“Back in the 1980s it was possible — in fact easy — to spend many thousands of dollars on a PC. Most PCs and Macs started in the $2000 range and went up from there,” Robin Harris writes for ZDNet. “The Mac Pro is a high-end system — a desktop mainframe. To compare it to older high-end Macs I went through the archives of EveryMac.com to find the top-of-the-line systems every two years from 1986 to 2012.”

“I took the retail prices of the high-end systems and adjusted them using the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index inflation calculator to translate them into 2013 dollars,” Harris writes. “The Mac IIfx was the most expensive Mac ever produced, though its retail cost was about the same as the much less powerful Lisa seven years earlier (whose price in today’s dollars would be $23,389).”

Apple's all-new Mac Pro

Apple’s all-new Mac Pro

“[With the new Mac Pro], it appears that the six core configuration – for a base price of $3999 – is the sweet spot. Of course, until we see some benchmarks, we can’t be sure,” Harris writes. “The bottom line: while a fully loaded new Mac Pro may appear expensive it is far from the most expensive high-end Mac – and high-end PCs – in cost. And it is much more expandable – with better investment protection – than costly earlier machines. Given the CPU performance plateau and the drop in bandwidth growth and storage latency improvements, these new Mac Pro’s will likely hold their value for years to come.”

Read more in the full article here.