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Best modern and cheapish IGP / GFX for retro windows xp / 98 gaming box?

TheHolyLancer

Member
Aug 10, 2005
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So yeah, I am thinking of building one of these for things like mechwarrior 4 / mercs, freelancer, falcon 4, diablo 1 and 2, and that types of games.

It would likely duo boot xp and / or 98? Likely at least xp.

Would not hook it up to the internet since its a retro box and I don't want to deal with security much.

With modern GFX and their driver likely not running on XP, what are some good options for a modernish and cheap card for this job? Or do I have to go used?

I actually have a 5870 buried somewhere that I hope still works, which I think will do this job nicely but I wanted to know if there is any modern cards that will work fine with that era of games.
 

TheELF

Diamond Member
Dec 22, 2012
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It would likely duo boot xp and / or 98? Likely at least xp.
Dual boot with the OS you have right now?
Do you mean you already have a PC and want to add a card?
Or do you want to build a PC from the start just for xp/98?
On a recent PC your best bet is still emulation no way 98 is going to boot up let alone find drivers,in fact you probably won't find drivers no matter how hard you search.
Xp might be a bit easier but still tough.
 

MrTeal

Diamond Member
Dec 7, 2003
3,121
795
136
IMO, if you're not that guy, ask around on Facebook for some old hardware. There's surely someone you know that has an old system kicking around. I just recycled an P3 MB/CPU, a P1 combo, and a bunch of old ram. I was hanging on to it for pretty much the same reasons as you, but in the end it was just easier to play Jedi Knight through GOG. I'm sure someone will have something old for you.
 

Leyawiin

Diamond Member
Nov 11, 2008
3,204
51
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Yeah, XP isn't the issue. Setting up a reasonably current PC with it will be easy (AM3+ motherboards fully support it for instance). You can also run say a GTX 750 Ti on XP on an AM3+ motherboard with quite current drivers (believe or not Geforce 362.00 drivers just released support XP). 98 SE isn't supported on motherboards much newer than say Athlon64 or Pentium 4 vintage. You'd definitely be better off emulating if needed.
 

TheHolyLancer

Member
Aug 10, 2005
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0
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Hmm, yeah my current PC's issue is the 980ti don't seem to have drivers for xp, and I have no idea even if there is one would it work okay with say mechwarrior 4 or 3 or trying to run 2 in xp's compatibility modes. (when I searched for 980ti and windows xp, it gave nothing back)

So duo boot won't work there I think.


Short of running 2 GPUs, the 5870 and the 980ti in one housing and switch primary GPU depending on the OS (somehow) I don't think that will work with my current system, and I am not sure if the Z170 chipset can do xp at all (should be able to? but ddr4 and the whole bunch of UEFI advanced bios this thing has worries me, its ASUS RoG VIII Hero).


I guess I will just emulate 98 with my primary, and this box is only going to be for xp for games from say 1995ish (in windows xp compat mode) to around 2005 or so where the compatibility mode from my main should then take over.

then use emulators for 98 / dos for anything older than 95.

Also, how good is the xp 64 bit for playing older games? Does it do 16 bit stuff or should I just stick with 4 GB of ram and run 32 that should work more?
 
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SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
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358
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for windows 98 Geforce FX tends to be a popular choice, plenty of speed for 98 games and great compatibility.

as for XP... well I think current Nvidia cards still have drivers, the same as GCN1.1 and older I think.
 

TheHolyLancer

Member
Aug 10, 2005
49
0
66
for windows 98 Geforce FX tends to be a popular choice, plenty of speed for 98 games and great compatibility.

as for XP... well I think current Nvidia cards still have drivers, the same as GCN1.1 and older I think.
how does it cope with excess vram?

my current system is i5 6600k + 980ti based, which will have 16G system + 6 G vram

will that still work with 32 bit xp? as I think 64 bit xp was a mess and don't do older games well at all

also, I am thinking of this system:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/WqyBNG

I got the 5870 already, just the other bits
 
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skipsneeky2

Diamond Member
May 21, 2011
5,035
0
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As far as Nvidia,avoid as support for even Windows 2000 ended when the 7000 series did.

But for windows xp/98 se era games,i wouldn't be suprised if even Intels latest IGP could work with tinkering.I got HD2000 to work with Q3A with ease.Even UT2004 was considerably playable.
 

Shivansps

Diamond Member
Sep 11, 2013
3,404
1,004
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Windows XP is not a problem, AMD APUs supports it, Intel has a beta driver for Haswell IGPs, that works OK. But BIOS on moderm boards are the real problem with W98.

As for Windows 98, thats a problem, Nvidia FXs cards are recomended, I maded to work a GF6200-A-LE AGP once, but it was not fully stable, in thoery GF6100/GF7025 IGP should work too, i tried but failed.

So, if Windows 98 is your choice you will need an FX card, i recomend a FX5200/5500 PCI card, going AGP is a no-go, the most modern AGP board that i know is the Biostar K8M800 Micro AM2, maybe you can get one used, but remember that AMD Athlon X2 5200+ is the higest supperted CPU on that board -and its ethernet chip does not support W98-


What i whould do?
I whould pick an AM3 board with at least 2 PCI slots and a GF7025 IGP, you MAY be able to get it to work under W98 after driver touching, and those older BIOS boards will get along well with W98.

Get a FX4300 and 4GB of ram.

And if you use WXP you can use everything out of the box, and include your HD5870, for Windows 98 you gona need to add a compatible ethernet and sound, and probably even a FX5200 PCI.

