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First post, by dreamscape86

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Hi all

I'm looking for a small (Mini ITX?) type build i can do which is fast enough for windows 98 games, quiet with dedicated graphics and ideally DOS compatible sound.

I'm currently using this... Which is not ideal...

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Its a Tecra M2 laptop that had case damage and a damaged screen so i took it apart and now use it for retro games. It's 1.4Ghz Pentium M, Geforce FX Go 5200 graphics, Realtek sound which lacks DOS support this gives you an idea of what i can work with in terms of specs as this plays everything i ask of it but it looks terrible and the fan can be loud. It also has no case which is dodgy to say the least.

Does anyone know of any Mini ITX boards you can buy with ideally IDE on, an AGP slot, DDR 2 RAM and a CPU with a low power draw like an Intel Atom or Via CPU ?? I need it small, quiet and compatible. DOS isn't massively essential as i have a Pentium laptop i use for that but it would be nice if i could make that a thing too.

Any ideas?

Shuttle XPC | Pentium 4 2.8Ghz | 512MB DDR 400Mhz | Nvidia Geforce FX 5600 Ultra | 32GB Sandisk Extreme Pro CF Card | Silverstone FX350-G 350W 80 Plus Gold PSU | Windows 98 SE

Reply 1 of 21, by Jo22

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Hi there! 🙂

I used to have a small motherboard with a VIA C7D.
It was made by Biostar. Don't remember the board type, sadly.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 3 of 21, by dreamscape86

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paradigital wrote on 2022-11-11, 21:32:

Try and grab a socket 478 or Socket A Shuttle XPC?

I have had a look there aren't any around in the UK plus Socket 478 is a little power hungry electricity wise. I know im asking a lot here ha!

I had a look at the first reply and there are a few of these...

s-l1600.jpg

Would be good, where can you get a Geforce FX 5200 / 5500 PCI card these days? Ideally low profile and passive cooled. Or maybe a ATI equivilent but i do use Geforce FX mainly as those cards support Warhammer Dark Omen in full 3D which is SO hard to do on 98% of cards out there.

Shuttle XPC | Pentium 4 2.8Ghz | 512MB DDR 400Mhz | Nvidia Geforce FX 5600 Ultra | 32GB Sandisk Extreme Pro CF Card | Silverstone FX350-G 350W 80 Plus Gold PSU | Windows 98 SE

Reply 4 of 21, by Horun

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DO not know about UK but in my country there are Geforce FX 5200 PCI 256Mb passives for a reasonable price (IMHO) but finding a low profile one may be tricky....
added: the low profile ones I have seen are only 128Mb..

Hate posting a reply and then have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor.

Reply 5 of 21, by RandomStranger

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Best if you can find a prebuilt, like the ASUS S-Presso S1-P111 or Shuttle XPC. There are also AMD variants if that fits your taste. These are tiny yet has 2 full height expansion card slots so you don't have to give up on either a decet sound card and a decent graphics card. The disadvantage is that the mainboard and PSU are non-standard form factor.

If you want to do DIY, there are some tiny uATX mainboards with 2 expansion slots and 17×19cm size. I don't know if W9x compatible versions exist, but they do for XP. These fit into double expansion slot miniITX cases like the Raijintek Metis or KOLINK Satelite. These are just as small and can be built with standard parts. The result can be a little bit cramped, but fix the non-standard part disadvantage of the prebuilts.

Your third option is building a full uATX PC with a case as tiny as possible, that's where I went with my W98BOX.

And the fourth option is giving up on a sound card and going full miniITX (or thin client) with a PCI graphics card.

sreq.png retrogamer-s.png

Reply 6 of 21, by matze79

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RandomStranger wrote on 2022-11-12, 07:34:
Best if you can find a prebuilt, like the ASUS S-Presso S1-P111 or Shuttle XPC. There are also AMD variants if that fits your ta […]
Show full quote

Best if you can find a prebuilt, like the ASUS S-Presso S1-P111 or Shuttle XPC. There are also AMD variants if that fits your taste. These are tiny yet has 2 full height expansion card slots so you don't have to give up on either a decet sound card and a decent graphics card. The disadvantage is that the mainboard and PSU are non-standard form factor.

If you want to do DIY, there are some tiny uATX mainboards with 2 expansion slots and 17×19cm size. I don't know if W9x compatible versions exist, but they do for XP. These fit into double expansion slot miniITX cases like the Raijintek Metis or KOLINK Satelite. These are just as small and can be built with standard parts. The result can be a little bit cramped, but fix the non-standard part disadvantage of the prebuilts.

Your third option is building a full uATX PC with a case as tiny as possible, that's where I went with my W98BOX.

And the fourth option is giving up on a sound card and going full miniITX (or thin client) with a PCI graphics card.

