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Windows 98 Gaming PC: The Beige Build

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by almoststew1990, Feb 23, 2017.

  1. Terence_303

    Associate

    Joined: Jun 2, 2017

    Posts: 12

    I've decided to take the harder route and make it a solo rebuild as my first build not counting making a modern computer as to be honest my i5 4690k with nivdia geforce 970 8gb of ram was easy to build.

    Am doing it because I think it take longer but be more satisfying in the end game.

    I'll start with taking the advice of almoststew1990 and clean it and take it apart put it in bags and try turning it on in its simplest form to see if it will boot. But a new psu is a must so ill update with my findings very excited.
     
  2. almoststew1990

    Mobster

    Joined: May 12, 2011

    Posts: 4,875

    Location: Southampton

    Today marks the end of my Windows 98 PC, the board / RAM / CPU has been sold on eBay as I ended up using a c2d windows 7 32bit PC for a my retro gaming as it is so much more gosh darn convenient! Farewell bootable floppy disks, jumpers and IDE cables!
     
  3. Terence_303

    Associate

    Joined: Jun 2, 2017

    Posts: 12

    [​IMG]
    Windows 7 is what I'm currently playing brutal doom on my laptop at my folks came to see them for a few..... now i cant go home with out a game or to so this is my portable retro gaming rig lol an old dell laptop.
     
  4. LewisRaz

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 23, 2016

    Posts: 2,123

    Location: North Essex

    thats a shame mate but most of us reach that eventually i think. My retro system is just too loud and a bit too much effort every time you come upon an issue. Shame tho as you had a nice set up there.
     
  5. Mercutio

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 11, 2003

    Posts: 4,856

    Location: Sheffield, UK

    My barton 2500+ (1.83ghz so maybe you had the same) in an NF7-S (awesome board, first hardware dolby encoding on the fly available) was taken all the way to 3.5ish ghz under phase change in a chieftec dragon case I shoehorned a vapochill PE into, back in the day :p
     
  6. MichaelAwkward

    Mobster

    Joined: Jul 22, 2014

    Posts: 3,218

    Location: Oxon

    I've been contemplating building some kind of windows 98/xp box for playing old games on/general nostalgia lately.

    Would something like a Dell Optiplex GX260 be a bad idea as a starting point? It's not the one with the bad capacitors (that's the later GX270).

    Basic spec looks fine in terms of driver support:

    Pentium 4 2Ghz Northwood
    Intel 845G
    DDR memory
    Half height AGP 4x (most of what's available cheaply on eBay seems to be halfheight FX5200s and GeForce 4 MXs/GeForce 2s anyway)

    I originally was looking for a Pentium 3 machine but they've gone up in cost now with everyone trying to do this, so I'm looking at early Pentium 4s instead - something with 1GB ram max as Windows 98 can't handle more than that. My plan is to dual boot 98SE or ME with XP.

    There is the older GX150 too but they're rarer and more expensive. Come with a Pentium III, SD ram, AGP 2x.

    Thoughts?
     
  7. almoststew1990

    Mobster

    Joined: May 12, 2011

    Posts: 4,875

    Location: Southampton

    I would say that if you're not going to change much of it and it is cheap or free then sure, it will be 'fine' for an XP build. OEM PCs, and especially Dell, use proprietary cooling, motherboards, power supplies and possibly even GPU limitations. Also remember that the PSU in that will be engineered to be a cheap as possible whilst surviving a certain amount of time (which will be well overdue!).

    A custom PC build with a retail rather than OEM motherboard and BIOS will allow you use modern (quiet and reliable) PSUs, easily swap out CPUs, upgrade the BIOS, possibly put in more RAM, maybe allow a greater range of GPUs, allow you to use a modern (quiet and reliable) PSU. ANd you can easily change bits of it.

