win 98 versus win xp for surfing


Nov 10, 2001

I have 2 small sys , one with win 98 se and the other with win xp pro sp2.
They are similar in harware but the xp sys is way faster on the net than the 98. What is your first impressions.

Win 98 se
Tyan S2060 with p-3 at 800mhz
128meg pc-100 (at 133)
Matrox millenium g200a (8meg) agp with latest drivers
10/100 nic
ibm fru pci sound card
2 x fujitsu dd 4.3 and 4.4gig (no DMA) (fat32)
liteone cd-r and Pine 52x cd
ps2 mouse and kb

Iexplorer 6.0
MediaPlayer 9
Latest flash player (9 ?) no other plugins

BIOS is most recent and most is at default. Serial and parallel are disabled.

Win XP pro
Asus P2b with last bios and p-3 733
256meg pc-100(at 133)
Ati rage 2 pro agp 8meg with latest drivers
10/100 nic
ISA sound blaster card
fugitsu 20 gig dd (no DMA)(NTFS)
Lg cd-r and Lg cd
ps2 mouse and kb

Bios at default settings.
Iexplorer 6
MediaPlayer 10
Latest Flash player (9 ?)

Both have internet settings at default
Both connect by lan cable to cable internet service via hub

I am wondering if win 98 by it's construction can simply not surf and download web pages and play streaming video as well as XP with equivalent hardware!

So what do you think?


Feb 24, 2006
I'm pretty sure it's the memory. Win 98 is horrible at memory handling (it likes to use ram and never return it, so the available memory keeps getting less and less until the computer starts pagefiling for everything). To speed things up you could install of third party memory handling program that flushes out the memory when it starts to get too full. That, or you could upgrade to win ME, as I've noticed it handles memory way better, or you could throw in another stick of 128 ram and put XP on your rig.

EDIT: ME has its own memory leaks too. It just so happened that for me, the switch to ME took care of the memory problems I had in 98SE. YMMV.


Nov 10, 2001
I'll give it a shot at 256meg and see...and i can't install xp with the tyan board as it's latest bios won't support's what you call a lemon so we'll have to stick to win 98 and as for millenium well i've never used it as i've heard a lot of bad things about it..perhaps it was with the first version however...lots of bugs if i remember.


Mar 2, 2003
You are right, there are bad things said about Me - Windows Me is like a party dress. It looks good but it is not very practical in the long run. Most of the features in Me are just a slightly altered desktop scheme and a couple of new icons. It was a very rushed operating system released to fill that gap between the release of Windows 98 SE and XP - most of the XP features (i.e. System Restore, Windows Media Player, Movie Maker) were slung into this operating system as a "guinea pig" version - they didn't work too well, riddled with bugs, and only gave acceptable performance with 256MB of RAM or more. With system restore it was the case of the, so to speak, "cure being worse than the disease"!! Oh and more than 512MB of RAM and Windows Me slows down worse than 98 SE, 1GB and it doesn't even start!!! I had to put up with his operating system until I had enough money to buy a new scanner that supported XP and the time to reinstall my PC to XP from scratch!! To this date I haven't regretted it and I am glad to see the back of the BSODs of all 9x operating systems.

If you have no hardware that is incapable of using Windows XP then move onto it - preferably do a clean install for optimum performance (I have never done an upgrade, my previous experiences of relayering Windows Me after several hardware changes have just resulted in the system being slower). Unless you have a piece of recalcitrant hardware which will not take Windows XP, go for it, you have nothing to use. 256MB of RAM will be fine but to be honest go for as much RAM as you can afford.

On the system which will not take XP because of the BIOS, have a look into updating the BIOS. That small update if done carefully should work wonders for you especially once you are able to add XP to it! Go to the manufacturers website and take a look around - otherwise if you are unsure email them and ask them for what you can do to your motherboard to make it work with Windows XP.

Also, Windows Interenet Explorer 7 is only supported by Windows XP - this will improve your surfing no end and you should have much more luck than I did with it. Just ensure you use a genuine version of Windows XP otherwise Microsoft will not let you install it.

Good luck!


Dec 19, 2007
Maybe you can help me out. I recently had to go back to win`98 from XP but now I can`t shut down the engines on the 737-400.
The H key now has a different function.
Does anybody know how?