Is a MBP good enough to use a primary computer?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Matto1020, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. Matto1020 macrumors member


    Jun 21, 2007
    I currently have a three year old custom built PC.

    AMD Anthlon 2800+
    Radeon 9600 128mb Vid Card
    1GB Ram

    I am going to switch to Mac and was just it a good enough computer to use a primary? I will hook it up to my monitor while at home for the better screen size but also love the portability of it. Just wondering :apple:
  2. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    I ditched my desktop computer last year for a MacBook Pro and an external 23" Apple Cinema Display.

    It has worked out quite well but I really want an Mac Pro soonish because it is much more powerful when I edit programs (video-editing).

    It saves on the electricity bills too :)
  3. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Laptops will one day replace desktops.

    The MBP's have the power of most desktops now-a-days anyway if not far from it. Most high-end laptops do.

    You'd want a really powerful desktop if you are going to do serious video editting and so on though.
  4. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
  5. negatv1 macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2005
  6. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    Given your current spec, yes, absolutely, you should be fine using a MBP as your primary computer. You may want to find some nice external storage, preferably with Firewire 800, and that monitor as you mentioned. As with all computers, but especially a notebook that you're likely to take out-and-about, make sure you back up your data thoroughly!

  7. Spoony Bard macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2007
    A MBP would smoke your current setup. I.e. Yes.
  8. Matto1020 thread starter macrumors member


    Jun 21, 2007
    Well here is another question then...

    I am debating gutting my current PC and basically using my two internal HDs (turning them into External HDs) and maybe selling off or giving away the rest of the parts.

    Is that a good idea or should I keep it around just in case? Thanks!
  9. Bern macrumors 68000


    Nov 10, 2004
    If you get a MBP you really won't need your pc, if you find you want Windows then you have options available to install Windows onto your MBP. Using your HDDs as external disks is a good idea.

    I use my MBP as my primary computer for programming, graphic and animation art. I have an external display when I'm doing my art.

    If you get a MBP you definitely won't regret it.
  10. SuperCompu2 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2006
    Well, its always wise to have a secondary computer on hand, in case anything were to happen to the primary one. I'd take one HD out (whatever most info is on, if not in RAID) and leave the other as a small boot drive if you ever have to use it.

    Giving the parts away can be a good idea as well if you know any younger computer fans getting into the art of PC building. Helping them along the way can mean wonders, especially on a youngster's budget.
  11. coogee macrumors regular

    May 28, 2007
    i use my old pc as a file server and backup pc, great for playing videos for the kids or torrenting or lots of different things when i want the mbp for me me me :)

    it seems a waste to stop using the mobo/memory/video card etc.. from your pc (by removing both hard drives) - use it all, plus you can plug an external hdd into the pc and avoid ntfs/fat formatting issues (as it doesn't matter accessing an external hdd via pc across the network)

    the mbp is easily powerful enough to act as a main computer, i'm not sure the external ACD is necessary with a MBP 17" Hi Res either, count those pixels up before buying another screen too :cool:
  12. masse macrumors 6502a


    May 4, 2007
    I have your same exact setup with a radeon 9800. I've been running linux on it for about a year and its still fine for me.

    I have a 1.3ghz powerbook which is worse in all specs (except the same ram). I prefer to use the powerbook. These things are really a joy.
  13. tejota1911 macrumors 6502

    Nov 10, 2006
    I did, and I haven't looked back yet. I take the MBP to work with me everyday, and when I get home I hook it up to my 23" ACD and use it like this:

  14. tristan macrumors 6502a

    Jul 19, 2003
    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    It's good enough, but yes, you probably need an external monitor and keyboard for the ergonomics.
  15. RainCityMacFan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2007
    Wow Tejota, that's beautiful...

    I currently use a Samsung PC Notebook w/
    Windows XP Home SP2
    Intel Pent. M w/ 795Mhz
    512MB of RAM
    ATI Mobility Radeon X600

    So far I think using a laptop for a home computer is perfectly fine except you'll need to get a external mouse since the touch pad will cramp up your hands.

    But I'm also wondering the same thing... To buy a desktop iMac or buy a powerful MBP laptop. w/ my current specs I figured I need to make a decision by mid-July (since my Dells got destroyed).
  16. srexy macrumors 6502a

    Nov 19, 2006
    Yes - but w/caveats.

    I run my MBP 2.33ghz c2d w/a 20" ACD and it is definitely good enough for a desktop replacement. However - it is NOT as stable as my Win XP custom built Athlon 3200. It's better now that I've upgraded to Adobe CS3 from CS but if you run lots of powerpc apps you might find that Rosetta leaves you wanting.

    I've had 5-6 crashes w/unsaved work since ownership (Sept 06) that have set me back timewise. That's 3-4 more in the space of 9 months than the entire lifespan of my pc (4yrs).

    Having said this - I still prefer OS-X.
  17. opticalserenity macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2007
    My MBP is my main everyday use pc, and prior to this machine, it was a Powerbook G4.
  18. sfisher macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2007
    Albuquerque, NM USA
    Yes, I've used my iBook as my primary computer for almost 3 years. Keep your other machine around just in case as things can and do break on computers as I'm sure you know and it's great to have a backup. It doesn't matter how great the machine is, even high-end servers need backup units. That said, you'll probably never want to use the Windows machine again :D

    One note - you mentioned that you custom built your PC desktop (I built my PCs for many years). There isn't as much tinkering to do with Macs. You might get bored :) I however love that fact as I work with computer systems all day and get sick of fixing things by the time I get home.
  19. johnnydfred macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2000
    2 cents from a longtime user of a laptop

    I'm a graphic designer and long time user of a laptop for serious work. I'm getting ready to upgrade to a MBP 17 with all the trimmings, but if my current laptop is any indication of how much you can do on a Mac laptop, then so be it.

    For the past 5 years I've used a PowerBook G4 667 for all of my work. Paired with a Radius 21" monitor (I know, getting pushed out the window soon for a 23" LCD) and used in an "over/under" display mode, this setup has carried me through years of 9-14 hour days, InDesign, PhotoShop, FileMaker Pro, Web work, and even 3D. Uh, yeah. Can't wait to get my hands on dual processors and 2.4 Ghz. 2 gigs of RAM is a minimum these days, and opting for a 7200 rpm, high cache HD will make a world of difference.

    Also, if you work with numbers (InDesign, FileMaker, PhotoShop) spring for a USB keypad. One of the things you loose when moving to a laptop. And yet you gain one of the most important things: locale freedom. Work ANYWHERE.

    I think that's about $1.37, but short-winded I am not.
  20. johnnydfred macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2000
    Hey, that's my machine!


    You can't have that 17"er in August. It's mine! :D

  21. sfisher macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2007
    Albuquerque, NM USA
    We'll see about that :cool:
  22. Maui macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2007
    I have both a 2.4 GHz SR MacBook pro and a new Mac Pro. The MBP does everything fast enough, with the exception of processing HD Video. Other than that, I'd be happy with the MBP as my primary computer.
  23. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    Funny how you said the mac pro was new, not the MBP. Did you really get a mac pro after a new SR MBP?
  24. Maui macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2007
    Nope, the Mac Pro came before the SR MacBook Pro. I got the Mac Pro about 5 weeks ago, the MacBook Pro came 3 weeks later. Replaced 3 Windows machines.

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