VOGONS


Reply 40 of 163, by Joseph_Joestar

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Jo22 wrote on 2021-07-04, 05:21:
@Joseph-Joestar ^Be careful with the Pentium 4, though! Some of its instructions were somewhat quick that DOS-based versions of […]
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@Joseph-Joestar ^Be careful with the Pentium 4, though!
Some of its instructions were somewhat quick that DOS-based versions of Windows struggled.
Edit: Found the the article!
https://www.os2museum.com/wp/those-win9x-cras … -fast-machines/
It's the LOOP instruction that's so develish quick.

Interesting article. Based on what I've seen there, it looks like a Northwood Pentium 4 below 2.0 GHz should be fine with Win98SE, which is roughly what I had in mind.

And by the way, some of your components were something I didn't even dare to dream of in my early XP days. If I hadn't browsed v […]
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And by the way, some of your components were something I didn't
even dare to dream of in my early XP days.
If I hadn't browsed vogons and other forums in the past years,
I wouldn't realize that these components are "retro" or anything worth, at all.

All the components that I suggested (except for the CPU + motherboard) were made before 2001. Perfectly fitting for a high spec Win98SE machine at the turn of the century. The fact that a lot of people (myself included) couldn't afford them at the time doesn't make them any less valid.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 41 of 163, by Jo22

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2021-07-04, 05:56:

All the components that I suggested (except for the CPU + motherboard) were made before 2001.
Perfectly fitting for a high spec Win98SE machine at the turn of the century.
The fact that a lot of people (myself included) couldn't afford them at the time doesn't make them any less valid.

Alright, that's true. I just ment to say that the hardware wasn't exactly, uhm, "common" at this time. 😀
And because of this, I thought, the outcome might be uncertain.

At the time ('99-'01), computer stores in may place still sold shareware CDs with a written
minimum/recommended requirement of a 486DX2-66/Pentium 120.. And some of the games ran on DOS,
still, despite a copyright date of as late as '97/'98.

Which makes me wonder if the games' authors made their games ready for a Pentium II, not to mention a Pentium IV.
Hm. Commercial titles were likely more compatible with high-end PCs of their time, I admit. 😅
These companies/game studios had money for the newest tech, after all. Or got them for free for testing purposes, even.

Anyway, it wasn't meant as a critique. Also, in certain cases, maybe the BIOS allows for disabling some of the caches.
This would help a bit, I assume. Or on DOS, MOSLO/SLOMO could help in some cases. 😀

"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

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Reply 42 of 163, by AlexZ

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Jorpho wrote on 2021-07-04, 02:38:

Are you familiar with capacitor plague? You are inevitably going to encounter it in a lot of motherboards from this period. Often you can just visually check the motherboard for bulging and leaky capacitors, but there's really no way of knowing if any particular brand or model of motherboard is going to be affected. (But PC Chips is usually a very bad bet.)

Bulging/leaking capacitors are not that frequent on boards on sale. It is very frequent on old PSUs with small fans, but from boards I have collected only one had bulging caps but no leakage. The reason lies probably in the bad boards being thrown out and not ending up on sale. I have found boards in the best state in pensioner PCs used for browsing the internet. Avoiding budget manufacturers like PC Chips certainly helps.

Last edited by AlexZ on 2021-07-04, 14:19. Edited 1 time in total.

Pentium III 900E, ECS P6BXT-A+, 384MB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 128MB, Voodoo 2 12MB, 80GB HDD, Yamaha SM718 ISA, 19" AOC 9GlrA
Athlon 64 3400+, MSI K8T Neo V, 1GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 7600GT 256MB, 250GB HDD, Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS

Reply 43 of 163, by Scoob

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I don't know what is the motherboard offset but I will try a linux live cd, good idea! In case it doesn't work I'll go with the 2GHz GeForce gts and a Live!
Also will try to play some games on my daily laptop to see what happens, maybe I won't need old hardware... 🙁
Thanks for all your suggestions!

Reply 44 of 163, by Jorpho

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Scoob wrote on 2021-07-04, 13:24:

I don't know what is the motherboard offset

I'm referring to the screws that hold the motherboard in the case. (I vaguely recall one post here where those turned out to be the culprit, but I can't seem to find it at the moment.)

Reply 45 of 163, by Caluser2000

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Stand offs?

Separate the mobo from contacting the case.

