Best setup for under $1500?

corywoolf

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 28, 2004
1,352
3
I am 17 and by no means wealthy, I was curious to hear some different setups people could come up with. Think bargain, ultra cheap, good deals, worth the money, etc.

My idea was:

Used rev B 12" PB w/ 20" Dell monitor. Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Cheap but good 2.1 stereo speaker system.

idea's?

pics of anyones setup that may apply?
 

ITASOR

macrumors 601
Mar 20, 2005
4,400
3
iBook G4 with 80GB HD, 1.256GB RAM, Bluetooth, Apple BT Keyboard/Mouse, iCurve, Samsung 715v.
 

dmw007

macrumors G4
May 26, 2005
10,635
0
Working for MI-6
wwooden said:
The iMac G5 is by far the best deal. With student discount, you can get a 17" superdrive for $1500 (including tax).
I agree, go with an iMac G5 (I would on your budget). Although your powerbook idea would be nice as well.
 

Lloyd1994

macrumors member
Aug 31, 2004
45
0
Orygun
corywoolf said:
Used rev B 12" PB w/ 20" Dell monitor. Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Cheap but good 2.1 stereo speaker system.
That would be a nice mobile setup for the price. You'd definitely have to wait and jump on a good Dull coupon to get the 20 incher. I love my rev C, but make sure factor in that it needs at least 768 (512 for light users) Mb of ram. I can't remember, did the rev B have a 64 Mb grahpics card, CoreImage ripples alone are worth getting a slightly faster system, if not ;)

If you are more sedintary, I would have to agree with wwooden that the iMacs have a great value. You can pick up a certified used iMac G5 20" for $1,399.00 if you act fast, then add bt kb and mouse and decent speakers for close to your budget. Faster processor/bus, faster and bigger hard drive, and even less footprint on the desk than the 12" PB.

Choices, choices. Have fun!
 

FocusAndEarnIt

macrumors 601
May 29, 2005
4,324
297
ITASOR said:
iBook G4 with 80GB HD, 1.256GB RAM, Bluetooth, Apple BT Keyboard/Mouse, iCurve, Samsung 715v.
Dude, you will totally want this. When you are in college (eventually) you are going to want to be portable.

Period. I'm getting the same iBook. ;)
 

chucknorris

macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2005
559
0
Moscow, ID (No Kremlin here!)
Go with the iMac!

lilstewart92 said:
Dude, you will totally want this. When you are in college (eventually) you are going to want to be portable.

Period. I'm getting the same iBook. ;)
This seems a little pragmatic to me... You're way to grounded! ;)

The wording with which the thread was started (BEST setup) leads undeniably to the 17" iMac with superdrive and room for a ram upgrade (though one isn't as critical as with the iBook). The specs are nearly too good.

I "need" portability as I'm going into college this semester, so the 14" ibook it will be. That said, I still pull up the iMac order page on a daily basis and salivate uncontrollably.

Use your education discount (a bit of the force couldn't hurt either), and enjoy your SWEET new iMac!!
 

mrgreen4242

macrumors 601
Feb 10, 2004
4,352
1
The iMac G5 is a nice machine. Just traded mine away, though, as the noise bothered me. I don't recommend them to my friends and family, however, because of both the noise (this still isn't 100% fixed in RevB models - go read the Apple support forums) as well as the very real chance of premature HDD (and other component) failure due to the high heat levels. I thnk barefeats.com has a good article about the heat on the HDD of the RevB (and A) iMac G5.

Also, after having one, I tend to steer people clear of all-in-one systems, except laptops IF they need portability. Seems like a better investment, to me, to spend a little more now, and then be able to spend less on future upgrades. Especially if you decide to keep the old computer for some other use rather than 'trading up'.

Rather than go with a used PB, I would consider a new 12" iBook. There should be an update to them soon and I would guess that they'll be getting a Core Image capable GPU. You can snag a nicesly loaded 12" iBook, a nice LCD, and a high speed FW HDD for about $1500, especially if you can hold out untill the next revision. You could also grab a current generation iBook on clearance after the new ones come out and save some cash.

If you don't absolutely need a portable system, go for a mini with a nice LCD and extra RAM and external HDD. Later on you can move up to a PowerMac if you want more power, or you could move to a laptop if you decide you want portability, and keep your external devices, etc.
 