    I would say build a Windows 98 PC for very old disk games and a Windows 7 x86 PC for all other old games as Windows 7 has great compatibility (and if you're limited in budget, space or enthusiasm, the Windows 7 x86 can do double duty to be honest!). I say this as XP is young enough to be unexciting (for me) whilst also being very inferior to Windows 7. The same applies to S478 / P4 kit; they are not old and slow enough to be interesting and worth running with Winodws 98, but not fast enough to be bearable day to do. Also they're very loud as both GPUs and CPUs didn't have fan profiles back then!

    I have a Core 2 Duo (any will do to be honest but I would go 7 or 8 series and entry level for noise and power reasons) on a basic 775 motherboard with a modern low power GPU (Nvidia 440) and 3GB of DDR2. All my old games run at 60fps 1080p, pretty much silently. I can use my big stash of SATA HDDs and DVD drives. It is so much more convenient that a P4 build, and S775 parts are dirt cheap!

    I say this as someone who had that P2 build and made several P4 builds, all of which only lasted a few days before getting too fed up with them.
     
  8. MichaelAwkward

    Mobster

    Joined: Jul 22, 2014

    Posts: 3,218

    Location: Oxon

    In that case I might aim for just a Windows 98 machine, as like you say most Windows XP era games work just fine on Windows 7, and Windows 10 which my machine is now running.

    I've found a Pentium 3 500MHz machine that comes with what appears to be a GeForce 2 GTS, 256Mb SD RAM, MSI Intel 440BX motherboard, and 20GB IDE HDD for what I think is a reasonable price, without spending the time trawling through charity shops, car boots, etc - I'm actually surprised at how few machines of this age there are for sale now on eBay. I suppose the people that want them have got them by now and the ones that aren't wanted are thrown away rather than being sold.

    The main attraction to buying a whole PC of this era rather than just the parts is purely cost. For just a 440 motherboard, it would cost more with shipping than the whole PC I'm looking at. The case is fairly knackered, so transplanting into something a bit newer is probably worth doing and I do have an ATX case spare.

    I get what you're saying about it being a pain, but tbh I love fiddling with PCs. I remember when I first started using PCs and throughout my teens doing it all the time, where as now my main PC sits and just does everything I need it to and has done for the past 5 years with no upgrades so I hardly ever touch it.
     
  9. !bluetonic!

    Mobster

    Joined: Nov 17, 2005

    Posts: 2,587

    Location: Swindon, UK

    I've managed to 'get in there quick' and over this year built up my:
    MS DOS 7.1, WFW 3.11
    MS DOS 6.22, WFW 3.11
    Windows 98SE
    and Windows XP PC.

    Along with my trusty upgraded Amiga 1200.

    Due to electrical legislation, you're unlikely to find this kit in a UK charity shop.

    Your best bet is to befriend someone at a dump / recycling centre, strike gold with helping at an office or home clear-out.

    But, surely there's a small cohort who appreciate 386/486 and early Pentium tech. As we move on, people will be nostalgic for Core2Duo or Turion.
     
  10. MichaelAwkward

    Mobster

    Joined: Jul 22, 2014

    Posts: 3,218

    Location: Oxon

    Ah, so that's why there's so little for sale on eBay and the likes. Didn't think about that.

    I may have gone on a little spending spree last night... best I start my own thread I think.
     
  11. LeeUK

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 1, 2008

    Posts: 4,791

    I'd love to do something like this. I've got 2 old socket 478 machines gathering dust too, one is a P4 2.8Ghz and the other is a Celeron 1.8Ghz both with various DDR SDRAM sticks all ranging from 128mb to 512mb.
     
  12. linktoinsanity

    Underboss

    Joined: Oct 5, 2008

    Posts: 8,757

    Location: Kent

    There's a win98 PC round my Great Aunt and Great Uncle's place which I'm planning on grabbing this weekend. They also have an old 486, which I would love, but it's in a huge Full-Tower case! :(
     
  13. PurplePhoenix

    Gangster

    Joined: Sep 20, 2014

    Posts: 341

    Location: Southampton

    I came across about 8 brand new shuttle pc running XP. Hard drive booted up to login screen in like 20 seconds. Not even any dust on the unit I opened up.
     