Some USB sound cards supports W98 and are dirt cheap, so thats no problem.

As for ethernet, you will need to find a PCI 10/100 W98 compatible card, there still a few new.

as for video, well a GF 7025 IGP may work with Nvidia modified drivers, personally i tried with a GF6100 and failed, if it does not work you gona need an FX5200/FX5500 PCI card.
 

DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
40,730
670
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What about:

- gog.com versions (not always reliable, I've never gotten Blood 2 to work well :( )

- VMWare, Virtualbox - the virtual / emulated graphics cards are often really old models that might work better for these than a real card.
 

SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
5,000
358
126
how does it cope with excess vram?

my current system is i5 6600k + 980ti based, which will have 16G system + 6 G vram

will that still work with 32 bit xp? as I think 64 bit xp was a mess and don't do older games well at all

also, I am thinking of this system:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/WqyBNG

I got the 5870 already, just the other bits
you mean for XP?
I might be wrong but I think only around 2GB of vram for the VGA will actually be used, as for ram you get around 3.2GB, but if you have more, you can use it as ramdisk for pagefile and stuff, that's how I use it

5870 should be quite fine for XP, it even supports opencl if you use drivers from 2011 or older I think (they removed at some point), I know it because I used a 5850 on XP to test bitcoin mining at some point.
 

ZGR

Golden Member
Oct 26, 2012
1,867
286
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What about Dosbox and XP virtualization? My HD 4000 graphics runs games from pre 2003 without problem.

I get some graphical bugs, but nothing too annoying. Heck, even Android can play Windows 95/98 games as well.
 

SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
5,000
358
126
What about Dosbox and XP virtualization? My HD 4000 graphics runs games from pre 2003 without problem.

I get some graphical bugs, but nothing too annoying. Heck, even Android can play Windows 95/98 games as well.
when I tried to use vmware with win98 it was not good for games, I think I tried running quake 2 in software mode and it was super slow, slower on my i5 than on my pentium II running natively the same thing

dosbox is mostly good, but some games might not work properly
 

CP5670

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2004
4,941
259
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XP can generally handle most games from that era, including some that don't work on 8.1/10. I dual boot it with 8.1 on a modern PC. Current hardware still works with it, although I'm not sure how long that will last. The Nvidia XP drivers need an inf edit to support the 900 series cards, but seem to work fine otherwise. As others said, 98 probably won't work on modern hardware. I kept a 98 box at one point many years ago, but eventually ditched it after I got everything working on my main machine (either in Dosbox, a 98 Virtualbox VM or an XP VMWare VM).
 

nenforcer

Golden Member
Aug 26, 2008
1,767
1
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I don't bother with Windows 98 SE at all. You plug one of those machines into the internet and its almost instantly infected with malware. Only use it for a game box you never connect to the internet. I have a Windows 2000 Server machine which has a Matrox Parhelia graphics card with excellent Direct X 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 support. If your going to Windows XP then I run a Geforce 7800GS w/ AGP 8x which is one of the fastest DirectX 9 cards ever made with stable drivers.
 

TheELF

Diamond Member
Dec 22, 2012
3,428
445
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when I tried to use vmware with win98 it was not good for games, I think I tried running quake 2 in software mode and it was super slow, slower on my i5 than on my pentium II running natively the same thing

dosbox is mostly good, but some games might not work properly
Vmware does not give you a compatible VGA so you are stuck with a "safe mode" VGA.

Try this
http://digiex.net/downloads/download-center-2-0/applications/1022-digiex-exclusive-premade-windows-98-virtual-machine-use-older-games.html
 

PingSpike

Lifer
Feb 25, 2004
21,619
462
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I wouldn't bother with Windows 9x anything. XP was close enough that it seems every game I've run into could be run on it, and 9x was such an aggravating crashing eat itself piece of shit compared to the NT code base I just don't think its worth messing with. Not to mention drivers are going to be much much harder to get working with remotely modern hardware than they are on XP at this point.

Last time I checked Nvidia and ATI hardware designed for DX10 failed to do color dithering properly in old 16-bit color early Direct3d games at all. Making the x1xx series and 7000 series (not all drivers even I believe) the last cards that could hope to run games without graphical artifacts.
 

CP5670

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2004
4,941
259
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Virtual PC is fairly good (although lacking any 3D support) but I don't think it works at all on modern windows. You can run it in XP. Its replacement, Hyper-V, does not support 98 guests. I have 98 set up in Virtualbox instead, which works fine for 2D games, although I hardly ever need to use it.
 

TheELF

Diamond Member
Dec 22, 2012
3,428
445
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Virtual PC is fairly good (although lacking any 3D support) but I don't think it works at all on modern windows.
Oh it runs it just won't install with the default name!!!! /facepalm/
You have to rename the install and afterwards the exe to something else and it will run with no problem.

Did win98 games even have 3d?
 

SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
5,000
358
126
Did win98 games even have 3d?
wat
there are plenty of software 3d games for dos, win9x
also even 3d accelerated games for DOS (Glide) and win9x (Glide, OpenGL, D3D and so on), even DX9 (I think only up to SM 2.0) is supported on windows 98.

you can play Doom 3 for example on windows 98 as far as I can remember.
 

ZGR

Golden Member
Oct 26, 2012
1,867
286
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VMWare has graphics support for Windows XP. Anything before XP works fine with Dosbox.
 

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