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First post, by baguete

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Hi guys, first post here.

I´m Armando (aka baguete), I'm from Portugal and recently rediscovered retro gaming and other stuff from my youth. I watched the PCIe Windows 98 video by Phil and wanted to check that topic also.

So I built a machine with the following specs:

Asus P5G41T-M LX V2 LGA775 Motherboard
Intel Xeon X5260 3,33GHz LGA771 CPU @ 4GHz
4GB DDR3 1600MHz @ 1277MHz (2x 2GB Kit)
NVIDIA GeForce 7900GT 256MB GDDR3 PCIe with 82.69 Unofficial Drivers
120GB SSD on SATA II with IDE Compatible Mode
All necessary updates/patches and chipset drivers

Everything works, SATA II ports (around 250MB/s using IDE Compatible Mode PATA Primary/SATA Secondary), USB 2.0 (including flash drives, generic USB Sound Cards, external drives), PCIe 1.1 slot and IDE port (disabled the LPT port, COM ports, Onboard Audio and LAN).

Did some 3DMark benchmarks and the results are great (3DMark 2000 locks the system as soon as the Helicopter benchmark starts, can anyone help?).

What do you think? Higher results can be achieved using a better GPU like a 7950GT (or even a 7950 GX2) and overclock the CPU on a better motherboard (this one only goes to 399FSB and I got 4.6GHz out of this CPU on a Asus P5Q3 motherboard)?

Best regards,
baguete

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Last edited by baguete on 2021-06-23, 17:40. Edited 3 times in total.

Reply 1 of 34, by baguete

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Some "screenshots" with my phone, sorry for the low quality, I will get better pictures next time.

Lots of system info are wrong on these old apps, but you get the idea.

Startup and shutdown are very fast and general system usage is blazing fast, can even run some games from late WinXP era with high frame rates (using KernelEx).

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Reply 2 of 34, by Warlord

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It's intresting to make a 98/xp rig, that pushes the limits of 98, and runs period correct games for XP. I've got a Pentium M, with a 6800GT, Voodoo 2 SLI, and a Audigy 2 zs. Admittedly not as fast as yours, but its very cool.

Not real sure the 7900X2 works in 98se, if it does it probably only use 1 gpu not 2. same with your cpu only use 1 core.

Reply 3 of 34, by cyclone3d

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You are almost for sure not limited by the video card yet.

A Geforce FX5950U at default clocks is CPU limited in 98SE until around 3.2-3.3Ghz on an Intel x6800... at least in 3dmark.

I would say see what you get at 4.6Ghz and then go from there.

The 7900GTX is the fastest nVidia card that will work properly-ish with 98SE.

For best overall 98SE gaming, you really want a GeForce FX card as the newer cards don't support palletized textures so you will get some weird graphical issues with newer cards and some games.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 4 of 34, by bloodem

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cyclone3d wrote on 2021-05-20, 05:02:

For best overall 98SE gaming, you really want a GeForce FX card as the newer cards don't support palletized textures so you will get some weird graphical issues with newer cards and some games.

Paletted textures & fog table is the least of his concerns 😀
The main issue is that A LOT of Direct3D games (that don't even use paletted textures / table fog) won't work at all because of the newer drivers. I also have an ultimate Win98 PC with GeForce 6800GT. It's.... OK, but very far from ideal. Many games crash or have very weird graphical glitches.

So, yeah, my advice is to just stick to a GeForce FX card (or older) for Windows 98 and forget about the 6xxx/7xxx series.
Or, as a compromise, go with an ATI Radeon X800/X850 XT. Even though it's not as compatible as FX (or older) nVIDIA cards, it's still miles better than a GeForce 6xxx/7xxx.

2 x PGA132 / 5 x Socket 3 / 9 x Socket 7 / 8 x SS7 / 12 x Socket 8 / 11 x Slot 1 / 3 x Slot A
5 x Socket 370 / 8 x Socket A / 2 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 4 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: Core i7 7700k

Reply 5 of 34, by chinny22

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Agree, got a 6800 Ultra AGP and even that's a bit too new for Win98 compatibility.

What's your main goal? gaming or pushing 98 to its limits. Both are completely fine but defines what to focus on.

If its gaming then I'd start installing and work out if you have any compatibility issues first.
You also don't mention sound card? keeping in mind your going for the latest of everything...
If EAX is important Audigy 4 is the final Creative card that supports 98 but hard to find. Audigy 2 ZS are much more common and just as good in reality.
Aureal Vortex 2 is the other highly desirable card for Win98 but harder to find and more expensive. It's also much older so not really sure if fits in this build. Depends which is more important Creative and EAX or Aureal and A3D

Reply 6 of 34, by Doornkaat

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bloodem wrote on 2021-05-20, 05:15:

i also have an ultimate Win98 PC with GeForce 6800GT. It's.... OK, but very far from ideal. Many games crash or have very weird graphical glitches.

