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First post, by joeguy3121

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I've bought a pre-built Windows 98SE gaming rig that has a Pentium III 733MHz off eBay to play DOS games and Windows games from the 95 and 98 era. I'm a noob to old school computer tech from that time period and was unaware until now on many Win 95 games being not being suitable for fast CPUs and made a tough decision to sacrifice some of my computer's power in order to properly run Win 95 games (an example being Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire) by downgrading my Pentium III to a Celeron with a frequency below 400MHz though maybe not to low to get at least 25-30 fps in early Win 98 games. I need a recommendation of which Intel Celeron for my Socket 370 motherboard I should go with for solid performance in Win 95 games and decent performance in early Win 98 games.

And No, I'm not gonna use tools to slowdown the computer or use a emulator as a alternative. I bought a retro gaming PC for the real deal authentic experience of playing old PC games the way their ment to function on during that period and I can live without 60 fps or higher on my 98SE.

Also, my motherboard won't support Pentiums below III as it lacks a Slot 1, so my only choice for CPUs with frequency below 450MHz are the Celeron Mendocino models.

My specs:
OS: Windows 98SE
CPU: Intel Pentium III 733MHz
MB: MSI MS-6153 VER:2.1 Socket 370
RAM: 256MB PC133
GPU 1: Nvidia GeForce2 MX 400 64MB
GPU 2: 3DFX Voodoo2 8MB
AUDIO 1: Sound Blaster Live! CT4830
AUDIO 2: Sound Blaster 16 CT2260

Last edited by joeguy3121 on 2022-08-26, 08:11. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 1 of 24, by iraito

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Uhm a Pentium III going for 300Mhz but i think a pentium MMX 233 using setmul + a voodoo 2 is what you are searching, a pentium 3 will be too fast for a number of DOS games, also i wouldn't describe softwares limiting speed emulation, setmul does just that and it's 100% going to give you the real deal experience you search.

xjCZpgo.png

If you wanna check a blue ball playing retro PC games

Reply 2 of 24, by bloodem

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The sweet spot would be the VIA C3 Ezra-T 1000 MHz, which easily runs at 1.2 - 1.26 GHz. Not an Intel, but it doesn't have to be. 😀
At its maximum speed, the Ezra-T CPU is similar to a Pentium 3 Katmai @ 600 MHz.

What is special about this CPU, though, is that it's the most speed-flexible CPU that I know of (it can hit ANY possible speed point all the way down to a slow 386).
Now, I've never tested the Ezra-T on an MSI MS-6153, however I did test it on an MSI MS-6163 ver 1 and it worked perfectly (using a slotket).

Another option would be the VIA C3 Nehemiah 1.2 GHz which easily runs at 1.4 - 1.46 GHz. This CPU is much faster than the Ezra-T (equivalent to ~ an 800 MHz Athlon), however it's not as flexible. It can only hit the following speed points: 286, slow 386, fast 386, 486SX-20, and then there's a huge gap up to the speed of ~ a Pentium 133. This is not usually a problem and most DOS games will work perfectly fine with these speed options (I know that all of my favorite DOS games do).

So, it depends what you prefer: more speed in Win98 but less flexibility (VIA C3 Nehemiah) or less speed in Win98 but what is arguably the best speed flexibility (VIA C3 Ezra-T).

Last edited by bloodem on 2022-08-26, 07:55. 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 PC: Ryzen 7 5800X3D
Backup PC: Core i7 7700k

Reply 3 of 24, by zyga64

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You can set FSB to 66Mhz in BIOS and your Pentium !!! 733 will be 366MHz 😀

1) VLSI SCAMP /286@20 /4MB /CL-GD5422 /CMI8330
2) i420EX /486DX33 /16MB /TGUI9440 /YMF718+GUS
3) i440BX /P!!!750 /256MB /MX440 /SBLive!+Vibra16s
4) iG31 /E8400 /4GB /X1950GT /HDA

Reply 4 of 24, by bloodem

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zyga64 wrote on 2022-08-26, 07:54:

You can set FSB to 66Mhz in BIOS and your Pentium !!! 733 will be 366MHz 😀

It won't make a difference for speed sensitive DOS games. 😀

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 PC: Ryzen 7 5800X3D
Backup PC: Core i7 7700k

Reply 5 of 24, by zyga64

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bloodem wrote on 2022-08-26, 07:56:
zyga64 wrote on 2022-08-26, 07:54:

You can set FSB to 66Mhz in BIOS and your Pentium !!! 733 will be 366MHz 😀

It won't make a difference for speed sensitive DOS games. 😀

Original Celeron Medocino will not be suitable here either.
...but he can still try to disable the cache.

