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First post, by Moogle!

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Debating on what to put on a Pentium 66 machine, and was wonder how much slower 98 is vs 95.

Reply 1 of 19, by Cobra42898

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For me the difference is if it has USB. USB systems work much better under 98. On PCs with no USB, Win95 is lighter and is usually a better fit. Just IMO.

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Reply 2 of 19, by jesolo

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I think it would also depend on whether you install Windows 95C with the Desktop update. If you are, then it will probably run more or less the same as Windows 98.

If you don't install the Windows Desktop update with Windows 95C, then your Pentium 66 system will probably perform a bit faster.

Installed memory if of course also an important factor.

Reply 3 of 19, by auron

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98se will be quite sluggish on that machine GUI wise, not sure about 95c, but 95b generally works ok on a slow pentium. it's not a snappy as a pentium 133, but not sluggish either.

now actual programs may not be affected as much speed-wise by running under 98se, but a pentium 66 has an effective ~1996 limit on what works acceptably anyway... in my opinion unless one really wants to get USB working via PCI card, there is zero advantage to running 98se on socket 4. 95 to 95b fits ok, or even some nt4 experimentation for that supposedly much faster directdraw.

Reply 5 of 19, by BoraxMan

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I ran Windows 95C and Windows 98SE on an AMD-K5 100MHz, with 16M of ram which was updated to 32M. Windows 98 was in my experience a little slower, but not vastly slower. If I recall correctly, memory was more the issue than CPU speed, so if you have 16M or less, then I would recommend Windows 95.

Reply 6 of 19, by ShovelKnight

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When I was in school, our computer class had Pentium 75 machines that were running Windows 95 and they felt very snappy. I had an AMD K5 PR133 (which should have been at least as fast as Pentium 75) running Windows 98 at home which felt rather sluggish.

Reply 7 of 19, by chinny22

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Cobra42898 wrote on 2020-06-20, 19:28:

For me the difference is if it has USB. USB systems work much better under 98. On PCs with no USB, Win95 is lighter and is usually a better fit. Just IMO.

Think this sums it up quite well.

and if you do want USB I'd go with this

rmay635703 wrote on 2020-06-20, 20:37:

Reshell 95a into 98se using 98lite for the best of both worlds

If installing Win95C/OSR2.5 just make sure to remove the CD during the last reboot to avoid installing the IE4 desktop update bloat.
Other then that only other major difference to Win95B/OSR2 is Direct X 5 instead of 2

Reply 8 of 19, by Orkay

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The more I've used a largely vanilla Windows 98SE installation next to a Windows 95A/B installation loaded with various updates, the more I've found the former to be incredibly slow; so much so that even with 512MB of RAM on a Pentium III system, I tend to opt for Windows 95B. It's mainly the two Explorer interfaces; I find that navigating the Windows 98 Explorer puts considerable strain on the hard disk and CPU, whereas the response time for Windows 95's Explorer is nearly instantaneous. I haven't found much use in Windows 95C as it is essentially Windows 95B with an IE4 installer and several other updates on the CD that have to be manually installed.

So, even for something in between like a 233MHz Pentium MMX system, you're better off running Windows 95. Most Pentium systems have practical limits of 64MB of RAM if you want to enable onboard cache. Windows 95 will neatly fit underneath such a small limit, but Windows 98 will not. To better illustrate this:

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This is the memory usage for Windows 95B and Windows 98SE on a fresh boot with a typical default configuration upon opening Explorer; Windows 95B is using 22MB of 64MB, and on the same system, Windows 98SE eats up 51MB already. Don't even get me started on Windows ME's resource consumption, although I will say it improves over Windows 98's Explorer toolbar by making it considerably leaner, which is important for small resolutions.

Of course, if you plan to run Windows 95 on faster systems, you'll definitely want to install the USB supplement, which adds AGP support, and I'd recommend installing a fast CPU fix as well for systems running at 600MHz or faster at a paranoid minimum. Other various updates I'd install include DirectX 7, DCOM95, the Visual C++ and Basic 6.0 runtime libraries, and IntelliPoint 3.2 for scroll wheel support and more precise mouse tracking.

Reply 9 of 19, by auron

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i wonder if any of that 51mb could be swap file usage (or even VCACHE at a push), as supposedly the asynchronous pagefile management introduced in win98 was designed to more extensively use the swapfile to improve performance on period systems; 98se would have been typically shipped with pentium ii/iii systems with 64-128mb of ram.

perhaps this data could have be designed to be swapped out immediately and only seldom used, as having only 13mb of physical RAM available for programs by default in the worst case would have been a really bad design for 1999 requirements. certainly with 512mb these additional swapfile operations aren't needed and one should set ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1 to revert this back to win95 behavior.

some old threads including the now-lost microsoft documentation on this:
https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/conserva … rmation.420245/
https://msfn.org/board/topic/78494-512mb-fix- … ck-for-win98se/

Details

INFO: The Windows 98 PageFile_Call_Async_Manager Service

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The information in this article applies to:

Microsoft Windows 98
Microsoft Windows 98 Driver Development Kit (DDK)

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SUMMARY
Windows 98 added a new feature, PageFile_Call_Async_Manager, that allows the Memory Manager to asynchronously write out page file (swap file) buffers during periods of time when VFAT file system activity is not busy.

