VOGONS


First post, by KCompRoom2000

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Hello. I was wondering if it would be better to use an Athlon 64 computer for Windows 98SE gaming or if a Pentium III Tualatin would be good enough. Could anyone give me examples of 98-era games that would benefit from a faster CPU than a Pentium III?

Here are the specs for the two machines.

Dell Optiplex GX150:
- Intel Pentium III-S Tualatin @ 1.4 GHz (Socket 370)
- nVidia Geforce4 Ti 4200 64MB AGP video card
- Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS PCI sound card
- 512MB PC-133 SDRAM
- 40GB Seagate IDE hard drive

Custom Built AMD Athlon 64 rig:
- ASUS A8V motherboard
- AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ @ 2.2 GHz (Socket 939) (I also have an Athlon 64 3200+ and 3700+ that I could use instead if this is too fast.)
- ATI Radeon X800 256MB AGP video card (I think this could be too new for Windows 98SE.)
- 2GB PC-3200 DDR1 SDRAM
- 160GB Seagate SATA hard drive (the motherboard can take IDE drives too.)

What do you think I should do?

A: Convert the Athlon 64 rig into a Windows 98SE rig and use a Core 2 rig for XP?
B: Continue using the Dell for 98SE and the Athlon for XP?
C: Keep using the Athlon 64 for XP, but find a Pentium 4 or Athlon XP rig for 98SE?

Hopefully you can help me decide which would be the best route to take.

Reply 1 of 12, by Joseph_Joestar

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

That Athlon64 will be significantly faster than the Tualatin. If you want a performance comparison, here are some benchmarks on my Athlon64 3000+ compared to my AthlonXP 1700+. The latter is roughly in the ballpark of an 1.4 GHz Tualatin. Notice how much more performance the Athlon64 draws out of the GeForce4.

That said, an Athlon64 system might be a bit trickier to set up. Especially if you run into this issue which halves GPU performance under Win98 on certain VIA chipsets if a newer BIOS version is used.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 2 of 12, by ODwilly

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

That Athlon 64 rig definitely deserves to keep her current epic XP setup 😀 and that Tualatin is a perfect 98se rig. Anything that could really benefit from a faster CPU would run under XP. If anything it's the 286-486 class compatibility that people end up making a P1 or K6 machine for.

Main pc: Asus ROG laptop. I7-6700HQ, GTX 960M 4gb, 16gb DDR4.
Retro PC: Soyo P4S Dragon, 3gb ddr 266, 120gb Maxtor, Geforce Fx 5950 Ultra, SB Live! 5.1

Reply 3 of 12, by leileilol

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
KCompRoom2000 wrote on 2022-04-24, 04:09:

Could anyone give me examples of 98-era games that would benefit from a faster CPU than a Pentium III?

Deus Ex's a cpu hog that came just before Windows Me, so that's snug in the 98 era. though your p3's specs look to be of the "you're not taking my 98 away, fisher price OS jerks!!!" sort in 2002-2004 so there's already an identity crisis with the Athlon64. 😀

apsosig.png
long live PCem

Reply 4 of 12, by dr_st

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
KCompRoom2000 wrote on 2022-04-24, 04:09:

B: Continue using the Dell for 98SE and the Athlon for XP?

This is what I suggest. You already have these setups up and running, and they are period-correct and cover 99% of the use cases well. One can always find an exception, but one can hardly have enough desk space, time and money to build a system for every exception. 😁

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

Reply 5 of 12, by AlexZ

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Your PIII rig is almost perfect, just get a 80-120GB hard drive. 40GB is too small. I have PIII 900 and that is sufficient for games up to year 2000 (includes Fifa 2001, NHL 2001). Need for speed hot pursuit 2 is also playable with full details in 800x600x32bit, however it deserves faster hardware to play in higher resolutions. You will be fine up to year 2002 with 1.4Ghz as it is equivalent to Athlon XP 1700+. Athlon 64 should be fine for games up to year 2005 and deserves Windows XP.

Athlon 64 could fulfill the role of a single rig for both Windows 98 and XP in dual boot, but you would have to use Windows 98 patches for having too much memory.

If you want to cover longer period for Windows XP then get a Socket AM3 rig. I would opt for two rigs - PIII and Socket AM3.

Pentium III 900E, ECS P6BXT-A+, 384MB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 128MB, Voodoo 2 12MB, 80GB HDD, Yamaha SM718 ISA, 19" AOC 9GlrA
Athlon 64 3400+, MSI K8T Neo V, 1GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 7600GT 256MB, 250GB HDD, Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS

Reply 6 of 12, by Baoran

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

it is not like windows xp really needs more than 512MB of ram to be honest if you dont want to do any patches or limit otherwise how much ram win98 sees and want to go dual boot. I dont think it was normal to have more ram than that in early 2000s.

