VOGONS


Windows 95 Gaming?

Topic actions

First post, by Alistar1776

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

So I dug thru storage earlier today and found a small collection of retro games, most of which play on 95 thru XP, which i have an XP machine, and a 98SE machine once I can get a gpu. However, the remaining games will only play on DOS or Win 95. So, i come looking for suggestions. i have on hand some Socket 7 mobos, and AMD k6-350 cpus that i intend to use. id like to know if theres memory limits to 95 like 98 has at 1gb, and what sort of gpus would pair up decent to the processors, as well as good sound card recommendations. the boards i have do not have agp, they are pci and isa only for expansion cards. thanks for the input as always

Reply 1 of 42, by RandomStranger

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

It's unlikely that if a game runs on Win95 it will have issues with W98. I see no practical reason to build a dedicated W95 machine.

sreq.png retrogamer-s.png

Reply 2 of 42, by varrol

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
RandomStranger wrote on 2022-08-09, 06:47:

It's unlikely that if a game runs on Win95 it will have issues with W98. I see no practical reason to build a dedicated W95 machine.

I think the same. There is no point to build a separate Win95 machine - you can dual boot on your Win98 machine or have a separate HDD with win 95 installed if you really need one.

If you want to build a separate Win 95 machine then I guess you should apply the same rules as when building Win 98 machine - just check for GPU drivers availability (I don't remember if latest win 98 drivers were also for win 95).

AOpen AX6B+ | P3 1G | 1GB ECC REG | FX5200 | CT4500
AOpen AX59pro | K6-2 450M | 256MB | Rage 128
Asus CUBX-E | P3 1G | 512MB | GF4 TI4200 | YMF719E-S
Asus P3B-F | P3 933M | 384MB | Radeon 9200 | CT4520
Asus P5A | P55C 200M | 256MB | Riva TNT | CT3600

Reply 3 of 42, by TrashPanda

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
RandomStranger wrote on 2022-08-09, 06:47:

It's unlikely that if a game runs on Win95 it will have issues with W98. I see no practical reason to build a dedicated W95 machine.

I can see a 486/586 class machine making for an ok Windows 95 machine, for that period after win3.11 but before Windows 98. You know the era I talk about when 16bit apps and 32bit apps were just getting the hang of the windows 95 UI and API but didn't always conform to it and thus dont work well or at all with Windows98. (Windows 95 seems to be fairly tolerant of horribly programmed apps/games for that period)

Sure its a small period but I can see a AMD 5x86-133 W16BGC fitting in perfectly as a dedicated Win95 machine for that period, would be a fun little machine too.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 4 of 42, by leonardo

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Alistar1776 wrote on 2022-08-09, 06:41:

So I dug thru storage earlier today and found a small collection of retro games, most of which play on 95 thru XP, which i have an XP machine, and a 98SE machine once I can get a gpu. However, the remaining games will only play on DOS or Win 95. So, i come looking for suggestions. i have on hand some Socket 7 mobos, and AMD k6-350 cpus that i intend to use. id like to know if theres memory limits to 95 like 98 has at 1gb, and what sort of gpus would pair up decent to the processors, as well as good sound card recommendations. the boards i have do not have agp, they are pci and isa only for expansion cards. thanks for the input as always

Windows 95 is great starting with a 486DX-33, all the way up to a 1 GHz Pentium III, after that you will probably need Windows 98 because they stopped making Windows 95-compatible drivers (and also because of the internal limitations of Windows).

The most notable limits you might run into when building a Windows 95-compatible system are for disk size (some utilities crap out if an individual volume is larger than 32 GB) and going over 256 MB of RAM is overkill in most cases. 64-128 is plenty most of the time.

Check out the systems in my sig for good examples of what still works for Win 95.

[Install Win95 like you were born in 1985!] on systems like this or this.

Reply 5 of 42, by Alistar1776

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
RandomStranger wrote on 2022-08-09, 06:47:

It's unlikely that if a game runs on Win95 it will have issues with W98. I see no practical reason to build a dedicated W95 machine.

I like to keep period correct with what the games say theyre supported on. I can still give it a shot with my windows 98 system. Also ive wanted to build one just to have for my collection.