1) VLSI SCAMP /286@20 /4MB /CL-GD5422 /CMI8330
2) i420EX /486DX33 /16MB /TGUI9440 /YMF718+GUS
3) i440BX /P!!!750 /256MB /MX440 /SBLive!+Vibra16s
4) iG31 /E8400 /4GB /X1950GT /HDA

Reply 6 of 24, by bloodem

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zyga64 wrote on 2022-08-26, 08:00:

Original Celeron Medocino will not be suitable here either.
...but he can still try to disable the cache.

Disabling the cache on any Pentium 3 up to 1 GHz results in a speed equivalent to a very slow/slow/normal 386 (depending on the frequency of said Pentium 3). This can be enough for many games, but there will also be many that don't run at their optimal speed.

joeguy3121 wrote on 2022-08-26, 04:23:

And No, I'm not gonna use tools to slowdown the computer or use a emulator as a alternative. I bought a retro gaming PC for the real deal authentic experience of playing old PC games the way their ment to function on during that period and I can live without 60 fps or higher on my 98SE.

It depends what you mean by "tools". The VIA C3 CPUs that I recommended are natively speed flexible (so they don't require any software slowdown/emulation to achieve lower speeds), however you do need to rely on tools like setmul to disable caches, change the multiplier, etc. And this will be the case for all CPUs. You won't find any CPU that is both fast for Win95/98 and also slow for DOS. 😁
If you don't want any tools, then be prepared to spend a lot of money to buy separate PCs: slow 386, fast 386, slow 486, fast 486, Pentium, etc. 😀

Last edited by bloodem on 2022-08-26, 08:08. 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 PC: Ryzen 7 5800X3D
Backup PC: Core i7 7700k

Reply 7 of 24, by joeguy3121

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iraito wrote on 2022-08-26, 05:16:

Uhm a Pentium III going for 300Mhz but i think a pentium MMX 233 using setmul + a voodoo 2 is what you are searching, a pentium 3 will be too fast for a number of DOS games, also i wouldn't describe softwares limiting speed emulation, setmul does just that and it's 100% going to give you the real deal experience you search.

"Also, my motherboard won't support Pentiums below III as it lacks a Slot 1, so my only choice for CPUs with frequency below 450MHz are the Celeron Mendocino models."

I've already had to take my PC in after my previous motherboard broke and I'm not gonna replace it again but with a completely different motherboard just for a CPU....

Reply 8 of 24, by joeguy3121

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bloodem wrote on 2022-08-26, 07:36:
The sweet spot would be the VIA C3 Ezra-T 1000 MHz, which easily runs at 1.2 - 1.26 GHz. Not an Intel, but it doesn't have to be […]
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The sweet spot would be the VIA C3 Ezra-T 1000 MHz, which easily runs at 1.2 - 1.26 GHz. Not an Intel, but it doesn't have to be. 😀
At its maximum speed, the Ezra-T CPU is similar to a Pentium 3 Katmai @ 600 MHz.

What is special about this CPU, though, is that it's the most speed-flexible CPU that I know of (it can hit ANY possible speed point all the way down to a slow 386).
Now, I've never tested the Ezra-T on an MSI MS-6153, however I did test it on an MSI MS-6163 ver 1 and it worked perfectly (using a slotket).

Another option would be the VIA C3 Nehemiah 1.2 GHz which easily runs at 1.4 - 1.46 GHz. This CPU is much faster than the Ezra-T (equivalent to ~ an 800 MHz Athlon), however it's not as flexible. It can only hit the following speed points: 286, slow 386, fast 386, 486SX-20, and then there's a huge gap up to the speed of ~ a Pentium 133. This is not usually a problem and most DOS games will work perfectly fine with these speed options (I know that all of my favorite DOS games do).

So, it depends what you prefer: more speed in Win98 but less flexibility (VIA C3 Nehemiah) or less speed in Win98 but what is arguably the best speed flexibility (VIA C3 Ezra-T).

I guess I should of mentioned the version of the MSI motherboard I have which is a Ver:2.1.

How slow does the VIA C3 Ezra-T 1000 MHz perform in Windows games?

Reply 9 of 24, by joeguy3121

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bloodem wrote on 2022-08-26, 07:56:
zyga64 wrote on 2022-08-26, 07:54:

You can set FSB to 66Mhz in BIOS and your Pentium !!! 733 will be 366MHz 😀

It won't make a difference for speed sensitive DOS games. 😀

I already have the solution for speed sensitive DOS games, which is turning off the cache in the BIOS settings. 😁

Reply 10 of 24, by joeguy3121

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zyga64 wrote on 2022-08-26, 08:00:
bloodem wrote on 2022-08-26, 07:56:
zyga64 wrote on 2022-08-26, 07:54:

You can set FSB to 66Mhz in BIOS and your Pentium !!! 733 will be 366MHz 😀

It won't make a difference for speed sensitive DOS games. 😀

Original Celeron Medocino will not be suitable here either.
...but he can still try to disable the cache.