Reply 7 of 12, by chinny22

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Agree with what everyone has said.
I find my Slot 1 P3 600 is enough for any of my Win98 games that don't like later OS's so your already got more processing power then me.
Next PC in my line-up is a LGA775 PC with a X3320 which covers my entire XP library as well as those later 9x titles that struggle on the P3

Reply 8 of 12, by KCompRoom2000

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
AlexZ wrote on 2022-04-24, 09:20:

Your PIII rig is almost perfect, just get a 80-120GB hard drive. 40GB is too small. I have PIII 900 and that is sufficient for games up to year 2000 (includes Fifa 2001, NHL 2001). Need for speed hot pursuit 2 is also playable with full details in 800x600x32bit, however it deserves faster hardware to play in higher resolutions. You will be fine up to year 2002 with 1.4Ghz as it is equivalent to Athlon XP 1700+. Athlon 64 should be fine for games up to year 2005 and deserves Windows XP.

Athlon 64 could fulfill the role of a single rig for both Windows 98 and XP in dual boot, but you would have to use Windows 98 patches for having too much memory.

If you want to cover longer period for Windows XP then get a Socket AM3 rig. I would opt for two rigs - PIII and Socket AM3.

I do have a spare 80GB Seagate IDE hard drive that I was originally going to use in that computer, but the problem is I haven't been able to figure out how to properly format it as FAT32 and be able to use the full capacity that way. When I attempted to format it with a Windows ME installation CD, it only formatted the first 40GB of the drive. However, this was when I was installing it automatically with the "Install Windows from the CD" option in the boot menu. I haven't actually tried manually using FDISK and FORMAT C: to see if that would fully format it (if anyone has tried doing this with a hard drive larger than 40GB, does it format the full capacity of the drive or just the first 40GB of it?). Though I don't think I have enough 9x-era games to eat up a 40GB drive at the moment.

Funny you should mention Socket AM3, I have a spare Dell OEM MicroATX Socket AM3 motherboard that I've yet to build a rig with. I got it from a lot that a friend was giving away to me when he was moving, that same lot had an ASUS LGA775 motherboard that I built a late XP rig with that I plan on using for games that use too much resources for the Athlon 64.

Thanks to everyone who has posted here, I've decided to keep everything the same as it is by continuing to use the PIII for Windows 98SE and the AMD64 for Windows XP. I wasn't sure if this was the right setup because I recall finding a post about a certain 9x-era game that needed a mid-range Pentium 4 to run smoothly (I can't remember which one it was, this was when I first joined VOGONS in 2017), which made me wonder if I was missing something by sticking to a PIII for 9x games.

Reply 9 of 12, by AlexZ

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
KCompRoom2000 wrote on 2022-04-24, 18:22:

I do have a spare 80GB Seagate IDE hard drive that I was originally going to use in that computer, but the problem is I haven't been able to figure out how to properly format it as FAT32 and be able to use the full capacity that way. When I attempted to format it with a Windows ME installation CD, it only formatted the first 40GB of the drive. However, this was when I was installing it automatically with the "Install Windows from the CD" option in the boot menu. I haven't actually tried manually using FDISK and FORMAT C: to see if that would fully format it (if anyone has tried doing this with a hard drive larger than 40GB, does it format the full capacity of the drive or just the first 40GB of it?). Though I don't think I have enough 9x-era games to eat up a 40GB drive at the moment.

I have a single 80GB FAT 32 partition in my PIII rig. It also works in DOS. I don't remember if I created it using fdisk from Windows 98 or Free DOS bootable CD. I know for sure Partition Magic 8 can also create it. 80GB for Windows 98 is plenty of space forever.

Pentium III 900E, ECS P6BXT-A+, 384MB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 128MB, Voodoo 2 12MB, 80GB HDD, Yamaha SM718 ISA, 19" AOC 9GlrA
Athlon 64 3400+, MSI K8T Neo V, 1GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 7600GT 256MB, 250GB HDD, Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS

Reply 10 of 12, by Tetrium

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

I always just end up slaving the drive to a more modern rig and (quick)format from there.
I also create separate partitions (one for the OS and one for the games etc) because I like doing that.

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
Report spammers here!

Reply 11 of 12, by atom1kk

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

In my opinion the p4 single core is the best solution for win 98 gaming. On a right board you can have a 3 ghz cpu with hyperthreading, which you can disable and also downclock it to 1.4 ghz if necessary via bios.

So it woulde slow/fast enough for 98 and also enough for xp if necessary.

And the good thing is you can get em quite cheap

Last edited by atom1kk on 2022-04-25, 15:56. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 12 of 12, by gerry

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
KCompRoom2000 wrote on 2022-04-24, 04:09:
What do you think I should do? […]
Show full quote

What do you think I should do?

A: Convert the Athlon 64 rig into a Windows 98SE rig and use a Core 2 rig for XP?
B: Continue using the Dell for 98SE and the Athlon for XP?
C: Keep using the Athlon 64 for XP, but find a Pentium 4 or Athlon XP rig for 98SE?

Hopefully you can help me decide which would be the best route to take.

to be honest i think B - any game after 2001-ish is for XP (might run on 98 but was built with XP in mind) and you have plenty of power in the P3 for anything from the n98 era

true you may squeeze out a few more fps on a pre 2001 game if you chose A, but not something i'd think of as really that useful. i think you got it right already