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Building a new computer


Balcer
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Hi everyone,

I need your help in choosing computer components, which are compatible with Windows 98.

Why do I need Windows 98

I have an old sound card Aureal Vortex 2., which allows me to use A3D technology. All seems to be simple, because card works fine under Windows XP using basic Windows drivers. Unfortunately A3D needs to act an original Aureal drivers that were made only for Windows 95/98/ME. I was trying many different ways to activate A3D, but without any result. A3D will be used mainly in Half Life with mods.

My requirements regarding to performance.

I'm not a demanding user. Fast single core processor, 2GB RAM and good DX9.0 supporting card will be enough for me. I want to play Half Life with different mods (Counter Strike 1.6) without FPS drops. If computer will be strong enough to run some "new" games from 2007/2008 i will be satisfied

My biggest problem is graphic card. I dont know which slot should i choose?

- PCI-E card is cheap, but Im not sure will it work properly under W98. I found drivers for GF6XXX and Radeon X800/X850 series only. GF7XXX is not fully supported, but it's not so important. Im using GF7600GS in my actual PC, so I could try.

- AGP card is expensive comparing to PCI-E, but it will work fine under W98. I can buy Radeon X1950PRO for about 70$.

- Last option is to buy MOBO with both PCI-E and AGP slots. I can buy X1950XT/XTX on PCI-E to use it Windows XP and Radeon 9800 on AGP to use it in W98.

Second thing is motherboard. I found some nice AsRock's with PCI-E/AGP slots: 939Dual-Sata2/939Dual-VSTA for s939, 4CoreDual-SATA2 (not full speed PCI-E) for LGA775 and really interesting ALiveDual-eSATA2 based on nForce3 250 and M1695 supporting AM3 Semprons and DDR2. These motherboards are the safest choice because of both AGP/PCI-E slots, so if PCI-E card will not work under W98 I can still add an AGP one.

There arent official drivers for W98, but i found on this forum couple of users using for example 4CoreDual-SATA2 under W98.

I have WD 80GB IDE HDD, NIC card supporting W98 and additional Sound Blaster 4.1 to play old games with EAX.

All suggestions are welcome.

PS. Sorry, my english isn't good.

Edited by Balcer
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Strongest possible Win 98SE combination with new computers parts + official drivers is:

ASROCK AM2NF3-VSTA (with 1 GB)

with Nvidia 6800 AGP graphic card (with 256 MB)

This need to work without any problems and any other help, but NO SOUND in Win 98.

If you want sound you will need to by PCI sound card with Win 98 drivers.

If you will have on computer dual bot (Win 98 and Win XP) you can have 4 GB, but first you must install in MBO only 1 GB, then you need to install Win 98, limit memory usage of Win 98 on only 1 GB, then install in MBO other 3 GB (MBO is having 4 memory slots) and only then you need to install Win XP.

For more about MBO and link for web shop you need to look my yesterday edits

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Thanks for replies.

I can buy Radeon X1950PRO for about 70$.

There are no Windows 98/ME drivers for ATI Radeons above the X850.

U mean Radeons using both slots - PCI-E and AGP, right?

Strongest possible Win 98SE combination with new computers parts + official drivers is:

ASROCK AM2NF3-VSTA (with 1 GB)

with Nvidia 6800 AGP graphic card (with 256 MB)

This need to work without any problems and any other help, but NO SOUND in Win 98.

If you want sound you will need to by PCI sound card with Win 98 drivers.

If you will have on computer dual bot (Win 98 and Win XP) you can have 4 GB, but first you must install in MBO only 1 GB, then you need to install Win 98, limit memory usage of Win 98 on only 1 GB, then install in MBO other 3 GB (MBO is having 4 memory slots) and only then you need to install Win XP.

For more about MBO and link for web shop you need to look my yesterday edits

This combnation looks fine, but I wonder if i can use PCI-E GF6800?

No sound isn't a problem, because my goal is to use Aureal Vortex 2, which was designed to work under Windows 98

As I wrote I want to make dual boot - Windows 98 + Windows XP.

Propably I will be using 2GB under XP, so I will edit system.ini file to prevent Win 98 from using to much RAM.

If you intend to run Windows 98 on that machine to play Counter-Strike online, keep in mind that you won't be able to play Counter-Strike 1.6 on Steam. You'll have to use the older, pre-Steam version, CS 1.5.

You are right. Steam doesn't work under Windows 98, but I heard that non-steam version works fine.

Anyway I can still play original Half-Life + addons in single player. ;)

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This combnation looks fine, but I wonder if i can use PCI-E GF6800?

No sound isn't a problem, because my goal is to use Aureal Vortex 2, which was designed to work under Windows 98

As I wrote I want to make dual boot - Windows 98 + Windows XP.

