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Cost & Tech Evolution Of RAM & Processors [Infographic]

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It’s easy to get blinded by the speed at which things become cheap once they are widely adapted into our world. The fact that one gigabyte of RAM cost $128,000 in 1988 is as mind-boggling as the thought of human kind sending a group of settlers to Mars. The price of different technologies is getting ever cheaper, and the tech evolution of RAM and processors are certainly in that category. The astonishing tech evolution we have seen since the introduction of computers is insane.

I could go into depth about the price changes that have formed my own computer usage throughout my life, but that history wouldn’t even begin to tell the full story. Plus it is not long enough to span the whole, real tech evolution that we have seen since we started seeing RAM and processors become popular around 1966. In order to get the full span of the tech evolution, we need to consult something a little bit more extensive- something that will tell the full story the way it is told through price changes and tech specs.

We can do that by looking at a freshly presented infographic from Chassis Plans called The Evolution Of RAM & Processors. It goes through the timeline like we haven’t seen before, or at least in a way that we don’t get to view very often. By comparing the processor speeds, RAM size and prices each year, we get a pretty good look at just how insane this evolution has been since 1966.

One gigabyte today costs around $4.00, but in just 2 years (really three), that price will have dropped by a magnitude of 4. We are moving fast, and new technologies are making tech evolution progress ever faster. It’s the same with processors. In 1971, the Intel 4004 processor could handle 0.092 million calculations per second. That number is now up at 2.27 billion calculations per second (in just a little over 40 years). By following this evolution, we can easily create a scale where things are heading in the future. Let’s just say that our computers are going to get ever cheaper and faster in the future – with that comes more genius innovations. Those are innovations we wouldn’t have even dreamed of ten years ago.

Tech Evolution Through The Years

(Click To Enlarge)

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One Comment

Oscar E. Hasten

February 9th, 2013

When I started selling computers for the Byte Shop in 1980 in Seattle, a 16KB, S-100 memory board was a bit over 1300 dollars.

[Reply]

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