Converting A Macbook Pro into a desktop and Laptop recommendations.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by 20somethingmac, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. 20somethingmac macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I currently have a 2006 Macbook Pro 2.0 ghz core duo, 80 GB HD, 2GB Ram running leopard (not snow leopard), and a wireless card which I think has reached the end of it's life line (the signal range of the wireless card has diminished dramatically), and a battery which last 45min on a charge and a fussy dvd drive that fails at times. Which this being said, I wanted an opinion on a couple things if it wasn't to much trouble....

    A. I wanted to know what could I do to "Max out" my laptop.
    1a. When I do "max out" my laptop would I be able to convert my Macbook Pro and use it as a desktop (just buy an external screen, keyboard, and mouse) edit: Also What could I do to prevent heating (since it would now be used as a desktop)

    B. I was thinking of doing those things to my Macbook Pro since it's getting old and also purchase new Apple computer. I know a lot has changed in the Apple laptop world and it somewhat confuses me in what is the best option. There are small differences between the Apple laptops and imacs, and mac mini's. I saw that the macbook pro 13.3 is a pretty decent deal and allows for photoshop and editing. Any recommendation? I also was draw to a mac mini.

    So pretty much what can I do to expand the life of my aging Macbook Pro (which has been good to me) and turning it into a desktop computer for my editing? Also what laptop should I get either the macbook, or macbook pro 13.3 inch or should I just "Max out" my Macbook Pro use it as a laptop till the day it dies and just get a mac mini?

    I'm willing to Mod my Macbook Pro if necessary...

    Thank you!

    Will
     
  2. Ateace3 macrumors member

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    Dec 1, 2007
    #2
    first of all, throw some d's on it. after that it takes care of itself.
     
  3. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 16, 2009
    #3
    First there is no reason that a wireless card should/could 'wear out'.

    Secondly, what does 'maxing out' mean?!?

    Third, what does your laptop not do now, that you need it to do?

    Not much has happened to MBP in the past while - a 2.53GHz C2D is not much faster than a 2.0GHz C2D.
     
  4. 20somethingmac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    That is what my plan to do but I was was wondering the best way to go about the situation. Thanks for your reply though! Sorry for using the term "maxing out" what I meant to say is what can I buy to extend or upgrade in the laptop to reach it's maximum capabilities.

    Azathoth: It starts lagging with Adobe Lightroom when it's processing and converting images along withPhotoshop at times, and when view some HD video's online it starts to get choppy (Youtube HD videos mostly).
     
  5. 92jlee macrumors 6502

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    Cardiff, Wales, UK
    #5


    This sounds fantastic, I was going to do this to my work laptop before it was replaced through insurance.. it was in bits, breaking off, everything falling apart.

    I would be really interested in helping you out (obviously not in person as you are probably miles away) - I think the best idea would be to take the logic board and find a way of mounting it into a pc case (or an old G5 case - I bought one for my mod!)

    Then buy an external pc power supply - under 500w to save money - you can get a connector that goes from the power cable that plugs into dvd burners (i dont know what it is called - maybe molex?) which then has an IO board that you can plug fans and lights into..

    Id get a side fan and two bottom fans (of on the g5 find a way of wiring up the normal fans) and an external dvd drive - I think the macbooks drive is SATA, so it wouldnt be hard to change the cables..

    The only thing left would be changing the case to house the power plug from the laptop - you dont need the battery but it would be nice if the power went down or something..

    Keep me updated on how this goes! - I dont know if i get a message saying you have replied, so if i dont then pm me a link to this thread. Good luck!!

    James
     
  6. 20somethingmac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    That's nice of you! Yes it would give a number of miles away given that I live in California! What I forgot to mention is the DVD drive in the laptop doesn't want to burn dvd and cds correctly anymore and at times fails (I have to stick the cd's back in a couple of times) Also I would have no idea first how to go about this route of modding since I wouldn't know where to starts!

    Thanks!
     
  7. Sanderr macrumors regular

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    Jun 14, 2007
    #7
    By the hear of this you need more performance. Surely you can upgrade hardware in your current laptop but it is not going to make a huge improvement for the multitasking you refer to. I'd wait for the MBP update and then get yourself a decent MBP. 1 computer is easier to manage files with than 2 and you could use the new MBP at home as your desktop and on the road as well. Just my point of view though.
     
