VOGONS


First post, by buckeye

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I've no luck finding parts for a P3 build for mid-late win98 games so figured I'd try and find some early P4 dell dimensions for sale. Seems to be a fair amount on Ebay and the like, but not sure what models I need to focus on. Seems like the 2600's are out since they don't have AGP, any suggestions?

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 1 of 17, by happycube

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The 4xxx's are usually pretty good. The 2xxx/3000 are generally awful, good call avoiding those.

Also you can look for the later P3's - the XPS T has an Intel SE440BX board, and the 4100 a D815.

Reply 2 of 17, by PCBONEZ

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P3 parts are just not that hard to find - and don't forget about Dell Optiplex which are usually higher end than Dimension.
For P3 you need to first decide how much RAM you want to use because that may determine the chipsets that will work for you.
Most of the later Intel P3 chipsets were limited to 512Mb RAM, and those were what Dell usually used. So if you need more RAM, Dell is a bad idea.
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P3 Dimension - http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_sac … Pentium%2520III
P3 Optiplex - http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_sac … Pentium%2520III
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Quick-Ref Dimension - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dell_Dimension
Quick-Ref Optiplex - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dell_OptiPlex
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Reply 3 of 17, by DX7_EP

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For Win9x usage I used to use a 4100 (P3 Coppermine-based) until recently. If you can live without ISA card support (needed mainly for DOS, but certain PCI sound cards such as the YMF7x4 series or Vortex 2 can help alleviate that slightly), then it's a good choice to consider. Plus the AGP slot is IIRC a universal one, but make sure to check voltages first just to be on the safe side.

The only major issues those have are (A) proprietary PSU standard (so a converter for standard ATX supplies is recommended) and (B) the 4100 is notoriously picky about the RAM it accepts.

Last edited by DX7_EP on 2015-11-18, 02:19. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 4 of 17, by PCBONEZ

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Do stay away from the SFF cases. Those have poor airflow and cooling problems.

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Reply 5 of 17, by Agent of the BSoD

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I have a Dimension 4100, runs a coppermine at 866MHz. AGP slot is indeed universal. Mine uses a GeForce FX 5500. Does lack ISA slots, so that could be a problem depending on your needs. Chipset is D815EEA (or i815/E/EP, I see both listed so however that works). The one issue you may have, depending if you need these, is BIOS options. These Dell boards tend to not have many things you can adjust yourself, so you're going to be a bit limited in functionality there. You still get the basics like boot order and such. And yeah, proprietary PSU connections is a thing, so do keep that in mind.

The only main issue I have with it is cooling. It's not the greatest at it. It's got one fan in the back, which is the one for the CPU (big heatsink on CPU, cover on it to direct it to the fan that pulls air out) and has some slots in the front with no intake fan. I've had this thing shut off when it gets really hot in the room and I have it on for a good amount of time. Hasn't happened that much though, for the most part it's fine on its own.

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Reply 6 of 17, by Darkman

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Dell Dimension 4100 is what I would recommend. officially it will work fine with a P3 up to 1Ghz I believe , and if you get the modded Tualatin , it will work with a 1.4Ghz Tualatin too.
generally good quality too , the board is an OEM version of an intel board, meaning its stable. Throw in a Geforce2 or Voodoo5500 and you should have no problems with games from 1998 to about 2002.

only 2 issues I would point to are that it lacks an ISA slot (meaning limited DOS compatibility in the sound department) and since it uses the i815 chipset , its limited to 512MB of RAM, although the average Win98/2K game will work just fine with 64/128MB , so its not a problem , and the i815 chipset is a pretty fast and stable chipset.

the PSU is a 230w PSU I think , which should be more than enough so long as you dont use a graphics card thats years ahead of the rest of the machine.

Reply 7 of 17, by Darkman

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Agent of the BSoD wrote:

I have a Dimension 4100, runs a coppermine at 866MHz. AGP slot is indeed universal. Mine uses a GeForce FX 5500. Does lack ISA slots, so that could be a problem depending on your needs. Chipset is D815EEA (or i815/E/EP, I see both listed so however that works). The one issue you may have, depending if you need these, is BIOS options. These Dell boards tend to not have many things you can adjust yourself, so you're going to be a bit limited in functionality there. You still get the basics like boot order and such. And yeah, proprietary PSU connections is a thing, so do keep that in mind.

