VOGONS


First post, by ty8rown

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Hi! Not entirely sure where to post this question since I'm new here. I recently got a retro PC and I've been running Windows 98SE on it. Most games I have for it work fine, but now I'm a bit stuck because I also want to play Final Fantasy 7 with the New Threat mod with some of the other enhancements like the 60fps fix for example. New Threat by itself works (Had to install it from Windows 10 into my CF card), but none of the other mods do, like the custom OpenGL driver and the 60fps fix. Stuff like The Reunion refuses to install directly on Win98 because it expects newer than Windows 98SE and the installer fails when I try to use KernelEX, and of course none of the changes were working when I ran it after installing from Windows 10. Then there are things like hardware support. I heard my sound card loses features starting with NT (Looking towards Win2000 with latest SP), but I can't find exact information regarding my hardware, also I suspect the hardware I have might also be a bit past the Win98 era or in some weird grey area in the middle that has both pros and cons for each OS, but my hardware choices were because of the platform I have, especially the CPU. Here are my specs if anyone can help me out.

MOBO: Intel D850GB (Has a spot for PC/PCI, no pins on it. I had plans to add those so I can use SB-Link in the future, but probably won't now)
CPU: Pentium 4 1.3Ghz
RAM: 256MB
GPU (AGP 8X): Geforce 4 Ti 4200 64MB(I also have the Nvidia TNT2 it came with)
Storage: 64GB Compact Flash for easy file transfar.
SPU: Yamaha XG Waveforce YMF724 WF-192XG (I also have an SC-88 Pro on the way to use with GM)

For DOS games, I don't mind using DOSBox. I was already aware this CPU is too fast and noticed a scrolling issue with Warcraft 1. As long as I can pass GM from my sound card into DosBOX, I'd be perfectly content with it. This is something I hadn't looked into yet.

Ideally I don't want to dualboot, but since I use CF for my storage, maybe I'll buy another CF card for Win2000, but I'd mostly just want to stay on a single OS if I can.

Reply 1 of 4, by dr_st

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This is not an optimal PC for DOS games. Too fast for many games on real hardware, too slow for emulation.

It will run XP (may be better to leave at SP2, they say that SP3 gets really heavy), so you can dual-boot XP and Win98 SE, or XP and WinME (if you are willing to give up pure DOS mode). XP should be more compatible with games than Win2K.

I recommend bumping the RAM to 512MB if possible (and if you end up dumping W98, then maybe even 1GB for XP...)

https://cloakedthargoid.wordpress.com/ - Random content on hardware, software, games and toys

Reply 2 of 4, by Joseph_Joestar

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Aren't those FF7 mods designed with modern operating systems in mind? Not sure why you'd want to play modded FF7 on a retro rig. Because of the XG music perhaps?

In terms of specs, your system is fine for playing most Win9x games. Late DOS games should also work quite well. Older, speed sensitive DOS titles might run if you disable both caches on your CPU, but it's not guaranteed. Lastly, without SB-Link, the DOS compatibility of PCI sound cards is hit and miss, depending mostly the motherboard.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64
PC#2: Celeron 466 / Abit ZM6 / Voodoo3 / AWE64 Gold / YMF744 / SC-155
PC#3: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / GeForce4 / SBLive / ALS100
PC#4: Athlon64 3700+ / DFI LanParty / 9600GT / X-Fi Titanium

Reply 3 of 4, by ty8rown

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2021-09-07, 16:46:

Aren't those FF7 mods designed with modern operating systems in mind? Not sure why you'd want to play modded FF7 on a retro rig. Because of the XG music perhaps?

In terms of specs, your system is fine for playing most Win9x games. Late DOS games should also work quite well. Older, speed sensitive titles might run if you disable both caches on your CPU, but it's not guaranteed. Without SB-Link, the DOS compatibility of PCI sound cards is hit and miss, depending mostly the motherboard.

Yea XG music mostly, plus older games like it just don't seem right to play on a modern system. I don't care for overhauls, just wanted to play New Threat with XG music and the 60fps fix, the latter is the only thing I haven't gotten working yet, which I'm not sure if that requires the OGL drivers. If it doesn't, then I can forgo that and I can just use D3D or software (D3D mode tends to shift rows of pixels so text looks wobbly, but the TNT2 doesn't have that issue so I can just swap it out if I want to play it). The problem is that it's part of the Reunion mod, which also replaces the music with PS1 ogg files with no option to stick with midi, and deleting those from the install simply disables the music entirely, which I don't want, and I have no idea if it makes registry changes. If it does, that's something I need to look through and find out. Can't seem to find just the 60fps fix by itself, but I heard 7th Heaven has it, I just haven't had time to look around. I'm guessing it just reverts it to handle how PS1 does, limiting/duplicating frames in specific scenarios, which to me seems like a CPU thing and not GPU.

Also looking at dr_st's advice, I may bump it up to 512MB as well since that was something I was already thinking of doing. I hadn't messed with older PCs but I'm just starting to get the hang of it.

Reply 4 of 4, by Joseph_Joestar

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Can't blame you for wanting XG music in FF7, it does sound exceptional.

I'm not too familiar with FF7 modding, but check if there's a fix for mini games running too fast. Otherwise, you may have some problems with the bike race and snowboard sections of the game.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64
PC#2: Celeron 466 / Abit ZM6 / Voodoo3 / AWE64 Gold / YMF744 / SC-155
PC#3: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / GeForce4 / SBLive / ALS100
PC#4: Athlon64 3700+ / DFI LanParty / 9600GT / X-Fi Titanium