Win 98 SE vrs. ME vrs. XP

After searching through the past 10 pages of posts I didn't see this topic so wanted to see if I could get some help with this:

My current system is a AMD Athlon 950MHz, Geforce4 Ti 4600, Soundblaster Live Platnium 5.1 with Windows 98 SE and a decent ADSL conncection.
99% of this computers use is for 3D online and offline gaming.
I have a copy of Windows ME sitting on my desk that I used when I had a dial up AOL account and because of connection problems I went back to the 98 SE OS. I'm thinking of going with the Win ME now that I have ADSL but I have heard about half my friends say stay w/ 98 SE and other half say that I could benifit from the Win ME since I already have it.

Anyone got any advice on this that could help me out?

Also anyone w/ the experience suggest I scrap the WinME and go for the XP upgrade?
33 answers Last reply
More about tomshardware
  1. My personal experience, stay with 98se. It's was a lot more stable than ME.

    :smile: <font color=blue><b>You get what you pay for...all advice here is free.</b></font color=blue> :smile:
  2. I'd say stay with Win98se too unless you want some of the newer features of WinMe like system restore and some video stuff.

    <i>It is not illegal until you get caught! :wink: </i>
  3. yeah, but the compromises you will have to make for stability with windows me makes you HAVE to have the system restore...i know i did.
    if you want the system restore, stability, and video editing stuff, then get xp.
    other than that, i would stay with 98se...because it really didnt give me too much guff...and is pretty good with broadband.


    -Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
  4. Personally I'd throw the ME cd in the bin.

    If they squeeze olives to get olive oil, how do they get baby oil?
  5. for the love of god man, go with XP. The fact that you are even asking tells me you've never had any experience with Windows NT/2000. It's a completely different beast.

    People's computers crash a few times a week (or day) and they think this is's not. Jump to XP and expect to go months without a crash. (and yes, linux will go for a year without crashing but it's about as useful as a macintosh or OS/2 for running popular software)

    I think the big fear for everyone is "Will my games run on 2000/XP". Yes they will, and just as fast.
  6. hehe...and then put some flammable liquid in there, and toss a match in there...that will rid the world of one more virus! :wink:


    -Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
  7. I u'md and r'd for months then upgraded to XP..

    The games run just as well (as far as I can tell) and my 3dmark went up by 500.. Everything seems faster.. I play unreal, Q3, Serious sam 1/2, medal of honor, civ and a few other bits..

    Before the upgrade I hated XP now I love it... not sure how it will run on a 950 though

    I have got a ti500 (oc 255 / 560) an XP (oc 145 x 10.5) and 256Mb DDR with 7200RPM HD

    Burn ME its evil
  8. you mean how XP will run?
    i am running it on a 900mhz athlon as i type.
    runs great.
    stable....and seems faster than 98se, but i think that is because of the different ways xp accesses files.


    -Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
  9. Thanks for all the help guys.

    >>>The fact that you are even asking tells me you've never had any experience with Windows NT/2000. It's a completely different beast<<<

    I'm a little confused by this statment. I thought Windows NT/2000 was more for office stuff and Windows 98,ME and XP was for home and gaming use.

    One thing I noticed when I did have Windows ME on my system is my sound sounded alot better then it did on 98SE. Also my bro has WinME with some funky sound card on it and it just seems to sound better then my SoundBlaster live Platinum w/ digital output.

    Anyone know if WinME DOES have better sound quality or am I trippin? :D

    Thanks in advance.
  10. NT was...
    2000 wasnt.
    2000 used to suck for games and some other programs...
    but then they released 2000 SP2 (service pack) and now it runs all games as far as i know.
    and it is much more stable than 98se.
    as far as the sound sounding might be better written drivers..but i dont know! :eek:
    with winme, my sound sounded the same, (if not worse due to the constant crashing).
    with 98se, it wouldnt crash as much, and with xp, it doesnt crash.
    well..i cant say that exactly...
    because i never put me on THIS computer..i put it on my old computer, but then it killed me, and i had to start from scratch!
    dang buggy OS. :frown:
    but 2000 is fine for games and such.
    but i think that xp is a bit more user friendly...because of easier networking setup, and a few other things that make it more of a home os.


