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:
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.
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.