VOGONS


First post, by Blarghinston

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Hi all,

Just joined the forums on a recommendation from Reddit. I was wondering what you thought about this. I plan on sticking around as this may become a new hobby of mine.
I decided to get a Dell Dimension 4100 with a 933mhz Pentium 3. I’m upgrading it to 512mb of memory which will be sweet. I got a 128MB ATi 9800 Pro off eBay for way cheaper than the going rate: 45 bucks!
I am a little concerned about power. I believe the AGP slot is 4X as well.

I’m actually torn between Windows ME (my first OS, I’m 24) or 98. Kinda skewing towards ME for the nostalgia factor. I’m a sysadmin so when it craps the bed it shouldn’t be too bad.
Power consumption is my main concern. It’s going to have one HDD, a CD drive, an Ethernet card (for diablo 2 hehe) and the GPU. Think it’ll work?

What are your thoughts on this system and is it a good contender for a first foray into this sort of thing? Thanks a ton.

Reply 1 of 9, by skitters

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Archived webpage with ATI's specs for their 9800 series cards:
https://web.archive.org/web/20060503192146/ht … 0pro/specs.html

Dell's guide for the 4100:
https://downloads.dell.com/manuals/all-produc … anual_en-us.pdf

It looks to me like there might be a problem with the Radeon 9800 requiring a
newer AGP slot than the version 2.0 slot on the 4100's motherboard.

The Dell guide also says the power supply in the 4100 is only 200W while the
Radeon page recommends 300W. You might be able to upgrade the power supply in
the Dell, but you have to be careful because the 4100 apparently uses a
proprietary power supply while the connector "looks" like a normal one. Check
the post from "speedstep" about the Power supply for the 4100 at
https://www.dell.com/community/Desktops-Gener … ct/td-p/4903166

I think the Dell Dimension 4100 is a nice-looking computer and is fine for PIII
era games and software as long as you're careful about the power supply. I
think the Radeon 9800 Pro may be too new for it.

Reply 2 of 9, by KCompRoom2000

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
skitters wrote:

I think the Dell Dimension 4100 is a nice-looking computer and is fine for PIII
era games and software as long as you're careful about the power supply. I
think the Radeon 9800 Pro may be too new for it.

Same here, I've heard the ATI Radeon cards aren't as compatible as similar period nVidia cards when it comes to early 9x games. I wouldn't say that video card is bad, it's actually great for what it is. My general choice for 9x gaming video cards is nVidia Geforce up to 4/FX series, the Radeon 9800 Pro belongs in a P4/Athlon XP/64 build IMO. I suppose it'll be fine for a while if for some reason nVidia cards are hard to find.

As for the power supply, you can find adapters that allow you to use a standard ATX power supply in those Dell computers, I won't post an eBay link because I hear it's against the rules to do so, but it should be easy to find.

Reply 3 of 9, by Katmai500

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

The Dimension 4100 should have an AGP 4x / 2.0 slot since it has the i815E chipset.

The power supply could definitely be a concern though. An adapter + new upgraded ATX power supply would do the trick. A Pentium III board is going to power the CPU via the 5V rail rather than 12V like a modern system, but they use so little power that it shouldn't be a problem.

The 9800 Pro is a bit overkill for a PIII. If it ends up needing a new power supply you might be better off going with a 9600 Pro or Geforce 4 Ti 4200.

Reply 4 of 9, by nekurahoka

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Millennium Edition certainly has more quirks than 98SE, but I still like it. It can be run stable and if this was your first operating system, then I say go for it.

The above posters are right on about the 9800 being a tiny bit of overkill, but to be fair, that's what I did at the time with my pc. I never had the money to upgrade more than one thing at a time during the time period that this hardware was in common use. Throwing a new video card into an older mobo/CPU setup would breathe new life into it. I wouldn't sweat using it.

Dell Dimension XPS R400, 512MB SDRAM, Voodoo3 2000 AGP, Turtle Beach Montego, ESS Audiodrive 1869f ISA, Dreamblaster Synth S1
Dell GH192, P4 3.4 (Northwood), 4GB Dual Channel DDR, ATI Radeon x1650PRO 512MB, Audigy 2ZS, Alacritech 2000 Network Accelerator

Reply 5 of 9, by chinny22

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Think its pretty much agreed around here P3 are the perfect match for a Win98/Me based system.
Dell's still get alot of hate for the fake ATX connector, somewhat deserved. However the Dell PSU's are good quality as are Dimension range (motherboards are manufactured by Intel even)
but if that keeps the prices down then hey I'm not complaining!

If your good with a soldering iron someone here recently converted a motherboard back to standard ATX connector
A Permanent Solution to the Dell 'Fake ATX' Power Supply Problem?

This hobby is all about nostalgia, so if thats WinME for you I would go with that. Main dislike people had was you had to hack it to get back into DOS, but it is possible.

Reply 6 of 9, by Blarghinston

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

I have a somewhat stupid question. I received the tower yesterday and there doesn't appear to be anything holding the (passive) heatsink onto the chip like we see nowadays. How do I fix this? Thanks kindly. 😀

Reply 8 of 9, by Blarghinston

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
oeuvre wrote:

Take a picture of the heatsink for us.

Thanks for taking your time to reply. Sorry, I've been super busy and I'm at work so no picture can be taken. However I'm fairly certain a clip has broken off, so a new cooler is likely in order. Would this one fit OK?

https://www.anandtech.com/show/662/6

Agilent ArctiCooler HACA-0001