Comparing My Computers Over Time

Gary Schafer, 2 April 2016

As I pointed out last week, I had to build a new computer. I believe in using high-end components so that I don't have to (a) worry about things failing or not working properly and (b) have the unit last for a long time. I decided to update an old post in which I compared the first PC I bought with one that I purchased six years later. Below, I've updated the table to include my current computer, a custom-built system based on an Intel i7-6700 CPU.

Computer Comparisons
Item 1982 System 1993 System 1999 System 2003 System 2010 System 2016 System
Make / Model Texas Instruments TI-99/4A Leading Edge WinPro 486e Custom build Gateway 700GR Dell Studio XPS 8100 Custom build
Processor TI TMS9900 @ 3.0 MHz AMD 486DX125 (originally 486DX33) 450 MHz Pentium III 3.4 GHz Pentium 4 Intel i7-860 @ 2.8 GHz Intel i7-6700 @ 3.4 GHz
Motherboard TI custom-built Daewoo Intel 100 MHz motherboard Intel D915GSN Intel H57 Asus Z170-Deluxe
Motherboard Form Factor None LPX w/ motherboard-proprietary connector ATX BTX (balanced technology extended) Micro ATX ATX
Operating System TI Basic DOS / Windows 3.1 Windows 98 (2nd Edition) Windows XP Windows 7 / Linux (dual-boot) Linux
Amount RAM 16 kB originally; later expanded to 48 kB 32 MB (originally 4 MB of non-parity RAM) 256 MB 1 GB 8 GB 16 GB
Type RAM 16 kB built on motherboard 30 pin SIMM - 16.67 MHz Fast Page Mode DRAM 168 pin DIMM PC100 100-MHz 184-pin DDR-400 200-MHz 250-pin DDR2 1066-MHz 288-pin DDR4 3200 MHz
Hard Drive Are you kidding? Maxtor 2.7 GB (originally Seagate 214 MB) IBM 20.7 GB 250 GB Two (2) 2.0 TB plus one (1) 1.0 TB One (1) 4.0 TB & one (1) 2.0 TB
Expansion Ports Peripheral Expansion Box (PEB) 8 ISA ports 2 ISA
2 PCIe-1x
4 PCIe-1x
3 PCIe-16x
Video Card 16 kB VDP (video display processor) Western Digital 512K IDE ATI Rage! 16MB AGP ATI Radeon X300 128 MB Nvidia Geforce 210 1 GB MSI Geforce GTX 970 4 GB
Audio Card Built-in (unknown type) Soundblaster 16 Soundblaster Live! 512V Soundblaster Live! 512V (transferred from 1999 computer) On-board Intel HD audio On-board Intel Sunrise Point-H HD Audio
Network Connection External cup-based 300 baud modem Diamond Express 56K modem (originally 9600 baud modem) 56K V.90 modem 56 Kbps PCI internal fax modem Onboard 10/100/1G Ethernet 2 Onboard 10/100/1G Ethernet
Onboard 10/100 Mbps Ethernet
Optical Drive Same as "Hard Drive" above. Unknown make 8X CD-ROM (added later) Sony 24X CD-RW 48x CD-ROM Dell DVD+/-RW GH50N Dell DVD+/-RW GH50N (carried over from 2010 system)
Toshiba 6X DVD-ROM 12x DVD-RW
Removable Storage Cassette tape External 100 MB Zip Drive Internal 250 MB Zip Drive 8 USB 1.1 connections 8 USB 2.0 connections (expanded to include 4 USB 3.0) 1 USB 2.0
3 USB 3.0
5 USB 3.1
1 USB Type-C
5.25" drive in external PEB 5.25" & 3.5" internal floppy drives 3.5" internal floppy drive

Here's a Random Fact...