I read about this often but I have been using a GeForce 6800GT in the first PC that I made specifically for retro Win98 gaming and hardly had any issues at all.
What games gave you problems? Honest question because my experience was just so different.
Edit: It was the AGP version on an Asus P4P800-E Deluxe, 512MB RAM and a 3GHz Prescott P4. What were your system specs, maybe this was part of the issue?

Reply 7 of 34, by bloodem

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Doornkaat wrote on 2021-05-20, 10:54:

I read about this often but I have been using a GeForce 6800GT in the first PC that I made specifically for retro Win98 gaming and hardly had any issues at all.
What games gave you problems? Honest question because my experience was just so different.
Edit: It was the AGP version on an Asus P4P800-E Deluxe, 512MB RAM and a 3GHz Prescott P4. What were your system specs, maybe this was part of the issue?

I think it's probably a matter of the games you tested 😀
I tried multiple GeForce 6800(GT)/6600GT cards on many platforms (including i865, nForce 2, nForce 3) with all possible drivers and there isn't any combination in which the card works like previous generations do on Windows 98.

Off the top of my head, a few games that I remember testing (which did not work/had horrible graphical glitches) were: NFS 3, NFS 4, NFS Porsche, Unreal, Unreal Tournament (Direct3D), Final Fantasy 7 (in Direct3D mode - even with the nVIDIA patch which ignores the missing paletted textures). Anyway, many older games fail to work with the 6xxx series.

OpenGL games, on the other hand, seem to mostly work fine with the 6xxx cards.

2 x PGA132 / 5 x Socket 3 / 9 x Socket 7 / 8 x SS7 / 12 x Socket 8 / 11 x Slot 1 / 3 x Slot A
5 x Socket 370 / 8 x Socket A / 2 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 4 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: Core i7 7700k

Reply 8 of 34, by Doornkaat

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bloodem wrote on 2021-05-20, 11:34:
I think it's probably a matter of the games you tested :) I tried multiple GeForce 6800(GT)/6600GT cards on many platforms (incl […]
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I think it's probably a matter of the games you tested 😀
I tried multiple GeForce 6800(GT)/6600GT cards on many platforms (including i865, nForce 2, nForce 3) with all possible drivers and there isn't any combination in which the card works like previous generations do on Windows 98.

Off the top of my head, a few games that I remember testing (which did not work/had horrible graphical glitches) were: NFS 3, NFS 4, NFS Porsche, Unreal, Unreal Tournament (Direct3D), Final Fantasy 7 (in Direct3D mode - even with the nVIDIA patch which ignores the missing paletted textures). Anyway, many older games fail to work with the 6xxx series.

OpenGL games, on the other hand, seem to mostly work fine with the 6xxx cards.

Thank you.😃 Compatibility certainly depends a lot on the individual games! I'm not too much into racing games but I remember playing Unreal (and possibly UT) on that PC without any problems. Maybe it's a VGA BIOS issue? I was using an Albatron card then. I have some other GF6800GT now to test with. Time to investigate! 😄

Reply 9 of 34, by bloodem

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Let us know if you find anything interesting 😀.
I actually always suspected that, when it comes to Windows 98, the GeForce 6xxx series probably works a bit better on certain platforms than it does on others, but I was never able to prove this theory. The games that fail on one platform, always fail on all others.

2 x PGA132 / 5 x Socket 3 / 9 x Socket 7 / 8 x SS7 / 12 x Socket 8 / 11 x Slot 1 / 3 x Slot A
5 x Socket 370 / 8 x Socket A / 2 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 4 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: Core i7 7700k

Reply 10 of 34, by chinny22

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Doornkaat wrote on 2021-05-20, 10:54:

I read about this often but I have been using a GeForce 6800GT in the first PC that I made specifically for retro Win98 gaming and hardly had any issues at all.
What games gave you problems? Honest question because my experience was just so different.
Edit: It was the AGP version on an Asus P4P800-E Deluxe, 512MB RAM and a 3GHz Prescott P4. What were your system specs, maybe this was part of the issue?

Apart from the NFS titles already mentioned C&C Generals was the other game in my list, the ground texture is a flashy mess, even behind the menu screen.
I'm using some motherboard as you

Reply 11 of 34, by mothergoose729

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bloodem wrote on 2021-05-20, 05:15:
Paletted textures & fog table is the least of his concerns :-) The main issue is that A LOT of Direct3D games (that don't even u […]
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cyclone3d wrote on 2021-05-20, 05:02:

For best overall 98SE gaming, you really want a GeForce FX card as the newer cards don't support palletized textures so you will get some weird graphical issues with newer cards and some games.

Paletted textures & fog table is the least of his concerns 😀
The main issue is that A LOT of Direct3D games (that don't even use paletted textures / table fog) won't work at all because of the newer drivers. I also have an ultimate Win98 PC with GeForce 6800GT. It's.... OK, but very far from ideal. Many games crash or have very weird graphical glitches.

