For those who think RAM prices are high..

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For those who think RAM prices are high..

Postposted on Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:55 am

Check out this price list from my local shop, circa 1997 (list is in French, but y'all are smart peeps!)
Image
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Re: For those who think RAM prices are high..

Postposted on Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:00 am

:lol:

Was this prompted by my last post in the ram usage thread?
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Re: For those who think RAM prices are high..

Postposted on Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:01 am

elmopuddy wrote:Check out this price list from my local shop, circa 1997 (list is in French, but y'all are smart peeps!)
Image


Even those are not that bad for price. I remember paying $300 for a 256K upgrade kit for my Tandy 1000 EX.
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Re: For those who think RAM prices are high..

Postposted on Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:04 am

just brew it! wrote::lol:

Was this prompted by my last post in the ram usage thread?


oh yes, and I had just found that price list, good timing on your part!
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Re: For those who think RAM prices are high..

Postposted on Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:38 am

During those days, a mid-range business desktop cost close to $1000 in 1990's dollars.
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Re: For those who think RAM prices are high..

Postposted on Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:45 am

This is probably the reason I still have 36/72 pin RAM kicking around somewhere... useless, but on some level I still remember how much it was once worth, lol
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Re: For those who think RAM prices are high..

Postposted on Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:10 pm

Yeah, I paid $4000 for a Micron XPE 266 notebook(in 1999-2000?? dollars) ...top of the line, lasted 7 years....
But, yeah, Notebooks have certainly come down since then.

The thing with memory is that at the height of the oversupply, you could buy retail for less than the production cost of the memory chips themselves, much less assembly, testing and marketing.

A few years ago I purchased 32 GB CAS 10 NOTEBOOK memory for $100 delivered.

So easily 3x the cost now...but memory glut has ended and the bubble has moved over to FLASH...

Prices only seem high because of the insane fire sale prices of GLUT.
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Re: For those who think RAM prices are high..

Postposted on Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:14 pm

I just found a bill from 1997.. A Quantum GrandPrix 4.5GB SCSI drive for $1319!!

In my defense, SCSI was light-years ahead of IDE at that time.

I also found bill for my first PC, a 486DX-33.. it had a crazy MB that could be maxed out to 128MB of RAM, which would have cost over $1500 at the time.

I remember scrounging 4 x 256K sticks to bump it to 5MB in that machine, that and a finely tuned boot disk allowed me to run XWing... oh I loved that game!
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Re: For those who think RAM prices are high..

Postposted on Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:48 pm

what was parity ram? I once choose edo above normal ram for my 2nd pc, but cannot remember the use of parity ram anymore.
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Re: For those who think RAM prices are high..

Postposted on Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:18 pm

Parity was a cheapish and semi-effective way to tell if a bit got flipped in your RAM - each 8 bits had a parity bit for a total of 9, and a mathematical operation was performed on the 8 bits to determine if the parity bit was 1 or 0. When the data was read back from memory, the operation would be performed again and checked against the parity bit. If the parity bit was wrong, you'd get a PARITY ERROR message and probably the machine would stop.

This would only catch certain types of memory problems.
Last edited by bthylafh on Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: For those who think RAM prices are high..

Postposted on Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:18 pm

Take a look at what a 20MB harddrive and a scsi controller costed for the Amiga back in the days ;)
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Re: For those who think RAM prices are high..

Postposted on Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:20 pm

ozymandias wrote:what was parity ram? I once choose edo above normal ram for my 2nd pc, but cannot remember the use of parity ram anymore.

Parity RAM was RAM which had an extra check bit stored per byte of memory. This allowed the system to detect single-bit memory errors, and trigger a system halt. The reasoning being that it was better to halt the system than to (potentially) propagate corrupted data.

Parity RAM fell out of favor on consumer PCs for cost reasons, and because early versions of Windows were so buggy and unstable that errors caused by random "soft" memory errors were lost in the noise. And there was the whole "fake parity" scandal... look it up if you're interested in some good geeky history.

With the move to 64-bit wide DIMMs, it became possible to provide ECC (where single-bit errors are corrected transparently) for the same cost (in terms of additional DRAM bits) as parity -- current ECC DIMMs are 72 bits wide, with one additional ECC bit per byte. The ECC bits are calculated in a way that allows all single-bit errors to be corrected transparently, and most multi-bit errors to be at least detected. I was sorely disappointed that ECC did not become the norm; Intel decided to segment their product line by reserving ECC support for workstation/server class chipsets/CPUs. Most motherboard vendors opted not to implement ECC even for AMD systems, even though most AMD chipsets and CPUs have supported ECC since the original Athlon (some low-end Semprons and the newer APUs being notable exceptions to this). AMD ECC support is one of the reasons Asus remains at the top of my motherboard short list to this day.
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Re: For those who think RAM prices are high..

Postposted on Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:36 pm

I paid $180 for a 4MB stick back in '93/'94. My 486 kept stuttering when playing DOOM. With 8MB, that game ran soooo smoothly. $180 was the lowest price I could find anywhere.

Now you can buy a whole computer for that price. I can't imagine what I'll be able to buy for under 200 bux in another 20 years.
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Re: For those who think RAM prices are high..

