View Full Version : How much did you pay for your first computer?

Diatribal Deity
11-17-2009, 08:07 PM
To be perfectly honest my first computer purchase was probably a VIC-20. But the first full featured computer (CPU, monitor, etc...) I bought was an IBM Aptiva "stealth" in the mid '90s. Cost: $2700. Since, I've resorted to the frankenstein approach and bought a few laptops but never spent close to what I did on that splurge.

So what was your first?

11-17-2009, 08:24 PM
I still actively use my first PC, an HP Pavilion that I got at Costco for $450 in late 2002.

11-17-2009, 09:01 PM
My first several computers were all free hand-me-downs. At one point I had three computers, all ridiculously outdated. Actually, my current PC, which I built last year, is the first real computer that I ever paid for.

11-17-2009, 09:24 PM
Mine was a Lanix 486DX2 with *gasp* 4MB of RAM and a 150MB HD. I think it was $1400 or something like that.

Steve W
11-17-2009, 09:25 PM
I bought my own computer in 1995 or 1996 at Computer City. I'd had computers before, but they were given to me or hand-me-downs. At the time I was considering a PC because of all the games available for it, and I told that to my best friend who worked tech support. He basically told me he'd come over and punch me in the face if I bought a PC. He insisted I look at Macintoshes first, so I did. I ended up going with a Mac clone, a Power Computing 100, for $1499. I eventually upgraded the memory and installed a second drive and with the addition of a 24-bit Nubus video card also a second monitor. It served me well for two or three years until I decided to upgrade at the spur of the moment, when a guy at Fry's Electronics offered me another Mac clone, a UMAX C500, for $500 as a floor model. So I handed it down to my father, since he was interested in this wacky 'information superhighway' thing all the kids were talking about. And so it continued serving a noble purpose until my father's death in January of 2000.

11-17-2009, 09:39 PM
The first full package pc i bought with my own money was a emachine back in 98 or 99. My first pc was a Atari 800 as a kid.

11-17-2009, 10:40 PM
My first PC I paid for was my custom (Built out of assorted used parts I had gathered. A Frankenstein PC, in a sense). The only thing I paid for was the 56K modem for it (Cost me $30); everything else that went into it had been given to me previously by my great uncle.

11-17-2009, 10:46 PM
The first PC I got cost about $2200+ with taxes. It was a clone PC with Pentium II MMX, 64MB of ram & 8GB HD space.

11-17-2009, 11:44 PM
I have no idea what was paid for my first computer, an Apple IIe. It was killed when the floppy drives were knocked off the desk and they tore something off the motherboard.

My next computer was an IBM XT, 4.77mhz. I learned the wonders of DOS 3.1 and later 4.0, and upgraded it from 384k to 640k. I later installed a 10MB HD in it and it was pretty sweet.

In the 486 days I inherited a Turbo XT (10mhz!) with a 20GB and 5 1/4 AND 3 1/2 inch drives (double density, not High Density) that held me through until the Pentium Era.

Then, my mom dropped $7000 on an AST P90 w/4MB ram, a 1MB onboard cirrus logic, onboard SB16 clone and two PCI slots (and 4 ISA) - it came with Windows 3.11 and a 4x CDROM, 14.4 USR modem and a 17" CRT + HP Laserjet 4L laser printer. I still own that printer and it still works.

The AST was upgraded to 8MB of RAM ($500, a summer's salary) an AWE32 Sound Card ($359) an 8x CDROM ($199) a USR DSVD 33.6 modem (allowed voice and data on the same phone line, excellent for C&C and Warcraft modem games, I convinced three other friends to shell out $500 each for them) and a 2MB Diamond Stealth 3D 2000.

It was pimp. And I couldn't tell you how many systems I've gone through since them - these days I can barely remember what CPU or motherboard I've got in a tower. But that system I knew inside and out. It was BADASS.

11-18-2009, 12:13 AM
The first computer I paid for is the one I'm using right now - $450 of carefully-selected parts, with other non-essential components salvaged from machines nobody else wanted.

It's about four years old now. It runs every game I've ever thrown at it, acceptably, and I still use it every day. No problems yet.

11-18-2009, 12:18 AM
In the 486 days I inherited a Turbo XT (10mhz!) with a 20GB and 5 1/4 AND 3 1/2 inch drives (double density, not High Density) that held me through until the Pentium Era.
You had a 20GB hard drive in the 486 days? The first computer we had was from 1997 and it had a 1.2GB hard drive. We still have the computer though it doesn't get used so often anymore, it had a Pentium 166MHz, 16MB RAM, 3 1/2" floppy drive with 12X CD-ROM drive. I've upgraded the RAM since then but that's pretty much it. It still runs well. I didn't buy it as it was the family's computer and I was a kid so I don't know what it cost, but it was expensive.

