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Win95c vs. Win98se for gaming ?

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First post, by Intel486dx33

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I am trying to restore some computers for gaming.
I would like them to as manufacture build. But I also want them to play games best as possible.
So I am in a catch 22. Do I keep them original or do I upgrade the OS ?

What are the benefits of Win98se over Win95c for game playing ?
For example lets say the computer is a 200mhz Pentium with 128mb of ram.
Should I stick with Win95 or upgrade to Win98se ?

Reply 1 of 20, by Revolter

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Not sure if the 95B and 95C are different in that regard, but on the 95B you at the very least cannot run the following stuff:

Mystery of the Druids
Breath of Fire IV (maybe it was lacking a video codec required to play the intro?)
KernelEx
USB Wi-Fi dongle drivers for RT2571W

There were a couple of other games released in 2000+ that wouldn't run on my 95B config before the 98SE upgrade, but I don't remember which titles.

Celeron 800, 512MB, GeForce2 MX, ES1938S/DB S2, 128GB SD, Windows ME/DOS 6.22

Reply 3 of 20, by Baoran

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Main reason why I don't use win95 is the lack of usb support. Even if you install "usb support" patch, it still couldn't find drivers even for any usb mouse or keyboard.

Reply 5 of 20, by Jo22

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noshutdown wrote:

win98 is much better at memory management, any machine with 64mb ram or more should use win98 over 95.

Indeed. Some one should assume that older OSes require less than newer ones..
Alas, it isn't always the case. I'm just thinking of Win 3.0 vs Win 3.1..
In a similar way, Win98SE had a lots of fixes that made it less demanding than Win95.
In addition 98/98SE also added support for VDM drivers and MMX (and SSE ?).
- If only the Windows Explorer of Win98SE wasn't so bloated (in comparison to Win95's). 😉

Since I've remember I already saw this type of topic some time ago,
I looked up one of my older postings. Hope that's okay.
Re: Windows 95 OSR 2.5 and 128-256mb ram

Edit: Here's the archived version of "Windows 98 & WinME Memory Management":
https://web.archive.org/web/20040410084807/ht … 4/a/memmgmt.php

"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

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Reply 6 of 20, by kaputnik

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Jo22 wrote:
Indeed. Some one should assume that older OSes require less than newer ones.. Alas, it isn't always the case. I'm just thinking […]
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noshutdown wrote:

win98 is much better at memory management, any machine with 64mb ram or more should use win98 over 95.

Indeed. Some one should assume that older OSes require less than newer ones..
Alas, it isn't always the case. I'm just thinking of Win 3.0 vs Win 3.1..
In a similar way, Win98SE had a lots of fixes that made it less demanding than Win95.
In addition 98/98SE also added support for VDM drivers and MMX (and SSE ?).
- If only the Windows Explorer of Win98SE wasn't so bloated (in comparison to Win95's). 😉

Since I've remember I already saw this type of topic some time ago,
I looked up one of my older postings. Hope that's okay.
Re: Windows 95 OSR 2.5 and 128-256mb ram

Edit: Here's the archived version of "Windows 98 & WinME Memory Management":
https://web.archive.org/web/20040410084807/ht … 4/a/memmgmt.php

Well, if you disable Active Desktop and the other web integration in Explorer, it's not all that bad really 😀

If you still think it's too heavy, you can always install the W95 OSR2.2 version of Explorer with 98Lite. It also have some halfway options that still lets you use the W98 Explorer, but disables some background resource hogs.

Reply 7 of 20, by Jo22

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kaputnik wrote:

Well, if you disable Active Desktop and the other web integration in Explorer, it's not all that bad really 😀

If you still think it's too heavy, you can always install the W95 OSR2.2 version of Explorer with 98Lite. It also have some halfway options that still lets you use the W98 Explorer, but disables some background resource hogs.

Thanks for the tips! I was using Win98SE since I had a Pentium 75, with a similar config you describe (Active Desktop disabled).
Except for the alternate explorer, of course. Back then, I did not read many computer magazines, so I wasn't aware of this.

Around the time, I was quite behind the actual technology, I guess. Windows 98 was brand new and so I expected it
to be superior to all the old stuff I knew before. My father also got a new Pentium III machine with an NVidia Geforce card.
This was around the year 2000, I believe. Back then, I still had my 286-12 with the Pro Audio Spectrum 16.

