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Building a fully compatible 98SE computer


Josey
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What socket 775 motherboard (with DDR2 ram, 1066 FSB, and AGP slot) and has an Intel chipset with win-98 drivers for everything (except for HD audio) - including SATA controller?

 

DFI LanParty 875P-T(and 865PE-T) along with the MSI 865PE Neo3-F come close to that, although they're still DDR1 and 800FSB. However I would be willing to wager that these boards with a build maxed for performance would still outperform the VIA boards you mentioned in a raw performance matchup.

 

I like the idea of an AGP slot, but let's face it, there isn't any advantage to the AGP slot at this point because no "later, more 9x compatible" cards exist for AGP than do for PCI-E. The last compatible cards for both slots, both ATI and NVidia, are the same cards.

 

From what you said, it looks to me like the one and only "advantage" one would get from such a board is a manufacturer provided SATA driver. With the Intel chipset boards one can usually set Legacy IDE mode or spend a measly $10 on rloew's SATA patch and poof, there goes any advantage whatsoever to a VIA board out the window, and opens up a far greater range of newer Intel-based boards.

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I really would like to know how an Intel-based 8xx series motherboard with a socket 775 CPU would compare to something like Asrock 4coredual-VSTA with Via 880 chipset, 1066 FSB, DDR-2. There are some third-party bios freely available that gives the VSTA board compatibility with some wolfdale cores like E7600 and E6300 (7600 is 65 watt, passmark single-thread score of 1265 - show me a better CPU for win-98!).

Asrock -VSTA board has *both* PCIe and AGP (can only use one, not both simultaneous). I don't see how any Intel-8xx series motherboard can come anywhere close to the versatility of VIA 880 or 890 chipset board (especially this Asrock VSTA board). Going to Intel-9xx or higher board is great- but doesn't meet the criteria in this thread for win-9x drivers.

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I've spoken to my friend, who after thinking it over for a while thinks he would like to go for the newest possible, in the hope that it'll last longer. 

 

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That's an interesting way to see it. In my experience, nothing that is made today lasts, or is even designed to. I have systems from 1993 with their original hard drives, still humming away.

 

Today, manufacturers build junk that ensures you have to keep filling their coffers (and their shareholders coffers) on a regular basis.

 

 

Well that's a very good point.

 

 

 

I've spoken to my friend, who after thinking it over for a while thinks he would like to go for the newest possible, in the hope that it'll last longer. 

 

<truncated>

 

That's an interesting way to see it. In my experience, nothing that is made today lasts, or is even designed to. I have systems from 1993 with their original hard drives, still humming away.

 

Today, manufacturers build junk that ensures you have to keep filling their coffers (and their shareholders coffers) on a regular basis.

 

You made a good point here; newer is not always better. I can think of one reason to prefer a newer board in this case however. Many of the last 9x compatible Pentium 4 boards were made during the height of the "Great Capacitor Plague" and develop problems as such. I have a stockpile of SOYO P4-I875P Dragon 2 Platinum's for building 9x gaming machines, and ALL of them develop bad capacitors sooner or later. This seems to have been corrected in later systems.

 

 

And that's also a very good point. And as the capacitors leaked badly on my old 98 motherboard, it's something I am worried about.

 

It appears to have an AMD chipset. This may or may not cause issues; I have no experience with AMD chipsets but I would definitely wait for input from someone who does and who has run 9x successfully on a board that uses one.

I have a much older board (Intel D102GGC2) with an ATI (which was purchased later by AMD) chipset that is HORRIBLY bugged when trying to run Windows 9x (rloew can attest to this, I sent him one of the boards just to see if he had any better luck). I assume (hope) that the later AMD chipsets do not have these problems, but it's something to keep in mind.

Chipset and BIOS seem to be the essential deciding factors in whether or not a board gets along well with 9x.

 

 

Has anyone else on here used a similar AMD board with 98? Maybe I should just keep looking for an unused Intel board, which meets all the requirements.

 

 

All cards based on the 7950GT should work fine. 256MB versions will all work without glitches; 512MB versions may require rloew's nVidia patch to work properly and access all 512MB of RAM (some systems will still boot and load the driver with a 512MB card, some don't. In both cases only 256MB is accessible without the patch).

