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First post, by Intel486dx33

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Hi Guys.

I would like to know your suggestions on building the Ultimate Windows 98se computer for Gaming.

CPU Options:
1) Intel Pentium III
2) AMD K6-III +
3) Other CPU

Motherboard Options:
1) Intel
2) AMD
3) Other

Video Card Options:
1) Voodoo 3 3000 ( AGP )
2) Nvidia
3) ATI
4) Other

Reply 2 of 18, by Intel486dx33

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I was looking at the Asus CUSL2 motherboard.
Is this any good or is there a better option for a 1ghz Pentium III CPU ?
I am looking for a Stable build so a reliable motherboard in important.
I don’t really need to go faster than 1ghz I think unless there is some reason to go faster ?

Reply 3 of 18, by VDNKh

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Intel486dx33 wrote on 2022-02-02, 14:31:
I was looking at the Asus CUSL2 motherboard. Is this any good or is there a better option for a 1ghz Pentium III CPU ? I am look […]
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I was looking at the Asus CUSL2 motherboard.
Is this any good or is there a better option for a 1ghz Pentium III CPU ?
I am looking for a Stable build so a reliable motherboard in important.
I don’t really need to go faster than 1ghz I think unless there is some reason to go faster ?

Well there's always a reason to go faster, that's what makes it ultimate! A socket 775 with a P4 or C2D and an AGP slot is as good as it gets. There are a handful of 865G chipset motherboards that have full 98SE support, that is if you can get your hands on one. ASRock's 775i65G is highly lauded as being fast and stable for 98. VIA's PT880 and AMD equivalent are blazing fast too but are not very stable in 98 without lots of careful driver selection. They also have an AGP related issue with 98 causing a huge 3D performance hit.

If you want to talk about GPUs, a GF4 or FX is the fastest you can get without sacrificing too much compatibility. You can also use a Glide wrapper with the FX series and get decent performance in Glide games that way. If you want to stick with Voodoo, you can get one of those Voodoo 5 6k clones. Only a little over one grand!

Reply 4 of 18, by cyclone3d

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Hah... If you still want ISA slots, you want an industrial setup. Socket 478 is about the best you are going to get
with full ISA support unless you can track down a PIAGP LGA775 board. I've been looking for one for about
5 years.

The ATX motherboards are usually pretty expensive as are the backplane (with the PCI-ISA bridge card) and the PIAGP SBC cards.

The nice thing about them is that they seem to work with even early AGP cards from the bit of testing I did.

Now if you don't care to have ISA and really don't want to play DOS games, then an LGA775 865G chipset based board is as good as you are going to get with factory support for Windows 98SE.

However, you can go much much faster if you don't care about that as there are chipset "drivers" for much newer Intel chipsets.

You can go up to at least LGA2011-3 / x99 chipset for the high end boards. Then for the GPU, probably an Nvidia PCX5900.

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 5 of 18, by m3stang

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I recently built what I thought would be the ultimate 98 machine, but I just had so many issues with 98 and drivers, and having to burn cds for drivers and what not from my modern gaming pc became super annoying. I ended up going to ME and it has native flash drive support so that made things much quicker. It has:

P3 1GHZ
768MB ram
GeForce 6200 (replacing this with 9600XT)

But it runs half life, flight sim 2000, halo Ce and morrowind terribly but 3DMark 2000 runs great.

Reply 6 of 18, by RaiderOfLostVoodoo

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It depends on what you want to do with it. The ultimate solution for everything doesn't exist.

A K6-III+ is good for downclocking and makes an interesting combo machine for early Windows + DOS. But it lacks power for the latest Win98 titles.
I wouldn't recommend using a Voodoo3. It has issues with some 2D games and early Glide games. GeForce2 + Voodoo2 SLI gives you more flexibility, but will also cost more.

Pentium III is nice, because the boards still have ISA slots for old sound cards. But it lacks the downclock capabilities of the K6-III+. So for DOS it's kinda meh.
If DOS and ISA aren't an issue, you're better of with an Athlon XP Barton on KT333 chipsets. Those are the last which still support AGP 3.3V. Add a Voodoo5 5500 and you have the ultimate late Win98 system.

