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IBM PC Model 5150 Configurations

Great Hierophant

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During the 2058 days (August 12, 1981 to April 1, 1987) in which the IBM PC was on the market, there were a surprising number of configurations available for the machine. Although its mostly for historical interest, they are as follows :

Code:
IBM 5150 Model Types	
				
Model 83-key	RAM	Floppy	Motherboard
104	Y	64KB	None	64/2656KB
166	Y	256KB	1x360KB	64/2656KB
176	Y	256KB	2x360KB	64/2656KB
114	Y	64KB	1x160KB	64/2656KB
164	Y	64KB	1x360KB	64/2656KB
174	Y	64KB	2x360KB	64/2656KB
X14	N	64KB	1x360KB	64/2656KB
X64	N	64KB	1x360KB	64/2656KB
X74	N	64KB	2x360KB	64/2656KB
X66	N	256KB	1x360KB	64/2656KB
X76	N	256KB	2x360KB	64/2656KB
813	Y	48KB	1x160KB	16/64KB
824	Y	64KB	2x160KB	16/64KB
1	Y	16KB	None	16/64KB
14	Y	64KB	1x160KB	16/64KB
64	Y	64KB	1x360KB	16/64KB
74	Y	64KB	2x360KB	16/64KB

Description of the Columns :

Model - IBM's term for the configurations

83-key - Did the system come with an 83-key keyboard? Systems that did not were typically designed to emulate something else.

RAM - Amount of RAM included on the motherboard

Floppy - The 160KB drive was single sided and could do 180KB. The 360KB drive could do all those and 320KB. All models that came with disk drives came with a diskette adapter.

Motherboard - Motherboard Type

The Model 1 is the most basic configuration of any PC. No floppy and virtually no RAM.

The Model 176 is as fully featured as it got as a stock IBM machine.
 

strollin

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If you were really a glutton for punishment you didn't need to buy an OS, you could use ROM BASIC and a cassette deck. If that was sufficient for your use I'm sure it was quite a bit cheaper that way.
 
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Dave Farquhar

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what poor sap would have bought one without even a floppy drive?

Michael Dell. And then he loaded it up with aftermarket components, sold it for less than a comparably equipped PC from the factory, and he couldn't keep up with demand.

That's probably what happened with the majority of the sparsely equipped 5150s, whether it was Dell upgrading them in large quantities, or consultants buying them and upgrading them for their clients to save them a little money and set themselves up for profit.
 

Chuck(G)

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"Stripped down" was pretty much the way Computerland, etc. sold 5150s initially. The base price included keyboard, 16K of RAM with PSU in an IBM case for about $1100. 64K was extra, as was floppy, floppy controller, display controller, display, software, etc. Before you knew it, you'd dropped close to 3 grand on a usable setup.

Sort of the way motherboards are sold today without CPU or memory.
 

MikeS

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"Stripped down" was pretty much the way Computerland, etc. sold 5150s initially. The base price included keyboard, 16K of RAM with PSU in an IBM case for about $1100. 64K was extra, as was floppy, floppy controller, display controller, display, software, etc. Before you knew it, you'd dropped close to 3 grand on a usable setup.

Sort of the way motherboards are sold today without CPU or memory.
For comparison, when I bought my Commodore 8032 (32K RAM with integrated mono text-only display) it was around $2500, with the dual 500K diskette drive another $2300 or so, for a total of around $5000 for a usable setup.

I think some folks forget that most computers (PET, Apple, Atari, R-S, TI etc.) were probably initially bought without any disk drives in those days.
 

strollin

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I bought a 5150 thru Computerland in 1984. 256K RAM, 2 360K floppies, CGA card and monitor, printer, parallel card, DOS and Personal Editor. With my IBM employee discount it was still $2500.
 

Chuck(G)

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The 1980s were a time when prices dropped quickly. You could get a loaded Morrow MD2 system, Z80, but with Wordstar, SuperCalc, etc., monitor and printer for less than a barely functional 5150. For me, it was a tossup between a 5150 with the necessary gear and a NEC APC--for roughly the same amount of money. The APC was obviously the better system, but IBM was getting all the attention. When the Invasion of the Clones happened, prices really dropped fast.

By comparison, in 1979, a system with a 14" hard disk, printer, 128K, and 8 bit CPU set me back $13,900 (I still have the receipt).

I've got to the point where I don't want to spend hardly any money on a PC. It won't retain any sort of value and since my DSL carrier isn't about to improve service above 1.5M within my lifetime, there's hardly any point as I can't see my experience improving materially.

Well, okay, I spent $3.50 for a gig of PC3200 DRAM the other day...
 

Chuck(G)

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Sometimes you have to spend money to make money--and sometimes you can get a discount if you can work a trade.

But for that nearly $14K, you got a machine that spent time at Viking Labs on the shake table, got zapped with the hipot box, got cooked and frozen, passed VDE emissions and was engineered like a system should have been. I remember that Bob Boschert had to add some cable ties to his power supply because at 7Gs, a capacitor would flop around and break its leads. Basically, you shook the system (powered on) until the CRT broke.

The 5150's design still dogs us today. There's no real retention for the expansion cards--unless you have some sort of retaining mechanism, they can vibrate out of their sockets--and a retaining mechanism is hard to devise as there's no standard for card dimensions. Cooling is a nightmare because nobody in Boca Raton thought about the problem seriously. The right way to cool a bunch of expansion cards is to put them in a cage and put a fan on one side of the cage, with air entering on the other side.

I was a little surprised that any industrial application even considered the PC platform.
 
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