I later moved it into the P75 that ran Windows 98SE and it worked fine with the default drivers and with the old W3.1 drivers.
In another PC, a Pentium 166, I later installed a Sound Blaster 16 CT1740, which also worked very good on Windows 98SE.
And in DOS, since there were no extra drivers necessary (all jumper configurable).
I guess this about the time I realized how valuable good soundcards are.
I never threw away one of these soundcards.

When my father boxed up his old 386DX40 along with Win95, I slowly realized how many years had passed and
how behind we were in regards of technology. A 486 was still a power horse to us, so we exptected it to run well on
Windows 98SE, too.

I had no clue how slow it would run on a 486 platform, actually. A Compaq desktop PC w/ 486DX2-66 and 16MiB
proved me how wrong I was. It was dog slow on such a machine, were Windows 3.10 was fast as a rocket.
On the other hand, 98SE supported old ISA ctuff quite well, most of which I had got no Win95 or 3.1 drivers for.
In that respect, Windows 98SE was really great. It shipped with a large driver database, even bigger than ME's.

And to be fair, Windows 98SE ran fine on any 586 I installed it on. Much better than Linuxes of the day.
I guess this was because of 586's better FPUs and pipeliining and bigger caches.
And because of their (586 PCs) newer 16550AF UARTs, PCI graphics and PCI IDE controllers.

On the other hand, my father's 386DX40 w/ 16MiB of RAM and with Win95 RTM was the most stable PC I ever saw.
It never crashed or showed instability. Strange how things are different sometimes.

Speaking of strange things, Windows ME was more compatible with some late 586 machines than Win98SE.
Still have got that Gigabyte GA586-something PC that runs Win95 badly, Win98 not at all, and Win ME just fine. 😁

Edit: Sorry for the long posting, I got taken away again. 😊
Windows 98SE also has another nice feature DMA support for Hard Disks.
If it works, it speeds up overall performance quite a bit.

Edit: @Intel486dx33 Just try, that's the best way to find out. Either on real hardware or PCem, 86Box or Virtual PC 2007.
It really depends on your needs, Windows 98SE supports AGP, MMX, SSE and such things.

Maybe Win95c can be patched for same compatibilty, not sure.
I'd recommend finding all the upgrades for Win95c and see how it performs.

If it runs well enough, leave it that way. Personally, I had no negative experience on a friends old Pentium.
He wasn't a gamer, though. Win95c misses the WDM driver model and comes with less drivers than 98SE.

But if you've got them already, there's no reason not to give Win95c a try.
Just make a backup (HDD image) once it works. Use Win32Disk Imager, Acronis True Image
(v.7 to 9,10 boot on old Pentiums). This way, you have it much easier if an "upgrade" to 98SE fails.
or any other tool.

"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 8 of 20, by dr.ido

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I used 98lite on all my Windows 98 installs once I discovered it - on everything from a 486DX4-75 with 16MB RAM to my at the time daily driver Athlon XP 1800 that stayed on Win 98 until GTA-SA came out and I moved to Windows 2000.

I did a couple of Windows 98 installs again for the first time in many years and instantly remember how much I hated the default Windows 98 desktop - I'll have the download 98lite again.

Reply 9 of 20, by chinny22

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yes win98 lite is best of both worlds, but missing the OP's desire to restore back to original OS.
Win95 is fine for lower spec PC's, not ideal, but fine.

Reply 10 of 20, by Intel486dx33

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I have Win95c installed and working fine on my Sony Vaio Pentium 200mhz with 32mb of ram.
I added the USB patches and USB works fine now.

What other updates do I need ?
Do I need DirectX update too ?

Reply 11 of 20, by Tetrium

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dr.ido wrote:

I used 98lite on all my Windows 98 installs once I discovered it - on everything from a 486DX4-75 with 16MB RAM to my at the time daily driver Athlon XP 1800 that stayed on Win 98 until GTA-SA came out and I moved to Windows 2000.

I did a couple of Windows 98 installs again for the first time in many years and instantly remember how much I hated the default Windows 98 desktop - I'll have the download 98lite again.

Wasn't this the program that you needed to pay for to use a full version of it?
I ended up settling for 98SE with a 2.x version of the unofficial service pack. Or I went with ME (which I ended up doing most of the time).

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Reply 12 of 20, by dr.ido

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The free version of 98lite 4.5 would do the shell swap. I think I only needed to run it once which created the patched set of Win98 install files - then I just used that set install files over and over again. My habit back in the day was to just copy the installation files onto the hard drive, then swap the hard drive into the target machine and run setup - I rarely installed from CD.

