First post, by sgt76
Hi there, just sharing my simple Pentium 2 build along with the hardware choices and some random notes. I've had this build for some time now along with some other retro projects I have going on, but in the last 3-4 years or so I've not been as active in posting up my rigs as I used to be. Hopefully this changes this year.
I built this as an ultimate Pentium II system circa 1998 with as many period correct parts as I could. Some of the hardware choices may not be to everyone's taste, but I picked stuff which I'm comfortable with. Reliability is the key word here.
For the key components, I went with a Slot 1 AOpen AX6BC BX based board which has a 1/5/2 layout. I think AOpen made some great stuff during this era and I'm very partial to their boards. This board has options up to 133mhz fsb but contemporary testing found it to not be so stable at that speed. The CPU is a Pentium II 450mhz Deschutes SL2WB, clocked at 504mhz, offering amazing performance for 1998 IMHO. For ram, I have a 128mb Infineon PC100 module. This combination provides a solid stable platform for Win98SE.
Video is provided by a Matrox G200 and 3dfx Voodoo 2 SLI combination. Why the Matrox instead of its great Nvidia contemporary the TNT which arguably was the best card of 1998? Well, the Matrox has superb 2D picture quality which looks sharp even after passing through the Voodoos, I have plenty of Nvidia based systems and I just like Matrox, ok? One of the Voodoos is a Pixelview with 100mhz ram and the other I can't identify, but it has 110mhz ram. Not an issue though, as I'm using FastVoodoo2 4.6 with support for mismatch SLI. These drivers mildly overclock the cards to 93mhz, which is fine and I haven't seen any reason to change this.
A garden variety Creative SB64 AWE (CT4500) is installed in the last ISA slot, and was chosen as it provides good sound , doesn't need any specific drivers if you load Win98 and is a really reliable card that doesn't give any weird installation headaches (I'm looking at you SB Live!). Of course, it doesn't have positional audio but that's something I can live with for this build. Networking is provided by a 3Com 3c-905B TX.
Drives are an old Creative CD-RW from 2000 that still works great- they really built these things well in those days. There's a regular boring old floppy in there that I think is a Sony as well. As for the hard drive, I tend to favor new IDE laptop drives in my retro builds, in this case a Toshiba 40gb IDE. This step doesn't cost much at all and saves you the aggro of using 15-20 year old shagged drives in your retro rig.
The case is just an old generic beige ATX case I picked up in a PC shop's junk pile for a few bucks. It's pretty solid and doesn't have sharp edges, so it's ace. A nice, clean refurbished Enlight 250w provides the watts and is sufficient for this build. For cooling, I installed 2 80mm fans, which I chose out of my pile for their quietness (I really dislike noisy PCs).
Thanks for viewing and looking fwd to your comments.