Typical PCs Each Year

Introduction

Nowadays it can be difficult to recall what PCs were common in any given year, and even more crucially, what components/chipsets were common. This page aims to catalogue low-end to high-end PCs and their component parts for each year during the DOS era. UK and USA prices and trends are reported.

One caveat here is that the various prices and models mentioned have been taken from major high-street computer magazines, so the focus here is on the everyday computer buyer, not large corporate businesses.

The table below shows a summary of the type of PC for each year. Click on the link to go to that year:

Year Clearance/Low-End Budget/Standard Premium
1982 - - 8086 4.77 MHz, single floppy, MDA/CGA
1983 - - 8086 4.77 MHz, single floppy, MDA/CGA
1984 - 8088/8086 4.77 MHz, single floppy, CGA 8086 4.77 MHz, 10 MB HDD, EGA
1985 - 8086 4.77 MHz, 10 MB hard disk 80286-6, 20 MB HDD, EGA
1986 8088/8086 4.77 MHz 80286-6, 20 MB HDD 80286-8, 20 MB HDD, EGA
1987 8088/8086 8 MHz 80286-10, 40 MB HDD 386DX, 70 MB HDD, MCGA/VGA
1988 8088/8086 8 MHz 386DX-16 386DX-20
1989 8088 or 80286 10 MHz, 40 MB HDD 386DX-20 or 25, or 386SX-25 486DX-25
1990 386DX-20 386DX-33 or 486DX-25 486DX-33
1991 386DX-33 486SX-25 486DX-40
1992 486SX-33 486DX-33 486DX2-66
1993 486SX-33 486DX-40 486DX2-66 / Pentium 66
1994 486DX-25 486DX2-66 486DX4-100 / Pentium 75/90
1995 486DX4-100 Pentium 75 Pentium 100
1996 Pentium 75 or 90 Pentium 100 or 133 AMD K5 or Pentium MMX 166 or 200 MHz
1997 Pentium 100 AMD K5 or Pentium MMX 166

Pentium II 233 or AMD K6 or Cyrix 6x86

1998 AMD K5 or Pentium 166 AMD K6 or Pentium 200/233 AMD K6-2/450, 3dfx Voodoo 2 or nVidia Riva 128
1999 AMD K6 or Pentium II 233 AMD K6-2/450 or K6-2+ AMD K6-3+
2000     AMD Athlon
2001