MacBook as Desktop

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Noonzio, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. Noonzio macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    #1
    Hi All,

    Been reading the forums for the last year or so but this is my first post. Have already converted the girlfriend, her parents, and a cousin to Apple (all three with MacBook C2D's) but have been waiting for the new Mac Mini's myself, the reason being that I already have a 24 inch Dell LCD and figured the Mac Mini was the best way to switch, for what I needed it for (general computing and using as a home entertainment system).

    Now, my question is fairly specific - will I encounter any problems if I go the route of a MacBook instead, connect it to the 24 inch Dell, attach and external keyboard and mouse and use it with the shell CLOSED all of the time.

    I should make it clear that I don't want any other form of desktop Mac so the purchase decision is between the Mac Mini (whenever it gets revised) and a C2D MacBook - with prices as they are at the moment a first generation refurb CD MacBook (1.83) would seem to me to be a better purchase than a new Mac Mini CD 1.83.

    Any ideas, comments, etc (specifically on the closed shell issue though).

    Cheers,

    Greg
     
  2. orangemacapple macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Raleigh
    #2
    that's my setup. i use a mb c2d 2.0 with dell 24". BT kb/m
    airpiort express for itunes and the sound bar that comes with the dell 24" gives me my system sounds

    works perfectly ALL THE TIME.

    haven't open the mb in a couple days now. no heat issues or other problems whatsoever.

    it's a great desktop system.
     
  3. Noonzio thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    #3
    Thanks. Thats exactly what I was looking for. When I've seen photos of people who use their MB/MBP with an external monitor they always have the laptop open too - which I would think is kind of pointless unless using extended desktops. I would essentially by buying a MB instead of an MM and using the MB as an MM (except with the added bonus of being able to use the MB laptop should I ever need it).

    So no heat issues at all? What about built in iSight, can an external camera be used even though the MB has the iSight built in (i.e will iChat / Skype still work)?
     
  4. orangemacapple macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Raleigh
    #4
    sorry, can't help you with the isight info. when i need isight i open the mb, but i would think an external camera would work fine. the rest works well.

    and as an added benefit, when using the mb open for the isight use, i can get profile pix instead of just full-face-on unflattering pix. i'm not handsome enough to be in movies.

    oh, when i open the mb the screen stays asleep and the isight works. the mb screen only wakes if i tell it to, so it really is just a camera with only the big display on.

    one display (24") and one isight.
     
  5. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #5
    I have managed to use Logitech USB Quickcams with iChat on my MB via macam FWIW.

    EDIT: Note that this is not a recommendation to use Logitech Quickcams. They are very slow and suck big time. :p
     
  6. Freyqq macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    #6
    I use a powerbook 12' in a relatively similar respect with no problems. Actually, I believe that the macbook specs are similar to the mac mini specs anyhow.
     
  7. siurpeeman macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    the OC
    #7
    i use a 20" dell with my macbook with the lid-closed pretty much all the time. but is it just me or is it not as snappy with the external display? i feel like the macbook is a lot quicker w/o the external display.
     
  8. Noonzio thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 24, 2007
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    #8
    Interesting, I'd be interested to hear other people's view on this as I'd hope to use the 24" Dell with the highest res the MB can output . . would probably output it to my 42" Panasonic Plasma at times too (its a plasma 'display' with a VGA input)
     
  9. taijuan macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    #9
    I have a Macbook Pro hooked up to an external 22inch monitor and both iChat and skype work fine with my Sony miniDV video camera hooked up as the camera.
     
  10. siurpeeman macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    the OC
    #10
    i need to clarify. programs and such run the same, but things like expose and dashboard don't seem as snappy with the external display hooked up. i'm guessing it has to do with the fact macbooks don't come with dedicated graphics.
     
  11. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    #11
    That would be my guess. Are you running at a higher resolution? Plus even if it's the same resolution, maybe it's still devoting processing time or RAM to the onboard screen?
     
  12. siurpeeman macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

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    Location:
    the OC
    #12
    macbook: 1280 by 800
    external display: 1680 by 1050
     
  13. d_saum macrumors 6502

    d_saum

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Location:
    NC
    #13
    hey just curious... how does the macbook not go to sleep when you close the lid? I've never used mine as a desktop replacement, but if I could, I might. Does it sense an external display and/or keyboard? Also, if Im using it for FrontRow, do I have to have a keyboard hooked up? or can it just be the display and use the remote? Thanks!
     
  14. FleurDuMal macrumors 68000

    FleurDuMal

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    London Town
    #14
    I use a first gen 2Ghz MB with the 24" Dell, and I'm very happy. I use it in clamshell mode also - although if I'm doing something processor intensive, like Handbrake, then open it up so as to keep it cooler.

    Be warned though, as the MB uses onboard graphics, graphical goodies like Expose won't look very smooth on the 24" display. This is especially apparent when you use the slow-motion mode. And obviously games on the 24" are pretty much out of the question.

    I'd say it's definitely a wiser investment than the Mini for the obvious fact that you have the portability (even if you think you'll never need to take it on the road, it's good to have just in case I guess).

    The MB does go to sleep when you close the lid, but you simply have to reactivate it when an external mouse or keyboard and it wakes up (either wired or wireless).

    And yes, you can wake it up with just the remote and use Front Row without any keyboard attached.
     
  15. orangemacapple macrumors 6502

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    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Raleigh
    #15

    yes, it sensed the external display. it won't go into clamshell mode and work with the lid shut without an external display attached.
     
  16. d_saum macrumors 6502

    d_saum

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Location:
    NC
    #16
    oh nice.. Thanks! ( you too orangmacapple) :D
     

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