  8. 20somethingmac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    I don't mind the file managing and thank you for your view! I did like that mac mini though! haha
     
  9. 20somethingmac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    I found a 500Gb hard drive for the laptop. Where could I find a replacement wireless card? I saw the various screen sizes and options and frankly it just made my head explode!
     
  10. Sanderr macrumors regular

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    #10
    If you are going to use it as a desktop, don't you have an ethernet cable lying around? saves you the $ for a new wireless card.
     
  11. 20somethingmac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    I do, but I'm quite a ways from the router!
     
  12. bumzo1 macrumors 6502a

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    Dallas, TX
    #12
    By convert it to a desktop, he/she doesn't literally mean make it a desktop

    Theres not much worth upgrading in the end. I believe the RAM goes up to 2gb so you could do that, you could also get an SSD which would boost performance quite a bit, other than that you can't do much.

    Personally I would hook it up to my TV and use it as a media center and invest in a new Mac
     
  13. 20somethingmac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    No!!!! haha. I just started to think of different options when I found out when the macbook (current gen) can totally beat my current laptop.
     
  14. 92jlee macrumors 6502

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    #14


    What else can you mean by "desktop"? You have desktops or laptops..

    The difference being desktops don't usually have batteries and you wouldn't use it in starbucks! lol.

    I think putting it in a pc or G5 case with a bunch of fans how I described would cool the macbooks logicboard enough to show a higher performance. Might as well if you have a dead macbook.
     
  15. 20somethingmac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    Thanks!
     
  16. djrobsd macrumors 6502a

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    May 2, 2008
    #16
    If you have the same 2.0GHZ Core 2 Duo Macbook Pro I had with the Wireless G built into it, you can buy a Wireless N Airport Extreme card to replace the other one. It's a fairly simple mod, with some detailed videos and instructions online... I paid $50 for it from the folks at J&R Computing in New York, I'm not sure if they still sell it.

    On the off chance they don't sell it any more, I did keep my old Wireless G one, and will sell it to you for $20, send me a PM. ;)

    Another route, if you don't want to take your computer apart, is to just buy a USB wireless card, either G or N...
     
  17. 20somethingmac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #17
    Just bought the new harddrive


    Actually is a the first Macbook Pro when they introduced the intel line;I have the single core duo. Yet great! I'll look around for the card if I run into a dead end I'll take you up on that after...

    So I bought the harddrive my question is should I either make a whole window 7 boot up with the old hard drive, or maybe ubuntu, or just make it into an external harddrive for store. Yet how would I go about it since I'm going to do a complete fresh install on the replacement hard drive.
     
  18. tomjleeds macrumors 6502

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    Manchester, UK
    #18
    OP, I've been using a late 2007 BlackBook as a 'desktop' since November, when I broke the screen :eek: and it works fine - although you'll want to keep it off the surface of your desk/whatever. I use the really technical item of four upturned tealight candleswhich works well and looks good too ;)

    I'd bump the RAM (if the system will work with more), and presumably you have some kind of external storage with only 80GB but if not...hell, upgrade it anyway! With an SSD. Mmm.

    Unless the OP's MBP is overheating to the point that the CPU is being slowed to control the temperature, better cooling won't affect performance.
     
  19. reebzor macrumors 6502a

    reebzor

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    #19
    You could still probably sell it for enough money to buy a new mac mini... Someone would be willing to buy it.
     
  20. 20somethingmac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #20
    Yeah, I'm just thinking of these options since I'm going to graduate this spring and won't be able to get another education discount till I attend graduate school.
     
  21. babyt macrumors regular

    babyt

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    #21
    +1 :D
     
  22. Guy Mancuso macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 28, 2009
    #22
    Look at my signature throw in a 30 inch cinema display and a external DVD recorder . E-sata express card with a fast external drive for temp files and backup . Than add a Drobo for huge backup space and Viola nice desktop unit. Hope you have a bank account to match it too. This is not cheap going the laptop route and if quad core comes out this baby is on the block. LOL

    The real problem is you can't max out to 8gbs of ram on that unit. Best bet is buy a refurbished unit that can go up in ram and than start throwing SSD drives at it. But a 2.0 is not a great start if your really pushing data.
     
  23. 20somethingmac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #23
    sigh.... lol
     

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