Reply 6 of 42, by Alistar1776

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
TrashPanda wrote on 2022-08-09, 10:47:

I can see a 486/586 class machine making for an ok Windows 95 machine, for that period after win3.11 but before Windows 98. You know the era I talk about when 16bit apps and 32bit apps were just getting the hang of the windows 95 UI and API but didn't always conform to it and thus dont work well or at all with Windows98. (Windows 95 seems to be fairly tolerant of horribly programmed apps/games for that period)

Sure its a small period but I can see a AMD 5x86-133 W16BGC fitting in perfectly as a dedicated Win95 machine for that period, would be a fun little machine too.

so would my AMD K6-350 be a bit overkill for a 95 build?

Reply 7 of 42, by RandomStranger

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Alistar1776 wrote on 2022-08-09, 15:11:
TrashPanda wrote on 2022-08-09, 10:47:

I can see a 486/586 class machine making for an ok Windows 95 machine, for that period after win3.11 but before Windows 98. You know the era I talk about when 16bit apps and 32bit apps were just getting the hang of the windows 95 UI and API but didn't always conform to it and thus dont work well or at all with Windows98. (Windows 95 seems to be fairly tolerant of horribly programmed apps/games for that period)

Sure its a small period but I can see a AMD 5x86-133 W16BGC fitting in perfectly as a dedicated Win95 machine for that period, would be a fun little machine too.

so would my AMD K6-350 be a bit overkill for a 95 build?

If you are hellbent on being period correct, then just about. Your K-6 released about the same time as W98, give or take a month.
Windows 95 had a very narrow, less than 2 year period from its commercial release (1995 August) to Windows 98's commercial release (1998 June).

sreq.png retrogamer-s.png

Reply 8 of 42, by Alistar1776

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
RandomStranger wrote on 2022-08-09, 15:21:

If you are hellbent on being period correct, then just about. Your K-6 released about the same time as W98, give or take a month.
Windows 95 had a very narrow, less than 2 year period from its commercial release (1995 August) to Windows 98's commercial release (1998 June).

Right. im not super hellbent on period correctness, mainly for the reason of already having a cpu, motherboard, and psu on hand. it would save me a few dollars using them, and it would also end up being the ultimate windows 95 machine 🤣.

Reply 9 of 42, by Jo22

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
RandomStranger wrote on 2022-08-09, 06:47:

It's unlikely that if a game runs on Win95 it will have issues with W98. I see no practical reason to build a dedicated W95 machine.

Some of the early Windows 3.x/95 games were still timing sensitive.
Could be that they need a 386/486 PC to function correctly and Windows 95 RTM will run on such PCs still.

That being said, Windows 95 is a memory hog on these older systems.
It will boot with 4MB of RAM, yes, but for everything else heavy swapping will occur.
That's why my father, an IT expert at the time, had installed 16MB of 30pin SIMMs in his 386DX40 PC in ~'95.
He knew that Windows 95 will need it badly.

Technically, I think, 32MB+ would be needed to make Windows 95 stop its excessive HDD swapping.
But then we're entering Pentium territory already, were Windows 95 makes little sense anymore.
Windows 98SE has a way better memory management and runs better with 24MB than Windows 95 with 32MB onwards. 😉

"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 10 of 42, by leonardo

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Jo22 wrote on 2022-08-09, 16:02:
Technically, I think, 32MB+ would be needed to make Windows 95 stop its excessive HDD swapping. But then we're entering Pentium […]
Show full quote
RandomStranger wrote on 2022-08-09, 06:47:

It's unlikely that if a game runs on Win95 it will have issues with W98. I see no practical reason to build a dedicated W95 machine.

Technically, I think, 32MB+ would be needed to make Windows 95 stop its excessive HDD swapping.
But then we're entering Pentium territory already, were Windows 95 makes little sense anymore.
Windows 98SE has a way better memory management and runs better with 24MB than Windows 95 with 32MB onwards. 😉

I'd contest that - Windows 98/98SE are much heavier on the RAM unless you do the shell swap with 98Lite and supplant the old Windows 95 Explorer in place of the 98-monstrosity-"Active Desktop"-with-IE on top! You can achieve the same (terrible) end-result by installing IE4 and the desktop update on Win 95.

With a few tweaks to the caching settings on Windows 95, it runs just as well with 256+ MB RAM. Although supposedly 98 can go up to a full gigabyte of RAM (I tried this with several of the supposed fixes and could never get it to work, topping out at 512).

[Install Win95 like you were born in 1985!] on systems like this or this.