11-18-2009, 01:44 AM
The first computer I ever used was a VIC-20, which my dad had bought for my brother. He always claims it was $800 at the time for the entire package. I inherited it when my brother got a C64... and I inherited the C64 when my brother got an Amiga.

Pretty much my first 10 computers were hand-me-downs that I never personally paid for. When I started buying my own computers, which I generally assemble myself, I've had a general rule of spending around $500, though I always retain some parts of the previous system (monitor, mouse, keyboard, drives, etc).


Push Upstairs
11-18-2009, 02:09 AM
I have no idea how much my first computer cost. It was a home built that I pieced together a few years ago with parts bought from Newegg. Probably $500-600, but it recently got a new case.

All the previous computers I've ever used, stretching back to the late 80's, were bought by my parents. So, those were "free". :p

11-18-2009, 03:43 AM
My *first* computer was an Atari 65XE -- it cost $150, but it was bought as a gift so it doesn't really count.

The first computer I paid for was a Packard Bell P133 with an amazing 8MB of RAM and 1.2GB hard drive. With a 14" monitor it cost me $2200. I remember looking at Pentium Pro-based PCs also, but they were way more expensive (a PPro200 with 24M of RAM and 2GB hard drive was nearly $4000). I worked a lot of hours to pay for it (back in high school, working part time) and the other things I eventually bought (28.8 modem, anyone? :))

11-18-2009, 05:28 AM
With half of the money from my paper route and the other half from my grandma as a gift, I paid almost three grand for my Power Mac 7100 in '94. It came with a whopping 700 MB HD and 66 MHz of power! Somehow, I ended up getting my money's worth, as it lasted all throughout high school and most of college.

While I no longer use Macs and generally loath Apple products, I'll always look back fondly at that system.

Game Freak
11-18-2009, 05:45 AM
My family's first computer, a 1997 Pentium MMX CTX computer, cost roughly 200 dollars. It's listed as over 1000, but somehow they got an insane discount o_O

MY first computer, a 2006 Acer Aspire AM3100-U3201A, cost $600

11-19-2009, 01:07 AM
Built my own first computer from parts about 4-5 years ago. I think that it cost about $2500 for all of the parts, with small upgrades over the years bringing the total to somewhere around $3000. I built it with the intention of playing games on it, which I did, until I pretty much stopped playing computer games altogether.

It still, of course, runs nice and quickly, or it would if it were working right now. I'm pretty sure that my RAM is fried (at least I hope that's the problem, else it's probably my mobo); I need to get some more air moving through that case, as it runs pretty hot right now.

11-19-2009, 06:57 PM
My first computer ever was a Timex-Sinclair 1000 with a 16KB expansion pack. That was a Christmas present in 1982. Total cost was $150. Looking back I'm impressed that my non-techie parents had the foresight to spring for the extra RAM.

My first computer purchase as an adult with my own monies was for a Tandy 1000 RSX-HD. A 386-25 with 1MB of RAM and a 50MB HDD. The whole package (computer, monitor, printer) was around $1500. This was mid-1992.

11-19-2009, 08:26 PM
I think my parents spent over $1000 on my Amiga 500 back in 1989.

11-19-2009, 08:33 PM
According to this page (http://www.pc-history.org/tandymod3.htm) the TRS-80 Model III sold for $699 with a cassette tape recorder and no floppy drives, which is the model my family had.

When I got my C64 they were selling for $200; I got mine for $100 because it had no sound (I got it fixed a few days later). That was just for the 64. I paid $180 for a floppy drive and I think we paid another $100 for my crappy printer.

The first computer I bought with my own money was a PC clone I put together for about $600, and I think a friend gave me either the RAM or the hard drive for free. About half of the $600 was the monitor.

11-21-2009, 05:40 AM
I was late where computers are concerned.
I bought a brand new Atari 130 XE for DM299 (approx $600?) from a department store in Germany, which had it on offer for one week in 1985. I thought that's all you need. Doh.
Week later I purchased a XC11 and a 1050, a Sanyo monitor, and a Seikosha printer (which plugged directly in). So on top of the XE price, another DM 1000.

Year later I purchased a C64 and a 1541, both for something like GBP 500.

11-25-2009, 08:45 AM
Ok not counting the Atari 800XL and Tandy Color Computers I had, my first PC was in 1993 or 94, don't remember.

IIRC, it was

4 meg ram
200 meg harddrive (I think)
1 meg Cirrus Logic Video card
Soundblaster 16
Dos and Windows 3.1
14" svga monitor
$2400 (I think)

Yikes, glad prices have gone way down and performance has gone way up.

