The 1990s saw explosive growth in the adoption of personal computers in both the home and office. Their increasing availability, affordability, and the advent of the World Wide Web all contributed to their increasing prevalence. The 90s was really the “decade of speed.” Consider this: the Intel 486DX 33 MHz CPU was released in 1990. Nine years later, Intel would release the 1 GHz version of the Pentium III. That’s over a 30x increase in clock speed alone! This explosive technological advancement led to PCs being used and depended on in all areas of life from entertainment, business, and education.

Our collection of PCs aims to illustrate the technological advances, oddities, and noteworthy achievements of PC hardware and software throughout the decade.

Experience the exhibits

Our exhibits can be viewed either by manufacturer, or through a timeline.

Clicking on a manufacturer will display the systems in our collection. Each system has an exhibit page with detailed information, history, photos, and videos. Many systems also have an interactive element allowing your computer to directly interact with the system over the Internet.

Browse by manufacturer:


Formed by IBM, Ambra first made their appearance in the European market in 1992 before debuting in the United States the following year. Their sudden entrance into the market was matched by their sudden departure, as IBM discontinued the name and model lineup in 1994.


Apple Computers asked us to “think different” in the 1990s, and it’s hard to overstate their impact in shaping our experience of technology. While Apple was considered an outsider for the most of the decade, that all changed in the 1998 with the release of the first iMac.


During the 1990s, Compaq was a driving force in the PC industry. Founded in 1982, the company quickly made a name for itself by offering a wide range of high-quality PCs and servers at competitive prices.


Dell Inc. was a major player in the PC industry during the 1990s. The company, which was founded by Michael Dell in 1984, pioneered the direct-to-consumer business model, where it sold computers directly to customers rather than through retailers.

Gateway 2000

Gateway 2000 was known for its distinctive cow-spotted boxes, which became a recognizable symbol of the brand. The company’s success was driven by its focus on delivering high-quality products and excellent customer service, and it was widely praised for its innovative marketing campaigns.

IBM ThinkCentre A30 tower


IBM, forever synonymous with the origin of personal computers, offered a wide range of models to meet the needs of both businesses and consumers during the 90s.

Namco PC


Among the giants of the PC industry, there were an innumerable number of manufacturers that never achieved name recognition. We want to celebrate these often completely forgotten relics of the past, whose history may contain hidden gems and incredible stories.

Packard Bell

Packard Bell was known for its focus on affordability and ease of use, making its computers accessible to a wide range of customers. Packard Bell’s marketing campaigns in the 1990s emphasized the simplicity and affordability of their computers, making it a popular choice for consumers looking to purchase their first PC.

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