Reply 11 of 42, by leonardo

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Alistar1776 wrote on 2022-08-09, 15:11:
TrashPanda wrote on 2022-08-09, 10:47:

I can see a 486/586 class machine making for an ok Windows 95 machine, for that period after win3.11 but before Windows 98. You know the era I talk about when 16bit apps and 32bit apps were just getting the hang of the windows 95 UI and API but didn't always conform to it and thus dont work well or at all with Windows98. (Windows 95 seems to be fairly tolerant of horribly programmed apps/games for that period)

Sure its a small period but I can see a AMD 5x86-133 W16BGC fitting in perfectly as a dedicated Win95 machine for that period, would be a fun little machine too.

so would my AMD K6-350 be a bit overkill for a 95 build?

Dude, you have to do one proper IE-free installation of Windows 95 just to see what the fuss was about. You'll end up installing it on all the systems you have running 98. 😉

[Install Win95 like you were born in 1985!] on systems like this or this.

Reply 13 of 42, by Jo22

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

Windows 95 has stability issues on newer hardware, also.
From what I've learned, Windows 95 RTM worked rock solid (*ahem*) on ISA-only systems of the 386/486 era,
but not so much on later PCI/AGP systems.

Windows 98SE is much more stable here, and the memory doesn't leak as bad, too.
That's something I observed with Windows 95.
It sure runs quick with lightweight applications, but not so much when memory gets fragmented (running/closing multiple programs).

That's what Windows 98SE does handle better, I think.
It's memory management is more intelligent when it comes to house keeping.

"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 14 of 42, by Alistar1776

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Jo22 wrote on 2022-08-09, 18:32:
Windows 95 has stability issues on newer hardware, also. From what I've learned, Windows 95 RTM worked rock solid (*ahem*) on IS […]
Show full quote

Windows 95 has stability issues on newer hardware, also.
From what I've learned, Windows 95 RTM worked rock solid (*ahem*) on ISA-only systems of the 386/486 era,
but not so much on later PCI/AGP systems.

Windows 98SE is much more stable here, and the memory doesn't leak as bad, too.
That's something I observed with Windows 95.
It sure runs quick with lightweight applications, but not so much when memory gets fragmented (running/closing multiple programs).

That's what Windows 98SE does handle better, I think.
It's memory management is more intelligent when it comes to house keeping.

So, my take away here, is that if im gonna build a dedicated win95 system, btw, likely OSR 2.5, then a 386 or 486 based machine is best, instead of the 586 on hand? Maybe a... Pentium MMX provided i could find one?

Reply 15 of 42, by Joseph_Joestar

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
Alistar1776 wrote on 2022-08-10, 05:39:

So, my take away here, is that if im gonna build a dedicated win95 system, btw, likely OSR 2.5, then a 386 or 486 based machine is best, instead of the 586 on hand? Maybe a... Pentium MMX provided i could find one?

Win95 OSR 2.x versions work great on a Pentium MMX system. They are also period correct, as the first MMX processors were released in early 1997.

I would recommend using OSR 2.1 instead of 2.5 since the latter brings the Desktop Update and IE4 bloat, which you may want to avoid, as Leonardo previously mentioned. You lose Quicklaunch and some other shell enhancements, but get more speed and that original Win95 feel.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / Audigy1 / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3400+ / Asus K8V-MX / 5900XT / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 16 of 42, by leileilol

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-08-10, 06:37:

I would recommend using OSR 2.1 instead of 2.5 since the latter brings the Desktop Update and IE4 bloat, which you may want to avoid, as Leonardo previously mentioned. You lose Quicklaunch and some other shell enhancements, but get more speed and that original Win95 feel.

That install step (which comes after first login) can easily be terminated.

apsosig.png
long live PCem

Reply 17 of 42, by Joseph_Joestar

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
leileilol wrote on 2022-08-10, 07:36:

That install step (which comes after first login) can easily be terminated.

Indeed, I used to routinely dismiss it through Task Manager and the OS never prompts you to install that update again.

Nowadays, I prefer using OSR 2.1 over doing this, as there are reports that it's a bit more stable. Not sure how true that is though. Personally, I never experienced any stability issues on either version using a Pentium MMX.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / Audigy1 / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3400+ / Asus K8V-MX / 5900XT / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 18 of 42, by Jo22

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-08-10, 06:37:
Alistar1776 wrote on 2022-08-10, 05:39:

So, my take away here, is that if im gonna build a dedicated win95 system, btw, likely OSR 2.5, then a 386 or 486 based machine is best, instead of the 586 on hand? Maybe a... Pentium MMX provided i could find one?

