PC Prices 15 Years Ago Today

entropy13

Gawd
Joined
Jul 16, 2009
Messages
922
I still have the speakers from a very old Acer bought around the time of Windows 98. It's supposed to "clip on" the sides of the CRT monitor. It is still working, although it's USB 1.1. Sometimes I add it to make a quadrophonic stereo setup, but considering it's certain quirks (no volume control on the "main" speaker itself for example), it really doesn't get used that often.
 

LordCalin

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Oct 5, 2009
Messages
901
I'd be laughing more if I didn't have a flyer taped on the wall here ....

"New for 89! Tandy 5000 MC Professional System"
- 20MHz Intel 80386 Microprocessor
- VGA Graphics
- 2MB Ram (16MB Capacity)
- Cache Memory

The most powerful computer ever!
$8499.00
 

TechLarry

Can't find the G Spot
Joined
Aug 9, 2005
Messages
30,397
My first hard drive was a 15MB (yes, MegaByte) unit for a TRS-80 Model 4. I think I bought it in 1982.

It cost me $2795.00. It was as big as a typical PC desktop case.

It's hard to imagine that today, that same hard drive would, maybe, store a single Microsoft Word document LOL

My second was in 1986. A 40MB that cost me $500 for a Mac Plus.

Back then, the ST-225's and ST-252-1's ruled the world. Then the ST-238R's came along and fracked everyone.
 

darkpaw

2[H]4U
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May 29, 2008
Messages
2,279
The funniest thing to me is the $800 markup on the Mac after buying a monitor compared to the PC.
 

Eisenblut

[H]ard|Gawd
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Feb 23, 2011
Messages
1,108
I remember paying $40 for 1MB stick of RAM. Fuck 90s.
Yeah. When I bought a 4MB module for my 486 DX4/100 in 1996, it was $199.99.

My Creative 2x CD-ROM was about $220, from what I remember. A friend on the sub base got an Orchid Righteous 3D (with accelerated Mechwarrior 2) and I remember being so jealous, heh.

My first computer was a super duper Laser Turbo XT 8088 in about 1986 or so, Christmas:

640K RAM
2 5.25" floppies
14" monitor
4K CGA graphics
no hard drive
Epson clone printer

All for $1500 :eek:

I got a 20MB hard drive next Christmas or birthday...I remember it was ~$250.
 

Eisenblut

[H]ard|Gawd
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Feb 23, 2011
Messages
1,108
I like how, for $20, they make sure that what they are selling you actually works.

Best Buy still does this scam as do many retailers.
 

Domllama

Gawd
Joined
May 29, 2007
Messages
536
I'd be laughing more if I didn't have a flyer taped on the wall here ....

"New for 89! Tandy 5000 MC Professional System"
- 20MHz Intel 80386 Microprocessor
- VGA Graphics
- 2MB Ram (16MB Capacity)
- Cache Memory

The most powerful computer ever!
$8499.00

Take a pic, I want to buy a good laugh :|
 
Joined
Apr 28, 2006
Messages
835
Ram doubler 2! $49.99 floppy!! :D

lol I spotted that too.

All that kind of stuff was largely garbage. Much like the programs that were suppose to give you more disk space like Stacker, Disk Doubler or DriveSpace by compressing the disk. I used DriveSpace one time with MS DOS 6.2 and after getting bitten in the ass I learned my lesson.



However, I kinda miss those times from the mid to early 90's. And from the mid to late 80's. Computers and their OS's were generally simpler and far more personal.

I really miss dialing into multinode BBS's. Sure there are telnet ones, but it ain't the same.
 

caddys83

2[H]4U
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Feb 14, 2009
Messages
3,449
Packard Bell!!! \o/ I had one of those. Except mine wasnt tower and was only 75 Mhz :cool: And 2GB of [H]ard drive space :p Packard Bell and their Soundcard built-in modem. (warranty horrid)
 

LordCalin

Gawd
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Oct 5, 2009
Messages
901
wwJBw.jpg
 

SpoogeMonkey

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Feb 20, 2005
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Mac's are still the same price.
I paid ~$100 for 64KB (kilobyte) ram in 85-86. Even had to de-solder the old 8 chips out and solder the new ones in plus a couple jumper wires. I think the worst was paying $100 for 16KB ram expansion box for my Timex Sinclair 1000
 

causticspill

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
325
Packard Bell!!! \o/ I had one of those. Except mine wasnt tower and was only 75 Mhz :cool: And 2GB of [H]ard drive space :p Packard Bell and their Soundcard built-in modem. (warranty horrid)


Yes! The Packard Bell was my first PC way back in 95-ish. 386 SX I believe. I think it only set me back around $1500. But then there was some stupid class action lawsuit regarding the claimed size of their monitors so I think I got me $15 back on that! :rolleyes:

Damn, the PC you could build today for 1996 prices...
 