11-30-2009, 11:59 PM
I do not really know the specs on it, by my parents got their first computer back when I was like 4 years old, cost them around 2500$ was a custom built pre-386 IBM PC. DOS was my friend and has helped me throughout the years. And then he got Windows 1.01 when it came out. Had that for the longest time, then in the skt 7 days, he bought a AMD K6 300mhz (when it was new) OC'd to 450mhz, 6mb Voodoo rush video card, 8GB hdd, 128mb ram, USR 56k modem, 17" Viewsonic CRT and a 2X ACER CD BURNER (was one of the few people I knew at the time who had one).
MY first computer I purchased (built myself), was a AMD K6 450 OC'd to 550, 256MB ram, 20GB hdd, 12x cd burner, Voodoo3 3500TV, 56K modem, Linksys 10/100NIC, Microsoft Forcefeedback joystick. Cost me around 750$ at the time. A friend of the family had his own computer business.

12-01-2009, 02:17 AM
Let's see....

Bought the TRS-80 Model 1 for $150 from my old high school when they upgraded to Apple 2e's. No storage device of any kind. Had to re-type the programs I wrote each time I wanted to show them to someone. "Hang on for 15 minutes, this is cool".

After that, I went for an Atari 800XL, 1050 drive, Commodore 1702 monitor, and a box of floppy disks. I don't remember indivdual prices but I think it was about $1000 for everything.


12-01-2009, 02:40 AM
My first laptop cost around $2200 dollars new, a shitty compaq back in the early nineties, but I got it as a present in '97. It lasted me until '02, when it drank itself to death.
Too much diet coke.
The last computer I bought was five hundred off of ebay a couple of weeks ago. 300 gigs, 4 gigs of ram, 2Ghz in processor, 2 MP webcam built in, built-in microphone, 17-inch screen, 9-cell battery, 7-cell battery (I assume the extra battery was a mistake on the part of the seller), Microsoft Office, DVD burner, and Windows Vista. I'm probably going to install opensuse in the next couple of days.

12-01-2009, 02:54 AM
My first computer was a horrible E Machines desktop that was bought for me by my dad. I still have it since it was my first computer and I appreciated the gift. It cost about $700 and that was back in like late 1998. I don't remember the speed of the CPU but I do know it was a really slow Intel Celeron which I eventually upgraded to a faster Pentium 2. Other than that it had 32mb of RAM (since upgraded to 128mb), a 3gb hard drive and an integrated ATI 3D Rage 2 Pro for the graphics card.

12-02-2009, 07:29 AM
Nothing! Well, nothing at first.

We always had a PC in the house since I was born but MY first PC was in 1994.

I was 10 years old and my dad had just built a new system for my aunt. He gave me all her old parts and said to play with them.

Well, I spent some time working on that box (Tandy Sensation 486DX-33, 8mb RAM, 210mb WD Caviar) and eventually got it working!

I saved up my allowance and bought more RAM and a 486DX2-66 CPU for it and borrowed a friend's Windows 95.

I was the coolest kid around for having a PC in my room! haha

I used it for playing mostly old DOS games (duh) and eventually got into making maps for Duke3d. Had some good ones too... but all were lost at some point. Tried making some maps again last year and boy was I lost lol

12-03-2009, 04:18 PM
my very very first computer was free, i was poor, i dont remember wha tyoe it was besides it was a tandy and had windows 3 on it i believe

12-03-2009, 07:28 PM
The family got a c64 around '85 or so, so probably around $299. The first computer I bought with my own money was an HP Pentium 1 (with built-in 14.4k modem!). Bought it when I graduated from college and got a job. I honestly don't remember the price, but I want to say around $1000. I splurged and went into debt for a GIANT 17 inch monitor, which was about $600 - quite a chunk of change at the time given my low salary, but so worth it for Magic Carpet and Mechwarrior 2.

12-18-2009, 11:28 PM
My first computer was an IBM XT clone that I had thru the college I flunked out of, they got that back.... The very first computer I bought for myself was a 386/25 with 2 megs of ram (8 * 256k 30 pin SIMMS), VGA card, 5.25 and 3.5 floppy, and an 80 meg hdd (when a 40 was the norm), SVGA monitor..... custom built pc from a mom and pop shop.... $1,500, at the time it was more expensive then my car. I customized and went for the extra meg of ram and the bigger hdd instead of the more popular 386/33. A 486 was the high end at the time. I added a sound blaster pro, a 387 math co processor, and several modem incarnations, started with a 2400 baud from the old XT, then got a 28.8, then a 33.6, I don't think I got a 56k with that pc. I think I eventually added another 4 meg 72 pin SIMM to bring it up to 6 megs, very unstable after that with 9 ram chips on the board. Also had a star mitronics 9 pin dot matrix printer from the XT, then upgraded the a 24 pin..... That box went thru many, many mods.

