PC-9801 VX

From NEC Retro

PC9801VX logo.png
PC-9801 VX
Manufacturer: NEC
Release Date RRP Code
PC-9801 VX
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The PC-9801 VX is a computer released as part of the PC-9800 series.


The PC-9801 VX is an upgrade over the PC-9801 VM, and introduced an 80286 processor essentially starting a new generation of PC-9800 computers.

286-spec versions of the PC-9800 series arrived later than their IBM PC counterparts in the West, owed in part to NEC's use of the V30; a home-grown update to Intel's 8086 processor used in prior machines. Despite having extra features, the V30 was envisioned as simply a faster 8086 for the PC-9800 series, and NEC instructed developers not to tap into its extra features (presumably anticipating a switch to 286-based processors when production costs allowed). However, as some developers ignored this advice, the PC-9801 VX and UX were forced to include a V30 as well, alongside a backwards compatible mode to support it.

In addition to this change, the amount of on-board RAM was increased to 640KB as standard. Also included was an Enhanced Graphic Charger (EGC) which builds on the Graphic Charger (GRCG) of earlier models (and is backwards compatible). The EGC is a more capable chip that can render graphics more efficiently, but screen resolutions and colour counts are a match for the GRCG.

As with the VM line, a PC-9801 VX0, VX2 and VX4 variants were offered with differing numbers of drives. The 286 was clocked at 8MHz, however after Epson released the PC-9800-series compatible PC-286 (which used the same processor, albeit clocked at 10MHz), NEC responded with VX01, VX21 and VX41 variants also clocking the processor at 10MHz.

The PC-9801 VX4/WN and PC-9801 VX41/WN variants were the first NEC machines to come installed with Microsoft Windows (in this case, version 1.0).

Technical specifications


  • Main processor: 80286 clocked at 8MHz (10MHz in VX01, VX21 and VX41)
  • Secondary processor: V30 clocked at 10MHz
  • RAM: 640KB
  • Graphics: Enhanced Graphic Charger (EGC)
  • Disk drive(s): 2× 5¼-inch 2HD (1MB formatted)[fn 1]

List of games


Promotional material


  1. Can also read 2D and 2DD disks.


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)

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