Yet Another P4 Win98/ME Build

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Yet Another P4 Win98/ME Build

Postby mh84 » 2018-5-04 @ 10:38

Hi everyone,

Like many others I was inspired by PhilsComputerLab P4 build. Main reason for this was of course the price and availability of parts where I live as I don't own anything usable. Main goal is to play games like Need for Speed: High Stakes, Colin McRae Rally 2.0, MotoRacer and other similar games of my childhood.

I already have similar build from the past based on VIA KT600 and unlocked Athlon XP 2500+ paired with Radeon 9550. But I wasn't satisfied with it as it lacks stability and has poor performance on higher resolutions. System was also too bulky because it was based on full ATX motherboard.

So here I'm to share a build log as it will go with anyone interested. I already have some parts on the way and I will share photos while trying to renovate these parts as much as possible. I will also try to summarize all costs of the build in USD. All parts will sourced mostly from Czech craigslist like sites.

My current plan which may change is:

    CPU: Pentium 4 (Northwood)
    Motherboard: Something Intel 865/875 based and in mATX format
    RAM: 512MB in dual channel configuration
    GPU: nVidia FX series video card
    HDD: 2.5-inch drive or SSD with less than 120GB
    Soundcard: Audigy 2 ZS
    Case: Something brand new.
    PSU: Something brand new.
    OS: Windows ME (I'm no longer interested in DOS gaming.)

I wan't to avoid as much compatibility issues as possible and run OS in as much vanilla state as possible. Another goal is to keep the system small and quiet.

Wish me luck!
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Re: Yet Another P4 Win98/ME Build

Postby mh84 » 2018-5-04 @ 20:40

First and maybe most important part arrived. I wasn't able to find any FX5900 Ultra so non-ultra version must be enough. I'm quite satisfied with it anyway. So here here we have ASUS V9950 128MB. I cost me $14. What is interesting, that in all reviews PCB is green but this one has blue PCB only seen on ultra version.

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Last edited by mh84 on 2018-5-05 @ 10:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yet Another P4 Win98/ME Build

Postby mh84 » 2018-5-05 @ 10:32

Another piece of the puzzle. Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS (SB0350). Version with gold connectors and expansion headers. Hopefully it will be compatible with Drivers CD from Vogons Drivers. Does anyone have expirence with it?

It cost me $10. Back then I could only afford LS version of Audigy 1 and I was using it with hacked Audigy 2 drivers so I'm very happy that I will be able to finally use it natively.

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Re: Yet Another P4 Win98/ME Build

Postby mh84 » 2018-5-06 @ 17:39

Another 2 parts. First is the PSU. I wanted something new and reliable so I went for a brand new Seasonic SSR-430ST T3 430W for $32. So far the most expensive part but the cheapest Seasonic PSU I was able to find.

Second part is the SSD. I was hunting for 120GB 2.5 inch drive to keep system quiet but friend offered me Intel 320 80GB for $14 which was quite reasonable I think. 84% of remaining life is reported by the Intel SSD Toolbox.

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Re: Yet Another P4 Win98/ME Build

Postby mh84 » 2018-5-08 @ 14:30

Hearth of the system arrived. ASUS P4P800-VM with Pentium 4 HT 2.4Ghz 800Mhz FSB. I'm quite dissapointed with the motherboard because it does not support overclocking and even CPU fan regulation. My bad on not doing proper research. I simply thought that it was mATX version of the P4P800. But otherwise is in a very good shape. It came with manual, installation CD and I/O shield. Combo cost $14. I'm not sure if I should keep the CPU. It's quite low spec but on the other hand it's probably most power efficient CPU with 800Mhz FSB.

Another purchase for $6 was a pair of OCZ modules PC-3200 2-2-3-6. Unfortunately one of the modules is dead. So at least I have a pair of nice copper heat spreaders.

Photo 08-05-2018, 16 08 11.jpg

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Re: Yet Another P4 Win98/ME Build

Postby tayyare » 2018-5-08 @ 14:44

mh84 wrote:Another piece of the puzzle. Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS (SB0350). Version with gold connectors and expansion headers. Hopefully it will be compatible with Drivers CD from Vogons Drivers. Does anyone have expirence with it?

