First post, by God Of Gaming
I've been wanting to build something a bit older for a while now, and I noticed I have just about enough 1997 components to put together a nice machine. To start, I have this Shuttle HOT-569A motherboard with the 430TX chipset, it's not the best of the year or anything like that, but should do for a start, till I find something better.
For CPU to use, I have two Pentium MMX 166, one MMX 200 and one MMX 233, and I guess there's no reason to not just use the 233.
Digged trough my stash to find 1997 video cards, and I found those:
First is Asus AGP-V3000 Deluxe (Nvidia Riva 128), which sadly seems to be dead, I tested it and it outputs image on screen, but for some reason is stuck on 640x480 at 16 colors and trying to raise resolution or color depth results in black screen. No idea if this is fixable, probably not. It's AGP anyways so I can't use it on this motherboard, and I can't find a PCI Riva 128. But according to the internet, the Riva 128 should be the fastest video card of 1997. Sad.
Next is a Rendition Verite V2200 8mb PCI, I suppose this is the card I will end up using here. It's a weird low-profile version with a bios from 99, but the V2200 first came out in 97 so should fit just fine.
Finally a Matrox Mystique 220 4mb PCI, but I believe this card would be worse than the Rendition in just about every way, so guess I'll keep it as a spare in case the Rendition dies on me.
For audio I dugged up a Creative AWE64 Value CT4520 and a Turtle Beach Montego (Aureal Vortex), I suppose I'll use both.
I do not have any 1997 network cards, but I found these 3 from 1996, so I guess I'll pick one of them. 3Com 3C905-TX, Intel PRO/100 and some HP oem card with AMD PCnet-FAST chip... not sure which of the 3 to go for... perhaps the 3com, should be a 96 model but someone has written 27.3.97 in black marker onto the main chipset, for some reason, so this particular card was probably manufactured in 97, guess it can be a reason to go for it here.
I'm pretty short on storage options for that year, I only have this IBM Deskstar 8 hdd of 8.4gb 5400rpm, and it has some bad sectors too 🙁 It has 98 manufacture date but I know this model was first released in 97 so it counts. I believe I had a SCSI controller card from 1997 somewhere, so if I can find a cheap Seasgate Cheetah ST19101, 9.1gb 10000rpm, that would be my final pick, but for some reason those go for triple digits on ebay, it's crazy 🙁
I have this Acme ACM301X case which I bought NOS a while ago, it seems to be manufactured in 2002-2003, but it appears to have been first released in 1997, or at least I believe so because of a marking I found on the back of the front panel. It is ATX, not AT, so mounting this motherboard in it will be a bit weird, but it will allow me to upgrade to a nicer ATX motherboard such as the Asus P2L97-DS some day 😀 Power Supply I will use is a CWT 235W that seems to be from 99. Sorry, I don't have a 97 PSU currently. I also don't currently have a 1997 floppy drive or optical drive, so might have to temporarily mount newer ones till I can find period-correct ones.
Finally, for OS... I'd like to set up a multiboot of the relevant OSes of the year, but I can't decide which to go for. Obviously the main OS of the year would be Win95 OSR2.5, and also the slightly older Win95 OSR2.0 would make sense as it probably performs better without IE4. OS2 Warp 4 is slightly older as well, but if I can get it working here, could be fun to tinker with. Should also add Win NT4 SP3 just because I can. I don't know if theres any point in also adding DOS 6.22 + Win 3.11, probably not.