How much did Mac desktops cost in the 90's and 00's?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Mars2010, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. Mars2010 macrumors member

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    Aug 19, 2010
    #1
    I was wondering if Macs have come down in price at the same rate as PC's.
    I remember buying an IBM computer in 1989 for around $3500, but I think that also included a dot-matrix printer. My other desktops have been Dells and they were always near the top-of-the-line, so not exactly cheap. I never really considered getting a Mac until this year when I finally gave up on Windows.

    I think Macs are priced quite comparably now, but were they back then? It seems to me that I always paid around the same price for a new computer but received huge upgrades of the components.
     
  2. rprebel macrumors 6502

    rprebel

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    #2
    When I bought my blue/white G3 (the Mac Pro of its day) back in '99, I believe it was around $1500. The DVD player was a pricey add-on back then, though.
     
  3. nick9191 macrumors 68040

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    #3
    The original iMac cost $1299, the second gen was $999.

    But the Pro desktop has got considerably more expensive. The PowerMac G3 Blue and White started at $1799.
     
  4. rprebel macrumors 6502

    rprebel

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    #4
    Shows how good my memory is:)
     
  5. Hisdem macrumors 6502a

    Hisdem

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    #5
    I don't know in the USA, but here the iMac G3 started at around $3k.
     
  6. meb91 macrumors member

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    #6
    Taking inflation into account, the original $1299 iMac was about $1700 in today's dollars. The blue/white G3 that was $1799 would be about $2300 today. So yes prices have dropped a lot for the iMac, though increased slightly with the Mac Pro.
     
  7. GyroFX macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I don't think the Mac Pro's prices have increased. I remember when i was in HS in '95 and the Power Mac 9500 tower with 132 Mhz 604e PPC was 5000.00. That was the big daddy for it's time. Compared to when I bought a G5 Quad 2.5 tower for 3200.00 back in early 2006. Now it's back to the 5000 dollar with the 12 core tower but we have more options in terms of the whole range of computers and CPU configs.
     
  8. meb91 macrumors member

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    #8
    True, I was just comparing the starting price of the blue & white G3 tower in 1999 ($2300 in today's dollars) to the entry level Mac Pro today ($2500), which is only a slight increase. The higher configurations may not have increased at all or may even be cheaper.
     
  9. Satoneko macrumors member

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    #9
    In 1991, I purchased the Macintosh IIfx for 1,800,000 yen (13,800 US dollars; the currency rate back then was about 130 yen/dollar). The Apple Laser Printer was 650,000 yen (5000 US dollars). It lasted 10 years.
     
  10. Mars2010 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 19, 2010
    #10
    Holey Mackerel, that's a lot of money. You sure you didn't misplace the comma?:eek:

    I asked my husband why we didn't look into getting a Mac back then, and he said probably because there weren't a lot of programs available and he thought some of the Macs looked kinda weird.
     
  11. Satoneko macrumors member

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    #11
    The figures are correct. The computer+printer was more expensive than my car.

    I guess it depended on what you were using the Mac for, but back then, Mac was the king of graphics and DTP. Also, the appearance was considered definitely avant-garde.
     
  12. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000

    aliensporebomb

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    #12
    Prices

    6400/180 - can't remember the price but it wasn't cheap.

    G4/400 - around $1500

    G5 2.5 - around $2500

    Corei7 iMac - $2200

    Considering the i7 came with a 27" led backlit led monitor, 8-10 times the processing power, a 1 TB drive (the G5 came with 150 gig), superdrive, webcam, wireless, bluetooth it is a massive upgrade over the G5 in terms of capability.
     
  13. ReggaeFire macrumors 6502

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    #13
    The 20th Anniversary Mac originally advertised at $9,000 (though they dropped that to $7500 by the time it shipped). Granted they didn't sell many at that price, but they tried. They eventually brought the price down to $2000.
     