I think the paid version also had some other more aggressive tweaks available.

Reply 13 of 20, by dr.zeissler

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I never used that 98lite. Does it work with a german install set?
I always make one clean install without any Drivers and take a snapshot with "retter" also known as "fat32cp".
After that I make a full Driver-installtion and take another snapshop with "retter".
So I am able to make a reinstall from the Partition within 1 Minute. Very handy

CPU: PII 133-333 MOBO: SNI-D981 RAM: 512- FDD: Dualfloppy 3,5"HD/5,25"HD - 3,5"HD - 5,25"DD ISA-Catweasel HDD: 2x40GB - DVD
ISA(3): Audician32-S2Dreamblaster - GusACE PCI(3): Monster3D- Intel NW AGP(1): 3dfx V3-3000

Reply 14 of 20, by Orkay

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Several months ago, I ran a large set of benchmarks on two computers across eight different versions of Windows. One of them used an 800MHz Pentium III with 512MB of PC100 SDRAM and a Voodoo3 3000, which is far beyond the specifications that you might be going for. Regardless, I figured I'd brief on its results for Windows 95B and 98SE; the frame rates for several OpenGL/Glide FPS games were very similar between these two operating systems.

In the following list of timedemo results run at 1024x768, the left count is for 95B, the right for 98SE:

  • GLQuake: 90.6/90.6
  • Quake II (default OpenGL): 80.3/80.6
  • Quake III Arena: 52.2/52.4
  • Unreal (Glide): 58.8/58.6
  • Unreal Tournament 99 (Glide): 36.9/36.7
  • Serious Sam TFE Demo: 40.4/40.5

Keep in mind that these tests were run on a system with a lot of memory, largely because I tested Windows XP in the same batch and wanted the extra memory for that. As pointed out by noshutdown and Jo22 (something I didn't know about, thanks), Windows 98's memory manager is more efficient than 95's, so I'd speculate that could make a significant difference on systems with 64MB of RAM or less. In the future, I'll have to run some more benchmarks across a bunch of Windows versions on older CPUs.

I generally install Windows 95 on anything that's a Pentium MMX or slower, and Windows 98 on a Pentium II or faster, give or take. Windows 95B and C do happen to work well on Pentium II systems, as they support AGP and USB when you install the USB supplement, and programs supporting MMX instructions will happily utilize them on Windows 95 should those programs be compatible with it. So, for a computer from late 1997 or early 1998, they'll be very fitting, but such computers will scale better with Windows 98SE.

Reply 16 of 20, by KCompRoom2000

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Personally, I think the judging factor for this decision is which version you prefer the most. If you like Windows 95 better for any reason (i.e. you prefer its IE-less Explorer shell) and your system has support for it, go with 95. If you prefer Windows 98 or find that your system has better support for it, use that instead.

There aren't that many advantages to using 95 over 98 on newer hardware (in terms of features), but depending on how old your computer is, it might have support for both versions which basically leaves you with the personal preference factor.

Reply 17 of 20, by Dominus

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dr.zeissler wrote:
I never used that 98lite. Does it work with a german install set? I always make one clean install without any Drivers and take a […]
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I never used that 98lite. Does it work with a german install set?
I always make one clean install without any Drivers and take a snapshot with "retter" also known as "fat32cp".
After that I make a full Driver-installtion and take another snapshop with "retter".
So I am able to make a reinstall from the Partition within 1 Minute. Very handy

Yes, back in the days, I actually paid for 98lite and used it with my German Windows.

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Reply 18 of 20, by dr.zeissler

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I use Win95 only on my 486 Unisys CWD (A-Version!). I use Win98se on all others because of two things:
- Win98se emulates a SB15 in Dos-Window
- Win98se can make use of my keyboard-power-button with softshutdown and powerup which is VERY handy.

CPU: PII 133-333 MOBO: SNI-D981 RAM: 512- FDD: Dualfloppy 3,5"HD/5,25"HD - 3,5"HD - 5,25"DD ISA-Catweasel HDD: 2x40GB - DVD
ISA(3): Audician32-S2Dreamblaster - GusACE PCI(3): Monster3D- Intel NW AGP(1): 3dfx V3-3000

Reply 19 of 20, by DosFreak

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I prefered 98SE (98lite or equivalent) over 95 on my 486DX4/100. 95 was a buggier and more crashstatic POS than even 98.

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