Propably I will be using 2GB under XP, so I will edit system.ini file to prevent Win 98 from using to much RAM.

PCI-E is not supported on Windows 98SE.

You can use only use user made drivers for PCI-E (my proposition is for drivers of our Czech friend).

If you will use that then ASROCK AM2NF3-VSTA is bad option because it is having only AGP port. If you want to buy PCI-E MBO then my advice is to look internet page of our friend with list of chipsets supported with his user made drivers.

Do you want link for web page ?

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You are right. Steam doesn't work under Windows 98, but I heard that non-steam version works fine.

Anyway I can still play original Half-Life + addons in single player. ;)

Shameless plug follows.

But yeah, if you really want to play Counter-Strike with A3D, the above is an option for you.

I just wanna try how it really works in CS. I heard that is a little bit unfair, because you hear almost whole map.

Anyway there are so many other great games that support A3D - for example Dungeon Keeper 2, Deus Ex, Messiah or Neverwinter Nights.

This combnation looks fine, but I wonder if i can use PCI-E GF6800?

No sound isn't a problem, because my goal is to use Aureal Vortex 2, which was designed to work under Windows 98

As I wrote I want to make dual boot - Windows 98 + Windows XP.

Propably I will be using 2GB under XP, so I will edit system.ini file to prevent Win 98 from using to much RAM.

PCI-E is not supported on Windows 98SE.

You can use only use user made drivers for PCI-E (my proposition is for drivers of our Czech friend).

If you will use that then ASROCK AM2NF3-VSTA is bad option because it is having only AGP port. If you want to buy PCI-E MBO then my advice is to look internet page of our friend with list of chipsets supported with his user made drivers.

Do you want link for web page ?

You mean that page, right?

There are drivers supporting GeForce series 6/7. As I understand maximum GPU V-RAM is 256MB?

Yes, I prefer PCIE, because graphic cards using that slot are much cheaper. Can you recommend me a motherboard with good OC that is fully supported by unnoficial drivers from that site? I wasn't using Intel processors since Netburst premiere . :lol:

At this point I'm closer to build something like that:

AM2 - ASRock AliveDual eSATA2 + Athlon LE-1620 or Sempron 140

939 - 939Dual-SATA2/939Dual-VSTA + Athlon 3700+ (San Diego) or Opteron 144/146, eventually FX-57

Edited by Balcer
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Yes :)

Computer Translation of his words about GPU:

"Modified by installing NVIDIA ForceWare drivers 82.69 + 93.71 (unofficial version would ZakMcKracken84/MSFN forum), include support for PCI Express GeForce 6xxx/7xxx. We have successfully tested it with GF6600GT PCI-E GF6800GT PCI-E GF7300GT PCI-E GF7600GS PCI-E GF7900GT PCI-E GF7950GT AGP. It seems that the important role played by the size of VRAM, while the 512 megabytes GF7950GT version did not work, so 256 megabytes version worked without problems. There have been several experiments with the cards 8xxx series, but none could break in (or 8600GT with 256MB of memory). Although the drivers install, but after rebooting the system gets stuck at boot error protection."

PCI-E is having beautifull bonus if it will work with user made drivers because GPU cards with turbocache or HyperMemory if everything will be OK will work with 256 MB in Windows 98 and with 512 MB in Windows 7 (example)

For example of GPU card with turbocache you can look this link.

About MBO:

If you want (and you can find) socket 939 MBO then ASRock 939S56-M is very safe solution because even ASRock is saying:"Microsoft® Windows® 98SE / ME / 2000 / XP / XP 64-bit compliant"

ALiveDual-eSATA2 is hybrid so this can create interesting problems during installation. If you want situation without "problems" ALiveSATA2-GLAN or AM2V890-VSTA is better solution because you can download all MBO drivers from VIA site and you are safe because if there will be problem with GPU card MBO is having integrated GPU which will work (very weak, but....) This is link CPU supported with this MBO (and other informations). You can use any other MBO with K8M890 because they are 100% supported with official chipset drivers.

I am 99 % sure that you are not interested in must modern solution for Win 98 (in other words VIA). This solution will be something like this, then after few months change CPU with Nano x2. Let us be clear CPU which is now in this MBO is very weak even if we will look even Athlon LE-1620. With MBO you will have single core Nano (until your upgrade to Nano x2) with benchmark 491. On other side Athlon LE-1620 is 642.

