PC-9801 RA

From NEC Retro

PC-9801 RA
Manufacturer: NEC
Release Date RRP Code
PC-9801 RA


|site_name=NEC Retro

This teeny-tiny article needs some work. You can help us by expanding it.

The PC-9801 RA is a computer released as part of the PC-9800 series.


The PC-9801 RA line was the first PC-9800 set of machines to incorporate a 80386(DX) processor, becoming the new standard for high-end PC-9800 machines at the time of release. With the RA and subsequent machines, the PC-9800 range began to converge significantly with its main competitor, IBM PC compatibles, now running a version of DOS tailored for Japanese consumers, DOS/V.

Unlike the PC-9801 VM and PC-9801 VX, the PC-9801 RA marks a period where NEC's computers were no longer as proudly distinct as they once were. While software made specifically for the RA was produced, the market became much like that of the West, with software detailing specific processor, RAM and floppy disk combinations, as opposed to which letters were printed on the front computer's casing.

In the past, NEC had released slightly different models of its 9800 series computers, but this primarily involved floppy and hard disk drives - hardware which could be purchased and linked up separately, and not strictly affecting the performance of the system. By late 1988 and 1989, the company was offering this PC-9801 RA, the lower-cost 80386SX-powered PC-9801 RS and 80286 machines in the form of the PC-9801 RX. Similarly the PC-9801 ES and PC-9801 EX were offering similar technology to those who favoured 3½-inch floppy drives.

Given that this was a period where the PC-8800 series was being retired, and that Epson were distributing their own brands of PC-9800 clones, software was often just marked as "9800 series compatible", making it much more difficult to categorise. Furthermore the PC-9800 RA's ability to run versions of DOS or Windows means it is also theoretically possible for it to run games made for those platforms.

Technical Specifications


PC-9800 series hardware
PC-9801 (1982) | PC-9801 F (E) (1983) | M (1984)

V30 Computers: U | VF | VM | UV | CV (1985-1988)
286 Computers: VX | UX | RX | DX | UR | UF | FX (1986-1992)
386 Computers: RA | RS | ES | DA | DS | CS | FS | US (1988-1992)
486+ Computers: FA | BX | BA | BX2 | BS2 | BA2 | BA3 | BX4 (1993-1995)

Okay so I have no idea how best to do this