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"Modern" Win 98 rig

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First post, by sgt76

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I'm thinking of building a more modern P4 based rig for daily retro gaming use to replace my eclectic collection of s7/8/370/slot 1 rigs, which I'll place in storage.

Looking at my parts bin I have the following parts:

MSI MS6737 SiS645DX motherboard
P4 2.8B Northwood cpu
512mb DDR333 Kingston ram
Geforce 4600 Ti 128mb
SB Live!
2x STB Blackdragons (Voodoo 2) w. SLI cables n all
2x 40Gb Hitachi Deskstar 7200rpm hard drives
400w FSP psu

The oldest games I play are from 1995, mostly between 97-02, like old NFS2/3/4/5, Impressions' City Building games, some glide stuff and some early modern stuff like Max Payne 1, Clive Barker's Undying, etc.

O/S will be Win98SE, with updates and patches as required.

What do you think of this build? Would I face any compatibility problems? I have never owned a Win98 rig running on anything newer than a P3 or faster than 800 something mhz.

And I have read before somewhere taht the V2s may be overloaded on a P4 bus causing them to overheat,reach critical mass and blow themselves up. Anybody run V2s on a P4/ Athlon XP here?

The case I'll be using is a CM Elite 310, same one in my sig- so 3x120mm fans incl one blowing on the side right at the vid cards. (the sig rigs innards are going into a much nicer casing along with some more mods to make it the ultimate P4- but I digress).

oh yeah, I forgot- it must be able to play Dungeon Keeper 2 flawlessly 😁

Reply 1 of 22, by Amigaz

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I think win98 will run just fine, don't forget to install the win98se unofficial service pack
I'm running win98se/winxP/Xubuntu on my P4 3.06ghz HT, i850e rambus rig with 1gig of ram...no prpblems with win98 whatsoever

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Reply 2 of 22, by Jolaes76

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I have been running an Innovision Voodoo 2 PCI card in an Asus A8V Deluxe (with an Opteron 170) for roughly half a year. It was not a Celsius hotter than it had been in any other, older board. This, of course, does not mean that all other AMD and Intel boards are fail safe.

Upgrade to 1 GB RAM might be necessary if you later install XP as well.

Last edited by Jolaes76 on 2011-09-29, 15:50. Edited 1 time in total.

"Ita in vita ut in lusu alae pessima iactura arte corrigenda est."

Reply 3 of 22, by Tetrium

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I'm not sure the Voodoo's are really necessary. The rest of the build looks like an awesome 98SE rig!
Feel free to post some pics! 😁

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
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Reply 5 of 22, by sgt76

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@Jolaes76/ ratfink: Thanks for the info! I wouldn't wanna burn those cards as one they're getting rarer and more expensive by the day. One of them has 100mhz ram while the other has 110mhz ram! 😲

Dang! Hit a snag. The mobo crapped out during stress testing- damn MSI crap. I have another suitable mobo that's in superb condition and passes all stress testing with flying colours- but- it's an Intel D845GBV- not too sexy, huh?

Anyway, I'm done with buying more old crap for the time being and rather use what I have than collect more of it so it's gonna go into this rig.

Well at least everything will be color coordinated in ultra sexy green 😜

Reply 6 of 22, by Jorpho

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sgt76 wrote:

Anyway, I'm done with buying more old crap for the time being and rather use what I have than collect more of it

No wai!! First you dare sully the authenticity of the Windows 98 experience by running it on a P4, and now you're resolving not to accumulate more crap!? What is this insanity!? (j/k)

Reply 8 of 22, by leileilol

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ratfink wrote:

I ran v2sli on my p4gax with a 2.8 p4. Never noticed any problems, though that doesn't guarantee there weren't any of course. Put the v2s back in my k6/3 box now though.

I sure hope you cooled the heck out of them during use. I was worried about just one Voodoo2 in use on a similar p4.