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Thx for reply. :)

Yes :)

Computer Translation of his words about GPU:

"Modified by installing NVIDIA ForceWare drivers 82.69 + 93.71 (unofficial version would ZakMcKracken84/MSFN forum), include support for PCI Express GeForce 6xxx/7xxx. We have successfully tested it with GF6600GT PCI-E GF6800GT PCI-E GF7300GT PCI-E GF7600GS PCI-E GF7900GT PCI-E GF7950GT AGP. It seems that the important role played by the size of VRAM, while the 512 megabytes GF7950GT version did not work, so 256 megabytes version worked without problems. There have been several experiments with the cards 8xxx series, but none could break in (or 8600GT with 256MB of memory). Although the drivers install, but after rebooting the system gets stuck at boot error protection."

PCI-E is having beautifull bonus if it will work with user made drivers because GPU cards with turbocache or HyperMemory if everything will be OK will work with 256 MB in Windows 98 and with 512 MB in Windows 7 (example)

For example of GPU card with turbocache you can look this link.

As I thought only low-budget GPU's are using TurboCache or HyperMemory. I'm planning to use GF7600GS and if it works fine, I will switch to 7900GT, 7950GT or 7900GTO.

I'm disappointed that there aren't any drivers for Radeon X1000 series.

About MBO:

If you want (and you can find) socket 939 MBO then ASRock 939S56-M is very safe solution because even ASRock is saying:"Microsoft® Windows® 98SE / ME / 2000 / XP / XP 64-bit compliant"

I need a few PCI slots than won't be obscured by GPU. Also I dont know how good O/C that MOBO can provide.

ALiveDual-eSATA2 is hybrid so this can create interesting problems during installation. If you want situation without "problems" ALiveSATA2-GLAN or AM2V890-VSTA is better solution because you can download all MBO drivers from VIA site and you are safe because if there will be problem with GPU card MBO is having integrated GPU which will work (very weak, but....) This is link CPU supported with this MBO (and other informations). You can use any other MBO with K8M890 because they are 100% supported with official chipset drivers.

I know that ALiveDual-eSATA2 is using two chipsets - ULi M1695 and nForce 250. I found one guy on that forum, who is using that MOBO. He has no problems at all, except HDD that works in compatibility mode. Anyway a good O/C, eSata, both AGP and pci-e slots (full speed), AM2+ + DDR2 1066 support is enough to take a risk.

The only problem is availability, even at the secondary market.

I am 99 % sure that you are not interested in must modern solution for Win 98 (in other words VIA). This solution will be something like this, then after few months change CPU with Nano x2. Let us be clear CPU which is now in this MBO is very weak even if we will look even Athlon LE-1620. With MBO you will have single core Nano (until your upgrade to Nano x2) with benchmark 491. On other side Athlon LE-1620 is 642.

I'm interested with strong single core processor, but who know? Maybe Nano is the O/C demon. :D

In spite of all thanks for info. This type of MOBO can be good for HTPC.

Can u tell me something about Intel MOBO's with official/unofficial support for Windows 98? I see that there is a nice single core processor based on PDC architecture - Celeron 420, 430, 440 and 450. They overclock really good - 3Ghz isn't a problem with BOX cooler.

Edited by Balcer
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As I thought only low-budget GPU's are using TurboCache or HyperMemory. I'm planning to use GF7600GS and if it works fine, I will switch to 7900GT, 7950GT or 7900GTO.

I'm disappointed that there aren't any drivers for Radeon X1000 series.

Your options are very simple:

Low budget GPU with 512 MB in Windows XP/7

or

High budget GPU with 256 in all Windows

I know that ALiveDual-eSATA2 is using two chipsets - ULi M1695 and nForce 250. I found one guy on that forum, who is using that MOBO. He has no problems at all, except HDD that works in compatibility mode. Anyway a good O/C, eSata, both AGP and pci-e slots (full speed), AM2+ + DDR2 1066 support is enough to take a risk.

The only problem is availability, even at the secondary market.

Yes it is little hard to find ALiveDual-eSATA2, but not too much

I'm interested with strong single core processor, but who know? Maybe Nano is the O/C demon. :D

In spite of all thanks for info. This type of MOBO can be good for HTPC.

Can u tell me something about Intel MOBO's with official/unofficial support for Windows 98? I see that there is a nice single core processor based on PDC architecture - Celeron 420, 430, 440 and 450. They overclock really good - 3Ghz isn't a problem with BOX cooler.

I do not see reasons for OC on single core processors (only possible reason is price) because you can buy Intel processors with speed of 3.8 GHz or dual core with speed of 3.4 Ghz.

Why I am using this examples ?

Because of 4CoreDual-SATA2 R2.0 MBO (SATA II but PCIE only x4)

or

4CoreDX90-VSTA R2.0 (SATA I, but PCIE x16 and weaker CPU support)

Which are having official support.

If you want to believe to our friends with user made drivers then you will buy something like this or this. I am sure that you will be very happy with second example :)

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Guest wsxedcrfv

Strongest possible Win 98SE combination with new computers parts + official drivers is:

ASROCK AM2NF3-VSTA (with 1 GB)

- NVIDIA® nForce3 250 Chipset

What is the functionality or driver-support for Windows 98 for that chipset? What is it using for SATA controller?

