First post, by mrzmaster
Hey all! I grew up computing with PC's in the 386-Pentium III era and was an avid and passionate gamer as a young person from about 1990-2001. After I went to college in 2001, I fell out of PC gaming, sadly didn't keep my PC's from the past, and have since only been a very casual console gamer. Now that I'm getting old(er), I have some more free time on my hands and would like to replay my favorite games from my heydays. After lurking among you Vogonians for a quite a while and trying to learn as much as I can about vintage builds appropriate for that era of PC gaming, I decided that it's time for me to pull the trigger and do my own Win98SE build.
One of the favorite threads I've come across on the forum was the one started by batmansquarepants , because he seemed to have a similar build goal to what I envision. I have some questions and I'm looking for some feedback as I get started on this project.
Here's the top titles that I have in mind that I'd like to run on this Win98SE system (and I've bolded the ones that are most important to me):
- King's Quest V-VII
- Torin's Passage
- Leisure Suit Larry V-VII
- Unreal Tournament
- Quake 2
- Fallout 2
- Doom 1/2
- Rise of the Triad
- Sim City 2K
- Grim Fandango
- Diablo I/II
- Duke 3D
- Hexen I/II
- Shadow Warrior
- MDK 1/2
- System Shock 2
- Indiana Jones & The Fate Of Atlantis
- Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge
- The Curse of Monkey Island
- Full Throttle
- Baldur's Gate 1/2
I'm sure I'm forgetting a few but these are the ones that I'm most excited to play and relive on a proper system. Due to affordability and availability, I decided to go with a Pentium 4 system similar to what pixel_workbench proposed in batmansquarepants' thread. Here's the parts I've already acquired:
- MSI 865PE Neo2-PFS Socket 478 motherboard
- Intel Pentium 4 HT 2.80
- 2.5" SATA3 256GB drive (I understand that I would have to format this as 128GB for Win98SE and I'm fine with that)
- NVIDIA GeForce3 Ti500 (Hercules 3D Prophet III)
- 500W ATX power supply from the C2Q era (~2008)
- IDE DVD+RW
And this is what I plan on potentially picking up to complete the build:
- Sound Blaster Live! or Aureal Vortex 2
- 2x256 MB DDR400 SDRAM
- Gotek Floppy Emulator or 1.44 floppy
- Modern ATX case (hey, since it's 2021, some cable management would be nice 😀 )
- 19" CRT monitor that supports up to 1600x1200
So here's my questions:
- Do any of the parts (either ones that I've already acquired or plan on picking up) seem wildly inappropriate for a majority of the games I have in mind? I'll understand if some of the games I mentioned will be tricky to get to work properly with this hardware, but if I can play 80% of them, I'll be pleased.
- I've noticed that some versions of the SB Live! (such as the SB0100 and 0600) are recommended over others. Is this really important? It seems that those versions are scarce and/or more expensive. Which card will ultimately be better for the majority of games I listed (Live! vs. Aureal Vortex 2 or something else entirely?)
- The motherboard I obtained (Intel 865PE/ICH5 chipsets) has a number of "quality of life" features that I'd like to take advantage of, such as SATA (for the boot SSD) and USB2. Are there any concerns regarding these features in Win98SE?
- Will a USB keyboard and mouse work right out of the gate for Win98SE or will they not work until I install the chipset drivers (will I need PS/2 ones on hand just to install Win98SE?)?
- The circa ~2008 500W ATX power supply does not have any molex or FDD power connectors which I'll need for the IDE DVD+RW and Gotek/1.44. I found some SATA power to molex+FDD adapters on Newegg. Are there any other concerns for using this PSU?
- Do I need to disable HT in the BIOS for the P4 2.8 HT? Or will it work fine with Win98SE as-is?
- I've been looking around locally and CRT's seem very, very difficult to locate. Are there suggestions on where to pick one up? If this is going to be a unicorn, what type of 4:3 LCD will be best? I have a spare 1080p 22" 16:9 LCD as a temporary solution, but I really don't think this screen will be an optimal way to re-experience these games.