Building a NEW (OLD) Windows 98 Gaming PC! – Hardware, Accessories & Games
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Building a NEW (OLD) Windows 98 Gaming PC! – Hardware, Accessories & Games

September 7, 2019


– Hey guys, Metal Jesus here. Now you guys know that I love my big box PC games, but you may be surprised to learn that up until recently, I did not own a 90’s MS-DOS gaming PC. Until now. I’ve actually recently worked with a local Seattle company to help me build the
ultimate 90’s gaming PC. And in this video we’re gonna talk about the hardware that we chose, we’re gonna talk about
some of the software that we put on it, and of course we’ve gotta play some games. Let’s take a look. (heavy metal music) Now I know some of you are thinking wait a second. I mean, how could you not
have a 90’s gaming PC? Didn’t you work at Sierra? Yes, in the 90’s I had several gaming PCs. I had a 286, a 386, actually I had an 8088 at one point. At Sierra I bought my first Pentium 100. And so on. But I didn’t keep them for some reason. And so for the longest
time, this was actually my oldest Windows gaming PC. Obviously I have Commodores and Ataris and things like that. But for the longest
time, this was my oldest Windows PC. This is an Athlon 2100. It runs at, I think, 1.7 gigahertz. It has an ATI Radeon 8500. And it runs Windows XP, which is great if you want to play games from the 2000s to maybe 2005, 2006. But I was looking for
something even older. My adventure started when I went down and visited a store called RE-PC. They’re local to Seattle here. And, basically, it’s
this massive warehouse of used PC components from pretty much the dawn of the PC era, all the way up to stuff that’s current. And it’s amazing to go through this if you are on old school gamer like me. By the way, full disclosure, this may feel like a sponsored video, but it’s not actually. At the end of this video
I’m going to tell you exactly how much I paid to have this computer built. But when you walk in here you are faced with just bins full of old video cards, sound cards, drives, mice, keyboards, everything you could possibly want to
build your own computer. And so it was after
strolling around in here for a while, I was like,
wait, why don’t I work with these guys to help
me build the ultimate gaming gaming PC from 1998 or 1999? So we ultimately landed on this. We started with a Dell Dimension XPS R400. And that’s because it has a case the size that I need so I can
put everything in there, including two optical drives, as well as a 3 1/2 inch floppy drive, and I didn’t know if I
wanted a 3 1/2 inch or a 5 1/4, so I ended up
actually getting both. And I can swap them out if I need to. This Dell also comes with a Pentium II, running at 400 megahertz,
which is a good speed for that era. This was actually a fairly
high-end Dell at the time, and so it has the good base that I wanted. The RAM in this machine is capped out at 384 megabytes of RAM, which,
again, is plenty for the time. As you guys know, when it comes to gaming, the video card is very important, and so for this machine I
went with the Voodoo 3 3000. That’s a really nice,
powerful card for the time. It has S-video out as well as VGA. It supports MS-DOS and
Windows really well. However, it is known to run
a little on the hot side, so for this computer an
extra fan was put in, which does add to the overall
sound of the computer. It’s a little bit more noisy
than, say, I would like. But it’s very important to make sure that these things don’t fail. And then when it comes to audio, well, there is nothing better than the Soundblaster 16 by Creative Labs. This was important for me because, again, I wanted 100% compatibility
both in Windows and also in DOS, and this card does that. For my monitor, I’m using the one I’ve had for years and years, and that is a great one here. This is the IBM P96. It’s a 19-inch monitor, and has
worked flawlessly for years. As for my keyboard and mouse, these are taken from spare
parts I just had lying around. Nothing really special here. I do really like the
Microsoft natural keyboard. It’s very comfortable and I’m used to it. And then the mouse is
a bit of a newer one. It’s an optical mouse that I’ve just had lying around, but I like it. And then one of the benefits of buying a computer from a store like this, is that they give you all the software. So in this Ziploc bag, there are copies of MS-DOS, which is pretty cool to have, as well as your official Windows 98 CD. They even gave me a copy
of, I guess the manual. I mean, look at this, it’s talking about Internet Explorer 5, but better than that, yes, they gave me a copy
of Windows 98 for Dummies. That is brilliant. Of course I need a joystick. But it’s important to know that these old joysticks are not USB. They actually plug into the game port built into your sound card. We’re all set up. Let’s play some games. Let’s start with Quake
