Personal Computer Hardware 1984-2002



1984 The Original Macintosh

 2002 Quicksilver Macintosh

In Other Words:

The first Macintosh "Every Macintosh computer contains 64 kilobytes of read-only memory (ROM)"... "and 128 kilobytes of random-access memory (RAM)."
From the first press release

It ran at 8Mhz. 128k max RAM. No Hard Drive storage, just a floppy at 400k.


"Apple Releases the Quicksilver with Dual 1-GHz PowerPC G4, 256K L2 cache & 2MB L3 cache/processor, 1.5GB SDRAM memory, 2x80GB Ultra ATA drive, SuperDrive (CD & DVD Read & Write) and the NVIDIA GeForce4 Titanium graphics card."


 A note on the graphics card:

"The GeForce 4 titanium can calculate 1.23 Trillion Operations per Second."

"One GeForce 4 titanium has more floating point power than was available on the entire earth in 1985."

"The GeForce 4 titanium produces the same amount of floating point power of 394,000,000 IBM PCATs, which in 1985 would cost about $2,000,000,000. That's more than the gross national product of the US that year. If you laid all of those PCs end to end, they would wrap around the world 4.5 times. All of those IBM PCATs together would equal the weight of the combined population of France."
From a review at


128kilobytes compared to1.5GB can be compared like this:
        0.128 MB - 1984
    1,500.00  MB - 2002
11,000 more RAM
1 Gigabyte (GB) = 1024 Megabytes. 1 Megabyte (MB) = 1024 Kilobytes. 1 Kilobyte (K) is 1,000 bytes and one byte is one character.

Hard Drive Storage
The 1984 Mac had 400k of storage, or 0.4MB. The 2002 Quicksilver Mac has 2*80GB or 160,000MB.
         0.40 MB - 1984
   160,000.00 MB - 2002
400,000 times more storage capacity

Processor Speed
Comparing theprocessor speed is harder with the available data as there have been more than an improvement in Mhz (megahertz, tousands of cycles per second), including the ability to do more calculations per second. However, a rough guide:
            8 Mhz - 1984
     2* 1,000 Mhz - 2002
250 times faster

Moores Law
Moores Law predicts a doubling in processing capacity every 18 months. This is interesting as the predicted increase then for the two machines mentioned here is on the border betweeen 256 and 512 times, which is exactly what we are seeing (250 raw processor speed + other architectural improvements).