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Reply 9 of 22, by sgt76

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leileilol wrote:
ratfink wrote:

I ran v2sli on my p4gax with a 2.8 p4. Never noticed any problems, though that doesn't guarantee there weren't any of course. Put the v2s back in my k6/3 box now though.

I sure hope you cooled the heck out of them during use. I was worried about just one Voodoo2 in use on a similar p4.

What kinda cooling would be sufficient? I have 1 12cm fan that's gonna blow on the cards. Would that be enough, or do I need to rig some small fans on each card, add ramsinks and other things like that?

Reply 10 of 22, by sgt76

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Not having much luck here- after loading the required hardware into the case and installing Win98SE, everything worked fine. So, I installed the unofficial SP, everything worked fine. Then I decided to do something different from my usual and installed 98SE2ME and everything got borked.

Very pissed off now as 1 whole weekend went on this project. Not counting my woes with the earlier faulty board. I'm now seeing the full benefit of this site's purpose- VERY OLD GAMES ON NEW SYSTEMS.

Reply 11 of 22, by Tetrium

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sgt76 wrote:

Not having much luck here- after loading the required hardware into the case and installing Win98SE, everything worked fine. So, I installed the unofficial SP, everything worked fine. Then I decided to do something different from my usual and installed 98SE2ME and everything got borked.

Very pissed off now as 1 whole weekend went on this project. Not counting my woes with the earlier faulty board. I'm now seeing the full benefit of this site's purpose- VERY OLD GAMES ON NEW SYSTEMS.

Thats why I love virtual PC, I noticed the same using some of these unofficial service packs (I probably missed something though).
I always test stuff out in VPC before trying it for real.

Anyway, I made a Windows ME setup disk using the msbatch.inf thingy that makes setup nearly unattended so I don't need to click stuff all the time.

And don't worry too much about failures like you've been having. Some of us have had stuff -explode- and had current run through them...just like me 😜

If you had enough of old hardware, just give it a rest for a while and don't let it frustrate you, frustration won't bring you anything benefitial 😉

I've had countless periods of lessened interest in hardware (kinda like I'm having now while reaping the fruits of my previous work) but I know the interest always comes back after a couple months or so 😜

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
Report spammers here!

Reply 12 of 22, by sgt76

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Tetrium wrote:

If you had enough of old hardware, just give it a rest for a while and don't let it frustrate you, frustration won't bring you anything benefitial 😉

I've had countless periods of lessened interest in hardware (kinda like I'm having now while reaping the fruits of my previous work) but I know the interest always comes back after a couple months or so 😜

You're right- I'm probably going through old hardware overdose right now, what with the addition of new s7, s8, s370 and slot 1 systems into my collection over the last few months.

I'm more enjoying playing with newer stuff at the moment, s478 and over. I've got Pentium D and Athlon X2 projects going on, and collecting parts for a Bulldozer rig, once they finally launch it. Maybe at the end of this, once my wallet is empty, I'll start liking the old junks more 🤣

Reply 13 of 22, by Stull

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sgt76 wrote:

You're right- I'm probably going through old hardware overdose right now, what with the addition of new s7, s8, s370 and slot 1 systems into my collection over the last few months.

Very likely, but trust me, even if you "learn your lesson" from the overdose, you'll be back for more. Once an addict, always an addict. I've gone through several tech "purges" during the past decade. I was recently down to just one system. And what did I do today? Order parts for a new P3/Win98SE build. What the hell was I thinking? I was clean, man. CLEAN!

At least I found this forum while looking for SB Live drivers, though. You all are making me feel a lot better about my poor judgment. 😁

Reply 14 of 22, by Gemini000

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My Windows 98SE system has a 2 GHz AMD CPU (forget exactly which kind at the moment), a GeForce FX 5200 video card on an AGP 8x slot, 512 MB of RAM, and a total of 120 GB of HD space across two HDs and four partitions over SATA. The only problems I've run into with it are that the motherboard won't support a PS/2 mouse and SATA at the same time outside of Windows in DOS 6.22, most internet-based applications fail to work perfectly, such as Windows Live Messenger and Shockwave Flash, I can't get USB 2.0 support to work even though the motherboard supports it, and many modern GUI-based programs are lazily programmed to take advantage of the fact that later revisions of Windows automatically release lost resources, and Windows 98 doesn't detect this, leading to situations where the resource pool can run dry if the software isn't programmed to properly release its unused resources.

