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Video Card suggestions for old Dell Pentium III 98SE machine

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 7, 2008 4:34:59 PM

I've put together an old Dell Pentium III machine running Windows 98SE for my kids (we've accumulated tons of old games that tend to crash XP). It's currently got an nVidia Vanta LT (agp, I think). I also think the motherboard is maxed out at 256mb ram x 3.

I'd like to add a video card (and power supply if necessary), but have no idea what sort of card to put in. Any suggestions? (cheap eBay stuff would be good, and something w/good stable drivers would be good also...)

Thanks. mcaren
March 7, 2008 4:56:40 PM

nvidia 6600gt.

That card will indeed be an over kill for kid games but its a solid gpu and be more than enough for your windows 98
March 7, 2008 5:04:11 PM

I wouldn't even go as high as a 6600 (unless it is cheap), as it will be WAY under utilized. You could probably want to look for something in the ATI 9200-9600 range. I haven't looked lately, but I bet you can get one on ebay for real cheap (probably less than $20 if you look hard enough). If you get one like this, you probably won't need a new PSU, either.
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a b U Graphics card
March 7, 2008 5:06:36 PM

Curious, did you try compatibility mode on any of those games per chance?
March 7, 2008 5:15:49 PM

Ohiou_grad_06 -- yes, I did try comp. mode in XP. In hindsight, I may have been having more hardware/XP issues than compatibility issues, as I've run through 3 motherboards on that particular build and had bizarre crashing with every one of them (am finally going to install Vista). On the other hand, some of these games are so old (like the ones that say "Windows and Mac" and don't specify a version) that I'm not sure compatibility mode would ever cut it. I even ran the setup.exe files in compat. mode and it didn't help (specifically the I-Spy games crashed without fail).

Now that I've got this 98 machine, tho, I have to admit that I like it (I did helpdesk stuff back pre2K and some of the 98 tweaks are coming back to me...). I thought it would be fun to improve it a bit. My kids are only 8 and the games they're using now aren't fancy, but I'm having fun shopping the thrift stores and getting old games for next to nothing. I also like the fact that the 98 machine isn't connected to the internet and it's cheap; I don't have to worry about them surfing and if they break it I won't mind quite so much...
March 7, 2008 5:54:41 PM

really, what you could do is just buy the cheapest AGP or PCI video card you could find. any of them would be an improvement.
May 29, 2008 7:36:55 PM

Is this thread actually for real? Theres so many wrong answers here.. I am laughing right now.

First of all a Pentium 3 wont support a 6600GT, or a 5 series Geforce either.
The AGP bus you have on the motherboard is AGP 1X. both of these cards require an AGP 8x slot, for correct operation.

If you could find a geforce 2, maybe 3...you might be in luck.
Oh...and goodluck finding a better power supply thats not gonna catch fire and burn your house down for that old board. You better be careful buying used old equipment.

Why dont we all just be honest and say this, STOP BEING CHEAP and get a "cheap" 3-4 hundred dollar computer that will blow that one out of the water, get XP on it, and stop wasting you, and your childrens time with technology from the middle to late 90's.


Windows 98?!??! Come On man. This is just ridiculous... I cant even write anymore.
May 29, 2008 8:01:03 PM

i was about to say amen to what you where saying until i saw your post all the way through from "Oh...and goodluck finding a better power supply thats" blablabla

You know that that is ridiculous right?
It wont catch fire, at least not because of replacing the psu for one better...old mobos with old cpus waste little power compared to todays hardware and...what about he using a old machine with win98?

To the op, dont care about the tippos, it doesnt matter if it has win98 or msdos from the 80's, if it is still useful and perfect for what it is, why upgrade? Just to be updated without no other reason than having new hardware just for the sake of it?

Get a ati9800pro, thats a great card for your pentium 3, whatever it is.
May 29, 2008 8:07:56 PM

I know that a Pentium III is going to hold back an FX5900 by quite a bit, so you may want to just search craigslist for any old working videocard with 64mb of memory.

May 29, 2008 9:31:41 PM

Obviously I was exaggerating about the fire, but lets be realistic, he has to find a PSU that has the old style Pentium plugs on it, which means he'll be searching for a used one, I was only telling him he should be careful with those because many times used PSUs work fine for a month or two and then short out.

However, people have to agree with me here....a Pentium 3( a dell no less) and he's trying to purposely continue to use Win98, and improve upon this machine. He'll pay more for the new graphics card than the whole machine is worth.

I'm actually completely suprised at the fact that the dell even still turns on after all this time. I'm just trying to save the guy more trouble than that machine ( Cough..paper weight..cough) is worth.
May 29, 2008 10:53:26 PM

Actually, there is one more point that should be clarified

"First of all a Pentium 3 wont support a 6600GT, or a 5 series Geforce either.
The AGP bus you have on the motherboard is AGP 1X. both of these cards require an AGP 8x slot, for correct operation. "

Thats not true If, the op isnt using a 3.3v agp like board (that usualy happens with slot pentium 3). That being, he can even plug a ati 3850 agp (so i think :o  , but nevermind about getting win98 drivers)
About finding a psu with "old style Pentium plug" well..i kinda got lost there, because pentium 3 use ATX molex plug, and psus from our days are still using those.
Really dont take it personaly, im not picking on you :p 
There were just these few points i wanted to clarify, and if im wrong please feel free to correct me. After all, we are all learning here.
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a b U Graphics card
December 16, 2009 7:59:37 AM

hey iv got a p3 that has a gf5200 and it works fine so there the 6600 would prb work to
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
December 16, 2009 8:26:43 AM

p3 can only handle pci not pci-express so look for any card that has pci
a b U Graphics card
December 16, 2009 4:11:08 PM

The CPU has nothing to do with PCI/AGP/PCI-E, thats up to the mobo.
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