Lexikon's History of Computing

PC Computing Power Growth

Return to Title Page


The IBM PC released in 1981 came with 16K of RAM, expandable to 256K. By the mid 1980's, most microcomputers came with at least 512K RAM. During the late 1980's and throughout the 1990's, more powerful software and greater reliance on graphical user interfaces caused an ever-increasing demand for greater memory. As the demand for memory went up, the price for RAM chips fell dramatically. (chart numbers are approximates) By 1999, 128 Mb memory PCs were readily available.

In less than 20 years, desktop computer memory capacity increased over 2,000 times! As more and more information becomes computerized, businesses will increasingly rely on computers to process and store vital information.

Data storage devices have increased in capacity from 5 Megabytes to over 20 Gigabytes, and beyond. Processing speeds have increased from under 5 MHz to over 700 MHz.

Advancements in microprocessor technology have made computers both highly portable and affordable. The Internet and other networks provide access to data on a world-wide scale.

International laws and agreements regarding transfer of computerized information, copyright ownership, government control and privacy issues have been stretched to the breaking point.

This increasing reliance on computerized data, whether on the desktop, in a networked or in mainframe-based systems, presents an enormous challenge in the area of computer security and privacy.


Copyright © 1982-2000, Lexikon Services "History of Computing" ISBN 0-944601-78-2