Another viable option are the mentioned AGP boards from ASrock which can run a Core2Duo/Quad or even a Phenom II (ALive Dual, AM2NF3-VSTA).
Here's an interesting video about them:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZGxHkvQPrk
But you won't be using an AGP Voodoo on these boards. GeForce FX (5950 Ultra, if you can afford it) is the GPU of choice for these boards.
But you can add Voodoo2 SLI for Glide. Or even a PCI Voodoo5. 😁

For sound cards the choice is pretty clear:
Soundblaster Audigy 2 ZS (Platinum Pro) for EAX and Vortex 2 for A3D. You can use both in the same machine.

PS:
If you're looking for compatibility in graphic cards, ATI is NEVER the answer!
They're a pain in the ass. Speaking from personal experience back in the day.

Reply 7 of 18, by TrashPanda

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What’s wrong with putting a agp 6800gt on there ?

Would leave the 5950 in the dust for dx9 games and are generally had for cheaper prices than a 5950 ultra.

Compatibility will be an issue for games older than dx8 but they did say ultimate build right not most compatible

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 8 of 18, by MN_Moody

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Intel486dx33 wrote on 2022-02-02, 14:31:
I was looking at the Asus CUSL2 motherboard. Is this any good or is there a better option for a 1ghz Pentium III CPU ? I am look […]
Show full quote

I was looking at the Asus CUSL2 motherboard.
Is this any good or is there a better option for a 1ghz Pentium III CPU ?
I am looking for a Stable build so a reliable motherboard in important.
I don’t really need to go faster than 1ghz I think unless there is some reason to go faster ?

"Ultimate" is open to a lot of interpretation. If you want period correct I'd probably limit to pre 2002 components (XP launched in 2002, we'll assume you skipped Windows ME). If you want to ensure good DOS compatibility, something with an ISA slot may be desirable. There were some pretty impressive community patches for Windows 98 that included hooks into more modern hardware which is a different sort but equally fun performance focused projects.

The late Tualatin Pentium III's are solid performers though the boards can be pricy, you can also run up to a Coppermine 1 ghz in an 820 board with RDRAM if you're feeling more exotic than the ol' reliable 815/sdram combo. I like to have an option to run older audio hardware, so I prefer to stick to platforms with at least 1 ISA slot available.

Reply 9 of 18, by bloodem

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TrashPanda wrote on 2022-02-05, 12:49:

What’s wrong with putting a agp 6800gt on there ?

Would leave the 5950 in the dust for dx9 games and are generally had for cheaper prices than a 5950 ultra.

Compatibility will be an issue for games older than dx8 but they did say ultimate build right not most compatible

"Ultimate" is an ambiguous word. 😁
For me, "ultimate" means "very fast, while also maintaining good/decent compatibility".
Taking that into consideration, my fastest "ultimate Windows 98 PC" has a Core 2 Duo E8600 @ 4 GHz, 2 GB RAM & ATI Radeon X850 XT PCI Express. This is the fastest I could reasonably go while also maintaining decent compatibility with most Windows 98 games.

The GeForce 6xxx series doesn't even come close to being part of an ultimate windows 98 build in my book. 😀 There are way too many games that don't work at all.
Having said that, I actually do have a GeForce 6800GT in a WinXP/Win98 dual boot build. 🤣

"Ultimate" can also have a different meaning: the most flexible PC that you can build. That honor surely belongs to an Athlon XP "Thoroughbred"/VIA motherboard combo (and if that motherboard also has an ISA slot... Hallelujah! 😁).
Of course, if one is solely interested in games released in the 1982 - 2000 time frame, then a VIA Ezra-T/Gigabyte GA-6BXC build would definitely be the ultimate combo: when overclocked it's similar to a P3 "Katmai" 600 MHz, and its speed can be adjusted in a very granular manner, allowing you to basically emulate the speed of any CPU down to a 286.

Last edited by bloodem on 2022-02-05, 14:03. Edited 1 time in total.

2 x PGA132 / 5 x Socket 3 / 9 x Socket 7 / 12 x SS7 / 1 x Socket 8 / 14 x Slot 1 / 5 x Slot A
5 x Socket 370 / 8 x Socket A / 2 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 7 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: Core i7 7700k

Reply 10 of 18, by TrashPanda

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bloodem wrote on 2022-02-05, 13:46:
"Ultimate" is an ambiguous word. :-D For me, "ultimate" means "very fast, while also maintaining good/decent compatibility". Tak […]
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TrashPanda wrote on 2022-02-05, 12:49:

What’s wrong with putting a agp 6800gt on there ?