The 7950GX2 1GB (dual 512 7950GT's mounted together in SLI) card (last of the 7xxx series) remains in a gray area, but getting it working fully under 9x doesn't look promising. I got a system up and running with it, and had a driver loaded, but only one of the dual parts of the card was working (so only 1GPU and 512MB works) and the other part reported errors. If no other issues are present, then this card might be nice in a dual-boot system with XP since XP can use the full card, but it would also cause available system memory to be reduced from 3GB to 2GB, which is a really bad tradeoff with no benefit to 9x.

 

That's good to know. So far I've seen a 512mb 7950GT for about £40 and a 256mb nVidia Quadro FX1500 for about £10. Do you think the extra memory and newer model is worth the extra £30, or will it be hard to notice any difference?

 

 

I haven't looked into the issue for many years as I haven't got around to actually setting up an everyday use system on a board with HD Audio yet, but in my older system builds (in the days when you could still get a motherboard without a bunch of onboard junk built in) I always used the Sound Blaster Live! X-Gamer cards. These should still be a very powerful card for Windows 9x.

 

Thank you, the X-Gamer series looks very nice.

 

Welcome, as always. I've been there and seen that on other forums myself. It always boils my blood, especially when they start asking you WHY you want to do this or do that, as if it were any of their business or as if you don't have a legitimate reason (in their mind) for using your computer as you see fit. :realmad:

 

I'm glad I'm not the only one!

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I really would like to know how an Intel-based 8xx series motherboard with a socket 775 CPU would compare to something like Asrock 4coredual-VSTA with Via 880 chipset, 1066 FSB, DDR-2. There are some third-party bios freely available that gives the VSTA board compatibility with some wolfdale cores like E7600 and E6300 (7600 is 65 watt, passmark single-thread score of 1265 - show me a better CPU for win-98!).

Asrock -VSTA board has *both* PCIe and AGP (can only use one, not both simultaneous). I don't see how any Intel-8xx series motherboard can come anywhere close to the versatility of VIA 880 or 890 chipset board (especially this Asrock VSTA board). Going to Intel-9xx or higher board is great- but doesn't meet the criteria in this thread for win-9x drivers.

 

In the end this comes down to nothing but personal preference. I still don't see any reason to choose this VIA board over any "equivalent" Intel based system.

 

So it uses 1066FSB... some Intel based boards with even faster FSB work.

So it uses DDR2... some Intel based boards that work use DDR3.

So it uses a Core2 Duo processor... I have two Intel based systems currently running 98SE that are using a Core2 Quad Q9400 and a Core i7 930 respectively; not that multiple cores matter for Windows 9x anyway. See the Gigabyte GA-X48T-DQ6 and the Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5. Yes, they have the HD Audio problem, but you say the VIA board has HD Audio as well.

 

Now, as for meeting the "criteria" in this thread, many of these newer boards DO meet it if you accept the conditions I stated in my earlier post. Namely "accept that you will need to add an Audio card and buy the SATA patch" - once these things are accepted as necessary, then in many cases the rest of the drivers are available. My Chipset INF package handles the chipset devices and some of the popular onboard Gigabit Network cards have a 9x driver. So provided one chooses an Intel-based board based on these points and compares it to your VIA board we're back to the only point this VIA board has in it's favor - a free SATA driver.

 

I'm sure there are plenty of good VIA boards out there. I just don't see anything special about them that would make me choose VIA over Intel. But everyone has their own preferences. I would recommend VIA as a second choice though, as NForce/ATI have major bugs under 9x.

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> Now, as for meeting the "criteria" in this thread, many of these newer

> boards DO meet it if you accept the conditions I stated in my earlier

> post. Namely "accept that you will need to add an Audio card and buy

> the SATA patch" - once these things are accepted as necessary, then

> in many cases the rest of the drivers are available.

Beyond Intel 8xx-based chipsets, how do you handle the dozen or so motherboard resources that are handled by the chipset driver?

The PCI/PCIe bus driver? DMA controller? Interrupt controller? Composite power - can you do a full shut-down from win-98? ACPI bios? Plug and Play bios?

USB ports? Or is that another third-party PCI USB card that you're going to need if you want to be able to use USB thumb drives under win-98?

There's a lot more to getting win-98 to run properly on a board with no chipset drivers beyond using some SATA hack. I don't see how you have anything other than 16 color VGA graphics for example. You'll have no USB, and these boards (Intel 9xx or higher, ICH 6 or higher) may not or will not have IDE controller, so if you've got legacy or old IDE drives that you want to use (and IDE optical drives) then what do you do?

> My Chipset INF package handles the chipset devices and some of the

> popular onboard Gigabit Network cards have a 9x driver. So provided

> one chooses an Intel-based board based on these points and compares

> it to your VIA board we're back to the only point this VIA board has

> in it's favor - a free SATA driver.

