The Ultimate Windows 98SE Build

Discussion in 'Processors and motherboards Intel' started by SlCKB0Y_BE, Sep 15, 2021.

  1. SlCKB0Y_BE

    SlCKB0Y_BE Member

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    started to feel some nostalgia for the 90's and dos gaming, and dosbox just wouldn't scratch that itch.

    so after some research i decided to built what can arguably be called the ultimate windows 98 gaming rig.

    here's the specs :

    - Gigabyte GA-P43-ES3G
    - Core2Duo E8600@4ghz
    - 2x1gb DDR2 800mhz
    - ATI X850XT
    - Creative Audigy 2 ZS
    - Sandisk 120GB SSD with Windows 98SE, Windows XP Dual boot
    - Seagate 500gb HDD in 4x120gb partitions
    - Enermax Marbleshell MS30 case
    - Cooler Master Masterliquid Lite 120mm AIO
    - Cooler Master 650w Gold PSU

    there's only a couple things missing, a real CRT screen to begin with, currently looking for a black 19 or 23" 1600x1200 one but it's getting pretty hard to come by these days.
    if anyone have an idea where to find new old stock it'll be greatly appreciated.

    also a 3DFX Voodoo 2 SLI, but waiting for next month to pull the plug on it as the price is quite a bitter pill to swallow, but heh, it will not really be the ultimate 90's gaming rig without it.

    have to say it was suprisingly less painfull than i thought, already knew the BIOS settings from my previous XP build, had a 256mb ram stick on hand just for the install, added the 4gb patch and swapped the ram, ran flawlessly.

    same goes for the GFX card installation, but the Audigy's SB16 dos emulation was a bit trickier to get running, sound would start bugging almost as soon as i started a game, and would keep going even once the game was turned off.

    thanks to Philscomputerlabs i knew Gigabyte mobo had hidden BIOS features, and fortunatly among them was an option to reserve IRQ, did it for the IRQ5, that did the trick and i now have perfect SB16 emulation under windows 98, along with SC-55 general midi emulation thanks to the sound fonts.

    now for the last issues i still have to iron out, trying to reboot in real dos mode seem to lock the computer up, don't think i had the issue previously so it might be from installing/uninstalling/reinstalling over the sound card drivers, heard it's a pretty well known W98 issue.

    managed to get into real dos mode thanks to another thread on Philscomputerlab, but then i can't get the audigy to work even after running the Audigy12 program that's supposed to enable it.

    might be because the link i got to restart in dos mode doesn't load the first part of the drivers, i need to look into that.

    otherwise ? well let's talk performances : they're absolutly insane for 1995 to 2005 games,
    back then the average gaming resolution was like 640*480 or 800*600,
    well this rig run everything 1600*1200, 16x anisotropic filtering and 4x Anti Aliasing at 60fps locked while hardly breaking a sweat.

    max CPU temp is well under 50° while gaming (not surprising with only one core being used, and so little at that), GPU get more toasty but like 70° max under 3Dmark03.

    couldn't be happier with this build, a CRT would defenetly be the final touch to make it perfect but otherwise, it's exactly the nostalgia trip i was looking for ^^

    highly recommanded, and for the very little i paid for it (like 50€ for the cpu/mobo/ram, 15€ for the GFX card, 25€ for the sound card, ...), it's an absolute steal.

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