The only main issue I have with it is cooling. It's not the greatest at it. It's got one fan in the back, which is the one for the CPU (big heatsink on CPU, cover on it to direct it to the fan that pulls air out) and has some slots in the front with no intake fan. I've had this thing shut off when it gets really hot in the room and I have it on for a good amount of time. Hasn't happened that much though, for the most part it's fine on its own.

to be fair, alot of cases back then had some pretty iffy cooling, usually they had only 1 or 2 fans . Thankfully the P3 runs pretty cool , id worry more if it was an Athlon.

Reply 8 of 17, by PCBONEZ

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Darkman wrote:

to be fair, alot of cases back then had some pretty iffy cooling, usually they had only 1 or 2 fans . Thankfully the P3 runs pretty cool , id worry more if it was an Athlon.

More cooling wasn't really necessary before CPUs and GPUs had TDPs in excess of 50-60 watts or so. Especially if you had both.
Not that more cooling wasn't good, it just wasn't an absolute necessity.
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Mann-Made Global Warming. - We should be more concerned about the Intellectual Climate.
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Reply 9 of 17, by PCBONEZ

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IIRC the Dimension 4200 is near identical to the 4100 (tech specs wise) except that the 4200 uses a standard ATX PSU pinout where-as the 4100 uses the proprietary PSU pinout that requires the adapter to use a standard PSU.
Finding a 4200 is probably a bit harder as by the time they came out most people were buying P4 models. (Fewer were sold.)
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GRUMPY OLD FART - On Hiatus, sort'a
Mann-Made Global Warming. - We should be more concerned about the Intellectual Climate.
You can teach a man to fish and feed him for life, but if he can't handle sushi you must also teach him to cook.

Reply 10 of 17, by Sedrosken

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+1 on the 4100, had one in middle school with a Coppermine 866, 512MB PC133 and an FX5200 for futzing about with various OSes of various vintages (everything from DOS 6 to Windows 7, spent most of its time rocking 98SE and/or 2000 Pro SP4) in my tech class. Sadly when it came time for that school year to end my parents wouldn't let me bring it home with me so it went off to the recycling, otherwise it would very likely still be kicking today. It was rock solid, easily the better of the Pentium Dual-Core I was using for a main at the time.

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Reply 12 of 17, by Darkman

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happycube wrote:

centrix-intl.com has an adapter for $6 + shipping etc that converts a Dell not-ATX board to use a regular ATX power supply, which can be useful.

thats actually a good price, Ive been looking in the UK for an adapter like that, and the cheapest I could find was £12 (so about 20 or so dollars).

from what Ive seen it might actually be a bit cheaper to get one from the US and ship it over, but then youre waiting weeks and not days for the parcel , with more chances of it being lost/damaged/stopped at customs.

Reply 13 of 17, by chinny22

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Yeh, I got my Dell ATX converter from the USA, as it still worked out cheaper. Arrived in the UK without any trouble.
Not sure how long it took, Don't mind waiting a week or 3 for retro parts.

Reply 14 of 17, by brostenen

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Is it not possible to build and Dell ATX converter on you'r own? I did my own ATX to AT converter some time ago.
Are there other ratings than the usual voltage ratings on Dell psu's?

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Reply 15 of 17, by chinny22

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brostenen wrote:

Is it not possible to build and Dell ATX converter on you'r own? I did my own ATX to AT converter some time ago.
Are there other ratings than the usual voltage ratings on Dell psu's?

Totally possible! My electrical skills are rubbish that's all.
http://www.informit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=339053

Reply 16 of 17, by buckeye

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Would any of the early P4 dell dimension models work OK for windows 98SE games and such? Finding quite a bit of them on Ebay.

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 17 of 17, by Sedrosken

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Make sure you find one with AGP and you're golden if you're looking for a cheap, capable Win98SE rig. Dimensions in general have always been pretty solid for me.

Nanto: H61H2-AM3, 3.25GB, GTS250 1GB, SB0730, 512GB SSD, XP USP4
Rithwic: EP-61BXM-A, P3-450, 768MB, V3-3000, YMF744, 128GB SD2IDE, 98SE (Kex)
Cragstone: Alaris Cougar, 486BL2-66, 16MB, Trio64V+ VLB, CT2800, 16GB SD2IDE, 95CNOIE