Also, without KernelEx or an equivalent unofficial patch, you won't be able to use most Windows XP software due to DLL differences and won't be able to address more than 512 MB of RAM. That said though, I've been able to run Oblivion on my Win98 machine (at super-low detail settings due to the age of the video card) and it is also still fully capable of running System Shock 2, Dungeon Keeper 2, Morrowind, and lots of other such games! :)

(System Shock 2 though refuses to run unless I turn anti-aliasing off in the video card settings.)

--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- Pixelmusement Website: www.pixelships.com
--- Ancient DOS Games Webshow: www.pixelships.com/adg

Reply 15 of 22, by sgt76

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Oblivion runs on win98!? 😳 I mut try this, this magic you call Kernelex.

Anyway, the stuff is still around, just need to piece it together sometime i have more time.

I've had ome shitty luck with my ultimate win98 rig, first m v5500 craps out, then my mobo, and now this...

Reply 16 of 22, by leileilol

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Gemini000 wrote:

(at super-low detail settings due to the age of the video card)

More like due to the suckage of the video card (seriously FX5200 sucks). A card with a better age and MUCH better peformance can run it better, you might want to look into the Radeon 9500/9700 series.

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Reply 17 of 22, by Gemini000

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I'm aware the FX5200 has issues, but I got it when the 5000-series nVidia cards were still NEW... and because my GeForce 2 GTS card decided spontaneously to stop working with Direct3D for whatever reason. (I think it was suffering a slow heat death... Even OpenGL rendering started showing strange coloured spots on various textures after running for 10 or 20 minutes.) But yeah, I bought the FX5200 card back in 2003.

I kinda miss my GTS card though because it was a special model that came with 3D shutter glasses and drivers to turn just about any Direct3D or OpenGL game, into a visually 3D experience, made less headache inducing with a 120 Hz CRT monitor and eventual experience in adjusting the 3D settings. Didn't work nicely with everything, but was fun for simple games like Quake 3. :)

--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- Pixelmusement Website: www.pixelships.com
--- Ancient DOS Games Webshow: www.pixelships.com/adg

Reply 18 of 22, by chinny22

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Re the voodoo 2 cooling issue (something I’ve just found out about myself) bit of digging round I found out that back in the day a company called 3dfxcool got good reviews for their solution
http://www.angelfire.com/ct2/Jarhead/third.htm
has a pic of their Voodoo1 cooler. The voodoo 2 version was just 2 fans on the same bracket with the fans over the texture mapping and frame buffer.
I played about 3 hrs of NFS4 and didn’t notice my card being too hot to touch but I agree its not worth the risk so getting a few fans to cool it down

Reply 19 of 22, by sgt76

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chinny22 wrote:
Re the voodoo 2 cooling issue (something I’ve just found out about myself) bit of digging round I found out that back in the day […]
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Re the voodoo 2 cooling issue (something I’ve just found out about myself) bit of digging round I found out that back in the day a company called 3dfxcool got good reviews for their solution
http://www.angelfire.com/ct2/Jarhead/third.htm
has a pic of their Voodoo1 cooler. The voodoo 2 version was just 2 fans on the same bracket with the fans over the texture mapping and frame buffer.
I played about 3 hrs of NFS4 and didn’t notice my card being too hot to touch but I agree its not worth the risk so getting a few fans to cool it down

V1/ V2 work fine on older PCs even without any active cooling, though I usually put a pci slot fan under them to extract hot air build up. The question is does the high bus speed of P4 and later systems overwork these old cards to the point of meltdown?

The really hot card is the V3, that little thing is a real case warmer. Now I'd worry about running that without some form of active cooling.