Would leave the 5950 in the dust for dx9 games and are generally had for cheaper prices than a 5950 ultra.

Compatibility will be an issue for games older than dx8 but they did say ultimate build right not most compatible

"Ultimate" is an ambiguous word. 😁
For me, "ultimate" means "very fast, while also maintaining good/decent compatibility".
Taking that into consideration, my fastest "ultimate Windows 98 PC" has a Core 2 Duo E8600 @ 4 GHz, 2 GB RAM & ATI Radeon X850 XT PCI Express. This is the fastest I could reasonably go while also maintaining decent compatibility with most Windows 98 games.

The GeForce 6xxx series doesn't even come close to being part of an ultimate windows 98 build in my book. 😀 There are way too many games that don't work at all.
Having said that, I actually do have a GeForce 6800GT in a WinXP/Win98 dual boot build. 🤣

"Ultimate" can also have a different meaning: the most flexible PC that you can build. That honor surely belongs to an Athlon XP "Thoroughbred"/VIA motherboard combo (and if that motherboard also has an ISA slot... Hallelujah! 😁)

How about an ATI HD4670 1gb AGP ? ..I have one of these and IIRC its the fastest AGP card you can buy but retro compatibility isn't its strong point.

I dont think I have ever found a nice 462 motherboard with ISA that supports the 3200+ Barton.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 11 of 18, by bloodem

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TrashPanda wrote on 2022-02-05, 14:03:

How about an ATI HD4670 1gb AGP ? ..I have one of these and IIRC its the fastest AGP card you can buy but retro compatibility isn't its strong point.

The fastest AGP card is the ATI Radeon HD 3850, but those cards will not work with Windows 98 at all. And when it comes to Windows XP, there are much better options out there.

TrashPanda wrote on 2022-02-05, 14:03:

I dont think I have ever found a nice 462 motherboard with ISA that supports the 3200+ Barton.

It doesn't have to be a Barton. In fact it HAS to be an unlocked/unlockable Thoroughbred, on a motherboard where all the multipliers are available.
Of course, ISA is not mandatory, there are PCI cards like the Yamaha YMF7x4 which will work just fine on such a platform (especially on VIA KT400/KT600).

2 x PGA132 / 5 x Socket 3 / 9 x Socket 7 / 12 x SS7 / 1 x Socket 8 / 14 x Slot 1 / 5 x Slot A
5 x Socket 370 / 8 x Socket A / 2 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 7 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: Core i7 7700k

Reply 12 of 18, by RaiderOfLostVoodoo

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TrashPanda wrote on 2022-02-05, 12:49:

What’s wrong with putting a agp 6800gt on there ?

Would leave the 5950 in the dust for dx9 games and are generally had for cheaper prices than a 5950 ultra.

Compatibility will be an issue for games older than dx8 but they did say ultimate build right not most compatible

What's the point in building a Win98 system, that can't run Win98 software?
You can also run Win98 on much newer system. They won't be able to run any games, but hey, it's Win98!

TrashPanda wrote on 2022-02-05, 14:03:

How about an ATI HD4670 1gb AGP ? ..I have one of these and IIRC its the fastest AGP card you can buy but retro compatibility isn't its strong point.

1. The 3850 is faster.
2. What's the point in using an AGP card, that is internally a PCIe card, when you can get the PCIe variant for much cheaper? Just so you can say: "It's an AGP system!"?
3. Retro compatibility... That's the point!

Reply 13 of 18, by TrashPanda

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RaiderOfLostVoodoo wrote on 2022-02-05, 14:20:
What's the point in building a Win98 system, that can't run Win98 software? You can also run Win98 on much newer system. They wo […]
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TrashPanda wrote on 2022-02-05, 12:49:

What’s wrong with putting a agp 6800gt on there ?

Would leave the 5950 in the dust for dx9 games and are generally had for cheaper prices than a 5950 ultra.

Compatibility will be an issue for games older than dx8 but they did say ultimate build right not most compatible

What's the point in building a Win98 system, that can't run Win98 software?
You can also run Win98 on much newer system. They won't be able to run any games, but hey, it's Win98!

TrashPanda wrote on 2022-02-05, 14:03:

How about an ATI HD4670 1gb AGP ? ..I have one of these and IIRC its the fastest AGP card you can buy but retro compatibility isn't its strong point.