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There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉

Reply 47 of 163, by Caluser2000

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Jorpho wrote on 2021-07-04, 23:31:

Argh, yes, standoffs. People have blamed standoffs in the past.

You really are ment to put those red/brown cardboard small cardboard washers between the brass/metal ones on each side of the mobo surface. They are usually the first thing to get lost when pulling a system apart to work on....😉

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There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉

Reply 48 of 163, by Scoob

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2021-07-04, 04:22:
I would limit the system to 2000 instead of 2001, since you avoid dealing with DirectX 8 games that way. […]
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Scoob wrote on 2021-07-03, 21:57:

Economics apart, in your opinion is it possible to reach some kind of consensus regarding the most compatible and stable configuration for win9x games, 1996-2001?

I would limit the system to 2000 instead of 2001, since you avoid dealing with DirectX 8 games that way.

For stability and compatibility, go with a socket478 Pentium 4, GeForce2 GTS + Voodoo2 SLI (for Glide games), SBLive 5.1 + LiveDrive front panel, 512 MB RAM and a 120GB IDE HDD. Stick with DirectX 7.0a and Nvidia drivers below version 8 to avoid compatibility issues.

You may run into some problems with speed sensitive games, but if you plan on using a second system for DOS and early Windows gaming, that shouldn't really matter.

Can you elaborate a bit more about the directx stuff. Can I play dx8 games in dx7 mode? If there is even such a thing.
Also I only want 2 PC... One exclusively for ms-dos games, and another exclusively for all windows games, including very early and very late ones. That's why my initial idea was a 440BX, I don't mind playing more demanding games at 800x600 30fps if that means that and older config is also more compatible with older windows games

Reply 49 of 163, by mothergoose729

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Scoob wrote on 2021-07-06, 21:30:
Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2021-07-04, 04:22:
I would limit the system to 2000 instead of 2001, since you avoid dealing with DirectX 8 games that way. […]
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Scoob wrote on 2021-07-03, 21:57:

Economics apart, in your opinion is it possible to reach some kind of consensus regarding the most compatible and stable configuration for win9x games, 1996-2001?

I would limit the system to 2000 instead of 2001, since you avoid dealing with DirectX 8 games that way.

For stability and compatibility, go with a socket478 Pentium 4, GeForce2 GTS + Voodoo2 SLI (for Glide games), SBLive 5.1 + LiveDrive front panel, 512 MB RAM and a 120GB IDE HDD. Stick with DirectX 7.0a and Nvidia drivers below version 8 to avoid compatibility issues.

You may run into some problems with speed sensitive games, but if you plan on using a second system for DOS and early Windows gaming, that shouldn't really matter.

Can you elaborate a bit more about the directx stuff. Can I play dx8 games in dx7 mode? If there is even such a thing.
Also I only want 2 PC... One exclusively for ms-dos games, and another exclusively for all windows games, including very early and very late ones. That's why my initial idea was a 440BX, I don't mind playing more demanding games at 800x600 30fps if that means that and older config is also more compatible with older windows games

Directx is a library. There isn't a clean delineation between directx versions, especially in the directx 6-8 versions. The voodoo cards support directx 6 in hardware and are directx 7 compatible, but you can't easily call any particular game a directx 7/8 game. Any game release befored 2001 should work fine, and I would say you are probably good for any game released in 2001, but by 2002 a lot of games are going to be too demanding to be worth playing on a voodoo 3 anyway, even if they are "compatible".

Voodoo 3 and directx

Reply 51 of 163, by keenmaster486

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Yeah. 440BX, Voodoo 3, ISA Creative SB16 or better. 512 MB PC133 RAM, <128GB compact flash card for hard drive. Maybe a 3C509 or 3C905 for ethernet. That's as bog standard as it gets, a common system configuration for the time, and will serve you well.

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.
World's foremost 486 enjoyer.

Reply 52 of 163, by mothergoose729

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Scoob wrote on 2021-07-06, 22:23:

Ok, so if I go with the voodoo 3 can I play Mafia, Red Faction and Serious Sam?
Or maybe some kind of geforce along with a voodoo2 would be better for what I'm aiming at? Thanks.

Yes, but not super well.

You want a machine that is high performance but also easy to setup and compatible with everything. That doesn't exist. A geforce card + voodoo 2 is a common setup, it's what I use, but it's more work to setup. The geforce card will play most of the games so that will dictate compatibility more than anything. The voodoo 2 only wakes up for glide in that setup.

