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High End Laptop Hunt


FantasyAcquiesce
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Hello MSFN,

I am considering on getting a laptop model to run Windows ME on, but I am trying to figure out whether a Dell Precision M70 can run Windows 9x properly. This topic has shown the wireless (may require swapping card), chipset, and video driver appear to work. The SigmaTel audio is AC97, which I am aware we have a SigmaTel 9200 (runs perfectly on my Dell D600). Oddly, the official intel page claims the driver even works for Windows 3.1 (I am highly questioning whether it's a typo)

What attracts me to this model is the high resolution; it's not easy to find a laptop for Windows 9x that can do such a thing.

My dream is to find a laptop with a modern 945gm/pm chipset (4gb of ram), AC97 audio, Windows 98-compatible video driver (widescreen), and have a replaceable PCI-Mini card. I'm on a internet hunt to track the highest-end laptop models for Windows 98SE/ME. So far, I documented some findings here.

So far, the best laptops I've found are potentially the HP dv2401TU (requires unofficial NVIDA drivers...so I'm not sure if it's the best choice) and Dell Precision M70.

Edited by FantasyAcquiesce
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Quadro Fx 1400 nearest equivalency is the GeForce 6800 which should not be a problem. I tried visiting GPUreview but all I get is a blank screen even on latest Chrome. This is strange as even IE6 should work I would think.

Edited by Goodmaneuver
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4 hours ago, Goodmaneuver said:

Quadro Fx 1400 nearest equivalency is the GeForce 6800 which should not be a problem. I tried visiting GPUreview but all I get is a blank screen even on latest Chrome. This is strange as even IE6 should work I would think.

I am hoping to find a laptop with a 945 chipset, so I can use a laptop with 4gb of ram in Windows ME.

The configuration mostly needs a good graphics driver (no GMA series) and AC97 audio. I haven't had too much luck on my hunt finding such a configuration.

Edited by FantasyAcquiesce
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You can use eGPU (either via ExpressCard or mini-PCI-E) to plug in a compatible GPU (like 7900 GTX) to a much newer laptop.
All laptops using Broadwell or older CPU will have usable USB 2.0 ports which Windows 98 SE can use.
Then you use cheap USB audio card for sound.
For LAN, either find laptop with compatible Realtek chip or use USB Ethernet Card compatible with 98SE.
For WiFi, use USB WiFi card that works with 98SE (might be limited to WPA1 only), such as Rosewill RNX-G1, TRENDnet TEW-424UB or USR5422.

Of course you also need HIMEMX and rloew's RAM Patch (You can also use rloew's AHCI driver to avoid using IDE compatibility mode, you can also use the TRIM utility by rloew if planning on using an SSD)

It's more flexible than trying to pinpoint a specific model.
You might not agree with me, but that's how I see it :)
Of course portability goes out of the window...unless you get really creative with tape :)

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if you want 945 chipset and 4gb ram you'd have to get the Precision M90.  Of couse you won't have AC97 as HD audio comes with that chipset. I had one running Windows 98SE with a Geforce 7800 GTX,  and Gigabyte GN-WS30N-RH for wireless- those wifi cards are hard to get.   It ran hot and didn't seem much faster than the Inspiron 9300 which is a better experience because the on-board audio works
 

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8 minutes ago, farfigs11 said:

if you want 945 chipset and 4gb ram you'd have to get the Precision M90.  Of couse you won't have AC97 as HD audio comes with that chipset. I had one running Windows 98SE with a Geforce 7800 GTX,  and Gigabyte GN-WS30N-RH for wireless- those wifi cards are hard to get.   It ran hot and didn't seem much faster than the Inspiron 9300 which is a better experience because the on-board audio works
 

I am somewhat debating with myself whether a 945 is the best idea. All my attempts to install Windows ME on a Thinkpad R60 have been rather questionable. After installing the chipset and video driver, the system has momentary lags. Same happened when I tried installing Windows XP on my AIO Haswell HP and Dell PCs. It's likely because installing video drivers on unsupported systems cause lag and graphical glitches. An attempt of playing Resident Evil Outbreak on my Haswell PC w/ Windows XP gave weird 3D shadows and glitches that were never seen on 7 and 10.

Edited by FantasyAcquiesce
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On 4/19/2020 at 1:13 AM, Dietmar said:

@FantasyAcquiesce

Do you get the Radeon x1300 to work under Win98?

I tried x1400 on a Thinkpad T60 without success

Dietmar

I am unable to test unfortunately. My Thinkpad R60 only has GMA 950 graphics.

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