The Asrock Via-based board has win-98 drivers for PCIe and AGP bridge, motherboard resources (IRQ, DMA), and USB controller.

Without drivers like those, how on earth can you get a video card working in anything beyond 16 color VGA mode under win-98?

How many yellow (!) do you see in device manager on your high-end Intel-based boards while running win-98?

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Mostly to Nomen:

Looking at how I can run 98SE on my Lenovo IdeaPad Z510 with a i3-4000M CPU, and on a nForce 550, it all comes down to these things:

1. Chipset drivers are useless if they do not have any registry entires, or dedicated .sys files (like GART). You mostly won't need them!

2. I was able to fully shutdown/restart with no problems on Z510, and on a nForce 550. "setup /p i" is your friend.

3. USB is handled fully by NUSB, no matter how new the computer is. No need for special USB drivers from manufacturer.

4. VBEMP is your friend when no GPU drivers are available. You can even run UT99 (and DX-Ball :P) with VBEMP, I did that! I didn't need any bridge drivers, it just worked with my PCI-E GPU's (Radeon HD5670 and GT 220)

5. Try to use the Win2K or NDIS2 driver for onboard Ethernet if possible, they might work. (if no Win98 drivers available of course)

6. Remove ESDI_506.pdr to use the 16-bit file transfer mode in not-safe mode. This is if you don't want to buy the SATA patch, and are willing to have slow file transfers, and overall slower experience.

7. Yellow marks are useless, just ignore them! (or disable as many onboard devices in the BIOS to get rid of some of them)

8. All(?) ASRock MoBo's of this era, uses an AMI BIOS, which is not great. I have an ASRock K8Upgrade-NF3 MoBo in my 98SE setup, and I'm not fully satisfied by it. I wish I've picked up something different.

I'm now growing more dislike towards ASRock, though I liked them just like you.

Edited by MrMateczko
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My favorite motherboard was the MSI 7211 ver 4.1.  Via chipset, LGA775, sata 1, pentium 4 3.8ghz 800mhz FSB, could output 5.1 surround sound through the 3.5mm jacks.  I Used to run 720p youtube videos with the onboard graphics.  The cd had all the drivers, including sata. The only bad thing was manufactured around 2006 and suffers from bad capacitors (as previously mentioned). I did a few cap transplants every 6 months or so till it just wouldn't work anymore. I never got to try it with a agp card. oh BTW the bios was limited, overclocking was disable, they made the board as cheap as possible.

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> Now, as for meeting the "criteria" in this thread, many of these newer

> boards DO meet it if you accept the conditions I stated in my earlier

> post. Namely "accept that you will need to add an Audio card and buy

> the SATA patch" - once these things are accepted as necessary, then

> in many cases the rest of the drivers are available.

Beyond Intel 8xx-based chipsets, how do you handle the dozen or so motherboard resources that are handled by the chipset driver?

The PCI/PCIe bus driver? DMA controller? Interrupt controller? Composite power - can you do a full shut-down from win-98? ACPI bios? Plug and Play bios?

USB ports? Or is that another third-party PCI USB card that you're going to need if you want to be able to use USB thumb drives under win-98?

There's a lot more to getting win-98 to run properly on a board with no chipset drivers beyond using some SATA hack. I don't see how you have anything other than 16 color VGA graphics for example. You'll have no USB, and these boards (Intel 9xx or higher, ICH 6 or higher) may not or will not have IDE controller, so if you've got legacy or old IDE drives that you want to use (and IDE optical drives) then what do you do?

First of all, motherboard chipset drivers are 99% of the time nothing but plain text INF files that specifically identify devices by name. They are not even necessary for a system to run in 99% of cases. Go unpack the last 98SE compatible Intel Chipset INF Utility and tell me what you find inside. Nothing but a bunch of text INF files and their security catalogs, which serve no real purpose. And this remains true even up the last XP compatible version and beyond. My Unofficial Intel Chipset Driver package will properly name all 9xx and later devices if not having them properly named worries you.

The PCI/PCI-E bus "driver" is the same standard one that comes with 98SE, whether you're running a Pentium 1 machine, or an 8xx chipset board or a 9xx chipset board or the X58 chipset for that matter. Not one single true "driver" (.SYS/.VXD/.PDR/etc) is contained in an Intel chipset INF package.

