Author Topic: PC Advice (Building a retro Windows 98 SE rig)  (Read 185 times)

jeffmandm

PC Advice (Building a retro Windows 98 SE rig)
« on: December 12, 2018, 10:06:47 am »
I don't want to go TOO in-depth with this as I don't want to seem like I'm tooting my own horn, but my dad and I have been scrounging parts from some of our old computers to see if we can build a rig for myself so I can play all my vintage Windows games (from around 1995 to late 2001, early 2002) on actual hardware, and we've got a lot of stuff that seems to be good, but I'm more concerned of upkeep. If I wanted a motherboard that would last pretty well, with AGP and PCI as I don't plan on using any ISA cards, what motherboard should I go with? The current motherboard I have is one that uses a slot-1 processor (which I have an Intel Pentium III in right now) but I feel like those might be hard to come by, and think that a normal surface-mount board will be easier to keep in good working order. Mind you, I'm going to be installing Windows 98 SE on this, so I don't expect to get much out of it, but the current board I have only supports up to 324 MB RAM, and I was hoping to at least have 512 MB. 1 GB is too much for a computer like this, I feel. If you guys had any ideas or suggestions, I'd really appreciate the help.~


tripredacus

Re: PC Advice (Building a retro Windows 98 SE rig)
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2018, 12:11:38 pm »
Slot 1 isn't a problem, but make sure that you have extra fan/heat sink available for when you'll eventually have to replace them.
768MB RAM is a decent amount, I doubt you'll need more than this. Also when using a video card, keep the VRAM size at 256MB or below, else you will have problems.

Re: PC Advice (Building a retro Windows 98 SE rig)
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2018, 12:35:46 pm »
I bought one of these premade from a local collector for $80. It's essentially the high end gaming PC I wanted back in 1999, but could never afford in my wildest dreams back then.

Re: PC Advice (Building a retro Windows 98 SE rig)
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2018, 06:15:03 am »
Hi Jeff Man,

Welcome to VGC my fellow Retro PC Gamer  ;D

The setup you have sounds good.  324MB RAM is plenty good for Win98.  Anymore than 512MB and Windows 98 starts to act up anyway.

What is the speed of your Pentium 3? Slot 1 is good, no need to swap it out. 

Please give me the specs of what you have now.

Also, I'd recommend you pickup a 3Dfx Voodoo 3 card, or you if you want better performance at a cheaper price, you can grab a nice Geforce 4 or 5 card. These are the last Geforce cards with rock solid Windows 98 support. You won't have that sexy glide support from the Voodoo, but this setup should be able to play any game from 2002 and back as long as your CPU is up to snuff.

here's a great post about this topic:

https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?t=33301


Ohh, and stick with Direct X v7.0a.  This version is the sweet spot when it comes to Windows 98 gaming. The higher version start to bog the system down.

Cheers!  ;)
« Last Edit: December 14, 2018, 06:43:39 am by retromangia »

tripredacus

Re: PC Advice (Building a retro Windows 98 SE rig)
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2018, 09:56:22 am »
Anymore than 512MB and Windows 98 starts to act up anyway.

Hogwash! 1GB is the maximum amount. If you run more than 512MB, you just need to increase the MaxFileCache value in the system.ini. For these situations you likely want to use Windows 98 SE or ME. Here are some build examples:
https://msfn.org/board/topic/118097-day-to-day-running-win-9xme-with-more-than-1-gib-ram/?do=findComment&comment=767500

Re: PC Advice (Building a retro Windows 98 SE rig)
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2018, 10:51:23 am »
I grew up with this kind of setup, You should be better off never connecting a Windows 98 computer to the internet, now a days. One this old is probably only good for vary old game discs. I would try to get as much RAM as Windows 98 can handle. But with an earlier windows OS like windows 98, you don't need as much RAM as you would in. Lets say a Windows XP machine. or newer

More than half the video games I had growing up never could run vary good. Without crashing or error messages causing a game to end.
(PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY)
Life on earth is only temporary and If you believe in God and do good in life. You can continue to live with any possessions  you desire in the afterlife, as long as you do good and don't do evil in real life

Re: PC Advice (Building a retro Windows 98 SE rig)
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2018, 05:52:05 am »
;)
« Last Edit: December 15, 2018, 05:54:30 am by retromangia »

Re: PC Advice (Building a retro Windows 98 SE rig)
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2018, 05:53:17 am »

If your retro pc games require more than 512MB of RAM, at that point they're probably fully compatible and better fit for a Windows XP machine.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2018, 05:55:15 am by retromangia »

Re: PC Advice (Building a retro Windows 98 SE rig)
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2018, 07:47:53 am »
Why do you want to limit yourself to an ancient PC? when you probably could buy a newer and cheaper PC, that would probably last longer too. Although windows 10 does not play all older PC games without some kind 3rd party engine. In some cases playing on windows 10 is still not bad. Windows 10 plays most older games, without a problem

But If you ever wanted to play something like Duke Nukem 3D you would need to know how to run it off the Eduke32. In which is a free 3rd party program that works on a modern machine.

or in the case of Doom95 vanilla you would need a 3rd party program like Zandronum, or Zdoom in order to play that game on Windows 7,8 or 10

Whatever you do don't get a Windows ME OS machine
(PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY)
Life on earth is only temporary and If you believe in God and do good in life. You can continue to live with any possessions  you desire in the afterlife, as long as you do good and don't do evil in real life

Re: PC Advice (Building a retro Windows 98 SE rig)
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2018, 09:02:52 am »
You know there's just something so much more satisfying about playing old games on their original intended hardware. I like to compare this to the likes of emulation. Sure you can play almost any retro game on a Retro Pie for free now a days, but it just doesn't feel right.