Do you have that motherboard? Are you running Win 98 on it?

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Strongest possible Win 98SE combination with new computers parts + official drivers is:

ASROCK AM2NF3-VSTA (with 1 GB)

- NVIDIA® nForce3 250 Chipset

What is the functionality or driver-support for Windows 98 for that chipset? What is it using for SATA controller?

Do you have that motherboard? Are you running Win 98 on it?

My MBO is AsRock 775i65G with 1 GB (max 2GB) memory and SATA I which I do not use.

ASROCK AM2NF3-VSTA is having only SATA I and you can download drivers for NVIDIA® nForce3 250 Chipset on this web site . Sound on MBO will not work in Win98 because AsRock is using special, different chip

I do not see point in using SATA I on ASROCK AM2NF3-VSTA or AsRock 775i65G because speed is very similar to ATA and possible installation problems are much greater. With SATA II things (speed) are very different, but SATA I is................

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Guest wsxedcrfv

ASROCK AM2NF3-VSTA (with 1 GB)

NVIDIA® nForce3 250 Chipset

What is the functionality or driver-support for Windows 98 for that chipset? What is it using for SATA controller?

you can download drivers for NVIDIA® nForce3 250 Chipset (...)

Since the release date for nforce4 is late 2004, the nforce3 must be very old - release date either late 2003 or early 2004, so that would account for the availability of win-98 drivers. The nforce3 seems to be only for AMD cpu's (which I don't pay attention to). I wonder if the Via PT880 Pro/Ultra is a better chipset compared to nForce3.

I see that nforce4 chipset came out in late 2004 - for Intel CPU's. Does it have win-98 drivers (I would think it should) ?

I do not see point in using SATA I on ASROCK AM2NF3-VSTA or AsRock 775i65G because speed is very similar to ATA and possible installation problems are much greater. With SATA II things (speed) are very different, but SATA I is................

I can't believe you said this. What installation problems?

SATA drives have been the most available, cheap, and high-capacity drive type for several years now, compared to ATA. Plus the ease by which they allow Windows 98 to break the 128/137 GB size barrier. That's a real clear advantage they have over PATA. It doesn't really matter that they (SATA-1) may not be much faster than PATA. Go and find me a PATA drive larger than 500 gb, even 2 years ago. I feel sorry for you if you are staying with PATA instead of SATA.

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I do not see point in using SATA I on ASROCK AM2NF3-VSTA or AsRock 775i65G because speed is very similar to ATA and possible installation problems are much greater. With SATA II things (speed) are very different, but SATA I is................

I can't believe you said this. What installation problems?

SATA drives have been the most available, cheap, and high-capacity drive type for several years now, compared to ATA... That's a real clear advantage they have over PATA. It doesn't really matter that they (SATA-1) may not be much faster than PATA. Go and find me a PATA drive larger than 500 gb, even 2 years ago. I feel sorry for you if you are staying with PATA instead of SATA.

I prefer to use a PATA HDD as the main internal HDD of my desktop, even if my Asus P5PVE-VM motherboard has onboard SATA, to avoid SATA complications (I also have various DOS as boot selections) and because PATA is a proven old technology. I am using Seagate 750GB PATA HDDs ST3750640A internally, they are hard to find and cost now even more than when they came out originally. I am not aware of PATA HDDs with a capacity greater than 750GB.

My experience with questionable Seagate SATA HDDs with brick-risk, of which I had a basketful, made me restrict the use of SATA HDDs to external storage. When encountering hard-to-resolve Win98 problems, I'd like to have excluded the possibility that the problem could be caused by a firmware/driver issue of the SATA HDD. For example, my SATA HDDs attached externally via USB occasionally freeze under Win98 for unknown reasons (not under WinXP or with PATA HDDs, more with Seagate SATA HDDs than with Hitachi SATA HDDs, more on my 10-year-old 512MB Inspiron 7500 laptop than on my 2GB dualcore desktop) when 2 drives are attached and I am writing to them.

For external storage I use cheap SATA HDDs inside Thermaltake Silver River A2395 and A2396 enclosures or in Kingwin EZ-Dock EZD-2535 and EZD-2536 docking stations. The enclosures/docking stations come with manufacturer-provided USB 2.0 drivers for Win98, which means to me that they were tested Ok by the manufacturer under Win98, a re-assuring feeling even if I use nusb 3.3.

I doubt that you can find SATA HDDs which indicate on the box "Windows 98" as system requirement. SATA HDDs work under Win98, but don't contact the manufacturer if you encounter issues under Win98.

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