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Back in the dim and distant days of 1993 the prices for some PC parts were horrendous compared with now ( October 2003). The latest processor was the 486DX-66 and typical memory installation was less than 4 MBytes. The most recent operating system was the newly released MS DOS 6, although Windows 3.1 was already in use (Windows 3.11 Windows for Workgroups was still to come).

I recently built a retro PC using old bits and pieces I had lying around. It uses a 486DX-66 CPU, 32 MBytes of memory, a 270 Mbyte hard drive, two floppies (3.5 inch and 5.25 inch), a CD Rom drive, a sound card, and has a TV card as well. By February 1993 prices I reckon I would have been paying in excess of 2000 for it (possibly 3000). Today it is an almost worthless curio.

Here are some adverts from issue 19 of "PC Marketplace" dated Feb 1993 and issued as a supplement to "PC User", "Which Computer ?", and "What Personal Computer ?".

Base Computers advert 1993

All the prices exclude VAT and the basic system price excludes software - and they don't even offer a 486DX2 66MHz !

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Click on the three hotspots for a close up of Hard Disk, CD Rom, and memory prices.

(Since this page was edited to be mostly W3C compliant the hotspots no longer work. The three sections are now shown below)

Hard drive prices in 1993CD Rom prices 1993Memory prices in 1993

Lastly take a look at how expensive multimedia could be then. I would guess that the beginning of 1993 was the cusp point when these prices would start to tumble. At some point we reached the situation now where even the most expensive CD ROM drive is still cheaper than even a slightly upmarket sound card. Most of the CD ROM drives were SCSI, but IDE drives were starting to make an appearance, and that would lower prices. Even so the idea of paying twice the price then for what you can buy a DVD burner for now is something I find very eye opening !

Prices for sound

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