  14. JoeG4 macrumors 68030

    JoeG4

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    #14
    I recall hearing that you could buy TAMs for around $1200 when they finally killed them off.

    I paid around $7000 for my QS Dual 800 + 22" and replaced that with a $1600 MDD that I paid $400 (way too much, but it was new and shiny and I couldn't resist) about 7 years later. :D :eek:

    Really though, there were $1499-1699 PowerMac G3s/G4s for AGES. It's really disgusting that Steve Jobs can't get his head out of his ass (and I don't care WHAT you say, I don't want a *@#* imac!!!!!... and make another $1500 tower.

    When I decide that I want to do a backup at full SATA speeds, I want to be able to do that by popping the side door off and sliding a drive into the bay, not having to mess around with those retarded USB toasters or something. Screw expensive FW800 enclosures, we all know those are a bloody rip off too.

    How about expansion? What if I want 20 USB ports? I still have fond nightmares about my 486 laptop that I had gotten to the point of having:
    * external zip drive
    * External modem
    * external cd drive

    *shudder* It was really annoying XD

    Let's just say there's this small side of me that utterly despises externals and loves a nice clean tower to keep everything tidy.

    Plus I can have as much ram, and as many monitors as I want with a desktop, and changing out the optical (or hard drive) takes me all of 2-3 minutes (and I just restated this ;))

    The 27" iMac is an extremely compelling machine, but when you factor in that they could easily build a similarly equipped Mac Pro (i7 920 + X58 based board + 6 ram slots, make lots of people happy, a crappy GT420 to make Steve-O happy), and a cheap-ish 500w power supply (a bargain compared to the 1200w the Mac Pros use)....

    $1500. You could buy a 27" and come within $200 of an i7 imac. I'd be ECSTATIC to pay $200 more for that.
     
  15. Mal67 macrumors 6502a

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    West Oz
    #15
    There's a few of us who would have liked a iifx but who probably went for the classic or the Lc instead. Still in comparison to some old prices I can't get over what you can get these days for a lot less bucks from apple. I remember a Mac Classic w/o hardrive going for $1995 Aus in the early nineties but being able to pick up a 1.4gz Emac 15 years later for $1500 Aus.
     
  16. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

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    #16
    My brother got top end mac computer back in the mid 90s-- I wanna say 94 or 95. It cost 4,000usd.
     
  17. beejam macrumors member

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    Jul 18, 2007
    #17
    I've always seemed to pay around the neighborhood of $2k (give or take a few hundred) for my macs so here's what I've had:

    Mac SE/20- Really wanted a SE/30 but didn't have the $

    Mac IIci - I think this was the best Mac I ever had. Pimped this out with an external CD-Rom and bumped the RAM up to 4 MB (yes I typed that right) and it was the bomb! It eventually died and I was sad.

    PowerMac 7100 - I don't remember the specifics of this machine because I hated it.

    PowerBook 1400cs - Got this one cheap from a friend at Apple ($1100?). They used to have fire sales to employees.

    iMac 15" - Luxo lamp shade design. First Mac that was allowed into the living room!

    PowerMac G5 dual 2ghz - Bought this a few months before the Intel announcement. Whoops. Ironically this is my longest lasting Mac. My second favorite Mac.

    iMac 21" i3 - one week old! Finally moved to Intel. But the G5 still gets more attention. Also one of the cheapest Macs I've had ($1050 from PC Connection).


    Damn I've given Apple a lot of $$$.
     
  18. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #18
    You can find specs on all Apple products, including their initial sales prices, with Mactracker.
     
  19. meb91 macrumors member

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    #19
    You're not taking inflation into consideration, as I mentioned in one of the above posts. I agree though that Apple should have a midrange tower in their lineup. It would hurt iMac sales somewhat, but I think there could still be a market for the iMac, the people who just want something simple and all in one.