Postposted on Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:14 pm

I paid $400 for 2 MB in 1987. It needed 64 DIP chips to accomplish that.
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Re: For those who think RAM prices are high..

Postposted on Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:43 pm

Silicon ICs used to be more expensive. Nerds post to see who has the craziest high price story. Much nerd cred is earned.
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Re: For those who think RAM prices are high..

Postposted on Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:09 pm

MadManOriginal wrote:Silicon ICs used to be more expensive. Nerds post to see who has the craziest high price story. Much nerd cred is earned.

Actually... the individual RAM chips still cost pretty close to what they did 30 years ago. But the capacity per chip has increased by a factor of roughly 1,000,000!
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Re: For those who think RAM prices are high..

Postposted on Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:55 pm

It is kind of interesting to see the similarities between price/quality tiers. Also, Cyrix. :)
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Re: For those who think RAM prices are high..

Postposted on Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:00 pm

My first ever self-installed upgrade was 1MB RAM that doubled the memory of my 386SX/33. It cost a whopping $100 at Egghead Software around 1994. Another major upgrade was a 1MB Cirrus Logic videocard that allowed me to play SimCity 2000. Don't even remember how much it cost but probably under $100.
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Re: For those who think RAM prices are high..

Postposted on Sat Jul 19, 2014 12:21 am

$4400 in 1993 for (my dad bought):

-Intel 486 33Mhz
-8MB Ram (16 x 512Kb sticks of SIMM 30pin)
-Matrox MAGIC RGB 1MB Video card
-Sound Blaster 16 audio card
-5.25in Mitsumi Floppy drive (A:)
-3.5in Mitsumi Floppy drive (B:)
-300MB Maxtor HDD (C:, E:, F:, G:)
-Creative 2x CDROM drive with spring open tray (D:)
-Sony Trident 13in CRT 800x600x8
-Windows 3.1

Now I paid $1100 for my last build (specs in sig).
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Re: For those who think RAM prices are high..

Postposted on Sat Jul 19, 2014 5:05 pm

Back then I was running a Cyrix PR200 with 128mb of RAM, an S3 Virge 3d decelerator, and a 10 gig HDD. Good times.
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Re: For those who think RAM prices are high..

Postposted on Sat Jul 19, 2014 6:06 pm

Vrock wrote:Back then I was running a Cyrix PR200 with 128mb of RAM, an S3 Virge 3d decelerator, and a 10 gig HDD. Good times.


Jeebus, that was a hot machine!
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Re: For those who think RAM prices are high..

Postposted on Sat Jul 19, 2014 6:15 pm

I recall prices much higher than the ones listed: ~$250 per 4MB SIMM.

Amusingly I'd note that Crucial still sells 32MB EDO • Non-parity • 60ns • 5V • 8Meg x 32 SIMMs for $45.99.
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Re: For those who think RAM prices are high..

Postposted on Sat Jul 19, 2014 6:50 pm

Ryu Connor wrote:I recall prices much higher than the ones listed: ~$250 per 4MB SIMM.

Amusingly I'd note that Crucial still sells 32MB EDO • Non-parity • 60ns • 5V • 8Meg x 32 SIMMs for $45.99.


One interesting category of devices that can still use that memory: Printers that have been kicking around for a long time.

As for RAM prices, here's my theory: DDR4 will have rapid uptake because even though it will be overpriced at first, the RAM manufacturers are trying to make DDR3 overpriced too, so it'll all be a wash!
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Re: For those who think RAM prices are high..

Postposted on Sat Jul 19, 2014 7:33 pm

My Gateway with a Pentium II 400Mhz, 64Mb of SDRAM, integrated STB Velocity 128 (Riva 128 I believe) and a 6.4Gb Quantum Fireball hard drive was over $1700 back in early 1999. I remember the 450Mhz Pentium III had just been released, so my system wasn't technically bleeding edge, but it was very fast at the time.

I still have it too! With all its original components (plus an extra 64Mb of RAM and Windows 98SE), and it was used pretty regularly until maybe 5 years ago.

Its too bad I didn't know what I was doing back then. I was so sure that the integrated video and sound were evil so I spent quite a while complaining about them. Come to find out years later that the integrated sound blaster and Nvidia Riva 128 were really not that bad at all and would have done just fine with some proper configuration and driver updates.
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Re: For those who think RAM prices are high..

Postposted on Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:28 am

chuckula wrote:
Ryu Connor wrote:I recall prices much higher than the ones listed: ~$250 per 4MB SIMM.

Amusingly I'd note that Crucial still sells 32MB EDO • Non-parity • 60ns • 5V • 8Meg x 32 SIMMs for $45.99.


One interesting category of devices that can still use that memory: Printers that have been kicking around for a long time.

Word. There are still shops stocking printer RAM for the 4L/4M. I upgraded mine from base 1MB to expanded 2MB a long time ago as it relieved an annoying tendency for the unit to lock up when handling certain types of large file formats, but if you need it, there it is. I still have that 4L chugging away at my desk, and I even found a network print server that fits inside the concealment door for the parallel port header.

Nobody at Canon or HP ever anticipated the hardware for that machine would still be running in 2014 (or that it would have an ethernet cable coming directly out the back), but it still works and I have no reason to replace it.
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