So, yeah, my advice is to just stick to a GeForce FX card (or older) for Windows 98 and forget about the 6xxx/7xxx series.
Or, as a compromise, go with an ATI Radeon X800/X850 XT. Even though it's not as compatible as FX (or older) nVIDIA cards, it's still miles better than a GeForce 6xxx/7xxx.

I agree, but there is something fun about these overkill windows 98 PCs just because. "Benchmark crushers" is what I call them.

OP, if you want to go even more bananas, there are ways to get the ATI X800 series PCIE cards working in windows 98, and they usually outperform the geforce 7 series because of better drivers.

Reply 12 of 34, by baguete

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Good news, overclocked the Xeon X5260 to 4.6Ghz on a Asus P5Q3 motherboard and oh boy, it was possible to squeeze a bit more.

I can´t overclock this CPU even more, it starts to get very hot when I try to increase the voltage to get higher frequencies but the system is not stable anyway, 4.6Ghz is a good overclock over the stock 3.33Ghz.

Also I can't disable one of the cores inside the BIOS, I will check if it is possible to disable them on a Xeon X5460 (4 cores at 3.16GHz).

Do you think the system is starting to get GPU bottlenecked?

Don't know if I want to continue to persue even higher scores, have to spend some money on a 7900GTX that is way more expensive then the 7900GT I got, maybe some Water Cooling/Liquid Metal for the CPU and test other motherboards to check for a better CPU overclock, looks like a lot of work for little gain.

Phil got 43678 on 3DMark 99 Max and 37469 on 3DMark 2001 SE with the Radeon X850 XT PE, is it better than the 7900GT or 7900GTX?

Anyway, hope you enjoy the results and I will upload some videos of the benchmarks later on after I upload them to Youtube.

Cheers.

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Reply 13 of 34, by Warlord

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To be totally honest with you, I'm just as guilty, at benching 3dmark and other synthetic benchmarks. I don't think its worth it to pursue a higher score you need to ask yourself what is the point.

Reply 14 of 34, by mothergoose729

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That is the highest score in 3dmark 99 I have seen. I don't know if the x850PTE is faster or just has less CPU overhead. You scored a lot higher than phil in your benchmark but your CPU is also much faster.

In windows XP the 7900GT is definitely a much faster card.

Might also depend on the software too. If you like running quake III at 400fps and what not!

Reply 15 of 34, by baguete

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Benchmark runs:

3DMark 99 Max - 59547 -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-R2M9FWY3M

3DMark 2001 SE - 49523 -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpMrb_N_ruM

Startup and Shutdown -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nntJsnAnrl8

3DMark 2000 (doesn't run) -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDAYnqds50w

Reply 16 of 34, by baguete

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Now to reply to you guys:

I think that I´ve read something about the GX2 not working properly on Windows 98, maybe the 7900GTX is the best Nvidia card that works on Windows 98.

Yes, I was not limited by a GPU bottleneck but now I think it's starting to get a bit of GPU bottleneck, is there any software overlay like MSI Afterburner that I can use on Windows 98 and check the CPU, GPU and memory usage?

I have another Windows 98 machine that has a P3 1GHz, 512MB RAM and the FX5200 runs great, no problems whatsoever.

The X850 XT PE is very expensive, the 7900GTX is a bit cheaper and maybe offer better performance, they are a bit expensive anyway, but the CPU plays a very important role in these benchmarks.

I want to see how far can we push newer hardware and get the old OS blazing fast and still reliable.

I'm using a CMI8738 based sound card, works great so far.

I have no problems with this setup, not a single bluescreen, just the usual Windows 98 stuff, hanging for no reason and stuff like that.

Still have to test more games, but one of the most demanding was NFSU2, had to lower the reflections and the Anti Aliasing because the screen would get some artifacting, otherwise the game is maxed out at 1024x768. Also can run the original Sniper Elite and Hitman Blood Money.

Quake III is more like 999FPS+ acording to FRAPS, it also lags a lot at those frames rates, not smooth at all, works great at 120fps tho.

Unreal/Unreal Tournament is unplayable, way too fast, is there any patch?

Reply 18 of 34, by SScorpio

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Warlord wrote on 2021-05-21, 15:25:

you can probably run a glide wrapper to help with some game compatibility.

At that point you could just run the game with newer/faster hardware under XP or Win10 if you are using a wrapper.

Doing a benchmarking record chase can be fun. But top scores are generally not from machines people generally play on. Those people getting extreme overclock with LN2 will post a score from when the system can get through the benchmark without crashing which can be less than a 1/10 chance.

Reply 19 of 34, by cyclone3d

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I guess I should put together a test system with a Xeon E5-1680v2, disable all but one core and see how high of a score I can get in 98se with a 7900GTX. Completely useless but would still be fun to see.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header