    While I don't really mind having an iMac, I would've gotten a tower if the price and specs were equal, but I consider myself more of a prosumer. But personally I think upgradability is overrated, by the time I even think about upgrading my machines it's already almost time to buy a new one. The only cost effective upgrade for me is usually RAM. Even most people I know who build their own machines build a whole new one from scratch every couple years, so it's not saving you any money. Really the only reason I'd prefer a tower is if a part fails, it's easier to change it out yourself.
     
  20. JoeG4 macrumors 68030

    JoeG4

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    #20
    You're forgetting to factor in deflation (when it comes to computer parts), and that an i7 setup would cost a hell of a lot less to make these days than a PowerPC setup ever possibly could have.
     
  21. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    #21
    I've had eight desktop computers since I bought my first in 1979. Every one but number seven was $2k - $2.5k. Number seven was my first iMac, a 20" White Intel C2D I bought November 2006. Being my first Mac in an attempt to completely drop Windows systems, I bought the "entry" model, to minimize my loses if it didn't work out. I went all out with my current 27" iMac.

    I think the first Mac I tried out for two days in 1984 was $2.5k, but (sorry Apple fans) I found it to be an expensive toy as I couldn't get it to handle documents over two pages in length.
     
  22. CampDavid macrumors member

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    Jun 7, 2010
    #22
    Interesting. What made you move machines on over the last 30 years in general?

    I've always worked with PCs so I must have had 15 in the last 10 years, though only changing through as I've changed jobs/found homes for others I've been using etc.
     
  23. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

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  24. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    #24
    I don't know how many PC's I've had at work over the years. They used to be switched out often. These are all "home" systems I'm talking about. However every computer I've owned has paid for itself -- they aren't just for fun and games.

    1. (1979) TRS-80 Model 1 48KB RAM. 2 floppy drives.

    2. (1983) Lobo MAX-80, 128KB RAM, bigger floppy drives (8" with 1MB rather than 5" with about 240KB.), 2x CPU speed, CP/M and RS software.

    3. (1985) Tandy 1000. PC compatible, 640KB RAM, 20MB HD + floppy drive, color display with crude graphics capability. CP/M emulation software. MS/DOS and would strain at Windows 1.1.

    -- toward the end of the 1980's I used a discarded 80386 PC from work --

    4. (1990) "White Box" PC in which I went through multiple innards (starting with an 80486 and ending with a Pentium III). First HD was 200MB. I ran Windows 2.1 and 3.0, OS/2, Windows NT 3.51, 4.0, and 2k over the years.

    5. (2002) Dell Dimension 8200 512MB. 80GB HD. Tired of dealing with piecemeal systems. Needed more performance for audio processing than computer 4 could handle. Windows XP

    6. (2004) Dell Dimension 8300 1GB increased to 2GB. Pentium 4 with Hyperthreading. 120GB SATA HD. Great price and allowed me to use the 8200 as a server, for which it was used until replaced with a Mac mini with SLS this year. Windows XP.

    7. (2006) 20" White iMac with C2D processor. 250GB HD. 3GB RAM. Got Parallels and was 100% Mac based for about 5 months. (Laid off from PC and Linux based day job.) I kept the 8300 as a fallback, but I never needed it.

    8. (2009) 27" Al iMac with i7 processor, 1TB HD, 8GB RAM. Drooled over the large display (I do lots of photography and some video work). Wanted quad core for maximum performance creating video screen captures demonstrating CAD software running in Windows (under Parallels).

    Added -- going from 1 to 8, 4x processors times 8x data path width times 1500x clock speed time over 4x operations per clock = more than 192,000x faster CPU, 167,000x more RAM, 4,170,000x more disk capacity. 3,300,000x network speed (Modem to GB Ethernet). Much bigger display and color. Mouse. Sound. Video capability. Wifi. Color graphics printer. Internet. But computer 1 booted faster!
     
  25. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    #25
    When I got my PowerMac 9500/120 in 1995, it was $4599 just for the tower, no display, or keyboard included. The 9500/132 model was $5299, and the PowerBook 5300ce was $6299.
     

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