Ryan T.

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2005
599
27
Rochester, NY
I found a RevA PowerMac G5 1.6GHz for $800. Add my 19" Dell Ultrasharp LCD I got with coupons for $275. Wireless keyboard and mouse combo (Logitech MX Duo) was $50. A decent set of speakers was $50 as well. You'll need to add some RAM to make Tiger run smoothly, so add 2 x 256 at a minimum. That will bring you up to 768MB and should be fine. That upgrade costs ~$40.

Soooo...

PowerMac G5 + 19" LCD + Wireless Keyboard and mouse + speakers + RAM = $1215. To me, that's a pretty good price on a setup like this. And I guarantee the 19" Dell Ultrasharp is better than the built in displays on the iMacs.

Try and find a used or refurbed PowerMac. You'll be happy.
 

wPod

macrumors 68000
Aug 19, 2003
1,654
0
Denver, CO
mac mini - $748 with 512 ram and 80 GB HD bluetooh module/keyboard/mouse
dell 20" wide screen monitor (my personal favorite!) - $434 with cupons
klipsch 2.1 speakers $150 (or $100 referbished from klipsch site)

then you still have $200 to put to software or games, or just a savings acount for your next mac (once the macintels come out) or an iPod shuffle. i love the shuffle!!!
 

wPod

macrumors 68000
Aug 19, 2003
1,654
0
Denver, CO
corywoolf said:
pics of anyones setup that may apply?
here is my setup, similar i think to what you want with the PB, my stats are in my sig. the mini in the set up belongs to my brother i was just playing with it while he was out of town. i really liked the mini and would love to get my own (just get more than the minimum 256mb of ram!!!!) i do not have a good set up speakers. i normally use airport express to play music on my full stereo system in the other room if i want to hear good quality music!
 

Attachments

wide

macrumors 6502a
May 17, 2004
746
0
NYC
i hate to be the one to say this, but if you want a value system get a Dell.

Really. For $1295 (no tax if you don't live in Texas) you can get a Dell 600m 2.0 GHz Centrino (802.11g incl.) 512 mb RAM 60 GB HD 14.1" SXGA+ screen ATI 9000 (or higher, not sure) w/ 64 MB RAM. At most tasks that system will outperform any similary priced mac. That machine is usually sold at $2045, but you can get a $750 rebate on dell machine through 7/21. You could even opt for a more powerful inspiron or a smaller one (like 700m).
 

jrv3034

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2002
802
0
Ryan T. said:
I found a RevA PowerMac G5 1.6GHz for $800. Add my 19" Dell Ultrasharp LCD I got with coupons for $275. Wireless keyboard and mouse combo (Logitech MX Duo) was $50. A decent set of speakers was $50 as well. You'll need to add some RAM to make Tiger run smoothly, so add 2 x 256 at a minimum. That will bring you up to 768MB and should be fine. That upgrade costs ~$40.

Soooo...

PowerMac G5 + 19" LCD + Wireless Keyboard and mouse + speakers + RAM = $1215. To me, that's a pretty good price on a setup like this. And I guarantee the 19" Dell Ultrasharp is better than the built in displays on the iMacs.

Try and find a used or refurbed PowerMac. You'll be happy.
I agree with this setup. You can later on add a second SATA internal Hard Disk, and upgrade the ram to 4GB (I believe) and you can be sure it'll be faster than an iMac 1.6GHz because of the HDD and RAM and Vid Card. Heck, you can probably get a really cheap 17" LCD and use the extra $$$ for a faster Power Mac, if you need the power.

The iMac is cool, but a Power Mac is king. Once you go tower, you don't look back. ;) Unless, of course, you need a laptop for college. Then you'd need a pimped out 12" iBook, as described above.
 

VicMacs

macrumors 6502
Sep 7, 2003
471
2
Dominican Republic
rev c

rev C pbs are better graphicswise so you might want to get that one on ebay for around 1000 if you look right and 1100 w/ superdrive. LOOK for them, they are there. The 20 incher well be ready to fork out 400, then youre left with 100 bucks.... um... mcally bt mouse 50.... apple wireless keyboard 50 on ebay again... then just spend a little more and get whichever speakers suit you best... I have the jbl creatures.... 50 bucks on ebay....

good luck! and if you dont need portability, then mac minis are nice but be sure to order from the store w/ bt so you dont have to buy the extra parts yourself
 

jrv3034

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2002
802
0
wide said:
i hate to be the one to say this, but if you want a value system get a Dell.