Be ware of Shuttle XPC.
I have several and often are ceramic capacitors of the PSU are dead.
PSU Replacment is the biggest Issue with this Machines

https://dosreloaded.de - The German Retro DOS PC Community
https://www.retroianer.de - under constructing since ever

Co2 - for a endless Summer

Reply 7 of 21, by dreamscape86

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Thanks for all the suggestions!

The shuttle XPC looks like the right option for me. The biggest thing is it has an AGP port!! I was looking at mini-ITX and all i could ever find was PCI/PCI-E with AGP i could get a much better graphics card. I noticed a lot of them use SATA does anyone know if these work ok in IDE mode on win98 SE? Or do they have IDE as well?

A nice FX 5700 256mb AGP and sound blaster Live in one of these and it would be perfect! I do see the PSU's they look a bit dodgy haha but i could always convert the machine to an external power supply.

Shuttle XPC | Pentium 4 2.8Ghz | 512MB DDR 400Mhz | Nvidia Geforce FX 5600 Ultra | 32GB Sandisk Extreme Pro CF Card | Silverstone FX350-G 350W 80 Plus Gold PSU | Windows 98 SE

Reply 8 of 21, by paradigital

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matze79 wrote on 2022-11-12, 07:46:
Be ware of Shuttle XPC. I have several and often are ceramic capacitors of the PSU are dead. PSU Replacment is the biggest Issue […]
Show full quote
RandomStranger wrote on 2022-11-12, 07:34:
Best if you can find a prebuilt, like the ASUS S-Presso S1-P111 or Shuttle XPC. There are also AMD variants if that fits your ta […]
Show full quote

Best if you can find a prebuilt, like the ASUS S-Presso S1-P111 or Shuttle XPC. There are also AMD variants if that fits your taste. These are tiny yet has 2 full height expansion card slots so you don't have to give up on either a decet sound card and a decent graphics card. The disadvantage is that the mainboard and PSU are non-standard form factor.

If you want to do DIY, there are some tiny uATX mainboards with 2 expansion slots and 17×19cm size. I don't know if W9x compatible versions exist, but they do for XP. These fit into double expansion slot miniITX cases like the Raijintek Metis or KOLINK Satelite. These are just as small and can be built with standard parts. The result can be a little bit cramped, but fix the non-standard part disadvantage of the prebuilts.

Your third option is building a full uATX PC with a case as tiny as possible, that's where I went with my W98BOX.

And the fourth option is giving up on a sound card and going full miniITX (or thin client) with a PCI graphics card.

Be ware of Shuttle XPC.
I have several and often are ceramic capacitors of the PSU are dead.
PSU Replacment is the biggest Issue with this Machines

I’ve got three Shuttle XPCs, a Socket 478, a socket AM2 and a Socket 775, all of them are still fine PSU wise. The PSUs are also still available, if getting harder to find.

Reply 9 of 21, by dreamscape86

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Definetly going with a shuttle PC

I've ordered a SB live! an Asus Geforce FX 5700 256MB so I'm on the hunt for a Shuttle PC now. I want either a 478 P4 model or a AMD Athlon XP model.

Does anyone here know if the AMD sempron/Athlon 64 models have IDE ports and AGP slots? and works with Windows 98 SE? As that extra CPU horse power wouldn't go a miss

Also if anyone from the UK on here has one for sale i would be interested.

Shuttle XPC | Pentium 4 2.8Ghz | 512MB DDR 400Mhz | Nvidia Geforce FX 5600 Ultra | 32GB Sandisk Extreme Pro CF Card | Silverstone FX350-G 350W 80 Plus Gold PSU | Windows 98 SE

Reply 10 of 21, by RandomStranger

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I have an Athlon 64 version. SN68PTG5 I think. The case matches, but the mainboard layout doesn't. It has both AGP and IDE. Never attempted W98 on it though.

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sreq.png retrogamer-s.png

Reply 11 of 21, by dreamscape86

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RandomStranger wrote on 2022-11-12, 22:34:

I have an Athlon 64 version. SN68PTG5 I think. The case matches, but the mainboard layout doesn't. It has both AGP and IDE. Never attempted W98 on it though.

xpc_05.jpg

that is EXACTLY the machine i want... I've only seen Athlon 64's with pci-e but yours has AGP.

Is the athlon 64 far more powerful than a non HT P4? Does Windows 98 SE work with HT? I thought Windows 98 SE could only handle 1 core and HT makes it appear to have two at least in task manager so i wondered if it would work?

Shuttle XPC | Pentium 4 2.8Ghz | 512MB DDR 400Mhz | Nvidia Geforce FX 5600 Ultra | 32GB Sandisk Extreme Pro CF Card | Silverstone FX350-G 350W 80 Plus Gold PSU | Windows 98 SE

Reply 12 of 21, by RandomStranger

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Windows 98 is single thread. You don't benefit from HT and AMD back in the day from Athlon (XP?) up until the release of Intel's Core2 had a huge lead in IPC. Real life performance was also better and more consistent, but CPU manufacturing is a business they didn't blew Intel completely out of the water even if they could, just did good enough to reliably beat them.