It cost me $10. Back then I could only afford LS version of Audigy 1 and I was using it with hacked Audigy 2 drivers so I'm very happy that I will be able to finally use it natively.

Photo 05-05-2018, 12 06 19.jpg

Photo 05-05-2018, 12 06 51.jpg

Photo 05-05-2018, 12 07 34.jpg


I have the same card with original CDs, if you have any problems, just tell me, I'll find a way to send the images to you.
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Re: Yet Another P4 Win98/ME Build

Postby mh84 » 2018-5-08 @ 15:41

tayyare wrote:I have the same card with original CDs, if you have any problems, just tell me, I'll find a way to send the images to you.


Awesome! I will. Thank you.
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Re: Yet Another P4 Win98/ME Build

Postby chinny22 » 2018-5-10 @ 13:30

Looks to be a good build.
I have 3 Audigy 2 ZS cards. Fairly common, last card to support WIn98 but great WinXP compatibility as well.
Drivers are pretty straight forward, accept for the WDM/VXD side of things for Win98, but this doesn't affect WinME

CPU is plenty fast for WinME, I doubt anything faster will have much affect in games.
I know Win98 doesn't like HT enabled, not sure if this is the same in WinME?

SSD wear should be minimal as this isn't your daily PC now, probably wont average more then a few hrs a week annually
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Re: Yet Another P4 Win98/ME Build

Postby mh84 » 2018-5-10 @ 13:42

chinny22 wrote:Looks to be a good build.
I have 3 Audigy 2 ZS cards. Fairly common, last card to support WIn98 but great WinXP compatibility as well.
Drivers are pretty straight forward, accept for the WDM/VXD side of things for Win98, but this doesn't affect WinME

CPU is plenty fast for WinME, I doubt anything faster will have much affect in games.
I know Win98 doesn't like HT enabled, not sure if this is the same in WinME?

SSD wear should be minimal as this isn't your daily PC now, probably wont average more then a few hrs a week annually


Thank you for your feedback!

Regarding Audigy I think that there are more variants of the card which do require their own driver CD and CDs aren't interchangeable. But I may be wrong here.

I don't care about HT much. I will need as much single core performance as possible so I will have HT disabled anyway. This should also save some extra power. I believe that both Win98 and WinME do not support multi core processors (and HT).

SSD is here mostly for the cost and zero noise. I don't expect any wear issues either as there are many that are running Win98 from the SD card.

I'm still not sure if I will go the usual Win98SE route or jump right into the WinME, but I definitely want to have system Win98SE compatible.
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Re: Yet Another P4 Win98/ME Build

Postby mh84 » 2018-5-11 @ 10:26

What do you guys think about this case?

http://www.chieftec.eu/en/chassis/matx/ ... t-01b.html
Version without PSU.

I have trouble to find something old school looking and practical at the same time. I hate how cases looks today. But in the same time I would prefer to buy a new case to look pristine.
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Re: Yet Another P4 Win98/ME Build

Postby mh84 » 2018-5-15 @ 08:51

Package from Arctic Cooling just arrived. I'm very happy that I was able to get brand new NV Silencer 4 Rev 2 for $2!!! Local Arctic Cooling distributor still has hundreds of them in stock for some reason :) They also had one last brand new Super Silent 4 Ultra for $7. But because my board does not support CPU fan control I have also bought new replacement TC fan for $2 so I will swap fans on the cooler. F12 Silent 800RPM fan was for the usual price. My plan is to get case to fit 12cm fans.

Overall it seems to be that I will be able to build very quite system after all!

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Re: Yet Another P4 Win98/ME Build

Postby oeuvre » 2018-5-16 @ 13:32

Arctic fans are my go to for affordable high quality quiet fans.
Dell Optiplex GXa Pentium II 266MHz, 256MB, ATI Rage XL, IBM HD, SB16, DOS/3.11/98
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Re: Yet Another P4 Win98/ME Build

Postby PcBytes » 2018-5-16 @ 14:40

I know I had a pack of different BIOS for P4P800-VM. Gotta find it though. They were BIOSes collected from various motherboards (SuperMicro and a iWill as well) and some of them might work in OC-ing.
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Re: Yet Another P4 Win98/ME Build

Postby mh84 » 2018-5-16 @ 14:50

PcBytes wrote:I know I had a pack of different BIOS for P4P800-VM. Gotta find it though. They were BIOSes collected from various motherboards (SuperMicro and a iWill as well) and some of them might work in OC-ing.


