Questions tagged [cost]

Use this tag if you are enquiring about the cost of systems, either at a specific time-point in the past (such as when they were released) or now (if you're looking to purchase).

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29
votes
3answers
6k views

386SX, NES and how much did data lines really cost anyway?

In 1988, Intel introduced the 80386SX, most often referred to as the 386SX, a cut-down version of the 80386 with a 16-bit data bus mainly intended for lower-cost PCs aimed at the home, educational, ...
27
votes
17answers
7k views

How much did the first hard drives for PCs cost?

I would like to know how much early PC hard drives cost but have only been aable to find adjacent or unsourced data. According to the Centre for Computing History: The "IBM 5161 Expansion ...
23
votes
4answers
4k views

What accounted for the cost of ENIAC?

I'm used to the fact that first-generation computers were very expensive, which I had always assumed was because they contained large numbers of vacuum tubes, each of which is a rather complex, high ...
16
votes
5answers
6k views

Why plastic cases?

Early computers of the 'all in one' form factors, such as the Commodore PET, the early IBM microcomputers and later models of the TRS-80, as well as the 'box' form factors such as the Altair, used a ...
14
votes
2answers
899 views

How did the Sinclair compare on price with the C64 in the UK?

As far as I know, the popular low-end home computers in the UK around the mid-1980s were the Sinclair ZX-Spectrum ("Speccy") and the Commodore C64. I know the BBC micro also had a following, but my ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

80286 pricing and availability

Most information online states that the 80286 (or iAPX 286 as it was initially known) was first available in February 1982. But information about it from this time is hard to come by, and famously it ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Cost of dynamic versus static RAM in the early days

Early pioneers building memory cards for personal computers, tended to use static RAM, because it's quite a bit easier to get to work. Later, dynamic RAM became de rigueur, for the simple and ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What were the selling points of the Atari 800 over the 400?

Apparently when the two Atari 8-bit machines were released, the 400 outsold the 800 2 to 1, which is unsurprising considering they were priced at approximately $500 and $1000 respectively. Indeed, ...
7
votes
2answers
506 views

What was the Macintosh's BOM cost?

Andy Hertzfeld revealed that the CPU for the original $2495 Macintosh cost just $9.00. How much did the rest of the computer cost? Was the markup really greater than Pepsi's markup on sugar? How much ...
6
votes
1answer
428 views

How many hours of labor did it take to assemble a minicomputer?

A minicomputer like the PDP-8 contained several thousand discrete transistors and other components, all of which had to be soldered by hand, and that was among the simplest computers on the market; ...
6
votes
1answer
218 views

Component cost in historical ads versus wholesale

To get an idea of how much various components such as CPUs, RAM chips, disk drives and monitors historically cost, and therefore how those costs influenced design decisions that were made, a good ...
5
votes
2answers
603 views

C116 vs C64 cost

The Commodore 116 was the start of the ill-fated TED line of 8-bit computers, which sold poorly (for several reasons, particularly including lack of compatibility with the Commodore 64) until they ...
5
votes
1answer
802 views

Why was the golden game Ocarina of Time not given a golden cartridge in the PAL region?

Note: I'm unaware of the exact details for each region, but I vaguely remember people claiming that other region(s) got a golden cartridge. I'm talking about PAL/Europe primarily, since that's where I ...
4
votes
5answers
650 views

How much did a serial terminal cost?

For many years in the mid-to-late twentieth century, user-facing computing consisted primarily of serial terminals attached to mainframe and minicomputers. In the eighties and even as late as the ...
4
votes
1answer
430 views

What was the retail price of CP/M?

In the early days of the IBM PC, it was offered with a choice of four different operating systems including PC-DOS for $40 or CP/M for $240. Customers looked at what appeared to be essentially ...
4
votes
1answer
478 views

Price of original Apple ][ in 1980?

Apple introduced the "new and improved" Apple ][ Plus in 1979, but continued to sell the original ][ until early 1981. I speculate that some customers must have chosen the original Apple ][ over the ...
4
votes
2answers
675 views

Manufacturing cost breakdown for a 16-bit computer

The dynamics of the market, of what platforms end up being used at what times in what contexts, depend not only on what is technically possible, but even more on what can be done for what price, so ...
4
votes
0answers
303 views

Cost of Apple II switching power supply

Apple went to the trouble of designing a switching power supply at a time when they were still quite new and not widely used for consumer electronics, perhaps because Steve Jobs liked the aesthetics ...
3
votes
2answers
412 views

Labor input for manufacture of early personal computers

In the early days of personal computers, manufacturing was not as automated as it later became, and a factory would often consist of people sitting at tables placing components by hand. I'm ...
3
votes
1answer
627 views

How much did it cost to develop the Z80 CPU?

How much did it cost, in dollars at the time, to develop the Zilog Z80 CPU? According to Wikipedia, The Z80 is an 8-bit microprocessor introduced by Zilog as the startup company's first product. ...
3
votes
0answers
349 views

When did green LEDs become as cheap as red LEDs? [closed]

Blue LEDs in the cheap, practical form we know them today, arrived in the 90s; before that, the choices were red and green. I want to say there was a time some years before that when green LEDs ...
2
votes
2answers
471 views

Cost of a chiclet keyboard

Early personal computer keyboards could be membrane (Atari 400, ZX80, ZX81), chiclet (PET 2001, ZX Spectrum, Oric, IBM PC Jr) or mechanical/full-travel (later PET, Apple II, TRS-80, Vic-20, and most ...
2
votes
1answer
262 views

Bill-of-material cost of early hard drives

Based on this topic (and continuing this topic), my question once again surfaced: And what was the layout of the prime cost of early 8 and 5.25 inch hard drives? From Seagate and competing ...
2
votes
1answer
854 views

What was the initial price of the Sharp X68000?

I can't seem to find out what the Sharp X68000 cost when it first available. Is there a reliable source for this information? I'm looking for actual sales costs of a standard X68000 unit (preferably ...
2
votes
0answers
318 views

What was the cost of the PS2 chip in the last PS3 to have it?

The PlayStation 2 provided backward compatibility with the PS1 by essentially incorporating an entire PS1 on a separate chip. It kept this arrangement permanently. The PS3 started off providing ...
1
vote
1answer
192 views

Why was the SWTPC 6800 Computer System cheaper than the Altair?

In 1974, Intel released the 8080, which basically was the first microprocessor good enough to build a serious computer around. That led to the Altair 8800 the following year, which was the beginning ...