Two, running on Windows 98. Now the first thing I notice is that this doesn’t look quite right. That’s because initially it boots up in software rendering mode, so that’s what you’re seeing here. Although I have to admit
I actually don’t mind the software rendering look of Quake 2. It looks pretty cool. But you go into Options, Video, and you change it over to the 3Dfx OpenGL, crank it up to 800 by 600 resolution, and this is how it’s supposed to look. This is much better. You can immediately tell that the polygons look smoothed out, there’s no rough edges, as well as the realtime lighting is way better than the software version. Now I did play around
with running the game in higher resolutions,
but the results were kind of less than optimal. It kept crashing back to Windows if I went higher than 800 by 600. Now, I have a theory, I
don’t know if it’s true, but my copy of this game
is the retail release version of it, so I just opened up my box and put the disk in and installed that, so it’s very possible that
there’s a patch out there both for the Voodoo 3 as
well as the game itself. But you can see here, I’m
playing the game just fine. The next game I wanted to check out is one of my favorite
Need for Speed games, and that is Porsche Unleashed. The PC version is so much better than all the console versions. And it’s cool to go
back and play this game. I loved the history of
Porsche that you can play through in this game. It’s kind of funny though, when you play this game
for the first time, it’s actually really
difficult in the beginning, because the original models of Porsche were so hard to drive. They’re so squirrely, you
spin out all the time, but again, an absolute joy
to be back playing this game. I absolutely love it. All right, let’s check
out some Sierra classics. This is the King’s Quest collection, so this is the first
six King’s Quest games, but they’ve been modified
to run in Windows 95/98, and this is the sixth game here. This was definitely a
transitional time for gaming, because it seems like almost every game that came out at the time would support both running in DOS and
also running in Windows, but a game like this, yes
it would run in Windows, but if you had any problems
with it whatsoever, basically the manual would
say, hey, play it in DOS, because usually it ran better there. Although as you can see here, this game works fine in Windows 98, so that’s where I played it. Here’s another one of
my all time favorites, that is System Shock Two. This is a great first-person shooter, but it’s so much more than that. It’s also a horror game. It’s also a full-blown RPG. Just absolutely fantastic. And as you can see, it runs
great with the Voodoo 3. It’s funny, because this
is one of those games where you remember it looking
better than it actually does. So going back and playing this, I haven’t played this
in probably 20 years, and so going back and playing it now, I’m like huh, a little
rough around the edges. Although to be fair, actually
the gameplay still holds up. This is still a really cool game, despite its kind of dated graphics. But yeah, just an absolute
joy to play this game. The next game is a bit of
a challenge to get working. And that is because it
was a challenge to get Ultima Seven working back in the day. This game… First of all, this is a MS-DOS game only. You might be able to play it in Windows, but I’ve never tried. The other thing is that it is very strict on how much RAM that you have. Specifically conventional memory. And so this is one of those games where you absolutely had to use a boot disk, so I had to create one for this to even run on my computer. The other challenge is,
you’ll notice it right here. It’s running really, really, really fast. And that’s because on a Pentium Two, it doesn’t know what that is. And so, in order to work this properly, you have to use a program called SlowMo. Since we’re already in DOS,
let’s try another classic. This is Duke Nukem 3D. And as you can see
here, it runs perfectly. This is such a great game. An absolute classic. I don’t need to tell you guys this. But it’s cool to be playing this game on the original hardware. We’ve all played this
game a million times, and it’s cool to go
back and sit on a proper Windows machine with an old school CRT, and just play Duke Nukem 3D. It was really cool to do, so I’m very happy this runs flawlessly. (MIDI music) – Damn, I’m looking good. – All right, let’s hop back into Windows and try Star Wars Episode One Racer. This is the pod racing game that was converted over from the arcade. And I am happy to report
that the PC version works absolutely great. Now one thing I’m going to notice here, some of you may notice that you might see some screen tearing on
some of the video capture. That is not noticeable
