> The Celery was the most bang for the buck at the time, or at least it sounded that > way with the Mhz it boasted. Video game hardware is often based around cost savings > so it wasn't surprising to me. Also, it wasn't that low-end if we're talking about > 1998. I recall buying a 450 Mhz desktop in December 1998 and IIRC it was brand new > and the fastest thing you could get other than some thousand dollar server CPUs. The > Celery wasn't all that far away from it. I wouldn't call it low-end for 1998. My > friends were still using computers slower than that in 1999-2000.
Plus one to that. My 1.2GHz machine was awesome for its speed back in 2002 (and the envy of a friend who still had a AMD K6-2 333!), however it was coupled with a pretty crappy board that some moron at HP thought would be cool. It had three PCI slots as its only form of expansion (with an OEM 56k modem in one), with an onboard AC97 sound chip and the Intel 82810E graphics chipset, which was terrible for games and lacked the most important 32-bit graphics mode which even my 2MB S3 Trio card from 1996 had!
This is where I found MAME actually, after finding out that about 95% of emulators required 32-bit graphics and didn't even support 24-bit mode, usually crashing on load if I didn't lower the depth to 16-bit. MAME ran in 24-bit mode straight out of the box when I first tried version 0.61 with Galaga back then! I had to be thankful to the 82810 this time though, as it had a quite useful 352x576 video mode which was a perfect fit for the old Namco vertical games (which were 288-high, doubled to 576 using scanlines).