First post, by mln
Hi everyone. Long time reader, first time poster here. Wanted to introduce myself with the build I have been working on for some time.
- Mainboard: Asus P6X58D-E (X58 chipset)
- CPU: Xeon X5675 @ 3.07 GHz (6 cores/12 threads)
- CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
- RAM: 6 x Samsung DDR3-1600 ECC 8GB (48GB total)
- GPU: Sapphire Radeon X550 SILENT (GPU/MEM: 400MHz/250MHz DDR 128Bit)
- Sound: Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 (SB0240)
- 1st Storage - SSD: Crucial M500 128 GB (Bootloader and Win98 system drive)
- 2nd Storage - NVMe: Ugreen CM465 NVMe-PCIe adapter + Intel 600p 256GB M.2 (Linux system drive)
- 3rd Storage - HDD: Toshiba HDWL 120 2TB (Storage drive)
- Optical drive: LG DVD-ROM 16x SATA
- WLAN: TP-Link TL-WL725N USB Dongle
- Power supply: be quiet! System Power 7 300W
Dell 2007FPb + Dell AX510 soundbarLenovo P24h-10
- Case: Fractal Pop Silent Black TG
- Miscellaneous: Logitech K400 keyboard, Logitech G305 mouse, 3x Fractal 120mm Fan,2x dust filter for front fans
There are two areas I am focused on:
- Late DOS and ~1996-2003 gaming, basically my childhood 😀 - Windows 98SE
- Web browsing, some embedded and web development, movie encoding, virtualization, "modern activities" - Arch Linux
I have no room for more than one build, thus I was trying to come up with all-in-one solution.
For over a year I have been lurking Vogons, hunting online auctions and experimenting with various hardware I've been collecting over 20 years 😀.
During this project I tried the following configurations:
- Asrock 775i65 r2.0/E5700/2GB DDR1/FX5200 128Bit/CT4810
excellent 98SE support, weak DOS-mode audio, 2GB of RAM is not enough for "modern activites" and the FX5200 is a bottleneck for web browsing
- Foxconn P35A-S/E8600/8GB DDR2/X550/Audigy2
excellent 98SE support and DOS-mode audio, actually it pretty much suited my needs but I was still tempted by X58 builds I've seen here
- Mainboard + CPU + RAM
Someone was selling this set for ~99$, so it looked like a bargain. RAM alone is worth more than that. Temped by positive reports from agent_x007 and ruthan I decided to pull the trigger.
I think the motherboard is one of the latest with BIOS (not UEFI) and the X58 chipset natively supports PCI. I guess this helped getting Audigy2 working in Win98 with SB16 emulation.
Other overkill builds use cards like FX5900 and X800, but it seems there is a lot of struggle with getting silent and reliable cooling solution for them.
They are also kind of rare and getting quite expensive. On the other hand, X550s are widely available (for ~10$, at least in my country) and Sapphire X550 SILENT is 100% passive with decent temperatures.
From Win98 gaming perspective, the card works fine with Catalyst 6.2 drivers and constant 60 fps in Unreal Tournament is enough for me.
For Linux, all I need is a decent OpenGL 2.1 support. This allows for smooth web browsing, something FX5200 was not able to provide.
Hunted for ~10$. Had no issues with drivers using Joseph_Joestar’s guide. Doom with custom Sound Fonts sounds incredible 😀.
These Dells are widely available for pennies. 1600x1200 native resolution is good for nice, integer-scaling of 800x600 resolution I am using for games.
The soundbar allows to get rid of external speakers, which saves space. Two headphone outputs remove the need for the case audio output, which Audigy2 (without modifications) does not provide. Volume control of the soundbar is a welcome feature, just set all outputs to 100% 😀.
Changed Dell to Lenovo P24h-10 1440p display. It's shared with an other PC I am using for my job.
I managed to get 1920x1440@50Hz resolution in Linux using a custom modeline, so there is no scaling. Possibly this is the highest setting one can get from a single-link DVI.
For games under WIn98 the display scales every standard resolution (640x480, 800x600) quite nicely. Working on getting Win98 desktop in 1920x1440@50Hz.
I was looking for a new and minimalistic case with plenty of space and a 5.25" drive bay. You can't go wrong with this one.
As you can see in the photos, it allows for decent cable management.
- BIOS Settings
Loaded default settings and adjusted the following:
Main -> SATA Configuration -> Compatible
Main -> Configure SATA as -> IDE
Ai Tweaker -> Intel (R) SpeedStep(TM) Tech -> Disabled
Advanced -> Onboard Devices Configuration -> Set all entries as Disabled
Advanced -> USB Configuration -> NEC USB 3.0 Controller -> Disabled
- Dual boot
I am using the SSD SATA drive as a boot disk:
- 1st partition (~110 GB) is FAT32 formatted for Win98.
- 2nd partition (~1 GB) is EXT4 formatted with Bootable flag. SYSLINUX is the bootloader.
- Windows 98SE
Installed using setup /pi to disable ACPI. With ACPI enabled, Device Manager contained a lot of System Devices with exclamation marks.
After the first reboot during installation, I installed PTCHSATA and HIMEMX with /MAX=524288 parameter. 512MB RAM for Win98 is enough.
Finally, I installed DirectX9.0b, Catalyst 6.2 drivers and Audigy2 drivers per Joseph_Joestar’s guide.
I didn't bother with USB Drivers. I don't need USB thumb drive support, since I can sideload everything I need to the FAT32 partition using Linux.
Important: NVMe SSD cannot be placed in the last PCIe slot. It makes Win98 unbootable - throws some EMM386 errors. Second PCIe slot is fine.
- Arch Linux
It just works 😀. All I needed was to enable vmd, nvme, nvme_core modules in /etc/mkinitcpio.conf.
- Passmark Linux
PassMark PerformanceTest Linux
Intel Xeon CPU X5675 @ 3.07GHz (x86_64)
6 cores @ 3073 MHz | 47.0 GiB RAM
Number of Processes: 12 | Test Iterations: 1 | Test Duration: Medium
CPU Mark: 7069
Integer Math 27699 Million Operations/s
Floating Point Math 12282 Million Operations/s
Prime Numbers 33.7 Million Primes/s
Sorting 15943 Thousand Strings/s
Encryption 3044 MB/s
Compression 106413 KB/s
CPU Single Threaded 1426 Million Operations/s
Physics 511 Frames/s
Extended Instructions (SSE) 3277 Million Matrices/s
Memory Mark: 1851
Database Operations 3008 Thousand Operations/s
Memory Read Cached 11643 MB/s
Memory Read Uncached 9523 MB/s
Memory Write 7103 MB/s
Available RAM 42720 Megabytes
Memory Latency 45 Nanoseconds
Memory Threaded 17680 MB/s
- hdparm NVMe read performance
Timing buffered disk reads: 3954 MB in 3.00 seconds = 1317.78 MB/sec
EDIT: Changed Dell 2007FPb to Lenovo P24h-10.