NEC PC-9821 (Gaming) Buyers Guide
NEC PC-9821 (Gaming) Buyers Guide
This will be updated as I acquire and aggregate more information.

If you're buying a PC-9821 with the intent to game, here's a buyer's guide:

<B>Where Should I Buy?</B>

Yahoo Auctions (Japan). You will need to use an auction deputy like Noppin to bid on and have stuff shipped to you.

<B>What Am I Looking For?</B>

There are three classes of machines to be aware of when looking:

PC-9801 - These are 16-bit, MS-DOS compatible (but not PC compatible) computers. They are unable to play any 32-bit games.
PC-9821 (Pre-Pentium) - These are 32-bit and are designed to run, in most cases, up to Windows 3.11 (Japanese localized and ported versions) and play the 32-bit PC-9821 games such as Policenauts, Touhou etc.
PC-9821 (Post-Pentium) - These are somewhat more PC-compatible, often possessing PCI busses in lieu of the proprietary C-BUS, and most forgo the OPN sound chip (YM2608) for PCM-based sound chips. They run up to Windows 2000 (PC-9821 versions) and can run some Windows/DOS programs. These are not ideal for gaming and usually have serious compatibility issues with NEC DOS games.

<B>What do I Need To Game?</B>

Ideally a 486 of some sort, especially if you want to play Touhou games.

These models are confirmed to be suitable even without the OPN C-bus cards (They have it onboard):
PC-9821ap(2 & 3 as well!)

<B>What should I budget?</B>
For SAL shipping, you're looking at $100-200 USD to the US. The machines are available at various price points, with confirmed working ones fetching much higher prices.

<B>What do they mean by JUNK?</B>

Junk is incorrectly used most of the time on Yahoo Auctions, referring to either simply as-is/untested machines OR old machines. Either way, don't discount JUNK auctions.

<B>Can I use PS/2 peripherals?</B>

NO. You can fry both the peripheral and the computer. It's best to find a keyboard with a unit, but failing that, you can find cheaper ones. Mice are also proprietary.

<B>I bought a model without a sound card!</B>

You're going to need a PC-9801-86 C-bus card. Avoid C-bus soundblasters. They do not work.

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12-15-2017, 05:58 AM

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