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Sanyo MBC-550 demo image.jpg
Original Sanyo MBC-550 demo written in BASIC at 27-9-1983. See full sourcecode of the demo [1]
Developer Sanyo
Type Personal Computer
Release date 1982 (1982)
Retail availability 6 Years
Introductory price <$1000
Discontinued 1988
Units sold 10,000+
Operating system MS-DOS
CPU Intel 8088 at 3.58MHz
Memory 128KB
Display RGB Color Monitor CRT 70
Graphics RGB graphics adapter
Input keyboard
Connectivity 1 parallel port
Power U.S.A. 120V
Dimensions 380 x 112 x 360 mm
Sanyo MBC-555. Currently on display at the Living Computer Museum in Seattle, Washington.

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[1] 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.[2] 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".[3] They advertised in Popular Mechanics and Popular Science throughout 1985.[4]

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.[5]


  • 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)


  1. ^ Jon Geist (September 1984). "Sanyo 555 Small Business Computers". 10 (9). Creative Computing: 12. 
  2. ^ John Elliott (2006-04-30). "The Sanyo MBC550". Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  3. ^ Corporation, Bonnier (1 March 1985). "Popular Science". 226 (3). Bonnier Corporation. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  4. ^ Magazines, Hearst (1 February 1985). "Popular Mechanics". Hearst Magazines. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  5. ^ Bannister, Hank (1985-08-26). "Sanyo Clears Deck of 550s". InfoWorld. p. 28. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "OLD-COMPUTERS.COM : The Museum". www.old-computers.com. Retrieved 25 July 2016.