And you can have a very good experience with a geforce card. They are very compatible and stable on the right platform. But you will spend more time patching your games, configuring your system, and solving problems than you would with a voodoo 3.

Maybe you build an XP machine with or in place of your windows 98 machine. There are options but they each have pros and cons. PC building!

Reply 53 of 163, by Joseph_Joestar

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Scoob wrote on 2021-07-06, 21:30:

Can you elaborate a bit more about the directx stuff. Can I play dx8 games in dx7 mode? If there is even such a thing.

DirextX 7.0a came out in late 1999 and is generally considered to be the most compatible for Win9x gaming. Video card drivers from that time period are mostly tailored toward that particular version. Check the DirectX version history for more details.

Also I only want 2 PC... One exclusively for ms-dos games, and another exclusively for all windows games, including very early and very late ones.

Hardware progressed rapidly between the early '90s and the mid 2000s, especially 3D graphics cards. That's why it's so hard to fit everything on one rig. IMO, for the least problematic and most compatible PC retro gaming experience, you need three systems: one for DOS, a second one for Win9x and a third one for WinXP.

And while it's possible to have DOS + Win9x + early WinXP on a single system, that requires a very specific hardware combination paired with slowdown utilities, and yet it still necessitates some compromises. The AthlonXP rig in my signature is an example of one such system, in case you're curious.

That's why my initial idea was a 440BX, I don't mind playing more demanding games at 800x600 30fps if that means that and older config is also more compatible with older windows games

A Voodoo3 paired with a 1.0 GHz Pentium 3 will play games released up to the end of 2000 very well at that resolution. But some games released in 2001 will run too slow on it, and anything made in 2002 and onward will pretty much crawl on that system.

GeForce2 cards as well as Pentium4 and Athlon CPUs started becoming commonplace around 2001-2002, and games began using them as reference points. There's a big difference in performance between a GeForce2 and a Voodoo3, especially when paired with a fast CPU.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 54 of 163, by chinny22

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Keeping in mind OP wants Most stable and compatible

I'd be looking around the P3 era
I'm not an Intel fanboy but simple fact is Intel had more stable drivers in this time period.
Slot 1 Intel BX based motherboard is legendary for it's stability. ISA slot is useful if you want to add Dos gaming
S370 Intel i815 based motherboard also has good driver support plus both the motherboard and faster CPU's can be had cheaper if you don't need the isa slot.

CPU: fast as you can get for a good price.
Video: Geforce 4Ti or FX
Sound: SBLive! (Just make sure to find the correct drivers first)

This will play 95% of your 9x era games, anything that's starts to struggle here is probably better off on XP anyway.

Glide/3DFX is nice but not strictly necessary. A lot of us never had a Voodoo card growing up, a lot still don't!
but where not all games had glide support just about every game had a D3D mode which the Geforce cards excel at.
Voodoo 2 would be a good addition to the setup if you can afford it and your games benefit from glide.

As everyone has said no 1 perfect PC exists. but this list focus on hardware with known good driver support with the widest reach of game support.

Reply 55 of 163, by bloodem

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chinny22 wrote on 2021-07-07, 09:30:

As everyone has said no 1 perfect PC exists. but this list focus on hardware with known good driver support with the widest reach of game support.

In my book, the Athlon XP / KT600 combo sure comes pretty close to perfection, though. 😀
This thing is not only rock solid stable, but with just a few exceptions it will run almost any game released between 1985 - 2001 at the correct speed.
Period correctness is cool and can also be better in certain circumstances (for example, if you want to use many sound cards in the same DOS era machine). However, based on my experience, going period correct is not always better.

I mean, truthfully, when it comes to DOS, between most 486 builds and an Athlon XP I'm definitely choosing the latter most of the times. Whoever messed with 486 builds long enough will understand what I'm talking about... 😁 Tinkering with them is nice & all, but the Athlon XP beats them in stability, ease of use, and flexibility (you'd think that 486 builds are easy to slow down, but many of them really aren't - even the Turbo button functionality is a total hit & miss).

As far as Windows 98 goes, yeah, the 440BX is a rock solid stable platform... but so is the Athlon XP / KT600 (unless you really cheap out on the motherboard). 😀 I've been testing a lot of boards with these late VIA chipsets, and... really, there's no tangible difference between them and a good 440BX board (other than the "cool factor" that a Slot 1 brings to the table 😁 ).

