Can I use a Macbook for my main computer?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by DarkVictory, May 5, 2009.

  1. DarkVictory macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    #1
    This would be my first mac.

    I understand that the macbook Pro is better, but can I use the Macbook as my main computer? Will it's lifespan be significantly shortened by having it on for hours everyday? Or should I just go for the Pro?
     
  2. Sipheren macrumors regular

    Sipheren

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    Aus/Gold Coast
    #3
    I just moved from a Desktop to a Macbook as my mian rig, I hook it up to my monitor and external drives and its left on all the time with no problems at all (so far at least :) )
     
  3. rgarjr macrumors 603

    rgarjr

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    #4
    Computers can run 24/7 for many years so don't worry about that.
     
  4. jmann macrumors 604

    jmann

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    #5
    My MacBook is my main and only computer. It is perfectly suitable as a main computer. And it has the convenience of portability! :)
     
  5. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040

    NewMacbookPlz

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    Sep 28, 2008
    #6
    This is the boat I'm in. As long as I'm not at work on the Dell there, all I use is my Unibody MB
     
  6. jmann macrumors 604

    jmann

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    #7
    Haha I use Dells at work too :D, and I hate every minute on the pieces of junk. :rolleyes:
     
  7. Insulin Junkie macrumors 65816

    Insulin Junkie

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    #8
    Hate Dell? Don't go near the new HP's!

    @OP: Yes, definitely, you can use it as a primary computer. I've seen these discussions around in the MBA forum, and I'm not so sure if I'd recommend the air as a primary / only computer, but the macbook...definitely.
     
  8. jmann macrumors 604

    jmann

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    #9
    Happy one year membership!! :D
     
  9. Insulin Junkie macrumors 65816

    Insulin Junkie

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    #10

    Aw thanks dude.. you're the first one to notice :)
     
  10. philamac macrumors regular

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    Jul 11, 2008
    #11
    I don't understand why you think a Pro would last longer as a Desktop than a normal macbook.

    When you say you're going to use it like a desktop, theres 2 different useage camps that comes to my mind.
    (1) cpu running 24/7 doing background tasks, never sleeps, never turns off
    (2) cpu only runs when you're at the computer, sleeps when you step away

    If you fall into group 2, then a macbook will do fine.
    If you fall into group 1, then there's a discussion. There's issues with battery life and component wear & tear. I would suggest considering plugging your macbook into an external monitor/keyboard/mouse to minimize your wear and tear on the laptop components. Maybe get a laptop cooler so your laptop's own fans won't have to turn on as often or spin as fast.
     
  11. jmann macrumors 604

    jmann

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    #12
    I just happened to glance at your join date, and checked your profile and saw that actually I was two minutes late and it's actually May 6th. :p
     
  12. Insulin Junkie macrumors 65816

    Insulin Junkie

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    #13
    It's the thought that counts ;) If it's any consolation, where I am it's been the 6th of may for 7 hours now :cool:
     
  13. DarkVictory thread starter macrumors member

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    May 5, 2009
    #14
    The guy at the MacMall basically told me that the MacbookPro was for people that wanted to replace their main desktop with it, and if you're only going to use it sparingly to go with the regular Macbook. I know sometimes sales people don't have all the facts, so figured I'd ask here.

    I want to get the Macbook with the 2.4GHz, w/4GB of Ram. My plan is to connect it to a monitor, mouse, and keyboard and replace my current desktop with it. Then of course being able to easily carry it with me when I want to.

    I just want to make sure I can do that without having to go Pro.

    Also, assuming I go with the model listed above, can anyone tell me what kind of cable do I need to buy in order to connect it to my HD Samsung plasma? It has HDMI/DVI, PC/Component, SVideo, and composite inputs.

    Apple's Display moniter is over $800. I'm looking to get one for about half that. (My current moniter sucks). Is there one that is recommended?

    My mac knowledge extends to iTuens and iPods, so any help would be very much appreciated.
     
  14. Sipheren macrumors regular

    Sipheren

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    May 28, 2006
    Location:
    Aus/Gold Coast
    #15
    You just need the Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter from Apple.

    LINK

    As for monitors, the 24" from BenQ in my sig is quite good and was rather cheap :) (G2400WD)
     
  15. jmann macrumors 604

    jmann

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    #16
    That guy is probably paid on commission, so I would take his "advice" with a grain of salt. The MacBook is perfectly suitable for most people's needs. Also don't pay apple for upgraded ram. It is way overpriced, and it is super cheap and easy to upgrade it yourself.
     
  16. michael.lauden macrumors 68020

    michael.lauden

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #17
    you could also try the HP2207 which you can find on eBay for very cheap. im using that, as well as my girlfriend (graphic designer) - i dont see why a MacBook couldn't be your main computer... it's mine - and seriously the choice of many other professionals... perfect for portability and power when you need it.
     
  17. philamac macrumors regular

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    Jul 11, 2008
    #18
    I think what the Macmall guy meant was, that a macbook pro is better suited as a desktop replacement mainly because it has a bigger screen, and a couple more expansion ports.

