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C > COMMODORE  > PC Compatible systems     

PC Compatible systems

Commodore launched its range of PC-compatible systems at the height of the company’s popularity, with home and business systems being sold in over 50 countries. Commodore was the largest seller of computer systems in the world with sales in excess of $1 billion. Regardless, Commodore eventually suffered from permanent financial and structural problems.

The range of Commodore PC-compatible computers offered several different models:
- PC-1 A very small PC-compatible with a 4.77MHz 8088 processor (without turbo clock), a single 5.25” FDD, 512KB of RAM, and Hercules/GCA video board. The PC-1 lacked any internal expansion slots or cooling fans.
- PC-10 A basic 8088-based PC-compatible system with 1 or 2 floppy drives (page photo).
- Colt A re-branded version of the PC-10 system.
- PC-20 Identical to the PC-10 system, but included a 20MB hard disk.
- PC-30 PC-AT 12 MHz 80286-based system including a 20MB hard disk. Probably the same machine as the PC-35 but only sold in Europe.
- PC-35 Same features as the PC-30.
- PC-40 PC-AT 10 MHz system with 1 MB RAM, Hercules/CGA video card, and a 20MB to 80MB hard disk. A jumper setting allowed the memory to be configured between 640KB or 512KB + 512KB of extended memory.
- PC-50 80386SX 16 MHz system with a 40MB to 100MB hard disk.
- PC-60 80386 25 MHz system with a tower case and a 60MB to 200MB hard disk.

The first Commodore PC-compatible was launched in early 1984, and the final systems left the German factory in 1993 – one year before the company ceased operations


Maarten Jongkind comments:
As an engineer back in the late 80s I installed, maintained and repaired commodore PC's. It was not a specific exciting or revolutionary computer but merely a good working IBM clone which evolved likewise. The PC10 however did gave me some strange problems due to the position of the double floppy drives, see the gap between them in the picture.

Once I recieved a strange complaint from a user, the computer was eating floppy's. they went in but never came out again. After a two hours drive I found that the user had inserted about 20 floppy's or more in the gap between the drives ;-))

We need more info about this computer ! If you designed, used, or have more info about this system, please send us pictures or anything you might find useful.


I have a PC-1. It does indeed have an Expansion port on the back. But it''s not very useful. Some voltages and a Intact DMA0 line are missing. Also, the pinout is different from an ISA Port. But with a ISA Backplane and a AT Power Supply I made an Expansion Adapter with 5 additional slots. When you set the dip switches of the initial PC-1 Videomode to "none", you can add any Graphics card you like, but keep in mind it needs to refresh its own memory, otherwise you will be plagued with video artifacts. I used a WDC 16-bit SVGA card, a MFM Harddisk controller and a Soundblaster. Obviously, the internal PSU is too small for that and the stuff behind the PC-1 needs much more space than the PC-1 itself!

Wednesday 29th May 2013
Exin (Germany)

I have an old PC10 with strange mainboard, it''s made of 2 boards. One contains CPU, RAM and ROM v. 2.01, as NPU socket and some VLSI chips. The second mainboard is connected by goldpin connectors, it''s an "IO board" containing serial and parallel port, ISA slots and all I/O chips. Some tracks from ISA slots are factory cut by drilling. This early PC10 has no RTC, HDD controller or reset switch, in front it has DIN keyboard connector. One LED (green and red 2-color) is not used, one (red) is for power. Computer contains 2 BASF floppy disk drives, they run very quietly.
Any info about this version?.

Sunday 24th March 2013
MCbx (Poland)

A note about the CTRL-ALT-D combination. Soon after purchasing my Commodore Colt I found the combination and calculated the speed was 9.54MHZ. I wrote Commodore Business Machines and asked them what the speed of the computer was and if it was safe to operate it in this mode. I received a letter back from Commodore stating that the speed was not supported and that they did not recommend operating the computer in that mode. Even though the CPU was the 10MHZ 8088 other ICs on the motherboard may not be able to operate at that clock speed resulting in timing issues. Being a Electrical Engineer student, however, I knew that ICs were designed with a margin of error to allow for variations in designs. I therefore proceeded to use the Double speed and never experienced an issue.

Friday 5th October 2012


NAME  PC Compatible systems
TYPE  Professional Computer
YEAR  1984
KEYBOARD  84 keys (8088 systems), 102 keys (286 and above)
CPU  8088, 80286, 80386-SX, 80386
SPEED  4.77 to 9.54 MHz (8088), 6 to 12 MHz (80286), 8 to 16 MHz (386SX), 25 MHz (80836)
CO-PROCESSOR  Optional Math coprocessor
RAM  640 KB to 2 MB according to models
TEXT MODES  40 or 80 chars x 25 lines
GRAPHIC MODES  From GCA (640 x 200) to SVGA (800 x 600), Hercules monochrome as well
COLOrsc  16 minimum in colour systems
SOUND  Tone generator
BUILT IN MEDIA  360 KB to 1.44 MB floppy discs, 20 to 200 MB hard disc
OS  All the available PC operating systems
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in power supply unit
PERIPHERALS  all 8, 16, 32 bit PC cards



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