Really. For $1295 (no tax if you don't live in Texas) you can get a Dell 600m 2.0 GHz Centrino (802.11g incl.) 512 mb RAM 60 GB HD 14.1" SXGA+ screen ATI 9000 (or higher, not sure) w/ 64 MB RAM. At most tasks that system will outperform any similary priced mac. That machine is usually sold at $2045, but you can get a $750 rebate on dell machine through 7/21. You could even opt for a more powerful inspiron or a smaller one (like 700m).
Sure, you can always go the Dell route. They do have some good, cheap machines. But the value quickly disappears when you factor in all the software you get with a Mac. iLife alone is worth the price difference, plus the sheer joy of using Tiger makes the Mac (ANY Mac) a much better computer. And NO VIRUSES!!!! Really. I can't stand dealing with anti-spyware, anti-virus, pop-up blocking crap.

Sorry to take this a little off topic, but I felt this needed some clarification. And the Dell will work well, and be very inexpensive. But you have to take the good with the bad.
 

wako

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2005
1,404
1
wide said:
i hate to be the one to say this, but if you want a value system get a Dell.


To add to that, Dell also has really good deals on their Small Business systems.

Basically you can get a very cheap system for ~700 USD, add a 20'' 2005FPW LCD screen for less then 1000 USD. They have a $200 coupon when you buy an Small Business system and a screen and a few other coupons you can find on the net to make the screen a bit cheaper.
 

Prelude2Tragedy

macrumors regular
Apr 9, 2005
150
0
New Jersey
mrgreen4242 said:
I thought that deal expired a couple days ago, or is there a new set of codes?
New set starting this morning. There is a 34% off code and a $60 off $500 stackable code.

%34 : 33KW3147ST500M
$60 off $500 : M1LC?KT3MMTGT$

the 2405 is $863 after 28% off - HHBPGKXS288?21

Id buy one if I wasnt trying to be cheap so hopefully this helps someone else out.
 

iDM

macrumors 6502a
If I had 1500 and was looking to invest in a quality machine, with lots of screen desktop space, I'd say go with one of the G5 PowerMacs someone is selling in the Marketplace for around ~1000-1100 and then add on the Dell 20" Widescreen (~460) that would be a sick setup for ~1500, that would last for years probably through college, and be able to expand with more ram bigger hard drive etc.
 

dukeblue91

macrumors 65816
Oct 7, 2004
1,225
0
Raleigh, NC
Why don't you take a look at Apple's refurb section, they have some incredible deals and you still get the full warranty opposed to buying used.
 

Plastic Avatar

macrumors member
Jan 26, 2004
52
0
West Virginia
Do you want a PC or a Mac?

wide said:
i hate to be the one to say this, but if you want a value system get a Dell.

Really. For $1295 (no tax if you don't live in Texas) you can get a Dell 600m 2.0 GHz Centrino (802.11g incl.) 512 mb RAM 60 GB HD 14.1" SXGA+ screen ATI 9000 (or higher, not sure) w/ 64 MB RAM. At most tasks that system will outperform any similary priced mac. That machine is usually sold at $2045, but you can get a $750 rebate on dell machine through 7/21. You could even opt for a more powerful inspiron or a smaller one (like 700m).
I haven't been too impressed with the Dell laptops. I think they're clunky and too heavy (but those are just my petty complaints). I feel the XP interface is waaaay laggy on a P4 Dell laptop compared to Panther on an iBook with a slower processor.

If you want a great deal, go for the Apple refurbished stuff. Previous model iBooks are a steal.

I've bought a lot of Mac stuff used over the years on ebay, but I'm wary of doing so now. I think you could count on the reliability of used equipment before all these newer machines came out the past few years with their uber heat producing powers- especially laptops.

When I'm spending that kind of money now, I like to get a warranty =) I also like to know 100% that I'm not going to get ripped off.

I like the setup with the iBook ITASOR recommended earlier in this thread. For school, portability is the way to go if you can only have either a laptop *or* a desktop.