We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

World’s first desktop PC randomly discovered during house clearance

It's not every day that a piece of tech history is uncovered, but don't go searching through your old tech hoping to find a hidden gem.


House clearance company Just Clear has gone public with one of its findings, a Q1 microchip computer, identified as the earliest example of a desktop PC. Better still, it found not one, but two of these historic examples of technology, and they’re believed to be the first ever desktop PC made available to the public and of course, they were powered by Intel.

We’ve come a long way from these Q1 microcomputers to the best gaming PCs that we use in daily life today. Resembling something more akin to a typewriter, the all-in-one design is something that would become very popular again but it was the only option back in the 1970’s.

YouTube Thumbnail

At first, Just Clear was unsure what it had stumbled across, and thankfully no rash decisions were made to simply recycle them. Instead, research was done, and after consulting with experts, the weight of the discovery was uncovered.

These chunky machines were the first to use a single-chip microprocessor CPU, the Intel 8008, and were first released in 1972, although there is no confirmation given on when exactly these machines are from. What we do know, is that only three are known to exist, and two of them were just found when doing a house clearance in the UK.

Don’t go digging out your old phones and laptops though, discoveries like this are more valuable culturally than financially. It does, however, show the importance of looking after items from a certain time. Like artwork from decades gone by, discovering lesser-known technologies helps us truly appreciate how far the field has come in such a short amount of time.

If you want to see one of these incredible machines for yourself, they’re on display at Kington University until February 17, 2024. After this time, it’s expected that both of the Q1 PCs will either be auctioned or sold privately, and we hope this leads to them being preserved with the love and care they deserve.

Tech has changed a lot in the 52 years since the Q1 release, but if you’re keen to know how to build your own gaming PC, we’ve got you covered with a comprehensive guide.