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Thread: Best W98(SE?) CPU/MB combo

  1. #1
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    Default Best W98(SE?) CPU/MB combo

    I know this issue is greatly speculative, but I have some delineating factors to help define my goal. I am into stereoscopic gaming, and there are some older games I would like to play that are not supported by the latest, greatest hardware configs - specifically games designed to work under OpenGL. There are drivers, and hardware that will run some of these games, still available, and I'd like to narrow down the choices for hardware specs , and find the "best", superPC for this goal. For obvious reasons, I think the CPU/MB combo is the place to start this project, and with the limitation of running W98(se) as the OS, I think that there should be some realm of definability.

    By default, I guess we start with the limit of single core CPU. There are single core I7's, so I guess we start there. Now finding a MB that W98 doesn't have too much trouble with is next. I do not need to have W98 drivers for hardware that isn't utilized for gaming specific concerns - as long as I can disable that hardware in the BIOS. I guess I just don't want to have W98 recognizing the presence of hardware it cannot talk with, even if it isn't utilized. Nor do I want to just create a hardware specific profile where W98 has to constantly ignore something. One thing though, if there is MB specific hardware that isn't utilized, but does sit well with W98, I still want to be able to disable it on a hardware level. I am looking for as much power as possible, while being the leanest possible.

    Eventually I want to tear the guts out of the OS as well, via LITEPC ideas, and remove all unnecessary W98 functions (even the Explorer shell). I want a superPC dedicated to doing one specific thing, running one specific game. I guess I'm looking for some opinions more than guidance, but I am kinda limited in knowledge too. Anyone care to chat?

  2. #2
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    My first thought was to consider just buying an old system on ebay. I just can't imagine building a new system just to run Win98.
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  3. #3
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    I cannot imagine why a manufacturer would be willing to design a motherboard or any other component specifically for W98, and, or specifically for 'older' drivers. What is the manufacturer's 'market' that guarantees a sales return (for the older product) to equal that of new designs (motherboards for example) for just released cpus and other new innovative features such as products that fit the profile for pcie 3.0.

    New designs, if possible, will generally be backward compatible with older designs up to a limit. For example, I imagine Win 8 will definitely be b/c with Win 7 and Win Vista; to some extent XP. But at some point, it is just not worth the time and investment for 'one size fits all'. Nor will a manufacturer feel obligated to even 'guarantee' backwards compatibility for 100% of applications for any older product, my opinion!
    Last edited by zburns; 05-10-2012 at 12:40 PM.

  4. #4
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    The specific type of gaming I am interested in having the best hardware to service has, for the most part, lost support for it some time back. I can build the best system, for the best games today, simply enough. This is like a classic car problem, a restoration of sorts, back to stock...but with room for upgrades. I am not looking for something made today, to service the past.... unless it can, without causing other problems. I ran across this guys site, and he seemed to realize some things that I do too..... that W98 still has value for specific needs. I have some specific "restrictions" that are chosen, kinda like playing a piano with only one hand - when you possess two hands.... it's a choice.

    I thought I gave enough details to explain my goal. Obviously, the parts I am hoping to come to a consensus about, will likely have to be purchased used (maybe), or at least searched for, once I have them in mind. Knowing what you seek is the key to finding it. The odds of a system with whatever parts fit the bill, showing up on eBay, within one prebuilt system are just about as low as they get. This is more of a discussion right now, trying to ferret out what people, who like building "super" PC's, think.

    But, with two mods, completely missing the point of my post, and even then, crapping on what they thought I was asking about - and missing the boat entirely..... perhaps this is not the place to ask about the best possible system for playing a handful of older, OpenGL games. Rob said "it's reasonable to conclude that Windows 98 Second Edition is actually slightly faster" in comparison to XP, and I concur, especially in regards to 3D gaming, and early versions of XP. XP eventually gained ground, but not until support for OpenGL games started to fade, and die.

    Then there is the aspect of gutting the OS.....and XP would take even more knowledge, and effort to do so. Maybe I'll try that too some day, but I'll practice with W98 first.

    So if you want to re-read my post, and offer ideas, cool, if not, cool. If you guys wanna raise tigers, and lions, fine... more power to ya! I just wanna feed my housecat the best possible diet, so it can dream of being a tiger, and yet keep it real! (and of course, eat your lap cats alive!) If you have not rode the rollercoaster of stereoscopic gaming, felt the tug, and pull of hardware, and software support for such, then I can not expect you to understand why this project has value, but it does. I just thought I would go outside of the S3D gaming community for some perspective, and found some of Rob's ideas valuable.

    I triple boot W7, XP, and Debian on my main system. I have a separate gaming system for current gen 3D gaming. But I didn't get to play a lot of games along the way, because in the niche market the 3D gaming has always been, software support was always 1-2 years behind hardware....so things got left behind. I'm just going back, and resurrecting some things that I missed out on.... with or w/o friends. Especially since the hardware will only become harder to find......once I figure out what I want....and whats the best....given the limitions of the situation.

  5. #5
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    Take a look here.
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/Desktops-All...s&LH_PrefLoc=1

    Picked this out of the lot. Has great potential for what you have in mind.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Demensi...7#ht_500wt_932

    This one even has a dedicated video card.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Compaq-7000-...a#ht_594wt_915

    Another thought might be to build an modern budget pc, and install Ubuntu and try to run Windows games using Wine. You may want to post on the Ubuntu forums to see if that's possible.
    Last edited by RickyTick; 05-11-2012 at 12:37 PM.
    My Rig:
    Corsair Obsidian 450D | EVGA SuperNova G3 650W | Asus Prime Z270-A | Intel i7-7700K | Cryorig H7 | G.Skill TridentZ 16gb (2x8gb) DDR4 3200 | MSI GTX1070 Gaming X 8G | Crucial MX300 SSD | Windows 10 Pro 64-bit | Asus VW246H

  6. #6
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    Yeah, tossing Wine, and Linux into the mix, is really not an option (fun, true), but stereoscopic drivers are fickle things to begin with, especially older drivers. There are just now some Linux drivers beginning to form for S3D, so that says something about a LInux option. As it sits now, the GFX card option ends at the 7950GTX model - that is the last hardware that runs the older stereoscopic driver. There are single card, dual GPU versions of that chip, and though they would still work, the stereo drviver cannot use both cores simultaneously, so unless I find benchmarks that dictate otherwise, dual GFx chips are out. That said though, the system isn't necessarily restricted in use to the goal set in the definition. For current games, there is some SLi support showing up, but it is lackluster at best right now. Who knows if it will improve. Nvidia, and other driver creators have made promises in this area, but never come through. So a dual GPU might fit in this current scope, and then one day see a blossoming boost - but perhaps not under W98. I may consider a dual GPU card, with the hope that some day a dual booting system could be part of the whole package for the specific hardware set. In this thread, I am hoping to clarify the CPU/MB combo, and I think the main restriction there will be the necessary evil of an AGP port. I am only now going to start researching the various 7950GTX boards by vendor, and MB compatibility with such. Thx for the nod though, drop back by the thread sometime.

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