    -Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
  11. Hehe, that's the difference between a techie and a regular user- techies don't notice anything that's not as user freindly cause they learn it mad fast anyway. I know I do. XP sucks for 3d graphics work though. I mean it just blows.

    Sig of the week.
  12. oh..i know...but for the general user, like you said...
    thank god i dont do any 3d graphics.
    and what exactly just craps the bed? crashes?
    i havent done any i dont know.


    -Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
  13. In win9x, 3d s max would just crash, as in it couldn't handle teh polygons or something after a certain complexity. In win2k, I was in a dreamworld- everything was fast and stable, and it never crashed, regardless of complexity...I was able to create a bracelet (for global project) w/ teh most intricate designs that was God knows how many polygons, and then combine that w/ a super complex scene! Rendering was also very fast. Then I switched to XP, and now when I drag the windows around, they kinda lag. Also, rendering time is like 5x what it was on win2k.

    Sig of the week.
  14. weird.....
    were you running pro, or home?


    -Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
  15. NT and 2000 are pretty different OS's, 2k has evolved thier NT kernel a lot. Plug N Play for example =).

    <font color=red>:</font color=red> <font color=white>:</font color=white> <font color=blue>:</font color=blue>
  16. Actually I don't think i want to use the word kernel above there hehe.

    <font color=red>:</font color=red> <font color=white>:</font color=white> <font color=blue>:</font color=blue>
  17. You use your computer for 99% for gaming.


    You have a nice set up, just shy of hardcore.
  18. How much RAM do you have?

    AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
  19. In truth, Microsoft has wanted to get rid of the Windows 95 line ever since NT 4.0 came out. Windows 2000 was supposed to be the unification of the two operating system branches but it wasn't done in time. Microsoft had to put something out in the 9x line to buy some time until XP could come out so they built ME in a hurry...and it's probably the worst OS they've ever made..sure it has some extra features but like 5 times the normal release bugs.

    I'll let you answer your questions for yourself:
    People who have used 2k/xp AND 9x operating systems always chose 2k/xp. You'll only find arguments against this from people who have ONLY used 9x. Look into this a bit and you'll find it's true.
  20. <font color=red>People who have used 2k/xp AND 9x operating systems always chose 2k/xp. You'll only find arguments against this from people who have ONLY used 9x. Look into this a bit and you'll find it's true.</font color=red>

    Not true, I have Win2000, and I chose Win98se over it. Win2000 and XP have a better memory management, and may stay up longer, but that's it. I'm a gamer, and if I believed XP was the Bomb I would get it in a second. A lot of people will say XP is perfect, next to God, but I don't buy it. I don't think there telling the hole story either. I think XP needs a little time, before it will be hands down, that's if they don't come out with another OS first. Then it will be time to throw some more hardware and software away. :wink:

    I will agree, a lot of people think that way, but there are still some die hard Win98se fans that feel different. I remember when XP first came out, they had shown where WinMe was faster then XP, can you show other wise? If you want to talk about stability, not everybody's Win98se systems crashes.
  21. There's a *whole* slew of games that run wonderfully under NT. If it runs under NT, at least in the little experience I have, it runs faster/more stable than under Win9x (read:MS-DOS). Unreal Tournament, Quake3, Maximum Payne, Icewind Dale, Commandos, Red Faction, Tomb Raider 2, Red Alert 2, Metal Gear Solid, Mechwarrior 3, Mechwarrior 4 (before I microwaved the cdrom). The only one I would expect to work (and does not) is Final Fantasy 7. You can get to the Chocobo races, and it shuts down. A dual boot machine absolutely rulez when you're a gamer.

    I've never had a stable Win9x machine. I can get about 48hours of stability under NT before programs start crashing on loadup or the right mouse button stop responding, and a reboot fixes everything. Granted, I've not had that much experience with Mandrake, but I've yet to have it stop detecting the mouse or 'bluescreen' on me...
  22. <font color=red> There's a *whole* slew of games that run wonderfully under NT</font color=red> True

    <font color=red> it runs faster/more stable than under Win9x</font color=red> This has been disputed since XP came out. There is a thin line between opinion and fact, where everybody has their own. <A HREF=",4161,2808643,00.html" target="_new">,4161,2808643,00.html</A>
    Show's Win Me as faster for games, show me other wise.