in the games themselves. It’s probably because of the way that I’m having to capture this footage. I might actually do a dedicated video, showing you guys just how to capture old school MS-DOS and Windows games, because it is quite challenging. You have to use very
specific hardware to do it. Thankfully, as you can
see, it works really well, but occasionally you do
get those screen tears. Now let’s go back a bit. I used to absolutely love the game Stunts. This is a stunt racing game
for MS-DOS that’s pretty old. You’re going to see here
that the graphics are pretty ancient, but this was a
really cool game at the time. I believe it was made by the same people who also made the
original Test Drive games. And I know I just have
very fond memories of this. Actually it’s not that
difficult to get running, although this game has copy protection, and the way it handles
it is that it makes you look up to a certain page,
certain line, certain word in the manual, and you have to type it in in order to launch the game. And so I had completely
forgotten about that. But that’s a really
important thing to know when you’re playing these
old school DOS games, is that a lot of them, the copy protection is not something on the
disk, it is actually a word that you’ll have to look
up in the printed manual. Thankfully, of course, I have the game. It’s the full version of it, so it wasn’t a big deal. But this game is fun to play. I mean, despite having
very rudimentary graphics, it actually has a pretty
decent physics engine. It’s actually tougher than it looks, and yeah, if you’re looking for something kind of fun to play on
your MS-DOS machine, give Stunts a try. It’s pretty cool. Another thing I was looking
forward to checking out is my collection of PC Gamer demo discs. This are demo discs that game with PC gamer magazine, of course, but they were legendary at the time, because you got to play
some of the best games every single month, and it also had a really cool bonus feature. If you had a subscription like me and you played these every month, well, you of course
remember Coconut Monkey. That was basically the
mascot for the magazine. He would provide commentary
on the demo discs as well as there were mods to
put him into different games. He was just kind of like this
unofficial, official mascot that fans of this magazine know and love, and so it’s cool to have
him back on my computer. So how much did the whole computer cost? Well, 200 dollars, plus tax. That seems like a good deal to me. Needless to say, it is long overdue that I finally added a
proper 90’s gaming PC to my game room. I couldn’t be happier. I do want to give a
huge shout-out to RE-PC. They’re a great company
here in the Seattle area, and specifically Gene. He’s the guy, he’s the employee, who helped me come up with the list of requirements that we wanted. Also he did all of the durability testing for this machine, because originally, when it got assembled,
many of the parts failed. They wouldn’t last throughout a weekend running continuously. So it’s something to keep in mind if you are looking to build your own, especially if you are going to be buying components on eBay,
sometimes on eBay you’ll see like sound cards and video cards listed, and they’ll be like, “Oh, well, it worked “last time we turned it on.” Well keep in mind that might have been 20 years ago, and these things may have been sitting in a moldy basement, or they may just fail over time. So something to keep in mind. It’s nice to have a
company like RE-PC here that can do all that testing
and swap out parts as needed, so it was a total pleasure
to work with those guys. I’d love to know what you guys think about my new old gaming PC. As you can see I’m very excited about it. All right, guys. Thanks for watching. A side benefit of me doing this video, as I mentioned earlier, is that I now have the ability to capture gameplay footage, both
in MS-DOS as well as Windows, and that’s huge because
I want to be able to cover more of that stuff on my channel, and up until now it’s
been pretty tough to do. But I have a solution
that works really well. So hopefully in the future
I’ll be able to do more Let’s Plays and maybe
hidden gems of PC games back in the late 80’s and early 90’s. I think that’d be pretty cool. Love to know what you guys think. If you guys like this video, please subscribe to my channel, because I release two
videos every single week. All right, guys. Thanks for watching.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Nice video, cute build. ^^
    But I would still prefer all those games on a modern PC. The nice thing is, it will run on anything today… Well, in terms of performance of course.
    Not every game will run and a lot need special treatment. But with programs like DOSBox and SCUMMVM a lot is playable. Especially with WINE for Linux I hope even more games will be playable, where everything (except for the games) is open source and you can still donate to, if you think it's worth it.