I like period correct systems as much as any other retro enthusiast, but the hard truth is that, for many of us, one flexible PC is all that is needed for a satisfying gaming session. 😀 And I've already demonstrated in a different thread that such a PC can cost less than $100 in some countries...

2 x PGA132 / 5 x Socket 3 / 9 x Socket 7 / 12 x SS7 / 1 x Socket 8 / 14 x Slot 1 / 5 x Slot A
5 x Socket 370 / 8 x Socket A / 2 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 7 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: Core i7 7700k

Reply 56 of 163, by chinny22

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bloodem wrote on 2021-07-07, 11:32:

In my book, the Athlon XP / KT600 combo sure comes pretty close to perfection, though. 😀

What about the 5V power requirement though? Not been able to use a off the shelf modern PSU is a big drawback in my book.
If it wasn't for that I'd whole heartily agree with you if you do need the ability to slow the PC down, something P3's suck at.
Luckily that's more of a dos then a windows gaming issue.

But I agree on not worrying about period correct. I 'll happily play Doom on a 486 or P3, more depends on which soundcard I feel like listening to on the day.
and you bet I play a lot of games that'll work in 98 on my S775 XP build instead. The P3 is only for the games that don't like XP at all or I'm in a retro mood.

In fact only reason I didn't recommend something like a P4/845 chipset combo is we enter the Capacitor plague years.
Otherwise for a pure 9x gaming PC it's both really compatible AND cheap.

Reply 57 of 163, by cyclone3d

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chinny22 wrote on 2021-07-08, 16:11:
What about the 5V power requirement though? Not been able to use a off the shelf modern PSU is a big drawback in my book. If it […]
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bloodem wrote on 2021-07-07, 11:32:

In my book, the Athlon XP / KT600 combo sure comes pretty close to perfection, though. 😀

What about the 5V power requirement though? Not been able to use a off the shelf modern PSU is a big drawback in my book.
If it wasn't for that I'd whole heartily agree with you if you do need the ability to slow the PC down, something P3's suck at.
Luckily that's more of a dos then a windows gaming issue.

But I agree on not worrying about period correct. I 'll happily play Doom on a 486 or P3, more depends on which soundcard I feel like listening to on the day.
and you bet I play a lot of games that'll work in 98 on my S775 XP build instead. The P3 is only for the games that don't like XP at all or I'm in a retro mood.

In fact only reason I didn't recommend something like a P4/845 chipset combo is we enter the Capacitor plague years.
Otherwise for a pure 9x gaming PC it's both really compatible AND cheap.

But you can get modern power supplies with ample 5v amperage.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
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AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 58 of 163, by doogie

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If you want maximum Win98 performance and as "just works" as you can get it without much build or software-related fuss - I will submit my "lone wolf" build: "Lone Wolf" Retro/Daily Driver

Reply 59 of 163, by bloodem

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chinny22 wrote on 2021-07-08, 16:11:

What about the 5V power requirement though? Not been able to use a off the shelf modern PSU is a big drawback in my book.

This might also be region/country dependent, but I've bought quite a few old PSUs such as the Thermaltake PurePower-480APD/Thermaltake TR2 470W for ~ $10 a piece. After a recap they're as good as new.
And, yeah, as cyclone3d said, there are also modern PSUs with beefy 3.3V/5V rails (albeit, many are quite expensive).

In my country I can also buy these $30 Segotep ATX-500WH PSUs which have pretty solid 5V/3.3V rails as well. Although, it's true, they're not quite enough for the most power hungry Bartons, especially in conjunction with GeForce 4 Ti video cards. They do work, but the voltage on the 5V rail drops to an alarming 4.6V 😀

doogie wrote on 2021-07-08, 16:56:

If you want maximum Win98 performance and as "just works" as you can get it without much build or software-related fuss - I will submit my "lone wolf" build: "Lone Wolf" Retro/Daily Driver

That would be true (I have various such PCs), if it weren't for that GeForce 6800 Ultra card, which is far from the "just works" paradigm. 😀 My recommendation is to pair the Core2 Duo / Pentium Dual Core with a GeForce FX 59xx card for max compatibility, or go with an ATI Radeon X850 / 9800 XT(PRO) for ultra performance (at the expense of some compatibility).

2 x PGA132 / 5 x Socket 3 / 9 x Socket 7 / 12 x SS7 / 1 x Socket 8 / 14 x Slot 1 / 5 x Slot A
5 x Socket 370 / 8 x Socket A / 2 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 7 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: Core i7 7700k