Most likely I do not plan any overclocking. Maybe underclocking if anything. I would rather keep system as authentic as possible. Only thing I'm really missing is the fan regulation, but since I already have temperature controlled cooler, that's no longer a problem. But thanks anyway!

I was reading about your BIOS attempts in a different thread and it's really kind of crazy, that BIOS from another board is working. Very interesting.
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Re: Yet Another P4 Win98/ME Build

Postby mh84 » 2018-5-16 @ 16:51

I always love getting old stuff new in an original packaging. Here are round floppy and IDE cables. They are kind of pink and UV reactive :cool: but who cares. These are the only matching pair I was able to find. I know that I could use any flat cable which I already have but always wanted round cables back then. Each for $2.

And a new pair of Corsair 2x256MB DDR memory. CMX256A-3200CPT CL2 for $5.

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Re: Yet Another P4 Win98/ME Build

Postby mh84 » 2018-5-17 @ 08:22

Guys, I have an important question. Do you think that I can use this SATA to molex adapter to power FX5900? My PSU does not have enough molex connectors and this seems to be an elegant solution. But from my research SATA connectors can only transfer 4.5A but molex can handle 11A. What do you think? I know that I can split molex easily, but I would like keep cables tidy.

My initial plan was to use PCIe power with a different adapter but it seems that my card is probably using 5V as well so this is not possible.

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Re: Yet Another P4 Win98/ME Build

Postby PARUS » 2018-5-18 @ 23:56

All Intel chipsets up to 865/875 have official drivers for Win9X and work fine with 98/ME. Did you need to see a "new" P4 build video to be inspired? A Win9X driver was made by PhilsComputerLab? Or nobody earlier installed Windows 98 on P4, it was a great discovery?

Yes, you can use this passive adapter, please don't doubt :)

Remember, in some rare cases you may get a problem with too much CPU frequency. This trouble is only in a few games and usually is at more than 2,1 GHz. If you will get this trouble I advise to start the system at FSB533. At all in 98/ME OS you'll never, never feel 533-800 bus different. You can set DDR freq to 333 and turn timings slightly down. The northbridge at 133 MHz will be cooler than at 200. And CPU may be for example 3,0 GHz 200•15 running as 2,0 GHz 133•15. If sometimes you really will need much more perfomance for later hard games just restart it on 3,0 GHz FSB800 then turn back to 2,0 FSB533.
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Re: Yet Another P4 Win98/ME Build

Postby mh84 » 2018-5-21 @ 18:33

Yes, I'm a big fan of PhilsComputerLab. As I said in the first post, this isn't my first Win98 build based on a "new" hardware. I already have Athlon XP one. But I much prefer Intel because of the overall stability.

Thank you for the adapter confirmation. I'm still not entirely sure. I would be great if someone other could confirm that I will not cause voltage drop and I certainly don't want to burn the connector.

Could you be more specific on which games have issues with 2Ghz frequency? I have heard something earlier about it. Unfortunately my motherboard does not allow any FSB frequency change so I will be stuck with the 2.4Ghz/800Mhz.
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Re: Yet Another P4 Win98/ME Build

Postby CarlHopkinsUK » 2018-5-21 @ 20:40

If your concerned why not use a sata to LP4/Molex adaptor to power something like your cd drive and keep a dedicated LP4/Molex for your graphics card?

Although I agree with PARUS, I dont think it will be an issue in all honesty...
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Re: Yet Another P4 Win98/ME Build

Postby PARUS » 2018-5-21 @ 20:45

Very nice, PhilsComputerLab made a great statistical work and a lot of retro reviews for beginners. And he goes on this big job. I just said that P4 Win9X/ME build is not discovery. I myself used P4 build for double OSes Win98+WinXP since 2005 to 2011, then I changed it to Pentium D, then to Core 2 Duo. (Two cores give pretty much perfomance in Windows XP.) And I know at least 4 guys who used P4 for retro DOS+Win98 gaming for a long time much earlier than PhilsComputerLab.

I know myself only one such game - Viper Racing. But I saw another mentionings about old win9X games, can't recall now. Anyway it's fact, and it's very rare case.
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