Win95 OSR 2.x versions work great on a Pentium MMX system. They are also period correct, as the first MMX processors were released in early 1997.

I would recommend using OSR 2.1 instead of 2.5 since the latter brings the Desktop Update and IE4 bloat, which you may want to avoid, as Leonardo previously mentioned. You lose Quicklaunch and some other shell enhancements, but get more speed and that original Win95 feel.

Uhm, I wouldn't use the words "works great" and "Windows 95" in the same sentence, though. :D

Please everyone don't get me wrong, Windows 95 (code name Chicago) was a big thing in pop culture, but it never was good or stable.
It was a hack, an interesting one, sure, but a hack nevertheless.
It was planned as an intermediate step for a real OS based on Windows NT.

The whole Windows 9x line is an ill mutant or a zombie. 🧟‍♀️
Ok, Windows 98SE is more like a mutant, less of an undead/zombie, perhaps.

There's that story about Netscape devs, which were said to have described Windows 95 as a "set of poorly debugged device drivers" . Which, essentially, is true.

Windows 9x is based on a bunch of VXDs (previously *.386 in Windows 3.x).
With Windows 98SE/Me less so (they tried to switch to WDM).

Anyway, nothing against Windows 9x. It's fun to tinker with (fiddling with hardware directly works).
And it used to save many jobs in the PC repair sector.. ;)

Edit: I agree that there are/were different Windows 95 versions for different hardware generations.
The original Windows 95 wasn't exactly finished and more like a Windows 3.1 on sugar.
Like a Windows 3.1 that was encapsulated by a monstrous Win32s.

It also stored most files in SYSTEM directory still, just like Windows 3.x.
Windows 98, at least, switched to System32 directory foe that purpose.

That's why Windows 95 RTM was so Windows 3.1 era hardware friendly, still, I think.
Many system components were still very Windows 3.1x like.
It's not unfair to say that Windows 95 wasn't finished when it shipped. It was more of a beta still.
That'swhy so many revisions of Windows 95 exist.
Microsoft still tried to fix things after Windows 95 had hit the shelves.
It did it quietly through the OEM channels, since a successor to Windows 95 was expected soon.
Which unfortunately didn't show up for three years in practice.
Windows 96 and 97 never made it.

That being said, Windows 95 RTM does run well on the same kind of hardware that's Windows 3.1 friendly feom what I can tell.
So 586/Pentium systems that are using classic system components and not so much exotic extra hardware, are suitable.
A system that uses, say, APM instead of ACPI for power savings, may also has less stability issues.

And that's one of the stumbling stones, I think.
ACPI implementations in the 90s were incomplete, not to say buggy.
Windows 98SE was most compatible here, maybe, since it was aware of different ACPI revisions (knew workarounds).

Windows Me, on the other hand, started to throw out legacy components (most famously old VXD drivers in favor of WDM drivers;
except that there weren't much shipped with Me).

Linux and Windows NT had their problems because of these ACPI implementations that didn't follow the specifications, from what I remember.
(The different power states of CPUs still cause trouble to this day, strictly speaking.)

That's why some recommended switching things off, if not needed.
CMOS settings like "Plug&Play aware OS=yes/no" were also still important at the time.
Not all OSes were correctly able to configure the Plug&Play hardware at the time.
- Neither were the Plug&Play enabled BIOSes..

"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 19 of 42, by Joseph_Joestar

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
Jo22 wrote on 2022-08-10, 08:57:

Uhm, I wouldn't use the words "works great" and "Windows 95" in the same sentence, though. 😁

Heh, while I agree with that assessment, I think it also depends on the use case. Back in the day, most of us used Win9x rigs as our daily drivers. So we would surf the net, download a bunch of quirky shareware programs, install them, see that some were crap, uninstall those, install registry cleaning software etc. And that's on top of using the system for web browsing, office tasks, maybe a bit of Photoshop or Corel Draw work, constantly upgrading drivers as tech evolved and so on.

Nowadays, I only use my Win9x systems for retro gaming. There are no superfluous programs installed, and the driver versions that I use are known good ones. In such an environment, my own experience has been pretty great.

Of course, I can't speak for other people as this may also vary depending on the hardware used, the drivers installed and so on.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / Audigy1 / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3400+ / Asus K8V-MX / 5900XT / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi