower you'd ever need in 9x without going overboard or playing XP-era games (which I most certainly was at that time).

Now for some blitting from the back buffer.

Reply 10 of 20, by douglar

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

815 based socket 370 PIII with ISA sound and a Geforce 4 would be the middle of the road and most compatible.

Barton Athlon 3000+and a Radeon 9800 pro if you want to pinp your ride.

Both cases, you have to worry about the video card dying on you though, so dont over clock those cards.

Reply 11 of 20, by Standard Def Steve

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

For me, I guess it would be my current Win98 machine. It's a Dimension T550 with a Celeron 1400, 512MB of RAM, Voodoo3-3500 @ 193MHz, Aureal Vortex 2 SQ2500 PCI sound card & AWE64 ISA card. I've been using it for Win98 and late era DOS gaming since 2012, and -- believe it or not -- have been running the same installation of 98SE since 2017!

Mid-2000 being my cut-off point, not once have I ever felt the need for more speed. It's just a reliable, performant, and compatible machine that's never given me any trouble during my Sunday morning "time machine" gaming sessions. I just love the dang thing! Oh, and the 2017 reformat? Totally my bad; I managed to bring in a virus via some old shareware diskette...yikes!

And you know what? The 80GB hard drive is roughly 75% full, it's never been defragmented, I've installed/uninstalled/reinstalled games countless times, and I even keep it connected to the internet. Yet, the 7-year-old installation of Windows 98 just keeps on going. I feel as if I've won the Win9x lottery or something! Knowing just how fussy 98 can be with even slightly newer hardware, I'd be concerned about going much newer than a tried & true Tualatin or Thunderbird system.

94 MHz NEC VR4300 | SGI Reality CoPro | 8MB RDRAM | Each game gets its own SSD - nooice!

Reply 12 of 20, by Ozzuneoj

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
douglar wrote on 2024-05-15, 23:57:

Both cases, you have to worry about the video card dying on you though, so dont over clock those cards.

Very true. Those were tough times for video cards. The cooling just hadn't quite gotten there yet.

I think if you aren't planning for crazy resolutions and AA\AF and are mainly playing games from before 2002, a Radeon 9600 of some sort (not an SE!) is plenty fast enough, reliable and not too hard to find and use for Win9x games. Even the 9600 non-pro will trade blows with a Ti 4200 and Ti 4400, and most models are passively cooled OEM cards. It seems the general consensus is that the GF4 Ti series is the sweet spot for Win98, so one could argue that a 9600 would be very close to the practical performance level limit for 9x gaming at a lower cost and lower chance of being dead or damaged.

... if you need the less common features that ATi cards don't do though, it's a lot tougher to find a reliable yet fast enough solution.

Last edited by Ozzuneoj on 2024-05-16, 03:10. Edited 1 time in total.

Now for some blitting from the back buffer.

Reply 13 of 20, by porksmuggler

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Easy, games through 2003, I play on Windows 98 SE, after that XP SP3. XP SP2 came out in 2004 I think, so this is reasonable. We all suffered through earlier XP, but why relive that.

My two favorite '98 builds are a stock Barton 2600+ with a 9200SE for earlier games, and a 3000+ with a 9600 XT for games like Vice City.
For XP it's a Q9650 or Q6600 to try to keep it somewhat period correct, with a GTX 950. You can use 900 series all the way up, but even a GTX 960 is bottlenecked on Core 2.

Reply 14 of 20, by Cyberdyne

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

My 2 cent are. My last real W98 machine was P3 500MHz 256MB Geforce 2 MX. It was snappy. Ran everything. Now I would use a 800MHz. And Geforce 5. They are cheaper than Geforce 4. Athlon and P4 are more XP territory.

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.
PS. If I upload RAR, it is a 16-bit DOS RAR Version 2.50.

Reply 15 of 20, by Bruno128

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Interesting reactions, I was expecting something slower like K6-3 etc.
Everything released in 1999 and later just works out of the box in 2K/XP at least D3D titles.

