The new CD drives will work. The software drivers know how to adjust the speed should the system performance be slower. Just ensure the drives ship with a Win98 driver, else check on driverguide.com. WinXP may install, but you will find you may need to upgrade your hard disk, add generous amounts of RAM, and would still find performance issues. The 'throughput' of your Win98 would be more than XP on this machine.