Azhar

Fixing stupid since 1972
Joined
Jan 9, 2001
Messages
18,876
My first was a freebie, thank goodness.

It was an IBM PS/2 50/55sx with a double 5.25" floppy drive, no hard disks. Came with a 14" monochrome (green) monitor and a keyboard which I kept for about 15 years before it finally died. In a short while I pulled out one of the 5.25" and threw in a 10mb drive. Windows for Workgroup and Virgin Interactive's Dune game performance shot up a hundred fold!
 

bigdogchris

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Messages
18,388
How do you run applications and an operating system with GUI in 8-16MB of ram? My computer from 1997 had 32 MB of ram and I was told it was more than I would ever need.
 

zomby

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
334
holy cow, why was it so expensive back in the days, I think only the memory use to be cheaper, now the memory is more expensive but you can buy a whole new system for so much cheaper and have more fun with it. My first PC was a 486DX4, it did not take long until Ive started to upgrade my sound, graphics and the board to pentium 1 just to wun windows 95 and some games LOL.
 

HoppyChris

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
313
It is amazing that it isn't just a "you get more for your dollar" thing going on -- for a long time $2000 was just how much a computer cost and year by year they got faster and hard drives got bigger. But at some point $2000 wasn't how much a computer cost any longer, and $400 hard drives stopped existing. (Hello there, SSD, nice to see the $400 hard drive return!).

Now you can go to best buy and get a computer, monitor, and printer for $370. Crazy!

OK, so very few people reading this would be thrilled with the $370 computer, but that is a pretty nice price.
 

Outamyhead

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 3, 2008
Messages
4,259
reminds me of when I dropped 5k on a p3 500mhz machine back in 99.

You got ripped off, built an AMD 700MHz in the same year for almost 4K less.

I'm not surprised at the prices, little inflated as they are brand name systems, in a store that slapped a little extra profit on top, times have changed, brand systems are proprietary and cheap, Best Buy is still gouging for old tech...wait that hasn't changed.
 
Joined
Apr 28, 2006
Messages
835
How do you run applications and an operating system with GUI in 8-16MB of ram? My computer from 1997 had 32 MB of ram and I was told it was more than I would ever need.


The Amiga did it with less than 1 megabyte of ram. 512K was generally enough for the A500.
 

JimmiG

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Joined
Apr 3, 2008
Messages
2,429
It is amazing that it isn't just a "you get more for your dollar" thing going on -- for a long time $2000 was just how much a computer cost and year by year they got faster and hard drives got bigger. But at some point $2000 wasn't how much a computer cost any longer, and $400 hard drives stopped existing. (Hello there, SSD, nice to see the $400 hard drive return!).

Now you can go to best buy and get a computer, monitor, and printer for $370. Crazy!

OK, so very few people reading this would be thrilled with the $370 computer, but that is a pretty nice price.

Yeah, the concept of sub-$1000 PCs didn't really exist back then. A new PC was a pretty big investment even if you went with a low-end system. These days desktop PCs are pretty much disposable items - except that you never have to dispose of them, because if you just write letters and browse the web, a $400 PC will last for many years. No wonder the PC industry is declining...
 

Mohonri

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Jul 29, 2005
Messages
5,755
The drop in price is particularly astonishing after you factor in inflation as well.

Back in the early 90's my parents bought a packard bell minitower with a Pentium 75 and 16MB RAM. I think my brother OC'd it to 90MHz. I think it cost $2k, plus $1k for an HP LaserJet 4P and another $500 for a 15" monitor.

The computer only had 1MB video RAM, so you had to choose between getting 1024x768x256 colors or 800x600 with higher color depth.
 

plunger

Gawd
Joined
Jul 22, 2011
Messages
730
I have a catalog from the same era. I snapped a few photos for your enjoyment :D

The CMOS disk is a good one. It was crappy software back then, now it's crappy apps.

batterydisk.jpg

ramconverter.jpg

video1z.jpg

video2oy.jpg
 

Threader

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
155
I still have the 15" Sony Trinitron monitor and use it when I'm working with my FAH farm 1U stacks with a KVM switch. Stills works fine.
 
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