Is this old Gateway any good for gaming?

200K_OK

New Member
Dec 3, 2019
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I snagged a Pentium III "Windows 98 ready" Gateway Essential 550. Although I grew up cutting my teeth on Dos Shell and Windows 3.1, it has been a very, very long time since I've used a computer this old. It boots and loads Windows perfectly, however!

This thing appears on the surface to be decked out, but please correct me if I'm wrong. I can't find much documentation on it, though. Most of what I've read says it has 2 memory slots but there are clearly 3 here. It says something about having an additional 64MB removable? I don't know what that is but there are 3 slots here and it appears to be maxed out at 256MB.

The Video card is a Nvidia Riva TNT2 (card is marked G7500.1) and also appears to house a Sound Blaster CT5803. It has 2 HDD and also has an ethernet and modem card although I doubt I'll be using them much. The Riva apparently held a candle to the Voodoo 3 if I'm reading things right, but i'm not sure. I have no idea about the Sound Blaster other than I remember how much I loved my original Sound Blaster in my 586.

Anyway, I saw that LGR did a video on the 450 but it seemed like he might have bought some additional cards for it. I was wondering if anyone here had some documentation or knew more about these systems. At any rate, it looks like i'll get to practice some RetroBrite techniques for myself since this one is stained badly. Any information you guys have would be great!
 

cml37

Moderator
Staff member
May 19, 2019
181
41
28
Washington, D.C. Area
I snagged a Pentium III "Windows 98 ready" Gateway Essential 550. Although I grew up cutting my teeth on Dos Shell and Windows 3.1, it has been a very, very long time since I've used a computer this old. It boots and loads Windows perfectly, however!

This thing appears on the surface to be decked out, but please correct me if I'm wrong. I can't find much documentation on it, though. Most of what I've read says it has 2 memory slots but there are clearly 3 here. It says something about having an additional 64MB removable? I don't know what that is but there are 3 slots here and it appears to be maxed out at 256MB.

The Video card is a Nvidia Riva TNT2 (card is marked G7500.1) and also appears to house a Sound Blaster CT5803. It has 2 HDD and also has an ethernet and modem card although I doubt I'll be using them much. The Riva apparently held a candle to the Voodoo 3 if I'm reading things right, but i'm not sure. I have no idea about the Sound Blaster other than I remember how much I loved my original Sound Blaster in my 586.

Anyway, I saw that LGR did a video on the 450 but it seemed like he might have bought some additional cards for it. I was wondering if anyone here had some documentation or knew more about these systems. At any rate, it looks like i'll get to practice some RetroBrite techniques for myself since this one is stained badly. Any information you guys have would be great!
Always great to score a new system. You're right on the cusp, but you may be able to make that system work well with DOS. I've found PCI Sound Blaster cards very difficult to get working under DOS... you may luck out with that SB16 PCI, hopefully you will have better luck than I had with my SB 128 PCI cards. I eventually took all of them out and replaced them with ISA sound cards.

Very surprised to see that they make Win 3.11 drivers for the Riva TNT2! Here's a link in case you decide to install it: http://www.gaby.de/ftp/pub/win3x/drivers/tnt5w311.zip

Have fun. Ask lots of questions... I have 13 MS DOS systems ranging from 8088 to Pentium III... so I (or others) can probably help!
 

cml37

Moderator
Staff member
May 19, 2019
181
41
28
Washington, D.C. Area
Always great to score a new system. You're right on the cusp, but you may be able to make that system work well with DOS. I've found PCI Sound Blaster cards very difficult to get working under DOS... you may luck out with that SB16 PCI, hopefully you will have better luck than I had with my SB 128 PCI cards. I eventually took all of them out and replaced them with ISA sound cards.

Very surprised to see that they make Win 3.11 drivers for the Riva TNT2! Here's a link in case you decide to install it: http://www.gaby.de/ftp/pub/win3x/drivers/tnt5w311.zip

Have fun. Ask lots of questions... I have 13 MS DOS systems ranging from 8088 to Pentium III... so I (or others) can probably help!
Also... 256MB is more than enough for DOS. As for network cards, they are essential for me... all of my machines are networked except my PC Convertible!