This feature can affect the behavior of VxDs that monitor and/or otherwise intercept PageFile VxD functions. This article is applicable to you if your VxD hooks PageFile_Read_Or_Write, and you discover that you are not seeing all the page file traffic when using Windows 98.

MORE INFORMATION
You can disable this feature, causing the system to behave as Windows 95 does, at some cost in overall system performance. Add the following entry to the System.ini file, in its [386Enh] section:

[386Enh]
ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1
When the above Boolean is set to TRUE as shown, PageFile_Call_Async_Manager is never called. If this entry is absent from System.ini, the default setting for ConservativeSwapfileUsage is 1 for Windows 95, and 0 (zero) for Windows 98.

When Windows 98 performs asynchronous writes to the swapfile, this activity is not captured by hooking PageFile_Read_Or_Write(). The PageFile_Set_Async_Manager service is called by VFAT to notify PageFile that VFAT is the manager of Async swap file activity; in fact, this makes the PageFile_Call_Async_Manager service become handled by a routine inside VFAT.

Memory Manager calls PageFile_Call_Async_Manager, supplying the service with a pointer to a Filesystem Idle routine mmFsIdle (in the Memory Manager). VFAT later calls this function when VFAT is completely idle (all pending VFAT writes have been written), so Memory Manager can execute asynchronous writes:
ULONG INTERNAL mmFsIdle(void);
In return, PageFile_Call_Async_Manager returns a pointer to a function that Memory Manager uses to perform the (async) writes to the pagefile:

extern int (CDECL *pfnAsyncPageOut)(PVOID pvBuffer, ULONG bFileOffset);
This function is actually inside VFAT (WriteAsyncSwapPage), which copies one page into its cache buffer and writes it. mmFsIdle uses an algorithm that generates pfnAsyncPageOut calls (that are actually calls to the internal VFAT routine).

Following is how the Memory Manager registers itself with VFAT:
mov eax, offset32 _mmFsIdle@0 ; Our idle callback.
VxDCall PageFile_Call_Async_Manager ; NOTE: the manager is VFAT.
jc DICDoneP ; Failed.
mov _pfnAsyncPageOut, eax

Reply 10 of 19, by SodaSuccubus

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Well, it might not be as in-depth as some of the other posts here, but from personal experience? I couldn't dare live with Windows98 SE on anything under a fast PII

It wasn't unusable nor did games suffer as bad as it may sound per say, but using the OS itself felt very sluggish and unreliable overall compared to any version of Windows 95.
This was on a P200 MMX with 64MB of ram maxed out, Voodoo and a nice CF card. Not a great time, could be worse though. But still wouldn't wanna do it again.

Can't imagine the horrors of running it on a P60/66.
That being said though, Win98 does do USB thumb drive transfers with the right patch soooo...maybe its worth it for a quick game transfer?

Reply 11 of 19, by Orkay

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Windows 95 supports USB flash drives, too, using this driver available on Toastytech: http://toastytech.com/files/cruzerwin95.html

Or, you could install XUSBSUPP, the extended USB supplement that rolls up the USB supplement updates into a single package and comes with a mass storage driver from what I remember.

Reply 12 of 19, by Jo22

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Orkay wrote on 2020-06-22, 23:07:

Windows 95 supports USB flash drives, too, using this driver available on Toastytech: http://toastytech.com/files/cruzerwin95.html

This is a very interesting proof of concept scenario, but seriously.. Win 95 ? It's really dated. 😵
Wouldn't it make more sense you just use Win98SE with 98Lite ?
Win98SE has so many improvements, a better memory managment most notabely. And MMX (and SSE ? ) kernals.
In fact, it can run certain programs from cache, so a big swap file use is no indication for "wasted memory". It's not Linux, after all. 😉

Re: Win95c vs. Win98se for gaming ?
https://www.informationweek.com/the-experts-g … /d/d-id/1021848
InfoWorld - Windows 98's WinAlign will load Microsoft apps more quickly

Don't get me wrong, I was in the same situation around 2002 when I upgraded an old "scrap yard" type of computer
for my little sister.. Games like SRB2 ran much faster on Win95 than 98SE at first glance.
But the more programs and updates I installed, it became apparent that Win95 was a relic from the early 90s.
Errors, freezes and crashes multiplied until a point was reached that the PC became essentially useless as a general purpose PC.
By the turn of the millennium, Win95 lacked so many modern APIs and conventions that it was no fun anymore.
Anyway, I just wanted to warn you. A long as you have fun, keep using Win95. 😀

PS: You guys always seem to forget about the other important runtime DLLs. 😁
vbrun100.dll, vbrun200.dll, vbrun300.dll, VB4 runtime, VB5 runtime, Borland BCC, WinG ..