This. I in fact do disable the cache for speed sensitive DOS games.

What's this FSB you speak of?

Reply 11 of 24, by bloodem

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joeguy3121 wrote on 2022-08-26, 08:16:

How slow does the VIA C3 Ezra-T 1000 MHz perform in Windows games?

As I said, it can basically hit ANY speed point. So, in small increments, it can perform like a Pentium 3 Katmai 600, a Pentium 3 500, Pentium 2 400, Pentium 2 300, Pentium MMX 233, Pentium MMX 166, etc, etc, etc.

joeguy3121 wrote on 2022-08-26, 08:18:

I already have the solution for speed sensitive DOS games, which is turning off the cache in the BIOS settings. 😁

If this works for the games you play, it's fine. 😀 In my case, some games need a bit more speed than that of a slow 386 (but not TOO much speed either).

joeguy3121 wrote on 2022-08-26, 08:23:

What's this FSB you speak of?

Check the "CPU Plug & Play II" BIOS menu (the option "CPU Host/PCI Frequency"). You can find out more details by reading your motherboard's manual and this Wikipedia article.

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 PC: Ryzen 7 5800X3D
Backup PC: Core i7 7700k

Reply 12 of 24, by zyga64

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joeguy3121 wrote on 2022-08-26, 08:23:

What's this FSB you speak of?

Front Side Bus. For your Pentium 3 it is 133MHz. Cpu speed is FSB (133) x Multiplier (5.5). Multiplier is fixed.
5.5 x 66.6 is ~ 366 MHz

1) VLSI SCAMP /286@20 /4MB /CL-GD5422 /CMI8330
2) i420EX /486DX33 /16MB /TGUI9440 /YMF718+GUS
3) i440BX /P!!!750 /256MB /MX440 /SBLive!+Vibra16s
4) iG31 /E8400 /4GB /X1950GT /HDA

Reply 13 of 24, by joeguy3121

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bloodem wrote on 2022-08-26, 08:27:
As I said, it can basically hit ANY speed point. So, in small increments, it can perform like a Pentium 3 Katmai 600, a Pentium […]
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joeguy3121 wrote on 2022-08-26, 08:16:

How slow does the VIA C3 Ezra-T 1000 MHz perform in Windows games?

As I said, it can basically hit ANY speed point. So, in small increments, it can perform like a Pentium 3 Katmai 600, a Pentium 3 500, Pentium 2 400, Pentium 2 300, Pentium MMX 233, Pentium MMX 166, etc, etc, etc.

joeguy3121 wrote on 2022-08-26, 08:18:

I already have the solution for speed sensitive DOS games, which is turning off the cache in the BIOS settings. 😁

If this works for the games you play, it's fine. 😀 In my case, some games need a bit more speed than that of a slow 386 (but not TOO much speed either).

joeguy3121 wrote on 2022-08-26, 08:23:

What's this FSB you speak of?

Check the "CPU Plug & Play II" BIOS menu (the option "CPU Host/PCI Frequency"). You can find out more details by reading your motherboard's manual and this Wikipedia article.

Whoops! miss the "it can hit ANY possible speed point all the way down to a slow 386" part. 😅

A CPU that can change speed points sounds awsome and game changing. 👍🏼

Although I must say that before I made the decision to downgrade my CPU, my former intension was upgrading it to a Pentium III 1.00 GHz, unfortunately, I've just learned that the MS-6153 Ver: 2.1 would only go up to 733MHz and wouldn't post on a PIII 1.00 GHz. I'm very unsure about the VIA C3 Ezra-T 1000 MHz <-- 1.0 GHz be willing to work on my motherboard, I don't let to feel disappointed again....🙁

Reply 14 of 24, by joeguy3121

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zyga64 wrote on 2022-08-26, 08:38:
joeguy3121 wrote on 2022-08-26, 08:23:

What's this FSB you speak of?

Front Side Bus. For your Pentium 3 it is 133MHz. Cpu speed is FSB (133) x Multiplier (5.5). Multiplier is fixed.
5.5 x 66.6 is ~ 366 MHz

I'll look into that later, Thanks.

