Macbook - a desktop replacement?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dhc, Jun 19, 2006.

  1. dhc macrumors regular

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    UK
    #1
    Following a significant amount time researching the subject, I'm pretty much sold on the idea of getting a 2ghz Macbook to replace both my 1.6 G5 17" iMac and 12" 1.33 iBook - combining portability and power in one.

    I know all about the pros (Intel, speed portability, screen etc) and cons (heat, discolouration, non native apps etc) and on paper have come to a favorable conclusion

    BUT…

    In the real world, do you think the Macbook can replace a desktop machine?

    Pretty much I just surf, email, and a little light photoshopping, but I do a fair bit of iMovie work, and this can be a protracted process, often working for 6+ hours at a time, is this likely to cause any problems to this little machine (in terms of possible damage caused by constantly performing processor intensive activities), or am I worrying over nothing :eek:

    Your experiences welcomed!

    dhc
     
  2. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

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    #2
    For what you're doing, it seems like it would be a fine replacement. I've done a bit of iMovie work and iDVD burning, and the system doesn't skip a beat. The only real performance weakness on the Macbook involves the integrated graphics, but that won't have much effect on the work you're doing (except perhaps rendering effects in iMovie, but I'm not sure). The processor is remarkably quick, and the computer itself is quite comfortable to use.

    Make sure to upgrade your RAM to at LEAST 1GB, preferably 2GB. Don't do it through Apple - just order a couple of sticks from Crucial or some other website and install it yourself. It'll take you about 5 minutes and save you a couple hundred bucks.
     
  3. AppleMatt macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

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    #3
    One obvious benefit is that everything will be in one place, so no mucking around with synching.

    One downside is less redundancy - make sure you've got an adequate backup solution.

    AppleMatt
     
  4. dhc thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    I'd pretty much overlooked that, though fortunately I recently upgraded the iMac with a 250gb harddrive, and put the original 80gb aside, so I'll bring it back into service.
    Thanks
     
  5. reflex macrumors 6502a

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    May 19, 2002
    #5
    Make sure that you know you're ok working with a small screen and a small keyboard all the time. I've got a 13.3" Sony laptop and I definitely prefer working on my desktop (which, granted, is dual screen). The laptop just feels a lot more constrained.
     
  6. danny_w macrumors 601

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    #6
    Or you could get an external screen and keyboard/mouse to make work easier and more like a "real" desktop. That is what I do and I love it.
     
  7. dhc thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    I compared my 12" iBook to a friends MacBook at the weekend, and the MB seemed much larger and less cramped, despite the relatively small variance in size. I think this would be ok, if it's not however..


    ...I'll follow this route, but it's all more money, and yet another week the kids will have to go without food;)
     
  8. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #8
    Simply put yes! I got a Mac Mini Core Duo to replace my iMac G5 1.8Ghz, and with 1,25Gb of RAM, my mini is much faster!!

    Perhaps you should think about getting an external display, so you "dock" you MacBook when at your desk , to run with a bigger screen
     
  9. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

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    Salt Lake City, UT
    #9
    To be honest, if I were in your position, and had the money, I'd replace the iBook with a MacBook, but keep the iMac. Until Adobe/Macromedia's apps come out as Universal Applications, I want to have a PPC Mac around. Besides that, after using my PowerBook as my main machine for nearly 2 years, I'm much more comfortable using my iMac with its large screen.

    Of course you already have experience with both a desktop and a laptop, so it's up to you. Personally I prefer to work on a desktop at home.
     
  10. dhc thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10

    Unfortunately, selling the iMac & iBook is the only way I'm going to be able to finance a MacBook, but you're right, it'd be a neat solution. My wife will still have a 1.33 iBook, should I want to run photoshop natively, but I'm guessing the performance will be pretty comparable with running it under rosetta?
     
  11. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

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    #11
    The only problem i have is that i hate having to connect up all the wires every time I want to "dock" the Macbook. Works very well though otherwise.
     
  12. MacSA macrumors 68000

    MacSA

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    #12
    Unless youre going to sell them for about £350 each..? You can get quite a bit for Apple hardware.. it doesnt loose its value so rapidly as a PC.
     
  13. aquajet macrumors 68020

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    #13
    For your tasks, I believe it can. Mine are very similar and I use the PowerBook in my signature. Occasionally, I'll use an external mouse if I'm sitting for extended periods because it is more comfortable to me.

    It's highly doubtful processor intensive activities will cause the MacBook any damage. I don't believe that's ever been a problem in the past, at least not to any significant degree.
     
  14. dhc thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    Thats reassuring - thanks.
     
  15. dhc thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    I've been loosely keeping an eye on eBay, and seems like I'm looking at £400-450 for each machine - I thought the iMac might be worth a little more, but I guess not!:eek:
     
  16. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

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    #16
    i agree with mduser.. ideally, i think swapping your ibook for the macbook and keeping the imac would be the better go, but i understand that that may be impossible.. and going off that: i don't have a macbook, but from all i've heard, the macbooks out perform my PB (stats in my sig), and i use mine as my main computer. granted, mine's a 15", but i imagine that if the smaller size doesn't bother ya, you should be very happy with the trade off.
     
  17. dhc thread starter macrumors regular

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    #17
    Thanks for all your input and opinions - there appears to be no practical reason, or limitations that suggest a MacBook wouldn't withstand being used as my main computer, and that was the purpose of establishing this thread. I'm pretty happy that I can live with a reduced screen size (or if need be attach a seperate display), so I think I'll make the jump. Anyone in the market for an iMac or iBook..?! ;)

    Thanks again.

    David
     

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