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Last edited by Jo22 on 2020-07-14, 23:58. Edited 2 times in total.

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Reply 13 of 19, by Falcosoft

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Jo22 wrote on 2020-06-23, 11:08:

Win98SE has so many improvements, a better memory managment most notabely. And MMX (and SSE ? ) kernals.

Just a small clarification:
Win95 fully supports both MMX and 3DNow! extensions since MMX registers (also used by 3DNow!) are mapped to FPU stack so any operating systems that can handle (save/restore) x87/FPU state also can handle MMX and 3DNow.
If you enable SSE explicitly on processors supporting SSE you can use SSE even on Win95. But since Win95 does not support saving/restoring XMM register state you can only use SSE safely by one program!
More info:
Re: Windows 95, 3Dnow, and SSE
SSE uses 128-bit XMM registers so it requires different mechanism to preserve state (FXSAVE and FXRSTOR). Win98 supports explicit handling the state of XMM registers thus Win98 even supports SS2/SS3/SSE4 (these instruction sets use the same 128-bit XMM registers).

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Reply 14 of 19, by chinny22

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I was thinking the same thing with Orkay's post when he said install Win95 then apply patches for AGP, USB, etc, etc
My immediate thought was, or I could just install 98lite and have these things work out the box.

Not saying Win95 is bad choice. I myself run it on anything below a PII and have no need for VB or any of the other "important DLL's" mentioned above.

In the end there isn't a "correct way" personal preference is a major if not deciding factor into deciding which way to go.

Reply 15 of 19, by Jo22

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Not saying Win95 is bad choice. I myself run it on anything below a PII and have no need for VB or any of the other "important DLL's" mentioned above.

Shareware/Freeware CD-ROMs from the early to mid-90s (when Win95 had any relevance) often came with their own catalogue programs, which relied on vbrun300.dll, for example.
In some lucky cases, copies of these DLLs already resided in the application directories, but not always..
That being said, the DLLs I mentioned above were stored on these CD-ROMs in directores with names such as "DLLS", "SYSTEM" and so on,
indicating that they are recommend/essential (they were also mentioned as important or "basic" Windows files in the catalogues programs).
Of course, if someone uses shrinkwrapped, commercial shelfware software only on a Win95 system,
rather than period-correct shovelware of the time, he/she/they won't miss any of these silly old files likely. 😉

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Reply 16 of 19, by chinny22

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Oh not disagreeing with you at all!
Personally I try to keep my windows install's to a minimum. Direct X, WinRar and Daemon tools lite.
I'll admit I also install Winamp 2.95 and the latest versions of IE and Office supported "just because" but that really is it so my required software is very basic.

But know others love to relive the good old days in full installing all updates, various applications of the day and what have you, depends if your a gaming PC or full on nostalgia rig

Reply 17 of 19, by Orkay

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chinny22 wrote on 2020-06-23, 11:45:

I was thinking the same thing with Orkay's post when he said install Win95 then apply patches for AGP, USB, etc, etc
My immediate thought was, or I could just install 98lite and have these things work out the box.

I've created a similar out-of-the-box solution from the opposite side with a more convoluted procedure involving a custom-made unattended answer file that copies some additional files in various paths and adds a bunch of RunOnce entries. Since game performance is roughly the same between Windows 95B and Windows 98SE on very fast P6 systems (at least with drivers that don't have SSE optimizations, such as the official Voodoo3 driver I tested), I've found it's really worth the trouble of setting up such a procedure for a leaner Explorer and the additional software support on top, especially with the automation saving me the trouble of installing every single thing one by one. That, on top of how complicated it is to pull off, is why I created Hierma.

Still, there are instances where I'd inevitably have to turn to Windows 98 on various systems. Windows 95 has exhibited a number of strange issues on them; most notably, it doesn't seem to shut down properly on an Asus K7M unless everything's arranged in a very specific way. On top of that, an updated version of Half-Life fails to run on Windows 95.

I've never used 98lite before. It sounds like a pretty neat program, but having to manually install it unless I buy the full version in bulk to integrate it into an automated setup routine is kind of a shutoff for me.

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Reply 18 of 19, by chinny22

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Orkay wrote on 2020-06-23, 12:42:

I've created a similar out-of-the-box solution from the opposite side with a more convoluted procedure involving a custom-made unattended answer file that copies some additional files in various paths and adds a bunch of RunOnce entries. Since game performance is roughly the same between Windows 95B and Windows 98SE on very fast P6 systems (at least with drivers that don't have SSE optimizations, such as the official Voodoo3 driver I tested), I've found it's really worth the trouble of setting up such a procedure for a leaner Explorer and the additional software support on top, especially with the automation saving me the trouble of installing every single thing one by one. That, on top of how complicated it is to pull off, is why I created Hierma.

This is kind of what I want to do one day as well. I've got a server for each server OS starting at NT3.51 Turning them into a deployment server gives me an excuse to keep them right 😉