    <font color=red>I've never had a stable Win9x machine. </font color=red> I have, where I work has, where I did my taxes must, or they wouldn't be using it. Other's here have, so it has to be you, not the OS.
  23. yeah, i have had a pretty stable win98 machine.
    as for games that work with nt, i dunno...didnt use nt long enough to play games on it.
    i know that the only game i played when i had it was delta force 1, and that worked fine.


    -Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
  24. I'd have to go against you as well (nothing personal). When I built my new computer, and I only had Windows 98SE to use, it ran great! No crashes or anything. But, every once in awhile, I'd have to reboot to regain the resources. Other than that, there were no problems.

    That's the only reason why I went to Win2K & WinXP. If Windows 98 didn't have that problem, I'd go back to it because I could customize the install to be more compact. I think that's a fairly valid comment, because I know that people would like Windows to use less space than it's current release of Windows XP. I mean, 1GB off a fresh install is pretty ridiculous, and I don't care if you have 40GB of space. You'd still want to have some, just in case. It helps a little to be clean. Right?

    Anyway, I agree with Windows ME being brutal. I just didn't like the things I heard. But, I know that some might disagree, since driver installation and user error can contribute to it. But, I don't think it's worth the cash to get an upgrade that you could probably download for Windows 98 (except System Restore).

    I've just been using Windows XP, but I'm gonna dual-boot Windows 2000 & Windows XP and see which one I use more. So far, I've gotten Win2K in and just feeling how it used to be. I kinda like Win2K, and there wasn't much of a reason to upgrade, since all I care for is stability.

    My two cents...

    <font color=red><A HREF="" target="_new">My Windows XP-based Website</A></font color=red>
  25. Stick with 98SE. Guys that tell you that XP is more stable are telling you the truth BUT what they FAIL to tell you is that the only reason they needed that stability is because...they don't know how to build stable computers to begins with!
    If your computer is stable, stick with 98SE. I've used XP, 98SE is definately faster in games.

    What's the frequency, Kenneth?
  26. I'm running pro w/ 512MB DDR. Thing is, Max isn't bandwith limited at all. That doesn't affect's the FPU power(which is why I chose Athlon).

    Sig of the week.
  27. Throw WinME away and either use Win2K or WinXP. I've never met anyone who could get Win98se to run as stable as either of these. I have yet to crash with WinXP.

    <font color=red>If you were to have sex with your clone would that be considered incest or masturbation?</font color=red>
  28. Telling the whole story? What whole story is there to tell? All the games I play run great under XP, period. Why would I hide anything? I'm no bigger a fan of M$ than anyone else... so why would I say XP is superior unless it was actually true (in my experience).

    <font color=red> If you design software that is fool-proof, only a fool will want to use it. </font color=red>
  29. Hmm.. I've been a tech all of seven years, and I don't know how to build a stable computer?

    I know how to build a stable computer. I also know how much of a fight I had with 98/ME to get it that way. XP has been rock-solid. Required minimal updates compared to 98/ME to get everything running the way I wanted it to.

    Now you say 98 is faster for games... but how much faster? Am I going to notice with my naked eye or do I need a FPS counter up on the screen to tell me what the difference is? I have yet to play any game that seemed to run slower under XP than it did with 98/ME... but of course I don't play games with an FPS counter up on the screen either...

    <font color=red> If you design software that is fool-proof, only a fool will want to use it. </font color=red>
  30. of course you had problems with is less stable than 98se!
    but look at how long 98se was around, and how many people had it...and their computers didnt have any real problems...
    i am using xp on my computer right now, and i can say that it is stable...much more so than my 98se setup because i dont have to restart every day or so to recover resources.
    but with 98se, i didnt always have to do that..
    only when i was running games that crashed, or programs that dont release the resources like they programs that my friends had made.
    98se can be a good os...
    but i havent been a tech for 7 years, so i guess my word doesnt carry as much weight as yours...
    even though i have built a whole bunch of computers...more than i can remember, and i have worked on a whole bunch of computers, more than i can remember..and most of them were on 98se, 98, or ME. a few on nt4, and a few on 2000.
    only now i am starting to work on ones with xp...
    personally, i like xp better.....but i think that i had good experiences with 98se...oh well. :frown:


    -Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
  31. Aye, 98SE is much better than ME.. that I will definately agree with. Compaq's Deskpro line of computers come pre-loaded with either Win 98SE or 2000... that tells ya something about ME right there.. hehe.

