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Legacy Build (WIn9x)


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#1
Printer66

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I'm trying to build a legacy (Win9x) system. I'm looking for performance, but trying to avoid the expensive, "collectable" pieces of hardware. Is the following build compatible with each other and say Windows 98Se? And is it worth the $350-$400 price tag, or can I do better?

NZXT Beta Evo Classic Series ATX Mid Tower steel chassis CS-NT-BETA-EVO (Black)
Coolmax 500W Dual-Fan Power Supply CTI-500B
MSI K7N2 DELTA-L Motherboard for AMD Duron/Athlon
AMD Duron 1.8 GHz ( 266 MHz ) - Socket A - L2 64 KB Processor
SEAGATE Barracuda 7200.12 250 GB SATA 6.0 Gb-s 8 MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Hard-Drive (ST3250312AS)
Kingston Non-ECC CL2.5 DIMM (Kit of 2) Desktop Memory 1 Dual Channel Kit 333 MHz (PC 2700) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM KVR333X64C25K2/1G
VisionTek Xtasy Radeon 9250 AGP 8X 128 MB Video Card (9250128A)
Turtle Beach Santa Cruz PCI Sound Card
HLDS CD-RW DVD ROM Drive GCC-4481B (x2 for dual drives?)

Thanks for looking!
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#2
stettybet0

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Why are you trying to build a 12 year old system?

To answer some questions, it is not worth $350-$400, as you can get a much more powerful PC with modern hardware running a modern operating system for that price. And, as for compatibility, the hard drive isn't compatible as the motherboard does not have any SATA ports. Also, you've chosen a very poor quality power supply.
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#3
Digerati

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While building and maintaining legacy systems can be a fun challenge, there's nothing economical about it. Like restoring vintage cars, it is a hobby. But while you can modify and beef up an old car to accept a big new engine, you can't really do that with computer hardware and operating systems. If you are going to build a Windows 98 system, you need to use hardware designed to support it. While I do see Win98SE listed on the overview page for that motherboard, I don't see Win98 drivers listed on the downloads page, except for USB support. So you need to make sure Win98 drivers for the chipset, sound, NIC (see Security Note below), etc. come with the board, and for all your hardware.

I see you have listed an add-on sound card even though the motherboard has integrated sound. Note where Turtle Beach Discontinues Windows 98 Support - and that announcement was 5 years ago.

I found two versions of that motherboard - one includes SATA support the other does not. As stettybet noted, the Delta-L does not. Both boards do, however, appear to have two IDE slots to support four IDE drives.

Security Note: I personally would not attach a Win98 system to a network that has Internet access. Windows98 has virtually no security features and anti-malware options are very limited.

And is it worth the $350-$400 price tag

I guess that depends on why you are building this. For me, no. Absolutely not. I see no reason to build a computer to run an obsolete and insecure operating system. I see no reason to build a computer that immediately restricts upgrade options. Socket A is history. Buying a Socket A motherboard ensures you can only use antiquated CPUs, RAM, and very importantly in this case, AGP graphics cards.

I can see driving an old restored Ford Model-T in your home town parade, but not on a modern Interstate highway. The sad part here is you are not using Windows 98 era hardware so you are not "restoring" a legacy system true to the "era" - so I don't see any value in that. At the same time, you are still selecting legacy hardware, though hardware from a later era (XP era vs W98) - that is, not modern hardware designed for today's OS, specifically 64-bit Windows 7, or one of the many free Linux alternatives. So I see no value in that either.

or can I do better?

Again, it depends on why you are doing this. If solely for personal satisfaction you built a Win98 machine, then I guess, yes. If your goal is to build the best computer for your money, then no.
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#4
Printer66

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Thanks, Digerati, for the very informative reply.

Again, it depends on why you are doing this. If solely for personal satisfaction you built a Win98 machine, then I guess, yes. If your goal is to build the best computer for your money, then no.


What I'm trying to do, is to get the best bang for my buck (<$500), on a PC capable of natively running Windows 98Se. I understand that Windows 98Se is no longer supported/recommended, but I would only be using for a couple of legacy games/applications. I don't plan on having any internet access or having any sensitive personal data stored on it, so security is not a concern. Which socket best suits that purpose?
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#5
Digerati

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The socket is not the issue. It is the limits it puts on you for upgrade options. But it appears that is not an issue for you.

If you can find drivers for the on-board sound, you can save some money by dropping the sound card. While apparently you can make Windows 98 support SATA, it takes some effort. Note that Windows 98 has the old 137Gb drive limit you will have to deal with too. You could do just fine with an old 40Gb drive and if EIDE, you won't have to mess with special drivers.

Not sure why you need two opticals. And I agree, I would get a better supply. 500W is fine, but I would go with Antec, Corsair, or another reputable brand.

I found this - might be of use - http://www.flaterco.com/kb/W98.html
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#6
stettybet0

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Why not install Windows 98Se on a virtual machine, such as Windows Virtual PC, which comes free with Windows 7? A quick Google search shows that it is possible.
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#7
Digerati

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Now I think that would be an interesting project. Good find.
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#8
abseh1

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Try a more up to date OS and try running the old software in the Win98 compatibility mode

Just right click on the program and select the Win98 mode

Edited by abseh1, 10 June 2011 - 10:54 AM.

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#9
Printer66

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Unfortunately, I can't run win98 compatibility mode, as some of my games are incompatible with it. VirtualPC is out, because it lacks certain audio/video support in its hardware emulation. Instead I have put together a new list of hardware, that's more period accurate for Win98Se:



NZXT Alpha CS-NT-ALP-WOW Steel ATX Mid Tower
Computer Case with Open Window (Black)

Coolmax 300W M-ATX Power Supply CM-300

MSI MS-5169 Socket 7 Motherboard

AMD K6-II 333Mhz Socket 7 CPU

Kingston Technology KVR100X64C2/256 PC100 256MB 32MX64 100MHz Non-ECC CL2 Memory

LG Electronics GH22NP20 22X IDE SecurDisc DVD+/-RW Internal Drive

SEAGATE Barracuda Model ST380011A 80GB IDE Hard Drive

Turtle Beach Systems Montego II 320-Voice PCI Audio Accelerator Sound Card

VisionTek VTK9250128P Xtasy Radeon 9250 128MB DDR PCI

Would this hardware play nice together, and be Win98SE Compatible?
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