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Holering

How many play games with a native Windows 9x/ME install?

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Just noticed, Windows 98SE runs stable on my current mobo-rig (has 16GB of ram); seems to run way faster than XP despite using only one CPU. Yes I did need to tweak it and use an unofficial service pack, but I was kinda surprised. Actually ended up buying an older PCI-E video card that works in Windows 98SE. Never been able to run Blood at 1600x1200 without slowdown (and it's vsynced) until now (and I have sfx/midi :P ); plus I can install Glidos and run Tomb Raider, Carmageddon and other glide games... Very cool.

After all these years I still see Windows 9x/ME and DOS as the best OS's from Microsoft. You can actually adapt to reading binary if you mess around with Dos long enough (don't know any other OS that teaches you something; not even Linux). Windows NT has always been like an adult molesting OS.

So who runs Windows 9x/ME on current hardware (or hardware that handles today's games)?

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I have a high end Pentium 3 set up for Windows 9x games. I wouldn't really use anything newer since you'll start losing compatibility with a large number of games. Most sound cards don't have an OPL chip so older DOS games won't work properly on modern hardware for example. (To be fair, my rig has an SB Live which only has OPL emulation, but it gets the job done.) Anything newer than a GeForce FX IIRC will have issues with some older DirectX games and practically any ATI card will have issues with some DOS games like Commander Keen.

There are, of course, other issues like having to set things in the BIOS to compatibility mode to run older OSs which will at best just slow down newer operating systems. At worst, render some of your hardware inaccessible (SSD won't be fully featured).

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I have a P2 Thinkpad with Win98SE installed. The Unofficial Service Pack really makes it stable and polished. It's nice to be able to browse the web and play DOS games on the same machine. Unfortunately the video and sound chips are generic, so late 90s games don't run too well (Carmageddon 2, Unreal Tournament etc.) but I'm more than satisfied with what I'm able to do with it.

If I were to build the ultimate Win98SE machine, I wouldn't bother with anything multicore, or even a P4. There are some nice P3 Xeon processors around - though a 32-bit Athlon would probably be more power for your dollar.

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Bucket said:

There are some nice P3 Xeon processors around - though a 32-bit Athlon would probably be more power for your dollar.


I agree. Personally would like a Pentium II on a baby-AT mobo (or plain AT) with those cartridge type cpu sockets. Think that'd be very sexy and interesting with a matrox-voodoo2 setup. Remember building a Pentium 2 system around 2000-2001 and CPU resembled a huge memory stick sandwiched in a passive heatsink (had Intel logo engraved and no fan whatsoever); also seen dual cpu mobos with these on net but never in person. Mobo didn't even work and don't know what the person did with left over parts (ended up finishing a Windows 2000 Duron system for him at that time). Sure wish they'd make cpu's like that right now.

For the record, I only have IDE emulation enabled for seperate Win98se sata hdd and DVDR drive (using 98SE key that parents bought with K6 Compaq 5242 from Radio Shack in late 1998; installed a Voodoo 4 4500 on that thing). Not using any other compatibility bios options (besides having an older PCX5750 GPU and SBLive! cards installed). This is on a Piledriver AM3 rig with 1866 DDR3 ram (Gigabyte ATX mobo with 8 phase vrm; and yes I did have to adjust Windows and disable 32-bit drivers in Safe Mode during install. Needed newer 32-bit IDE drivers from MDGx's site for 32-bit DMA hdd). Would like to try Resident Evil 1 and Incoming on this setup.

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I once installed DOS and Win 9something (can't remember if it was 95 or 98) on a much newer machine than was intended for the OSs in question. It was fun to see a) how quickly the install took versus how long it used to take when the OSs were new and b) just how damned quickly everything (especially startup) happened.

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