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Stevaside

Windows 95/98 PC ran to HDTV, questions...

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Hello

 

I collect for multiple retro consoles & have been thinking alot about some DOS, Windows 95 & Windows 98 PC games for my next round of collecting. Was never a huge PC gamer, but for a long time I've been wanting to get around 30 games or so, ones I had, grew up with & a few I remember wanting.

 

Any advice or recommendations as to a certain model I can get that has good specs for that time period that I should be able to run a VGA out into my flat screen & have it look decent?

(Or maybe a referral to a place that can build a vintage gaming PC at a reasonable price?) I do not want to get a CRT monitor that I'm sure alot of people will swear by, nor do I have any room whatsoever if I did want one..I have all my consoles ran through a switchbox on my TV stand & would like to add a vintage desktop too.

 

I had an IBM PS/2 in the mid-late 90's (forgot which model, it had a CD-ROM that I believe came installed..& if I'm not mistaken had Windows 3.1 at first until my Dad installed Windows 95) I would love to get the same one again for nostalgic reasons, but last time I checked think it had its own proprietary video output...if that was the case would their be any possible adapters or video mods I could have someone do to run it on my TV? The IBM Aptiva was my second, and would be my second choice

 

One more thing I have to mention is I do not want to just use DosBox or any other emulator...for some reason most of the time I mentioned collecting Tandy Coco3 games on here, I was told I was better off using emulation..lol...I am a collector, just not interested..&the awesome "big boxes" of the 90's PCs are a big part of the appeal :grin: And besides, I hear they can't run alot of old games properly or sometimes at all. I bought an old casino game I had recently (Masque World Series Of Poker) & it wouldn't even play on my old Windows XP system, compatibilty mode or not..something about an old mouse driver it needed rendered it unplayable on newer systems...I just want something I can run old CD-Roms & floppies on from the era they came from on my modern TV with no worries...any advice would be appreciated

 

EDIT: My TV has a VGA input, but cannot read certain resolutions...My Dreamcast doesn't work on it, I had to wind up getting a VGA to HDMI upscaler....so guessing I might run into that too if I do find a good option ?

 

 

Thanks

Edited by Stevaside

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Good decision to build a retro rig. Very fun and rewarding. IBM actually invented the VGA standard with their PS/2 line back in 1987. The output is not proprietary AFAIK. IBM did have its own proprietary bus, MCA, which required card with the proprietary connectors. I'm not sure if the video cards used MCA or not (there is one MCA Sound Blaster model, however). I think that the PS/2s eventually dropped MCA and adopted PCI.

 

If you want to play later DOS (1995 and after) and Windows 95/98 games, you should shoot for a Pentium II at least. I have a few retro boxes, but my main one is a Dell Optiplex GX1 that I upgraded with a 700MHz PIII. Its only downside is no AGP slot, so I have a Geforce FX5500 PCI. This combo plays intensive DOS games (e.g. Duke Nukem 3D and Blood) at high resolutions and does a great job with Win98SE. I get excellent framerates with classics such as Quake 2, Half-Life, and Unreal.

 

If you want to play early DOS games, you'll need a 386 or 486, depending on the era. I have a 486DX2-50 box that plays well with late 80s through early 90s DOS games (e.g., all the great LucasArts and Sierra titles).

 

This is a hobby that can really suck you in because the hardware is fairly inexpensive. I found myself buying all makes and models of sound and video cards just to try them out. Some cards are rare and/or collectible. 8-bit ISA sound cards, 3dfx Voodoo 2/3/4/5 video cards, Roland equipment. If you want the best advice, go to vogons.org. Just poke around, and you should find what you need to know. The people there are super helpful and mature. Good luck!

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Yes, building a retro-PC can get out of hand quickly. I got into it a few months ago, and have a stack of PC towers for parts, along with a couple large plastic storage totes full of components and cards. My total cash outlay is still well under $100. Plus, you always wonder if you can get the performance of your computer to be better, so you end up trying to get different sound/video cards to see what they do (as well as hunting down the fastest CPU the motherboard can handle).

 

My current rig is an early generic AT-style Pentium mini-tower running Windows 95, which I swapped the original 100mhz Pentium for a 166mhz version. It has a cheap PCI Sound Blaster in it (so MIDI and OPL sound isn't overly fantastic) but it seems to be working well with 90s DOS and Windows 95 games. For fun, I hooked it up to a flatscreen TV's VGA input, and it actually looked fairly good (not perfect... but I'm still using a fairly low-end video card). Playing Descent on a such a large screen is AWESOME (in comparison to the old CRT monitor I played on in the 90s).

