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High IT costs? Don't blame the hardware, at least entirely

There's plenty of consternation about out-of-control IT costs, but don't blame the hardware entirely.John C.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer on

There's plenty of consternation about out-of-control IT costs, but don't blame the hardware entirely.

John C. McCallum put together an interesting perspective on the cost of computer memory over the decades. We all know the cost has dropped significantly, but when viewing McCallum's chart it really hits home how cheap computing has become.

Of course, applications have become much more sophisticated and memory hungry. But unlike college tuition or automobile costs, the cost of computing power has dropped infinitesimally. In just the past decade, the cost per megabyte dropped to a quarter of a percent of what it was.

  • In 1957, the cost per megabyte of memory was $411,041,792.
  • By 1977, that cost dropped to $36,800 per megabyte.
  • In 1987, that cost was $176.
  • By 1997, that cost was $4 per megabyte.
  • As of a year ago, that cost had dropped to one cent per megabyte.

(Photo: Intel D4004, released November 15, 1971. Photo: Wikipedia)

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