1. The 3850 is faster.
2. What's the point in using an AGP card, that is internally a PCIe card, when you can get the PCIe variant for much cheaper? Just so you can say: "It's an AGP system!"?
3. Retro compatibility... That's the point!

3850 is faster in a few things slower in a lot of others, this isn't the 4650 which is indeed slower, I've seen all the benchmarks and in 90% of things not gaming the two are tied where the 4670 trumps the 3850 is in power usage and heat .. oh and reliability ..the 3850 were fucking terrible cards for reliability and even the AGP versions were unreliable piles of shite.

Reality is a shocking amount of HD3000 series cards are either dead, dying or will die very soon and I wouldn't ever suggest buying one for usage in any system outside of testing reasons. (I guess they got it hard in the cap plague)

Again this was playing off ULTIMATE 11111111 <---Is this how they do it now ???

But yes if they had said compatible then we would give totally different advice, and I dont advise using PCIe on 98se unless you have no alternative so thats why AGP.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 14 of 18, by bloodem

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TrashPanda wrote on 2022-02-05, 14:38:

3850 is faster in a few things slower in a lot of others, this isn't the 4650 which is indeed slower, I've seen all the benchmarks and in 90% of things not gaming the two are tied where the 4670 trumps the 3850 is in power usage and heat .. oh and reliability ..the 3850 were fucking terrible cards for reliability and even the AGP versions were unreliable piles of shite.

Not sure which benchmarks you've seen, but I have both cards and I can assure you that the HD 3850 IS hands down faster, and A LOT faster when you increase the resolution (it has more than double the amount of memory bandwidth).
The 4670 is much more efficient, of course, but I'd argue that the HD 3850 is nicer looking. 😀
Anyway, both of these cards fall in a weird category and their usefulness is questionable (at least to me).

2 x PGA132 / 5 x Socket 3 / 9 x Socket 7 / 12 x SS7 / 1 x Socket 8 / 14 x Slot 1 / 5 x Slot A
5 x Socket 370 / 8 x Socket A / 2 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 7 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: Core i7 7700k

Reply 15 of 18, by TrashPanda

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bloodem wrote on 2022-02-05, 14:56:
Not sure which benchmarks you've seen, but I have both cards and I can assure you that the HD 3850 IS hands down faster, and A L […]
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TrashPanda wrote on 2022-02-05, 14:38:

3850 is faster in a few things slower in a lot of others, this isn't the 4650 which is indeed slower, I've seen all the benchmarks and in 90% of things not gaming the two are tied where the 4670 trumps the 3850 is in power usage and heat .. oh and reliability ..the 3850 were fucking terrible cards for reliability and even the AGP versions were unreliable piles of shite.

Not sure which benchmarks you've seen, but I have both cards and I can assure you that the HD 3850 IS hands down faster, and A LOT faster when you increase the resolution (it has more than double the amount of memory bandwidth).
The 4670 is much more efficient, of course, but I'd argue that the HD 3850 is nicer looking. 😀
Anyway, both of these cards fall in a weird category and their usefulness is questionable (at least to me).

I never said they were ugly cards 🤣, and yes I agree they are not terribly useful for the port they were modded to work with as anything that might require the power they can bring would be better off running under XP and a PCIe version of the GPU and anything that doesnt need the power is likely to hit compatibility problems and the GPU would be going to waste.

I still not sure about using a FX series card, but if we are shooting for ultimate compatibility then I guess it works, I still feel a GeForce 4 Ti 4400/4600 would be a nicer fit for 98se or a Voodoo3 3000/ Voodoo4 4500 if they wanted hardware Glide.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 16 of 18, by fosterwj03

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My ultimate Win98 build has a Core i5-3750, Intel B75 motherboard, Radeon x800 XL, Via SATA card, Via USB 1.1/2.0 card, Realtek NIC, and Sound Blaster Live! Value. Rock stable, and plays games quite well. It has no DOS sound compatibility, but I have other systems for DOS.

I prefer the x800 XL to my GeForce 6800. The Radeon is much faster in Win98. The GeForce drivers also have all sorts of stability issues.

Reply 18 of 18, by The Serpent Rider

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led178 wrote:

If ultimate then like this

Ah yes, another uninspiring "lets make generic LGA775 PCIe build, just like Phil did 100 times already", from Kaspersky antivirus blog (!?) of all places. Just like this cookie cutter thread.

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me