And yes, you CAN do a full shut down from either ACPI or Plug and Play BIOS PROVIDED you find a board with an AWARD BIOS as I previously stated. ACPI works better on some boards than others, but if you install 98SE using "SETUP /P I" it will force 98SE to not use ACPI and avoid the problem to start with. This particular issue along with the "Yellow Exclamation Marks" is totally dependent upon the type of BIOS the board uses, NOT the chipset the board uses. Hence why I said use boards that use AWARD and avoid others, particularly Intel proprietary.

What makes you think you would need to add a USB card when a board already has onboard USB? This is really going off the deep end... The Intel provided USB2 driver doesn't work with these later systems because it was artificially limited to certain chipsets, but why would you use it anyway when all you need to circumvent this is NUSB or specifically the Win2K USB2 stack? Obviously there are no 9x drivers for USB 3.0, but that certainly doesn't keep you from using USB 2.0.

How would you be stuck with 16-bit VGA colors if you are using a 98SE compatible PCI-E video card? Once again you make no sense and apparently haven't read what I posted before. Onboard video is useless and has no drivers as I previously pointed out, but why would anyone want a board with onboard video for a performance system anyway? Use a GeForce 7950GT PCI-E + the 82.69 driver and no more problem.

Also, most third-party Intel boards DO have an IDE connector. Just because Intel dropped it on their own boards (which should be avoided anyway because of the BIOS) does not mean that everyone else did. My Gigabyte X58 board not only has an IDE connector, but has a FLOPPY connector!

 

> My Chipset INF package handles the chipset devices and some of the

> popular onboard Gigabit Network cards have a 9x driver. So provided

> one chooses an Intel-based board based on these points and compares

> it to your VIA board we're back to the only point this VIA board has

> in it's favor - a free SATA driver.

The Asrock Via-based board has win-98 drivers for PCIe and AGP bridge, motherboard resources (IRQ, DMA), and USB controller.

Without drivers like those, how on earth can you get a video card working in anything beyond 16 color VGA mode under win-98?

How many yellow (!) do you see in device manager on your high-end Intel-based boards while running win-98?

And just what exactly do these driver packages contain? Most likely nothing but text INF files just like the Intel ones. Links please.

Graphics cards work with or without any chipset drivers.

I usually see ONE Yellow Exclamation Mark on my later Intel systems using AWARD BIOS, and this one can even be eliminated by installing using "SETUP /P I" to disable ACPI. In contrast if I try to set up the same system on an Intel-BIOS board I usually see 4 or more. This is why BIOS type matters.

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In my opinion, the 8xx series (specifically 845 and mobile 855) was one of my favorite Intel chipsets, and among the best Windows 9x chipsets ever made.

 

Wide compatibility support ranging from Windows 95 through NT 4.0 Windows XP. The 865 even supports 4GB RAM.

 

A Northwood Pentium 4 with 512MB-1GB ought to exceed the requirements/expectations of any Windows 9x/NT program.

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In my opinion, the 8xx series (specifically 845 and mobile 855) was one of my favorite Intel chipsets, and among the best Windows 9x chipsets ever made.

Wide compatibility support ranging from Windows 95 through NT 4.0 Windows XP. The 865 even supports 4GB RAM.

A Northwood Pentium 4 with 512MB-1GB ought to exceed the requirements/expectations of any Windows 9x/NT program.

I agree, I'm very fond of the 865 and 875. I build all of my 9x gaming machines on these boards, but one must be aware of the capacitor issues.

Prescott and even Gallatin Pentium 4's work as well. I have to disagree on the RAM though, I once crashed my 98SE machine (which was running a 3.06GHz Northwood + 512MB of RAM and ran out of memory) just trying to read some pages on a mainstream news site. This was most likely a random occurrence, but there are also programs which very much need more RAM, such as some of the last 9x compatible games. WarCraft III, Rise of Nations, etc.

I've just found a used "MSI GeForce 7950GT 512mb" for £11. With the patch it should work great, right?

Shall I order it?

:)

Sounds like a winner! :thumbup

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I've just found a used "MSI GeForce 7950GT 512mb" for £11. With the patch it should work great, right?

Shall I order it?

:)

Sounds like a winner! :thumbup

 

 

Great! :D

 

Sorry to be a bother, but just to be on the safe side before I buy, does anyone know of any DOS compatibility issues with this graphics card?

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I wonder if the 7xxx series would work on 77.72 drivers.

I generally have some problems with using 8x.xx drivers with my 6600GT AGP 128MB card, but maybe you'll be luckier! It all depends on the card itself.

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