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First post, by BitWrangler

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Hi folks,

Didn't see this posted yet, if so, oops, thought y'all would find it interesting...

https://imgur.com/gallery/tRaHT

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 1 of 15, by AlaricD

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That CELLPHONE!

"The Big Bang. The ultimate hero of low frequency. The divine intergalactical bass drum connecting the tribes of our solar system."
Yello
"Solar Driftwood"

Reply 3 of 15, by Scali

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Clear proof that even 486es were still very expensive back in 1994. They didn't even list a Pentium, might not have sold those to consumers yet.

http://scalibq.wordpress.com/just-keeping-it- … ro-programming/

Reply 4 of 15, by BeginnerGuy

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Scali wrote:

Clear proof that even 486es were still very expensive back in 1994. They didn't even list a Pentium, might not have sold those to consumers yet.

Of course they were expensive.. the dx4 100 was released in 1994 for $650 alone.. Pentium systems from gateway 2000 were $3000 for base models in late 1993, but they were on the shelves for consumers since 93 for 60 and 66. That listing is pretty expensive though, cd-roms weren't exactly cheap then. This was around the time we got a full dx33 system for my grandmother for $1000-1500

You can be sure plenty of people were playing doom at launch on Pentiums, saw it with my own eyes, I've always considered a pentium 66 the ultimate doom machine (because it was in dec 1993). When we upgraded to a dx2 in 1993 we were fully aware of the p5, just one of those things where the high end was just too expensive.

The fdiv bug was caught in 94 and ibm put their pentium systems on hold, this may have been during that fiasco, july is right around the time the bug was leaked to mortals online.

Last edited by BeginnerGuy on 2017-11-28, 19:42. Edited 2 times in total.

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Reply 5 of 15, by Scali

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BeginnerGuy wrote:

Of course they were expensive.. the dx4 100 was released in 1994 for $650 alone.. Pentium systems from gateway 2000 were $3000 for base models in late 1993, but they were on the shelves for consumers since 93 for 60 and 66.

Well, my point is that people these days tend to google the launch date for a certain CPU, and then equate that to the date that the CPU had mainstream adoption.
It may work that way today, but not back then. It took years for new CPUs to trickle down into the mainstream. The marketing model was entirely different.

These days they launch Xeons/Opterons for the server/workstation market, and at the same time they release cheaper spinoffs of the same basic architecture for mainstream and budget systems. So a new architecture is affordable and adopted almost immediately.

Back then, when a new CPU was launched, it WAS the 'Xeon/Opteron', and initially it was only found in high-end server/workstation machines, way out of reach of the average consumer. Last-generation CPUs would form the mainstream, and CPUs of two or more generations back were the budget models.

So even though the Pentium had been around for a while yet in 1994, and the 486 had been around since 1989, it was still a mainstream option for consumers (and at the high-end at that).
Pentium didn't really crack the mainstream until 1996 or so. Before that, they were simply too expensive, so people went for 486 machines instead.

http://scalibq.wordpress.com/just-keeping-it- … ro-programming/

Reply 6 of 15, by BeginnerGuy

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Scali wrote:
Well, my point is that people these days tend to google the launch date for a certain CPU, and then equate that to the date that […]
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BeginnerGuy wrote:

Of course they were expensive.. the dx4 100 was released in 1994 for $650 alone.. Pentium systems from gateway 2000 were $3000 for base models in late 1993, but they were on the shelves for consumers since 93 for 60 and 66.

Well, my point is that people these days tend to google the launch date for a certain CPU, and then equate that to the date that the CPU had mainstream adoption.
It may work that way today, but not back then. It took years for new CPUs to trickle down into the mainstream. The marketing model was entirely different.

These days they launch Xeons/Opterons for the server/workstation market, and at the same time they release cheaper spinoffs of the same basic architecture for mainstream and budget systems. So a new architecture is affordable and adopted almost immediately.

Back then, when a new CPU was launched, it WAS the 'Xeon/Opteron', and initially it was only found in high-end server/workstation machines, way out of reach of the average consumer. Last-generation CPUs would form the mainstream, and CPUs of two or more generations back were the budget models.

So even though the Pentium had been around for a while yet in 1994, and the 486 had been around since 1989, it was still a mainstream option for consumers (and at the high-end at that).
Pentium didn't really crack the mainstream until 1996 or so. Before that, they were simply too expensive, so people went for 486 machines instead.

Certainly, its always been that way. The modern day equivalent is paying for an i9 with sli titan pascals, there was just no real sane reason to do it but some people just have to have the flagship no matter the cost. in 2 years that power trickles down to the affordable range.

Pentiums became household in mid to late 1995, by the time the AM5x86 came out in November it was going for barely $75. The ppro 150 was the new insane high end by then.

Very vivid timeframe for me because i wasted so much time browsing classifieds 😎

Sup. I like computers. Are you a computer?

Reply 7 of 15, by Scali

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BeginnerGuy wrote:

The ppro 150 was the new insane high end by then.

