IBM 5150 maximum memory?

Eric Smith eric at
Fri Apr 25 11:12:02 CDT 2008

Jules wrote:
> (I'm not sure that CPU cost came into it - was a 68k really so much more
> than an 8088 that it would have mattered on a machine costing close on
> $2k?)

Yes.  My estimate is that cost of goods would have been higher by about
$75, which would have translated to a $300-400 increase at retail.  When
you combine that with having nowhere near as much software available at
or shortly after launch, it would have been a disaster.

Remember that they weren't trying to design a system architecture to last
five years, let alone 27 and counting.  They were trying to ship a "me
too" product with incremental improvements over the Apple II.

> Which is odd - other machines of the time had better expansion options and
> better features out of the box. All the PC really brought was 16-bit

They weren't going after the S-100 market.  In the "small microcomputer"
market, the Apple II was the only one that had a reasonable number of
(nearly) identical expansion slots.


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