Throwback Dell Ad


Over the years, computers have become increasingly more affordable. You can now buy a desktop for under $400, and a laptop too. Albeit, you’ll have to spend more to get more performance, especially gaming or video editing.

Here is a Dell ad, on the back of a Windows magazine I have, from 1998! This appears to be a high end computer, but still pretty expensive by today’s standards.

Comments (12)

12 responses to “Throwback Dell Ad”

  1. jimchamplin

    Yeah, that was a pretty damn high-end box 19 years ago. I paid $850 for a used OptiPlex of similar configuration in '01. Worked beautifully as a gaming PC for several years for things like Jedi Outcast/Academy and other Q3A engine shooters. We were college kids, so the computer budget wasn't high. That meant having as much fun as we could with games we could run.

    I finally upgraded to run World of Warcraft.

  2. ecumenical

    Oh man, that brings back some memories. My family's first Windows PC was an XPS R450 - similar config but with a 17GB hard drive, DVD drive (novel at that time), and a different 17" monitor. Same case and keyboard though. I eventually upgraded it with a 64MB Radeon DDR (like, the first thing ever called a Radeon) and 384MB of RAM so that I could crawl through Warcraft III at barely playable framerates. Eventually replaced it with my first custom build, based on an Athlon XP 1700+.

    Pretty sure we paid around $2200 for that. Probably later in the year. Prices and specs used to change so rapidly in the 90s/early 2000s.

    Also I really miss poring over computer ads in the paper / magazines...

  3. hrlngrv

    When I remember all I could do with just 64MB RAM and a 4GB drive . . .

    I remember the new system smell and thrill of running NT4 for the first time. Windows 98? Pah!

  4. arunphilip

    With the advent of flatscreen monitors, I had almost forgotten monitor specs that read like 17" (15.9" visible).

  5. PincasX

    Based in the title I was expecting that “dude your getting a dell” guy and was expecting to be irritated. This is actually pretty good and funny to think how much Dell has changed since then.

  6. Paul Thurrott

    Nice. I have boxes of old Byte magazines. The ads are almost better than the articles. :)

    • wright_is

      In reply to paul-thurrott:

      I moved too many times to still have boxes of old magazines... I threw out 20 years worth of Popular Computing Weekly, C&VG, Personal Computer, PC Magazine, Computer Shopper (UK) and PC Pro when I moved to Germany in 2002. That saved me a couple of grand on the moving costs on weight alone! :-D

      A similarly big move in 2008 had the same result, horded magazines were recycled. Since then, I just don't bother keeping them any more.

  7. ErichK

    I went from a Micron system that ran on all SCSI when Windows 95 came out (I'm embarrassed to say what we paid for it) to a mom-and-pop built system in the early 2000's that had a 40 GB hard drive and ran Windows 98.

    Oh yeah, I remember these ads. :-)

    • wright_is

      In reply to ErichK:

      I remember a friend of mine had a SCSI controller and 3 hard drives, he couldn't get it to work and was throwing them away... I took them off his hands for free, plugged them into my P90 PC and set up the terminators correctly, man were those things fast! :-D