Nothing beats firing up some Unreal Tournament or Need for Speed III on a fully loaded Windows 98' machine, all beiged out with your beautiful CRT glowing back at you.  8)

Personally I have 2 Voodoo's running in SLI, with an Aureal Vortex 2 sound card and couldn't be happier.  Plays everything like butta from Monkey Island in DOS to Quake 3.


Re: PC Advice (Building a retro Windows 98 SE rig)
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2018, 02:16:11 am »
This link also has some good advice in it. Some more pros and cons of the older PC's of the 1990's

https://vgcollect.com/forum/index.php/topic,8193.msg136519.html#msg136519
(PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY)
Life on earth is only temporary and If you believe in God and do good in life. You can continue to live with any possessions  you desire in the afterlife, as long as you do good and don't do evil in real life

tripredacus

Re: PC Advice (Building a retro Windows 98 SE rig)
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2018, 10:03:53 am »
Why do you want to limit yourself to an ancient PC?

Do you honestly think he doesn't have another computer? Do not derail legacy tech topics with questions or statements like this. You are wasting your time.

Re: PC Advice (Building a retro Windows 98 SE rig)
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2018, 09:51:31 pm »
Why do you want to limit yourself to an ancient PC?

Do you honestly think he doesn't have another computer? Do not derail legacy tech topics with questions or statements like this. You are wasting your time.

I didn't think of it that way,
« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 10:06:56 pm by oldgamerz »
(PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY)
Life on earth is only temporary and If you believe in God and do good in life. You can continue to live with any possessions  you desire in the afterlife, as long as you do good and don't do evil in real life

jeffmandm

Re: PC Advice (Building a retro Windows 98 SE rig)
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2018, 09:59:31 am »
Well, here's the thing. I've run into issues with running older games in virtualization because my current game focused gaming rig is up to snuff, I can't run things like PCEm or qemu because of how many calls it's making to the virtual hardware at once, it just seems to make things slower. Not only that, as someone else brought up, I want to play my old games on actual hardware. Right now I've been trying to record gameplay for SpongeBob Employee of the Month and it doesn't work too well in the virtual machine I used. Not only did I have to use software rendering, VirtualBox has this issue where sometimes the audio will start to crackle and slow down, and I don't want that either. Besides, switching to a new-old machine with an SD card as the hard drive makes it easier to copy no-cd cracks for the games I need them for and other files to the drive. Plus I can have multiple OS's if I want, but right now I'm mainly doing this for 98 SE.

The main reason I'm installing 98 SE is because I'm aware from personal experiences how watered down 98 FE is as opposed to SE, and I grew up first with SE, then Windows XP, so I think I can handle it. Someone remind me, is the voodoo 3 TV 16MB AGP card a dedicated video card? Or, I guess, is the Voodoo3 Line in general a dedicated video card?

Here's my loadout of parts I have right now. Mind you, the Voodoo-3 and Sound Blaster PCI-128 is from one of my classmates.

Generic Blue and Silver case (Apparently my dad said it's the only one he had that had what I was looking for and was a somewhat fitting for the time period case)
Intel E139761 Motherboard (Slot-1, 324? MB max capacity, single channel) - ATX form factor
3Dfx Voodoo-3 3500 TV AGP 16MB
Creative Labs CT5803 Sound Blaster PCI-128 with MIDI/Game IN
Intel Pentium-III 650 SL3KV (256KB L2 Cache, Front side bus speed of 100Mhz, operates at 1.65 V, built March 21 of 2000)
« Last Edit: December 22, 2018, 10:27:24 am by jeffmandm »


Re: PC Advice (Building a retro Windows 98 SE rig)
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2018, 06:13:42 pm »
Well, here's the thing. I've run into issues with running older games in virtualization because my current game focused gaming rig is up to snuff, I can't run things like PCEm or qemu because of how many calls it's making to the virtual hardware at once, it just seems to make things slower. Not only that, as someone else brought up, I want to play my old games on actual hardware. Right now I've been trying to record gameplay for SpongeBob Employee of the Month and it doesn't work too well in the virtual machine I used. Not only did I have to use software rendering, VirtualBox has this issue where sometimes the audio will start to crackle and slow down, and I don't want that either. Besides, switching to a new-old machine with an SD card as the hard drive makes it easier to copy no-cd cracks for the games I need them for and other files to the drive. Plus I can have multiple OS's if I want, but right now I'm mainly doing this for 98 SE.

The main reason I'm installing 98 SE is because I'm aware from personal experiences how watered down 98 FE is as opposed to SE, and I grew up first with SE, then Windows XP, so I think I can handle it. Someone remind me, is the voodoo 3 TV 16MB AGP card a dedicated video card? Or, I guess, is the Voodoo3 Line in general a dedicated video card?

Here's my loadout of parts I have right now. Mind you, the Voodoo-3 and Sound Blaster PCI-128 is from one of my classmates.

Generic Blue and Silver case (Apparently my dad said it's the only one he had that had what I was looking for and was a somewhat fitting for the time period case)
Intel E139761 Motherboard (Slot-1, 324? MB max capacity, single channel) - ATX form factor
3Dfx Voodoo-3 3500 TV AGP 16MB
Creative Labs CT5803 Sound Blaster PCI-128 with MIDI/Game IN
Intel Pentium-III 650 SL3KV (256KB L2 Cache, Front side bus speed of 100Mhz, operates at 1.65 V, built March 21 of 2000)

Well good luck I'm rooting for you, my little sister is doing something similar. Windows 98 SE was acutally pretty good from what I can remember. Just stay away from Windows ME and Vista :)
(PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY)
Life on earth is only temporary and If you believe in God and do good in life. You can continue to live with any possessions  you desire in the afterlife, as long as you do good and don't do evil in real life