The PPro is an interesting point in history. The name already implies that it is only for the server/workstation market. And indeed, it never reached the mainstream.
Instead, after the Pentium Pro, Intel split up their range for the first time. You'd get the Pentium II for the mainstream (basically a Pentium Pro, with MMX added to it, made more affordable by having cache separately on a PCB), and the first Xeon was launched for the server/workstation market.
That started the modern era I mentioned above, where new architectures would be available in mainstream/budget versions almost immediately after launch.

http://scalibq.wordpress.com/just-keeping-it- … ro-programming/

Reply 8 of 15, by BeginnerGuy

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I've always been kind of amused by the consumer and pro segments. Consumer chips are essentially just cut down xeons (less cores, less l2 cache) with high core clocks. The 7980XE IS a 2697V4 Xeon with cut down l3 cache and overclocked cores for example. If I were building a "pro" machine for my line of work, I would take the i9 easily.

Sup. I like computers. Are you a computer?

Reply 9 of 15, by AlaricD

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I remember reading an article in PC Mag or maybe Computer Shopper (back when they had REAL ARTICLES and were just HUGE) talking about how the 286 had "too much power" for the desktop and belonged in the server room.
This might've been in '87 at the latest.

"The Big Bang. The ultimate hero of low frequency. The divine intergalactical bass drum connecting the tribes of our solar system."
Yello
"Solar Driftwood"

Reply 10 of 15, by BeginnerGuy

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AlaricD wrote:

I remember reading an article in PC Mag or maybe Computer Shopper (back when they had REAL ARTICLES and were just HUGE) talking about how the 286 had "too much power" for the desktop and belonged in the server room.
This might've been in '87 at the latest.

You can see that was the trade topic for years, watch the 386, 486, and Pentium episodes of computer chronicles where each time they sit there dumbfounded trying to explain who would need this kind of power. Windows 95, 3d games and multimedia ended that conversation.

Sup. I like computers. Are you a computer?

Reply 11 of 15, by Unknown_K

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The early 90's were an age of single tasking on the desktop. People were still using DOS and maybe Windows 3.1. Computer prices seemed to hover at specific price points every year except you got a faster CPU, slightly more RAM, and a slightly bigger HD for the price.

I remember buying parts for a system (much cheaper then a system from a big box store) and using it for 6 months and being able to sell it for most of what I paid. These days anything you buy is worth less then you paid while it sits in shipping.

I was kind of shocked to not see Alpine decks in the stereo advertisement, but that stuff was still expensive and sold mostly in specialty shops. That Acer monitor looks like the first digital controlled 14" Model I purchased , used it for years (over a decade)till it went bad and I junked it.

Collector of old computers, hardware, and software

Reply 12 of 15, by Mike

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Oh man, times really have changed. That Acer with inflation calculated would have been 3.5K in today's currency. It was powerful enough to run Doom perfectly at least, and looks like an incredibly useful machine for its time.

Reply 13 of 15, by Scali

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Mike wrote:

Oh man, times really have changed. That Acer with inflation calculated would have been 3.5K in today's currency. It was powerful enough to run Doom perfectly at least, and looks like an incredibly useful machine for its time.

Yea, seems about right.
I got my first 486 system at around 1994 as well. I built it myself from parts, to save cost. I re-used the 4x1 MB SIMMs and the HDD from my 386SX-16, and also the ISA Paradise VGA card, as well as the Sound Blaster Pro.
That way, a 486DX2-66 upgrade was somewhat affordable to us, and even with the ISA card, DOOM was within reach.
I later dropped in another 4 MB, got a Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB, and a Gravis UltraSound. Now DOOM was perfect.

Ofcourse within 2 years, Quake happened, so we needed a Pentium now.

http://scalibq.wordpress.com/just-keeping-it- … ro-programming/

Reply 14 of 15, by sf78

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Scali wrote:

So even though the Pentium had been around for a while yet in 1994, and the 486 had been around since 1989, it was still a mainstream option for consumers (and at the high-end at that).
Pentium didn't really crack the mainstream until 1996 or so. Before that, they were simply too expensive, so people went for 486 machines instead.

I remember the first Pentium ads I saw was in our local games magazine in late '93 and the price was around $4.400. I had my first Pentium (90) in early '95 and most people I know switched to it by the Autumn of that year. I'm pretty sure it was the same thing in western Europe and US.

Reply 15 of 15, by AlaricD

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BeginnerGuy wrote:
AlaricD wrote:

I remember reading an article in PC Mag or maybe Computer Shopper... talking about how the 286 had "too much power" for the desktop and belonged in the server room.
This might've been in '87 at the latest.

You can see that was the trade topic for years, watch the 386, 486, and Pentium episodes of computer chronicles where each time they sit there dumbfounded trying to explain who would need this kind of power. Windows 95, 3d games and multimedia ended that conversation.

Seems like every new processor family for YEARS. "Who needs THIS kind of power?"
Well, apparently, WE do. I think they finally stopped clutching their pearls at end users getting "too much power" with maybe the Pentium MMX and definitely by Win98. It was inescapable that the hardware kept improving and the software got way more complex.

"The Big Bang. The ultimate hero of low frequency. The divine intergalactical bass drum connecting the tribes of our solar system."
Yello
"Solar Driftwood"