PCIe device and Windows 98/ME

Discussion about old graphics cards, monitors and video related things.

PCIe device and Windows 98/ME

Postby gear » 2019-2-11 @ 15:01

Hello,

i red amount of times that Win98 (and probably ME) don't reconnize PCIe devices (mainly talking about GPU). Few times i red the opposite. So i supposed Win98/ME don't, but according to this thread https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=48983 not only it be reconized with Win 98 but also work with MS-DOS. Am i fool or make a mistake ?

Ps: all apologies for my bad "english".
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Re: PCIe device and Windows 98/ME

Postby dr_st » 2019-2-11 @ 15:13

PCIe is designed to be backwards-compatible with PCI as far as software goes. The basic configuration space is identical, so any system that knows how to talk to PCI can talk to PCIe; however, it will not be able to interpret any of the extended PCIe-specific configuration space features, if these exist.

Usually when people say that PCIe GPUs don't work with Windows 98, they mean that there are no drivers. So the GPU can work but only in 'basic VGA' mode, with a very limited feature set. Now, if some specific modern GPU has some mandatory configuration that's only accessible via the extended PCIe space, and the GPU does not work at all without it, then it will be completely unusable under Win9x; however, I don't think this is the case.

DOS is a different thing altogether, because it doesn't even know PCI or anything. The only reason modern video cards work with DOS is because they still supply the basic legacy BIOS hooks that DOS uses; PCI/PCIe devices that work with DOS only work because someone wrote a special 'driver' that allows accessing the device's configuration via alternate interfaces (standard BIOS interrupts, I/O, DMA...)
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Re: PCIe device and Windows 98/ME

Postby gear » 2019-2-13 @ 09:47

ok thanks for the quick and "well answering" reply
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Re: PCIe device and Windows 98/ME

Postby shiva2004 » 2019-2-13 @ 22:29

In fact not long ago I put together a w98 machine using a PCIe graphic card, a nvidia 7600 gt to be precise, and it worked perfectly well, you just need drivers for the chipset and for the graphic card and you're good to go.

I won't call it practical or ease but it's doable.
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