    I agree 98SE was good.. and because the only other choice you had at the time was NT 4.0... you were pretty much stuck with 98SE because you'd be very lucky to get games going under NT 4.0.

    That all being said, 98SE still has its problems. Some of them you've already mentioned. However, the biggest problem will be age. Support for 95 has dwindled to almost nothing, so when Longhorn is released... you can pretty much see the writing on the wall for Win98SE. New hardware will only work with 98 or better... and you can expect this trend to get worse.

    I guess what I mean to say is if you have a Win 98SE machine and are happy with it... then leave it as is. If you're building a new box though... you should have a new OS loaded on so that support will be less of an issue down the road.

    <font color=red> If you design software that is fool-proof, only a fool will want to use it. </font color=red>
  32. Right at the moment, with your system configuration, I'd stick with Win98SE. You might run into a few problems upgrading to WinXP with that hot new video card until nVidia releases another signed driver set.

    I wouldn't even consider WinME as an option. It's the least liked, most troublesome OS that Microsoft ever released. IMHO, it was a slap-dash attempt at putting money in Microsoft's coffers, and the "features" added to the OS were buggy, at best.

    I'm under the general impression, after using the OS, and after looking at many, many benchmarks over the past couple of years, that WinME was the fastest OS for gaming ... if stripped for performance. But it was also the most unstable of the Windows versions, so I think the inherent problems outweigh the benefits of a few extra FPS in a game.

    I have also built quite a few systems. I have built dozens of desktop systems that were relatively-to-very stable with Win98SE, Win2K, and WinXP. Much depends on the hardware configuration and the drivers ... and the abilities of the user to tweak the OS.

    Currently, my personal opinion is that with older hardware, and for a new user, and/or up to someone who is moderately experienced with an operating system, Win98SE is still the best solution.

    If you are a more experienced user, I recommend Win2K. The memory management is far superior to Win9x, and with an ADSL modem, the improved TCP/IP stack will increase the connection speed and packet throughput. True 32-bit operating systems are also very nice for power users, with full support for multi-threading, multi-tasking and multi-processing.

    WinXP may be the best new release ever from Microsoft. With the right drivers, and a little tweaking, it's a big improvement over Win9x, although not as much if you are migrating from Win2K. But I think it could really benefit from the upcoming Service Pack (which should be released to the public in September, God willing) for bug fixes, and with an undated driver database.

    My feeling is that WinXP SP1 will be the OS of preference for many users in 2003, if the Service Pack increases the overall stability, and gets rid of a handful of bugs ... something which should be expected with a brand-new operating system, especially from Microsoft.


    <font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
    <font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>

    <font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
  33. I am a gamer from the Commodore 64 and I prefer Windows 98 SE easy.

    XP is great but I'd wait until a revision or SOMETHING. Its alright.. I run a dual boot 98se and xp pro.
    I use the 98se for my dos games and xp for everything else.

    But I'm considering going straight 98se until xp and all the hardware companys release drivers for all my devices.

    My system is a Athlon XP 1700+, Gigabyte 7VTXE (KT266A), 768MB pc2100, geforce2 gts, ati tv wonder pci stereo, dvd/cdrw in one drive, antec sx600 case, antec easy usb front panel usb, alpha hs and delta fans inside

    As far as issues I've come up against is my nvidia card and ati dont play well under XP yet. But 98se perfectly.

    On framerates I think the computer feels smoother under 98se myself.. I dont care what framerates or whoever says what.

    Stick with 98SE its mature, go XP if you want to throw money microsofts money for no real good reason.

    My 98SE systems have been rock solid stable ever since I've had 98SE, but my 95 systems were extremely stable also.
    On stability it mostly comes down to the skill or experience of the person building or setting up the computer and guess who gets blamed? Microsoft of course and most of the time its not their fault.
    In fact all the windows operating systems have impressed me actually considering each releases timeframe and circumstances.

    To make you feel better, I'm 90% positive I'm going to wipe off my XP partition and wait for some kind of revision of XP or until games no longer support 98SE.

    I need 98SE for my dos games. Download and play the first two Monkey Island games (<A HREF="" target="_new"></A>)and tell me you want DOS dead.

    "dude your getting a dell", is that kid trying to say he wants to stick his 'dell' in you?
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