01-03-2010, 01:50 AM
not me really, i was in the 5th grade but im gonna count it anyway since im the one who chose it and made parents pay for it.

it was a packard bell, 200 mhz intel pentium 1 (or 2?) with mmx. 32mb of ram and a 4 gig hd, also came with windows 95!!!! yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

grand total? $4,000 plus tax

i dont even think sears sells computers, but i swear to god, im 90 percent sure thats where we purchased it
2nd computer i ever bought was like 5 years later, one that i had custom built by best buy instead of doing it myself, this was my gaming rig, so it came out to about the same price, $3800

lol jesus christ, and this was in 1995, and people today wanna cry about apples prices :(

01-03-2010, 02:30 AM
I think we got our TI 99/4A for around $250 or so back in about 1982.

01-12-2010, 09:16 PM
Ah, my first computer. I loved that piece of junk. It was a hand-me-down 1998 gateway desktop with a 12gig HD if I'm remembering correctly. It wasn't until around 2003 that I was able to actually buy something decent.

01-12-2010, 09:22 PM
Whatever a brand new storebought Atari 800XL cost in Summer/Fall 1984, thats when I got it for my 13th birthday. I recall it had the "Official computer of the 1984 LA olympics" or something like that on the box.

01-12-2010, 09:26 PM
In August 2003 I bought my first computer, a E Machines with 100 GB hard drive, 512mb ram, 2.53 GHz Pentium 4, and a dvd copier for around $900.

01-12-2010, 09:57 PM
My first computer my mom purchased for me in 1995. It was a Compaq Presario 75mHz Intel Pentium w/ 8mb ram and a 1.2gb Hard drive, and it came with the brand new Windows 95! it was about $4,000 out the door with a monitor and printer.

My friend down the street made me want to get a computer, I used to watch him play Warcraft II for hours. The first 2 games I left the store with were Warcraft II, a Joystick and Tie Fighter!

I am happy to say my friend with the 486 and Windows 3.1 was very jealous!

Ill never forget the one line he said when i showed him it. "28.8 baud modem? Holy ****!!! thats FAST!"

Lol i miss AOL 2.5 LOL

01-12-2010, 11:43 PM
well the A500 was a present, the 386 and 486 were hand me downs, but I bought this myself:


150$. was a p100 w/ 64mb ram and a 3gig HD. Played a ton of old games on it.

then it died and i got a 10$ 90mhz digital off ebay and put the ram from the monorail in it and that became a 128mb, 4gig beast. Ran D2 like a CHAMP!


01-13-2010, 03:21 AM
ah, PCs...fond memories.
After A8, C128, Apple ][, Amiga I purchased my first PC finally in 1991, which was a Olivetti 286; that machine didn't work properly, but asap I managed to trade it in for a HP Vectra 386 (paid some extra of course), 16 MHz. Maxed out the RAM (up to 16MB I think?). RAM was more pricey than the whole PC. In 93 I purchased my first 'single' speed CD-Rom. As it was an internal CD-Rom and my Vectra didn't have the space, I taped that thing to the desk, with the leads going into the back of the PC. CD-Roms back then still needed a huge expansion card. Also managed to add a VESA card soon afterwards, wow high-res screen, the games looked amazing.

The PC ran Kings Quest games and Return to Zork, so I was happy.

Mr. Flibble
01-13-2010, 12:26 PM
I've never owned a computer, I just borrow my friends computers or use the one at work. Right now I use Ubik's Asus netbook. For a small computer it sure can hold a lot of Penguin pr0n!

01-13-2010, 08:22 PM
My first computer was a freebie from my aunt, who bought it from some really obscure PC maufacturer in Arizona. It didn't have a lot of resources (9 GB hard drive and 32 MB of RAM), but it was good for using an outdated version of AOL and running old shareware DOOM demos.

01-13-2010, 08:36 PM
I paid for a little less than half of the Coleco Adam my parents got for me back in the day. I think my share was $280.

01-13-2010, 08:53 PM
First computer I bought was in early 1999 and it cost around $2500. P-II 450 and 128 mbs of ram. Had a 56k modem, Soundblaster Live! Value, and Riva TNT (16 MB) video card.

01-21-2010, 05:39 AM
I built my first computer. That was in 1999. Win 98 SE and a celeron 400 from memory. I think the parts cost me just under a grand including windows oem and a 17 " monitor. Lasted until 2004 when it died. I later revived it and tried to overclock it for a MAME machine. It got to about 600 mhz before it died! I was only overclocking it for Raiden, which i love and HAD to have run right.

Edit. Oh, and it's 4 gig hard drive lived on in my mame cab until it died a year or so ago. This is about the last time it was seen alive before i overclocked it


I was also supposed to be varnishing the floor at the time (",)

01-22-2010, 08:33 PM
Our first computer was a used VIC-20 with a handful of games, and was $30.

Our second was a LASER-128, an Apple ][ (I think ][c) clone. It was $300 from Sears.

Not sure how much our first PC was. Over a grand. That was around 1994.