Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

MBC 550

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Developer  Sanyo
Release date  1982 (1982)
Introductory price  <$1000
Type  Personal Computer
Retail availability  6 Years
Discontinued  1988

The MBC-550 was a small and inexpensive personal computer in "pizza-box" style, featuring an Intel 8088 microprocessor and running a version of MS-DOS. It was the lowest-cost of the early IBM PC compatibles and was produced by Sanyo.

It had somewhat better video display possibilities than the average CGA card (8 colors at 640x200 resolution, vs CGA's 4 colors at 320x200 or 2 colors at 640x200), but it was not completely compatible with the IBM-PC. It lacked a standard BIOS, having only a minimal bootloader in ROM that accessed hardware directly to load a RAM-based BIOS. The (FM rather than MFM) diskette format used was not completely compatible with the IBM PC, but special software on an original PC or PC/XT (but not PC/AT) could read and write the diskettes, and software expecting a standard 18.2 Hz clock interrupt had to be rewritten.

The MBC-550 was also the computer of choice for NRI training. Starting by building the computer, the NRI promised you would be "qualified to service and repair virtually every major brand of computer". They advertised in Popular Mechanics and Popular Science throughout 1985.

By August 1985 InfoWorld reported that Sanyo "has initiated a campaign to sell off" its MBC-550 inventory. The company's newer computers were, an executive claimed, 99% PC compatible.


  • MBC-550 : 1 x 5.25" disk drive (160 KB)
  • MBC-555 : 2 x 5.25" disk drive (160 KB)
  • MBC-555-2 : 2 x 5.25" disk drive (360 KB)
  • MBC-555-3 : 2 x 5.25" disk drive (720 KB)
  • References

    MBC-550 Wikipedia

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