 

I say go for it! Just don't get overly picky with the base computer to use for your build. Find something local, and work from that. A good, functional Pentium III (or equivalent AMD processor model) can still be found without too much trouble, but anything much older than that is actually surprisingly hard to locate without resorting to online dealers. Most people simply take 386/486 and early Pentium computers to the recyclers and scrapyards, so they are a bit elusive.

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I have 2 retro pc's i currently use. For early dos games until 96/97 i use a pentium 100, 32meg ram, 1mb pci vga card, a logitech soundman wave (until i get a working sb 16/32 awe) and a gravis ultrasound max. Later games that need win95 i use a pentium 233mmx, matrox g200 2mb, 3dfx voodoo2 12mb, and a opti soundcard.

As a display i use a sony lcd monitor. This hasn't given me any issues running dos games. It has a 4:3 screen ratio, that i think is a must have. In most cases tv screens aren't the best choice because they cannot display every screensize.

 

For win 95/98 a pentium II 233 would be nice, in combination with a bx chipset mainboard. Soundcard doesn't really matter because of directx. Back then i used a sb live, it's a nice card and not very expensive. Guess for video a geforce graphicscard would be nice.

Edited by Seob
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I say go for it! Just don't get overly picky with the base computer to use for your build. Find something local, and work from that. A good, functional Pentium III (or equivalent AMD processor model) can still be found without too much trouble, but anything much older than that is actually surprisingly hard to locate without resorting to online dealers. Most people simply take 386/486 and early Pentium computers to the recyclers and scrapyards, so they are a bit elusive.

 

This. You can still comb through Craigslist and find people selling Pentium III boxes for next to nothing. In fact, I have to decide if I want to pick up a huge Gateway PIII tower just to use the case for another build.

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Good decision to build a retro rig. Very fun and rewarding. IBM actually invented the VGA standard with their PS/2 line back in 1987. The output is not proprietary AFAIK. IBM did have its own proprietary bus, MCA, which required card with the proprietary connectors. I'm not sure if the video cards used MCA or not (there is one MCA Sound Blaster model, however). I think that the PS/2s eventually dropped MCA and adopted PCI.

 

If you want to play later DOS (1995 and after) and Windows 95/98 games, you should shoot for a Pentium II at least. I have a few retro boxes, but my main one is a Dell Optiplex GX1 that I upgraded with a 700MHz PIII. Its only downside is no AGP slot, so I have a Geforce FX5500 PCI. This combo plays intensive DOS games (e.g. Duke Nukem 3D and Blood) at high resolutions and does a great job with Win98SE. I get excellent framerates with classics such as Quake 2, Half-Life, and Unreal.

 

If you want to play early DOS games, you'll need a 386 or 486, depending on the era. I have a 486DX2-50 box that plays well with late 80s through early 90s DOS games (e.g., all the great LucasArts and Sierra titles).

 

This is a hobby that can really suck you in because the hardware is fairly inexpensive. I found myself buying all makes and models of sound and video cards just to try them out. Some cards are rare and/or collectible. 8-bit ISA sound cards, 3dfx Voodoo 2/3/4/5 video cards, Roland equipment. If you want the best advice, go to vogons.org. Just poke around, and you should find what you need to know. The people there are super helpful and mature. Good luck!

Thanks I'll check that website out, going to have to do some research anyway soon. The thought of building my own seems fun, but don't think I'm confident enough doing it, if that's what I choose to do, have one built from the ground up, I'll have to find someone lol...

 

I'll have to look around some more & find exact model I had..I had a ROUGH time finding it last time I looked & can't remember where I wrote it down...If I could somehow get that same model I had ran to my TV & possibly give it some updgrades, that's def the way I'd want to go..or the same with the Aptiva I had maybe..Im mainly wanting 90's & a couple late 80's DOS games such as some of the Sierra titles...& other Widnows 95/98 CD-rom games...Something like a late 90's Aptiva should be able to handle all those right? Kinda worried getting a 98 opposed to a 95 will still give me trouble playing that casino game & others.

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I have 2 retro pc's i currently use. For early dos games until 96/97 i use a pentium 100, 32meg ram, 1mb pci vga card, a logitech soundman wave (until i get a working sb 16/32 awe) and a gravis ultrasound max. Later games that need win95 i use a pentium 233mmx, matrox g200 2mb, 3dfx voodoo2 12mb, and a opti soundcard.

