My suggestion is to remove the USB PCI adapter (and any other adapters that you don't really need on a SS7 platform). If you simply want to transfer data, there are other (much faster) ways of doing it - like a PATA/SATA to USB 3.0 adapter: just plug the HDD in your main rig & transfer everything you need. I've had many problems related to these PCI adapters on SS7, including extremely bad CPU performance. So I strongly recommend avoiding them.
The i440BX is generally a great, very stable platform, however it beeing better or not depends a lot on what you want to achieve:
- if you simply want a period correct system with decent performance in most Windows 98 games that were released before the 3rd millennium - i.e., before 2001 (and you are also looking for that 'cool factor'), then a PC with a Slot 1 440BX / Pentium 3 Coppermine / GeForce 2 GTS is certainly one of the first choices. This PC will also allow you to play quite a few DOS games, when using the right sound card. You could even use two sound cards - a Sound Blaster Live or Aureal Vortex 2 for Windows and an ISA card for DOS - or, you could go for a nice all-rounder such as an YMF7x4 card, which, especially on a 440BX, will work great in DOS with DDMA/SB-Link and will be very good for Windows too - albeit, not as good as the aforementioned cards). However, such a PC will lack the required speed flexibility that's needed in order to play as many DOS games as possible. In DOS it's either very fast or very slow (with the L1 cache disabled). So games that require a faster (but not too fast) CPU will have issues or will just refuse to run (patches can sometimes help with this, but not always). And as for Windows... well, it will generally be OK, but far from perfect. Games like NFS High Stakes/Porsche will struggle on such a system (especially by today's standards of "good framerates").
- if you want a very good all-in-one platform, that is very flexible when it comes to DOS + you are mostly interested in playing Windows games up to 1998 (and/or you don't really care about smooth framerates), a SS7 system is the way to go. Also, if you like tinkering with old hardware that does not necessarily run perfectly out of the box... a SS7 system is also the way to go - at least this is why I like them A LOT 😀
- if you want the ultimate time machine - a very stable PC that will allow you to play all Windows 98 games at VERY high resolutions & framerates + probably more than 98% of DOS games, then I would suggest something much more powerful and much more flexible - like an Athlon XP Thoroughbred / Athlon 64 running on a VIA chipset like the KT600 / K8T800. Add a GeForce 4 Ti 4200/4400/4600 (or, even better, an FX 5900) + a Yamaha YMF 7x4 sound card and... sky's the limit. 😁
2 x Socket 3 / 3 x Socket 7 / 4 x SuperSocket 7 / 4 x Slot 1 / 5 x Socket 370
3 x Socket A / 1 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 2 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: AM4 - Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: LGA1151 - Core i7 7700k