But for Windows 98 both the Athlon 64 and Pentium 4 (Northwood/Prescott) are overpowered and will most likely be bottlenecked by the graphics card. These CPUs were decent enough up until about 2008.

sreq.png retrogamer-s.png

Reply 13 of 21, by matze79

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paradigital wrote on 2022-11-12, 13:34:

I’ve got three Shuttle XPCs, a Socket 478, a socket AM2 and a Socket 775, all of them are still fine PSU wise. The PSUs are also still available, if getting harder to find.

then it seems i had some bad luck.

My Athlon 64 Machine has dead PSU.
my P4 also.
My P3 also suffers PSU Problems 😉

My Athlon XP System is working fine, but the 230W PSU is utilized as much as possible.
I fine tuned it with Athlon Mobile CPU to get Heat down.
It runs with a HD3450 AGP.

https://dosreloaded.de - The German Retro DOS PC Community
https://www.retroianer.de - under constructing since ever

Co2 - for a endless Summer

Reply 14 of 21, by dreamscape86

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Well I had a shuttle XPC arrive today and it was dead on arrival sadly... Looks like the seller left the CPU cooler unplugged and ran the machine. No POST, no display, nothing but death...

Really unfortunate, does anyone here from the UK have one for sale by any chance which actually works? Or any other small form factor pc for that matter with one PCI slot (for Sound Blaster Live!) and an AGP slot for my Geforce FX card.

Shuttle XPC | Pentium 4 2.8Ghz | 512MB DDR 400Mhz | Nvidia Geforce FX 5600 Ultra | 32GB Sandisk Extreme Pro CF Card | Silverstone FX350-G 350W 80 Plus Gold PSU | Windows 98 SE

Reply 15 of 21, by RandomStranger

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Do you have another CPU to test with? If it ran without cooler there is a good chance only the CPU blew itself and the rest is unharmed.

sreq.png retrogamer-s.png

Reply 16 of 21, by dreamscape86

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Sadly i don't and Athlon XP CPU's online seem to be expensive for some reason

Shuttle XPC | Pentium 4 2.8Ghz | 512MB DDR 400Mhz | Nvidia Geforce FX 5600 Ultra | 32GB Sandisk Extreme Pro CF Card | Silverstone FX350-G 350W 80 Plus Gold PSU | Windows 98 SE

Reply 17 of 21, by maestro

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If you want to know for sure, take out the CPU and look at the back side for a burn mark.

Just buy a cheap XP to test with, like $20 shipped and make sure it works with your board before you buy it. Buy the expensive one later.

Reply 18 of 21, by dreamscape86

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I had a look under the heatsink side facing the CPU and there is a lot of burn marks/discoloration to the heatsink as well as literally having the small chips around the CPU core burnt into the metal like its tracing paper! It's as if someone drew the CPU onto the heatsink. This thing has got extremely hot at some point I don't think i've ever seen anything like this before!

With a dead CPU i presume the BIOS wouldn't beep at all and the machine would show zero signs of life? I've never actually had a CPU failure before so this is a new one to me.

All the Athlon XP CPU's over here are expensive it's really strange they are priced up to £50!!! (around $65?) else i would give it a go as it seems a shame to send it to be recycled and likely that it could be just the cpu if the motherboard is ok.

Shuttle XPC | Pentium 4 2.8Ghz | 512MB DDR 400Mhz | Nvidia Geforce FX 5600 Ultra | 32GB Sandisk Extreme Pro CF Card | Silverstone FX350-G 350W 80 Plus Gold PSU | Windows 98 SE

Reply 19 of 21, by dreamscape86

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Well a really good stroke of luck today. Found an XPC on Facebook marketplace in absolutely immaculate condition. It looks like it's hardly ever been used no dust or anything.

It was said to not work but i took a chance anyway as it was only £25 and local. They said it won't display anything, i got it home and removed the Geforce FX 5200 it had and tried the onboard graphics and it sprung straight into life!

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Got to work installing all my cards (Geforce FX 5600 Ultra & Sound Blaster Live!) and disabled Hyperthreading then installed windows 98 SE

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Installed all the drivers and tried 3d mark 2001

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Came out with a reasonable score but i am wondering if this is actually high enough? Or are the FX 5600 Ultra's not that great? My laptops Geforce FX Go 5200 64mb does 4800 so i was expecting much higher but perhaps im being too ambitious

20221118-141340.jpg

I'm using the 45.23 Nvidia drivers, are these the best for this card? Is my 3d mark score about right for my spec?

Shuttle XPC | Pentium 4 2.8Ghz | 512MB DDR 400Mhz | Nvidia Geforce FX 5600 Ultra | 32GB Sandisk Extreme Pro CF Card | Silverstone FX350-G 350W 80 Plus Gold PSU | Windows 98 SE