As a display i use a sony lcd monitor. This hasn't given me any issues running dos games. It has a 4:3 screen ratio, that i think is a must have. In most cases tv screens aren't the best choice because they cannot display every screensize.

 

For win 95/98 a pentium II 233 would be nice, in combination with a bx chipset mainboard. Soundcard doesn't really matter because of directx. Back then i used a sb live, it's a nice card and not very expensive. Guess for video a geforce graphicscard would be nice.

Is there a reason for having 2 different PCs ? Seems this is common...do later models or Pentium II/III's not run some of the DOS games right??

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Correction: I believe it was a PS/1 that I had when I was young, not a PS/2..that would explain why I was having so much trouble finding an image of a model online that looked similar to what I had lol This is it & me sometime in the late 90's hahaha I completely forgot it had a little door that you pulled down to reveal the CD-Rom & floppy drive...anyone possibly ID the model this might be? The specs on these I seem to be finding are so outdated I barely understand them :grin: I know it's ancient but it ran whatever DOS/Windows 95 games we had well, not sure if it could be upgraded a little better or if it could handle Windows 98 games at all

post-25376-0-25475700-1433210464_thumb.jpg

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Was going to say no, becuase I was sure the CD-Rom & 3 1/2" Floppy were under that door, (Almost positive it didn't have a 5 1/4 slot) but under closer inspection looks like there was a drive on the bottom in the same place the CD-Rom drive is on that Ebay listing...hard to make out & for some reason I thought I had to open that door to put CDs in..could be wrong tho..&it looks like the models had different versions such as "consultant" & I think "expert" was another I saw too...maybe we had another variant lol...whos knows...cant believe I don't remember better

Edited by Stevaside

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From what I can see, it looks like you are looking for an IBM PS/1 model 2155 style computer (they apparently made a few PS/Valuepoint computers in this case style as well). The "Expert" and "Consultant" titles are generally marketing names, and I wouldn't worry about them too much. Just focus on finding a good, clean, functional example. If you get too picky, you are likely going to be hunting for the thing for quite a while. Possibly years, if you hold out for a nice, clean example of one particular model, and want to pay a reasonable price.

 

As I said before, get yourself a cheap Pentium III (or equivalent AMD processor) which should be vastly more powerful than your old IBM, and still run most of the programs you'll likely be using. It'll also likely be easier to find decent video and sound cards with a later machine (good 486 era sound and video cards are hard to find and can be very expensive). While you are enjoying the Pentium-III era computer, keep looking for that particular IBM model.

 

I'm speaking out of experience. I remembered fairly well that the family computer I used as a kid growing up in the 90s was a small PC tower with a greenish power button, and somehow I remembered it had an AT&T logo on the front. Sure enough, with some thorough internet searching, I figured out it was an AT&T Globalyst 630 with a Pentium 100mhz processor and a 1GB hard drive (I remember my mother remarking back in the 90s about that 1GB hard drive, which she was amazed about after working with computers in an office environment since the 70s). I've been looking for quite a while now for a nice example of this model, and haven't even found ONE available for sale ANYWHERE. Fortunately, I picked up an old generic tower PC that is very similar in appearance and specification to that old Globalyst 630, and have been having a great time with it ever since. I'm sure I'll run into a Globalyst 630 one day, but until then, that generic tower will work perfectly fine.

 

BTW, most people who have two "retro" PCs often do so for convenience and software compatibility. Some of the older DOS games don't run well on something as fast as a Pentium III, so they also have a slower 486 computer running DOS. With this two-computer setup, you can basically run (and with less fiddling) all of the games made from the early/mid 1980s up to the early 2000s.

Edited by Retro-Z

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BTW, most people who have two "retro" PCs often do so for convenience and software compatibility. Some of the older DOS games don't run well on something as fast as a Pentium III, so they also have a slower 486 computer running DOS. With this two-computer setup, you can basically run (and with less fiddling) all of the games made from the early/mid 1980s up to the early 2000s.

Indeed just for the easy use of older software. And because i have the space for it. If you don't have space, one is enough. But you have to fiddle a bit to get older software to run playable.

For instance i'm running commanche on my p100, but it's running a bit to fast making it more difficult to play.

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From what I can see, it looks like you are looking for an IBM PS/1 model 2155 style computer (they apparently made a few PS/Valuepoint computers in this case style as well). The "Expert" and "Consultant" titles are generally marketing names, and I wouldn't worry about them too much. Just focus on finding a good, clean, functional example. If you get too picky, you are likely going to be hunting for the thing for quite a while. Possibly years, if you hold out for a nice, clean example of one particular model, and want to pay a reasonable price.

