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FEATURED The Build up & Upgrading of my Win 98 Box

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Ben333

Folding for Team 32!
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
So, around October of 2009, I decided to take a tower I pickup up for free or $5 / $10 and save it as a sort of time capsule.

I don't really have any software that "needs" older hardware, but I've always liked the AT chassis, specifically the Baby AT boards that had K6-2s and P2 Celerons. This lil guy had a motherboard that took a PPGA celeron, had an AGP slot, AND SDRAM slots. To sweeten the deal, it didn't have the older SIMM slots, didn't have onboard video (why would I want that?), and DID have onboard USB! AND it had overclocking options!

So I got to playing around, and cleaning up the existing Windows 98 install because it was practically empty anyway. I believe it had a Celeron 333 MHz, which I was running at 480 MHz, or thereabouts.

There was even a point where this computer ended up in my bedroom, just cause I liked it, and spent most of my PC time down in the workshop with a more powerful machine. When I was using this for regular school work and internet uses, I decided Windows 2000 was more practical, so I bumped it up to about 256 MB or so, and swapped the HD as to preserve the Win 98 drive. I'm pretty sure all of that was before the initial "remodel" / paint job.

Anywho, this is a machine that served me very well, and I just love the small Baby AT towers. Tough, rugged machines that just look industrial, with that old giant DIN connector for the keyboard.

Enough talk, here's some build pics from 5 years ago I never posted.

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Meh, so it's a Biostar board, the M6TLI. But I dig the features. It has all the stuff I want, and none of the stuff I don't. Perfect for a retro build.

My wire management solution was... chop it all off! Haha. Then add what you need :) The exact length you need, and heat shrunk.

Will post more pics, like how the case paint turned out (a rich, dark blue), and progress on the upgrades :) Going to replace the Soundblaster 16 with an AWE 64 Gold I just picked up. And the Intel AGP graphics with either a VooDoo 5 5500 I just got, or a VooDoo 2 SLI setup. (I think the VooDoo 5 may be a little too "new" for this build)

Open to input \ comments.
 
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OP
Ben333

Ben333

Folding for Team 32!
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
I like the super sketchy spade connector terminals for the power supply.

You want me to take the screw ALL the way out... :confused:


:rofl:

Even 5 years ago I didn't have time for that! Spades baby! I actually couldn't use my lil pocket screwdriver to undo those the other day. After five years, still needed a good 'ol big-boy normal screw driver to do it. They're rock solid! TBH, the ring terminals wouldn't bother me, but I also do not feel one bit worried with the spades. It's the pressure that matters ;)

Wanted to add also, I did NOT do the MB connections. Did I think about it? You bet. But, it would be completely pointless, since I will always need those. The CD, DVD, FDD on the other hand (and fans) I threw on there, in order to achieve the shortest possible cables, and no unused connections dangling in there. I probably wouldn't do this on a newer machine... NOT cause I don't trust it, but IDK. On this old gem, I think it just looks awesome :) Makes it look like something a bit more industrial than your run of the mill desktop PC.
 
OP
Ben333

Ben333

Folding for Team 32!
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
Ok so... thought I had like two or three AT keyboards. And an adapter. After a LONG search, I found just one keyboard, with the large DIN connector. It's a good one though :)

Let the awesome commence :D


Anybody recommend some glide games? And should I find a better CPU? Trying to keep it as old school as possible... but contemplating a powerleap and a nice P3. Would probably blow this celery out of the water. I think my board only allows 83 MHz FSB max though... on this BIOS ver anyway. HW pics to come...

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EDIT: A mild OC, and some Unreal action. Much better.
 

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Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
May be able to play some quake 1 or Diablo 1. Maybe the first or second civ game?
 

Bobnova

Senior Member
Joined
May 10, 2009
X-Wing vs Tie Fighter. Best star wars game ever made IMO.

Maybe some Dark Forces 2: Jedi knight, and a bit of Duke Nukem 3d.
 

(G{in}[AK)TION]

Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2011
X-Wing vs Tie Fighter. Best star wars game ever made IMO.

Maybe some Dark Forces 2: Jedi knight, and a bit of Duke Nukem 3d.

THIS. i still have the game. that's why i keep my p2 board handy :)

been a while since i played multiplayer though. good times. gooood time :D
 
OP
Ben333

Ben333

Folding for Team 32!
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
Thanks for the feedback :) I'm really leaning more towards the 1996 - early 00s stuff. But, the machine is obviously a DOS gamer's wet dream, with the AT form factor & ISA sound card :p

I do have Duke 3D on it (shareware) and Blood, which is a truly awesome game. Unreal Tournament 99 / GOTY Demo & FV both run excellent, has a ton of fun playing online last night. Plan on getting Unreal Gold going tonight....

Here's my delema... I think this big, bad, VooDoo 5 would be much better paired with a Pentium 3 1 GHz. I could probably find a power leap for this box, but then would my bus speed, or other speeds still be crippled? And... if I go to a 1GHz chip or close to it, am I going to want something like a GeForce 2 Ultra or better?

Guess I'm just looking to get the best "balanced" system. Maybe it's fine right now :shrug:

My real DOS machine is an Intel 486 DX2 66 with 8 MB of RAM. That resides in a beige "desktop" AT case (horizontal, under the monitor). But that thing is a dog. It actually can't run Doom perfectly. Blood? Yeah right, not even worth trying. Wolfenstine era games run just fine though.

EDIT, I never was into star wars, would the game be fun still? Lots of combat? or mission type stuff?
 
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wagex

Chapstick Eating Premium Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
it should play diablo II... iirc i was playing on an amd k6-3d and onboard gpu back in the day. dunno how the two compare but i think the voodoo was better than the 8mb onboard i was using.
 

Celeron_Phreak

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2003
I love these resurrected PC builds! Makes me want to re-build my first "good" computer of a Celeron 700MHz (thus my name here), Creative Audigy 2ZS and GeForce 256, 768MB memory was great then! I ran Win 98SE on it, reloaded the OS every week from experimentation! lol

You are killing me with nostalgia!!!
 

Bobnova

Senior Member
Joined
May 10, 2009
I loved that, too. That was rather before win98 though :D

The struggle there was keeping 570K of RAM free.
X-Wing was even worse, the copy I had was on CD, so somehow you had to get the CD drivers loaded and still keep ~600K of your 640K free.
 

Albaholic

Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2001
I tried playing tie fighter in an emulator years ago. Didn't work out too well. If Hollywood can continue to make money shelling out remakes, I don't see why games like these don't get remade.