  14. almoststew1990

    Mobster

    Joined: May 12, 2011

    Posts: 4,875

    Location: Southampton

    I have a small update to the Beige gaming machine!

    I decided I will paint the case as something to keep me out of trouble in the evenings this week. So far I've sanded down the old beige paint.

    Before:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    After:

    [​IMG]
    This was going from 240 to 400 and then 600 grit level (not sure what the scale is called). I could probably spend twice as long again sanding but, I kind of can't be bothered.

    Not sure how to tackle this though, it instantly shredded the sandpaper.

    [​IMG]

    Next up will be priming and then painting. Not sure what sort of colour scheme to do, maybe an Oblivion based one. So, I'll be painting it beige then? :rolleyes:
     
  15. MichaelAwkward

    Mobster

    Joined: Jul 22, 2014

    Posts: 3,218

    Location: Oxon

    You should paint it one of the classic Windows 98 colours :p
     
  16. !bluetonic!

    Mobster

    Joined: Nov 17, 2005

    Posts: 2,587

    Location: Swindon, UK

    [​IMG]

    So to spur forum members on over this..

    This is the first PC I ever had access to. A Dell Dimension Pentium 90. It was only a loan from my Dad's work of the time.

    I managed to find this one on ebay. I've installed 32 MB of memory, an 80 GB HDD, a Yamaha ISA Soundcard with WaveBlaster S2 daughterboard. The monitor was something that my parents had held onto in a storeroom.

    As I remember, the CD Drive of the time was a 2x Speed.

    I also managed to track down the original graphics card I had, the Hawkeye #9 PCI GXE 64 with 2MB.

    And you can see the floppy drive is a bit newer but meh..

    The original unit had a Dell 14inch CRT.

    It has a modem and working ethernet over TCP/IP in Windows 3.11.
     
  17. almoststew1990

    Mobster

    Joined: May 12, 2011

    Posts: 4,875

    Location: Southampton

    Today I started off the painting process with some primer, so I now have a very brown PC.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The primer seems to have overcome the rust really well! Not sure what colour(s) i will paint it but but it will have the following components in it:

    Slot A Motherboard
    550MHz (potentially a 750MHz CPU offered to me)
    Riva TNT2 Pro OR Geforce MX440 OR 4200ti OR 9600XT OR FX5700

    I particularly want to do a good job painting the inside (white or off-white) as I think having a painted inside of case (which is not black) will look classy! This is my first time painting anything decently so I don't have high hopes for a perfect finish.
     
  18. almoststew1990

    Mobster

    Joined: May 12, 2011

    Posts: 4,875

    Location: Southampton

    Calling knowledgeable people to this thread who helped me before @Armageus @mmj_uk @V F @agw_01 !

    I now have a Slot A build on the go and I have taken the heatsink off. Do I need thermal paste between the heatsink and the cartridge, as this would cover a very large area, and the heatsink does not directly touch the CPU lid?
     
  19. Armageus

    Don

    Joined: May 19, 2012

    Posts: 10,496

    Location: Spalding, Lincolnshire

    Can't say I've ever owned a Slot A CPU, but assume once you remove the heatsink you have a square CPU package with an exposed core (like the Socket A athlons used to?) - if so then I would just apply to the die only.

    If there are any cache chips on the Slot A package (non-Thunderbird I think?), then not sure if these would have thermal pads or paste to contact the heatsink?
     
  20. almoststew1990

    Mobster

    Joined: May 12, 2011

    Posts: 4,875

    Location: Southampton

    The cartridge itself is identical to Slot 1, so it would be on the outside of the cartridge. In the end I put some thermal paste in between, it's not going to do any harm!