 

As I said before, get yourself a cheap Pentium III (or equivalent AMD processor) which should be vastly more powerful than your old IBM, and still run most of the programs you'll likely be using. It'll also likely be easier to find decent video and sound cards with a later machine (good 486 era sound and video cards are hard to find and can be very expensive). While you are enjoying the Pentium-III era computer, keep looking for that particular IBM model.

 

I'm speaking out of experience. I remembered fairly well that the family computer I used as a kid growing up in the 90s was a small PC tower with a greenish power button, and somehow I remembered it had an AT&T logo on the front. Sure enough, with some thorough internet searching, I figured out it was an AT&T Globalyst 630 with a Pentium 100mhz processor and a 1GB hard drive (I remember my mother remarking back in the 90s about that 1GB hard drive, which she was amazed about after working with computers in an office environment since the 70s). I've been looking for quite a while now for a nice example of this model, and haven't even found ONE available for sale ANYWHERE. Fortunately, I picked up an old generic tower PC that is very similar in appearance and specification to that old Globalyst 630, and have been having a great time with it ever since. I'm sure I'll run into a Globalyst 630 one day, but until then, that generic tower will work perfectly fine.

 

BTW, most people who have two "retro" PCs often do so for convenience and software compatibility. Some of the older DOS games don't run well on something as fast as a Pentium III, so they also have a slower 486 computer running DOS. With this two-computer setup, you can basically run (and with less fiddling) all of the games made from the early/mid 1980s up to the early 2000s.

 

 

yea...I was sure it'd be kind of hard to find & thinking maybe i should let go of the nostalgia & get something with a pentium III, having better video card options def a plus being I want to run it to my TV...& yea, the oldest games I'm wanting are a couple late 80s maybe & the majority from 90-99, so guess i'll be OK for the most part with one

Edited by Stevaside

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yea...I was sure it'd be kind of hard to find & thinking maybe i should let go of the nostalgia & get something with a pentium III, having better video card options def a plus being I want to run it to my TV...& yea, the oldest games I'm wanting are a couple late 80s maybe & the majority from 90-99, so guess i'll be OK for the most part with one

 

LOL. I'm betting that after you get a suitable 90s PC to run your games, you'll find just as much nostalgia even with the different hardware. Using the older operating systems (like DOS, Windows 95, or Windows 98) is as much a nostalgia trip as anything. And go ahead and try to find that old IBM you used to have. They made a ton of them back in the 90s, they are just hard to find today. A huge percentage of them have probably been sent to the scrap heap or recyclers at this point, and the remaining units are stashed away in people's closets/garages/basements/attics all across the U.S.

 

Many times I have been to estate sales where all of the 80s/90s computer equipment was thrown away a few weeks earlier so room could be made to run the sale. Any that are donated to charity or thrift stores like Goodwill are often immediately taken to a recycling center. 99% of people don't place any value on outdated computer systems and components, other than their fairly high scrap value.

Edited by Retro-Z

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LOL. I'm betting that after you get a suitable 90s PC to run your games, you'll find just as much nostalgia even with the different hardware. Using the older operating systems (like DOS, Windows 95, or Windows 98) is as much a nostalgia trip as anything. And go ahead and try to find that old IBM you used to have. They made a ton of them back in the 90s, they are just hard to find today. A huge percentage of them have probably been sent to the scrap heap or recyclers at this point, and the remaining units are stashed away in people's closets/garages/basements/attics all across the U.S.

 

Many times I have been to estate sales where all of the 80s/90s computer equipment was thrown away a few weeks earlier so room could be made to run the sale. Any that are donated to charity or thrift stores like Goodwill are often immediately taken to a recycling center. 99% of people don't place any value on outdated computer systems and components, other than their fairly high scrap value.

Lol I think my best solution would be to try & find a Pentium III PC first, but keep my eyes open in the meantime for the model I had, prob do a followed search on Ebay..I really think last time I researched it I saw somewhere it had it's own video connection & wasn't standard VGA too, so going to have to look into it again...

 

That all makes sense though, I was thinking as many PCs that were out there in the 90's its insane how hard it seems to find them nowadays...I really haven't began looking online much aside from Ebay, but I'm under the impression there isn't much there either...been checking my local Craigslist the past week or 2 & haven't found anything pre XP

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