  2. MMM he said it was going to be an MS dos gaming machine however it had Windows 98 installed. I would call this a Windows gaming computer, I know Dos can be built in to win 98.

  3. I have this EXACT computer, my mom bought it back in 1998, I've just opened it up and tried to hook it up to a new(er) monitor but it wont wont, idk if its the video card (ATI TECHNOLOGIES 109-49800-10 VIDEO CARD) went kaputs so i just ordered a new cause that Voodoo 3 300 is like 180 on eBay, any suggestions for any other upgrades to this computer? idk what is compatible with this computer so just lmk if anyone ever sees this and can give any info, it would be GREATLY appreciated.

  4. Wow, that Stunts game brings back memories of another DOS racing game called Vette! It had the same type of copy protection.

  5. Taking me way back to my highschool computer : MMX 200mhz, 32mb ram, Voodoo 2… Half-Life, Quake 2, HoM&M 3. Good times.

  6. I just come across populous the beginning big box think its the second version complete disk is still nm sadly I cant get it to run on windows 10 but I do still have the ps one disk too and that's still good they should do a new one id buy it

  7. Man my first PC was a 486DX @ 25mgh (33 with turbo button engaged) Kings Quest, Wolfenstein, Eye of the Beholder, Doom, Wing Commander, etc etc. for 15 year old it was heaven. Just getting the IRQ/DMA sound card/audio and the mouse to work was an achievement at times. I remember something about extended/expanded memory too. Thanks for making these videos, they're always a reminder of a very happy time of my life.

  8. Only issue with building an old PC like this is you pay a big premium for old parts… For example, I got an old Dual Xeon workstation (LGA 1366) two Xeon X5675's in particular, as well as 24GB of RAM for like $225 out the door total… So it really just depends what you're willing to spend, and what you're looking for. But authenticity does cost you, so keep it in mind.

  9. Hey I have a question for anyone. I’m trying to build the best pc you can with 90’s parts. But I’ve come across a problem between the voodoo 3 3500 vs the tnt2. They both have there ups and downs would there be anyway to implement both of them? Or is there a better 90s graphics card all together?

  10. ohhh man this brings me back, i mean shoot PC gaming has changed over the years but these products were TOP NOTCH then, Great video bro!!

  11. Recently tried to run Star Trek Elite Force on Windows 10 and 7 …..looked like crap . When compared to Windows XP with an i5 processor … the difference in quality was XPs use of Open GL Graphics was Superb. It is phenomenal how much better it runs and looks on XP.

  12. Hey Metal Jesus, I want to build a PC to play retro too, but I am thinking in some specific games. The windows version of the Alone in the dark trilogy, WWF Wrestlemania arcade, some Lucas Arts games like Fullthrottle, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. I know some are windows, some are older DOS… so a PC exactly like this one will do the work whitout issues with sound drivers or video drivers? Back in that time I used to own an old 386 and some of those games cant load directly from windows, starting the PC I have to press f2 and just load DOS. Then I jumped directly to Pentium 4 , so I never knew how to properly run some games (the alone in the dark games never worked properly, always whitout sound, music or whit issues at the controllers) So please some help will be really good aprecite it. Best Vibes MJ!.

  13. I just bought an old dell pc running XP so I could play some of my old games that I loved like Shivers! I found your video telling about you being in the video! How cool! Today I'm looking up how to expand on my new/old pc and I found another video by you! I'm new to doing this kind of thing. Hopefully I can learn some stuff from your videos.

  14. I miss those times.. Was born in 90, but still remember these old machines, I don't know if I'm crazy, but I really hate how everything is getting more complex, and not simpler, from computers, to jobs, to life..

    Philosophy aside, I'm curious would this PC be able to run games such as Heroes 3 of Might and Magic, Fallout 1/2, Commandos, Dune 2000, etc ? The kind of games you picked makes me think that you would need a slightly better machine to run those games I mentioned. I'm seriously thinking about making a vintage gaming PC, but where I'm from, acquiring those old components might be near impossible.

  15. So cool. Love to watch these videos. Not sure if I would get any enjoyment playing old games personally though. Geez it’s amazing how far pc graphics have come. The game graphics are so basic from that era. Oh and manual patching makes me shudder lol. Thank god for steam etc

  16. Awesome video, here is a link to an archive I have found for PC GAMER DISCs. https://archive.org/details/pcgamer-cdroms

  17. So I built my dream PII 90's gaming rig….in the early 2000's….with used parts lol. Oh budget gaming, how i miss thee. I did jump to a P4 laptop with 512k nVidia GPU soon after. That rocked for a while.