    If you're contemplating between a a 2.4ghz MB and a 2.4ghz MBPro, then you've only got 2 questions to ask yourself.
    1) Do you need a discrete graphics processor? That is the biggest advantage a MBPro has over the MB. If you plan on playing any video games, or hooking it up to any monitors larger than 22" then you might want the Pro.
    2) When you're on the go, do you prefer a 13" or 15" screen?

    Other than the above, as long as you don't require Firewire, i think you're alright with either one.


    PS - That quip about 22" monitors only applies to computer monitors, not TVs, because computer monitors above 22" run at 1920x1200 resolution or higher and you'll need the Pro's discrete graphics to run HD movies at that resolution.
     
  18. ArtursBoy macrumors member

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    May 7, 2008
    Location:
    AZ
    #19
    This is what I was about to point out about the MacBook Pro recommendation. The MacBook Pro has a bigger screen, and a slightly higher resolution, which might be more comfortable for you to use for long periods of time (and is it just me, or is the aluminum macbook pro's display brighter and more vivid than the aluminum macbook's display?).

    You mentioned you would use an external display along with an external keyboard and mouse, in that case, the MacBook would suit you fine. I have the white MacBook and use it as my only computer, I try to take care of it but I don't "baby" it, it keeps going in and out of my backpack going back and forth to school, library, class lectures, around my university they have wifi everywhere, which is good news for me and bad news for my macbook :). The Aluminum MacBook feels even sturdier than mine, while weighting less, which would make it more comfortable to carry around. The MacBook Pro also weights more.

    As I'm sure you've been told before, if you dont do any intensive video editing or use graphics intensive applications (ex. gaming), the MacBook is a nice alternative, since it can handle most tasks without breaking a sweat, even some light gaming.

    Check out the refurb section on the apple website as well, they have some pretty decent discounts on certain models.
     
  19. kismoore macrumors newbie

    kismoore

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    Location:
    earth... presently
    #20
    Yes, but...

    I am using a 17" macbookpro (glass screen) as my full-timer for the last 3 years. Portability, beauty, perfect function... I've been in computing heaven since SHE arrived. We've sold all the desktop versions in our home and I will never return to anything less than a macbookpro.


    ~It's like I say, "Once you've been with a man in chaps..."
     
  20. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    #21
    It used to be that in the pc world, laptops had twice the price, and half the power and features of, a desktop.

    That's no longer the case. There still is a slight price premium for a laptop, but that it does have portability.
     
  21. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #22
    definitely and while I have a 15" MBP, I typically keep it on the integrated GPU so in a sense, its a glorified MB (with firewire) :D and it does everything I need it to do.

    Photoshop, Aperture, VMware Fusion, Rapidweaver, office apps, etc.

    Great computer and in fact if it wasn't for the dual GPU of the MBP, I'd probably have gotten a MacBook. I love the 13" form factor, its really a perfect size for working and being mobile.
     
  22. morrisman1 macrumors 6502

    #23
    the unibody macbook's graphics are perfectly fine unless you want to run some really 3d intensive stuff like crysis, or other brand new games. it will run them fine on low but forget about anything else.

    I run mine through an external monitor, a 1920x1200 24" dell, you definetely know that its working harder - when not connected to the monitor the fans will sit at about 1200rpm but when the monitor is connected the fans dont get below 2000rpm. the graphics card has to render something like three times more area of screen so its got to work harder. It doesnt stuggle and i can play 1080p movies on it perfectly.

    The macbook is pretty well featured when it comes to little details, like combined headphone port with optical audio port.

    My macbook is my primary and only computer. its turned on from 8am to about midnight (or later) every day and doesnt get turned off in between times really.

    Only things i dont like about it is the lack on an expresscard slot or firewire 800, i would like one or the other but there simply isnt room inside the machine for apple to put something like that in without making it considerably thicker (and stacking the HDD over the mobo).

    If you are using it as a desktop computer i would suggest getting an external monitor just to that extra working area, even if its just a 20" or whatever, it will still make a big difference. Also get a usb hub that has its own power source. the macbook's usb ports are quite close together which can at times be an inconvenience when you have wide usb devices. Also buy an external mouse with five buttons. I have a M$ mouse and use the two extra buttons to bring up spaces and expose and its absolutely magic, transforms the speed at which you can work at. I dont use an external keyboard but i do think it would help a bit.

    I hope this helps, I am meant to be working on an assignment so you are very privileged to have some of my time!
     
  23. morrisman1 macrumors 6502

    #24
    just to add another point there,

    if you arent taking the laptop anywhere then it would be very wise to cycle the battery a bit. maybe run it down to 50% a couple of times every week.

    If you leave it on the charger all the time to put it simply, it forgets how to hold a good charge!

    Apple recommends that you calibrate the battery every now and then. i do it once every couple of months or somewhere around there. It involves charging the battery and having it at full charge for 2 hours, then running it dead flat, leaving it for 6 hours then charging it until it is full. What it does is it allows the computer to calculate the capacity of the battery and consequently charge it as best as it can which helps extend the life of it.

    My old macbook has about 180 cycles on it and it is still reporting the battery having 100% health. I put this down to moderate use of the battery, not leaving it on the charger all the time and doing calibrations every month or two.
     
  24. SPEEDwithJJ macrumors 65816

    SPEEDwithJJ

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