Moore’s law and PC upgrade

Five years ago, I paid $25 for my first (ever!) memory module for my own workstation. It was a 256 MB unit. A week ago a 1 GB module cost me virtually the same: $26.50 (count the inflation?)

A good approximation of the Moore’s Law, isn’t it? According to a variation (slackened one) of the law, the number of electronic device’s microelements per dollar doubles every two years. Therefore, I should be getting (2 power (5/2)) times more memory, or 1513 MB, while I got (2 power (4/2)). However, for the inflation accounted more accurately, the equation would probably match perfectly.

Apparently, same goes with hard disk drives.

My first HDD was the slowest (read “economic”, but also the most cold & quiet available in the market) 40 GB in 2002, having been accompanied by a quicker & bigger 120 GB in 2004 and being substituted by 200 GB in 2005 and 500 GB in 2007. The last three being of basically the same price.

Here’s the summarizing graph:
Application of Moore's Law to PC upgrade

For the sake of cleanness CPU transistor counts were omitted from the graph, yet they’d be right in the middle between RAM and Disk curves with 37.5 million transistors in the processor purchased in October’02 vs. 221 million 5 years later. Again, all that for essentially the same money. The criterion for processor selection was “the cheapest in the top-line”.

Another coincidence not reflected in the chart: after my first 256 MB module I bought the second one in just a month. This time I am also planning to purchase an additional 1 GB as soon as in coming January…

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