Reply 15 of 24, by bloodem

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joeguy3121 wrote on 2022-08-26, 09:14:

[...] unfortunately, I've just learned that the MS-6153 Ver: 2.1 would only go up to 733MHz and wouldn't post on a PIII 1.00 GHz. I'm very unsure about the VIA C3 Ezra-T 1000 MHz <-- 1.0 GHz be willing to work on my motherboard, I don't let to feel disappointed again....🙁

I have yet to see a motherboard that works with a lower speed Coppermine, but doesn't work with a higher speed Coppermine.
I can guarantee you that the MS-6153 works just fine with any Coppermine CPU, including the 1 GHz SKU. Something else must be going on... (i.e. how sure are you that the 1 GHz CPU you tested was not dead?).

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 PC: Ryzen 7 5800X3D
Backup PC: Core i7 7700k

Reply 16 of 24, by joeguy3121

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bloodem wrote on 2022-08-26, 11:20:
joeguy3121 wrote on 2022-08-26, 09:14:

[...] unfortunately, I've just learned that the MS-6153 Ver: 2.1 would only go up to 733MHz and wouldn't post on a PIII 1.00 GHz. I'm very unsure about the VIA C3 Ezra-T 1000 MHz <-- 1.0 GHz be willing to work on my motherboard, I don't let to feel disappointed again....🙁

I have yet to see a motherboard that works with a lower speed Coppermine, but doesn't work with a higher speed Coppermine.
I can guarantee you that the MS-6153 works just fine with any Coppermine CPU, including the 1 GHz SKU. Something else must be going on... (i.e. how sure are you that the 1 GHz CPU you tested was not dead?).

I've bought the PIII 1.GHz refurbished, the best condition I could find. Maybe your right, I may go for the VIA C3 Ezra as soon as I settle this possible issue out.

Reply 17 of 24, by mothergoose729

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IMO the ideal hybrid CPU is a VIA Ezra T or Nehemiah, but with the price and rarity of slotket adapters I think it is hard to recommend it.

Speed sensitivity is just not that important. I would choose a platform that makes sense for the games you want to play, and then think about how you can slow it down later if you need to. Any socket 370 CPU is going to be pretty flexible with a little tinkering. The number of games completely out of reach is close to zero.

Reply 18 of 24, by bloodem

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mothergoose729 wrote on 2022-08-26, 16:42:

IMO the ideal hybrid CPU is a VIA Ezra T or Nehemiah, but with the price and rarity of slotket adapters I think it is hard to recommend it.

Well, the OP has a socket 370 motherboard (MSI MS-6153), so he won't need a slotket, no matter what CPU brand he chooses. 😀
The only question is whether his motherboard will work with the VIA Ezra-T / Nehemiah CPUs. I do know that the MSI MS-6163 (a great slot 1 board, that also has a 440BX chipset like the MS-6153) does work fine with these with the latest official BIOS.

Regarding slotket prices and rarity... yeah, not sure what's going on there. I have about ten Coppermine compatible slotkets that I purchased up until 2019 - 2020 for very little money ($5 - $10 a piece), but all of a sudden they're now extremely rare and expensive.

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 PC: Ryzen 7 5800X3D
Backup PC: Core i7 7700k

Reply 19 of 24, by joeguy3121

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bloodem wrote on 2022-08-26, 07:36:
The sweet spot would be the VIA C3 Ezra-T 1000 MHz, which easily runs at 1.2 - 1.26 GHz. Not an Intel, but it doesn't have to be […]
Show full quote

The sweet spot would be the VIA C3 Ezra-T 1000 MHz, which easily runs at 1.2 - 1.26 GHz. Not an Intel, but it doesn't have to be. 😀
At its maximum speed, the Ezra-T CPU is similar to a Pentium 3 Katmai @ 600 MHz.

What is special about this CPU, though, is that it's the most speed-flexible CPU that I know of (it can hit ANY possible speed point all the way down to a slow 386).
Now, I've never tested the Ezra-T on an MSI MS-6153, however I did test it on an MSI MS-6163 ver 1 and it worked perfectly (using a slotket).

Another option would be the VIA C3 Nehemiah 1.2 GHz which easily runs at 1.4 - 1.46 GHz. This CPU is much faster than the Ezra-T (equivalent to ~ an 800 MHz Athlon), however it's not as flexible. It can only hit the following speed points: 286, slow 386, fast 386, 486SX-20, and then there's a huge gap up to the speed of ~ a Pentium 133. This is not usually a problem and most DOS games will work perfectly fine with these speed options (I know that all of my favorite DOS games do).

So, it depends what you prefer: more speed in Win98 but less flexibility (VIA C3 Nehemiah) or less speed in Win98 but what is arguably the best speed flexibility (VIA C3 Ezra-T).

I'm clueless, is this a VIA C3 Ezra-T 1000 MHz?.