  18. So nobody uses the dosbox emulator? Most of the oldies will work there. But there are a few stubborn games that need a old PC.

  19. Had Windows 3.11 long into the 95 era and Dos 6.22 saved my butt when it came to being able to play games.

  20. The greatest Windows operating system ever, before XP began the trend of putting a computer in the hands of every troglodyte, ultimately bringing us to the current degeneration of touchscreens operated by slack-jawed retards.

  21. THIS is absolutely something I want to do. One day. GOG.com is cool and all, but being able to truly play old PC games completely legitimately would be so rad.

  22. when i was a really young kid in the early 90s my parents got a crappy hand me down from my grandparents, and when we hooked up to the internet a few years later we got a pretty nice machine, and continued to get pretty decent machines because stuff broke so often. eventually we were stuck with a crappy machine for a while and my uncle sold me a computer he called "vader" it was a pentium 4 ibm full tower beast that could still perform modern tasks up until a few years ago. i loved that computer.

  23. Stunts is one of my favourite too. You should have Death Track also. Haha copy protection.. Remember HEX editors..

  24. Does RePC fill order requests? I need a VLB video card with either 1mb or 2mb memory. Most places I've looked into online are selling them for nearly $200 🙁

  25. in the game stunts, there was a trick to make the trip in less than a second, just at the finish line instead of starting … backwards

  26. Dude stick to consoles.
    The PCMR has different standards.
    There is nothing appealing about actual old hardware.

    Instead, try sleeper PCs. Ridiculously overpowered PCs that look like pieces of old garbage.
    With consoles, retro is hip and cool n shet. PCs? Please don’t. Retro and PC is just nonsense. Insecure on top of that. Just put dosbox on win 10.

  27. sounds somehow like my second ever windows pc it was also a Pentium II with 450mhz and i got a Matrox Millenium G400 Max i couldnt remember the mainboard but i think it was a biostar ^^ but that was the top machine that time xD

  28. Oh crap, STUNTS! I must have played the ever loving hell out of that game as a kid!! You're literally the only other person I've ever seen talk about it! What a trip.

  29. Apparently, "Big Box PC Games" could either refer to the box the game was shipped in or the giant PC tower you play them on, lol…Good stuff, MJR. Really stirred up some old gaming memories!

  30. Speaking of old dos games. I used to play Street Fighting Man on my grandpas 80/88. Wow. I'm in burien. Didnt know you were in seattle. You need bigger than 3.5 inch floppy for games like stellar 7 or street fighting man. 5.25" floppy

  31. Thats one of the things I like about USA. You have so many different people of so many communitites backgrounds and classes that you value and take more care or your stuff and have more thrift stores, and a sharing culture since not everybody can afford new things at once and just throw away the old. Making it possible to have fun with reto hobbies. We have gotten better at it in recent years in Norway. But we throw away so much and just deem it as trash that even a decent PS2 with games that isn't scrated up is somewhat expensive and rare here, not to mention mint condtion games and items from only 10 years ago. Once we got something new we threw away the old instantly making it incredible rare and expensive to obtain since it must most likely be imported and shipping and customs can sometimes double the price. I sold my PS2 and games (all in perfect condition) back in the day for a ridiculously cheap price and I regretted it some years later.
    It's taken me almost 6 years to rebuild my humble but decent PS2 collection of 36 games with some new and most in almost mint/perfect condition without costing a fortune. I won't do the same mistake with my Xbox 360;)
    I'm sure it would have cost me half the time and money doing so in USA. I also love big box PC games but I dont dare start collecting and enjoying them since they are even more rare than console stuff, at least here. Thankfully I can often buy and play reasonable priced versions if not phsyical on GOG:)

  32. That mouse was a big favorite in the counterstrike/quake/general pc gaming world, the intellimouse 3.0. So popular that MS has re-released it 3 times, including once in a collaboration with Steelseries(including the 1.1a)!

  33. Voodoo 3 was the first video card that I ever bought! I bought it specifically to play The Legacy of Kain Soul Reaver and Shadowman!

  34. The Pentium II is bottlenecking that Voodoo 3. Pentium III is a better fit (they’re cheap, you just need a Slot1 to Socket370 adapter). Nice choice of games, though 🙂

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