Now playing:
The Dig: 1995 VLB 486
Arcanum: 2003 Acrylic build


SBEMU compatibility reports list | Navigation thread

Reply 16 of 20, by bloodem

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Bruno128 wrote on 2024-05-16, 10:39:

Everything released in 1999 and later just works out of the box in 2K/XP at least D3D titles.

"Everything" is a big word.
There are many that don't work out of the box and need unofficial patches or workarounds (just a few off the top of my head: Nocturne, NFS 4, NFS Porsche, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, etc).

Anyway, I do agree that, for the most part, many of these games will work just fine on WinXP, with minimum effort.

1 x PLCC-68 / 2 x PGA132 / 5 x Skt 3 / 9 x Skt 7 / 12 x SS7 / 1 x Skt 8 / 14 x Slot 1 / 5 x Slot A
5 x Skt 370 / 8 x Skt A / 2 x Skt 478 / 2 x Skt 754 / 3 x Skt 939 / 7 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current PC: Ryzen 7 5800X3D
Backup PC: Core i7 7700k

Reply 17 of 20, by DosFreak

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

I think sadly that most people use what came with their computer or what their friends would use. My NT4/9x and then 9/2k dual-boots were pretty rare back then except for enthusiasts. Then you had those who would diss NT without actually having used it or they would have a driver issue (Like 9x never has any?) and proclaim 2K as not good for gaming. You had those chasing benchmarks as well so in situations where the FPS was slightly lower then "9x is better for gaming". You also have those who think that because they need to install a patch to install a game on 2k where it works out of the box on 9x that 9x is better...

Once XP was released with computers and especially SP2 then over time it was finally able to shift but it's very hard to change beliefs when people are told what to think and they are too lazy to check or do anything for themselves, I think that's another reason why XBOX was so popular with those kind of people.

When Beta 3 of 2k came out I could pretty much drop 9x for most games except the DOS/Windows games that needed 9x.

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
Make your games work offline

Reply 18 of 20, by gerry

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Cyberdyne wrote on 2024-05-16, 03:14:

My 2 cent are. My last real W98 machine was P3 500MHz 256MB Geforce 2 MX. It was snappy. Ran everything. Now I would use a 800MHz. And Geforce 5. They are cheaper than Geforce 4. Athlon and P4 are more XP territory.

my 'top' 98 machine is a duron 800 with a geforce 4 (just an mx440 i think), broadly similar to your suggested spec and around as good as i think a 9x system needs to be. I haven't started it for some time. I'd think it would play any 9x game that isn't stated as 2000/xp compatible quite acceptably at 1024x768 at least, it certainly did anything 9x i ever threw at it just fine. my guess is that it would be acceptable even with a tnt2, a card i had back then on a celeron 500 that always did fine

later games may have been compatible with 9x but the moment they are compatible with xp then that's where i'd put them. only a small number of 9x games have difficulties on xp, especially in the years since various patches and gog emerged

i get the interest in persuading 98 to run on a core duo or somesuch, but it seems a double waste as such a system would do for w7 often enough and at least xp anyway (makes sense as fun multi boot though)

Reply 19 of 20, by douglar

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
gerry wrote on 2024-05-16, 19:34:

i get the interest in persuading 98 to run on a core duo or somesuch, but it seems a double waste as such a system would do for w7 often enough and at least xp anyway (makes sense as fun multi boot though)

That's another way to view the question: "At what point does adding more powerful hardware provide no benefit in a Win98 build".

I'd apply the half-life rule. No, this isn't a fancy differential equation. It's pretty simple. It goes like this:

  1. You are entering the "reduced benefit zone" when you pass the minimum requirements for half life 1 (500Mhz CPU/ 96MB RAM)
  2. You are entering the "no benefit zone" if you pass the minimum requirements for half life 2 ( 1.2 GHz Processor, 256MB RAM )