MacBook as a main system?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by memoryleek, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. memoryleek macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2006
    Alrighty mac geeks and fanatics. I've been a mac fanatic for years but I've never owned one. I just use them as often as I can. I plan on getting rid of all my pc's and going for the full switch with just one mac laptop. I'd like the macbook pro, but I'd also like to save the money and go with the macbook so I can get more accessories (airport, printer, etc...). I'm intimately framiliar with the Apple notebooks, I just dont know which one to go with. I've managed to wait this far and will probably wait until next week just to see what happens. I know the Core 2 Duo is coming but if it doesn't come soon, oh well.

    My question I pose to you, the Maccast faithful, is, if you use a macbook as your main or only system, how do you like it? What do you do with it? Do you hook it up to another monitor when at home?

    Eventually I'll get a new monitor, but that's probably going to wait until next year. Also internal hard drive space isn't a big concern as I'm converting all my pc hard drives into external. I plan on going with 80gigs internal and 1 gig of RAM on either. I just do everyday websurfing & email, pictures, some video and programming. I'm a Computer Science major and plan on doing all my note taking and class work with this machine. Give me your thoughts and comments. Thanks.
  2. topgun072003 macrumors 6502


    Sep 11, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have a powerbook G4 that I use as a desktop and I love it. Especially when my roomates are going crazy over a Madden game and I can take it into another room. But as far as using it for a desktop, it works fine. I would wait until after the 25th to see if the new macbook pros have the new processors in them. That being said, I'm sure the macbook, would be fine for your normal tasks, but I would go for the pro. Its sleek, has the extra power, and the 15 inch is just as portable. I would go with the pro, BUT I already have a printer, airport, and other accessories. Sounds like the macbook would work fine for your needs.
  3. crees! macrumors 68000


    Jun 14, 2003
    I've had my Powerbook G4 for 3 years now. It's been my only computer. I have an external drive and hook it up to a 20" ACD. My work is web design and programming. I love it to death and eventhough there are newer machines up now this puppy is still kicking well and I wouldn't think of upgrading just yet. I do have 1.5GB RAM which I recommend getting as much as you can afford. I started with 512MB and then added a 1GB stick some time down the road and definitely noticed a difference.
  4. Voltes V macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2006
    i use my powerbook g4 12" 1.5ghz , 1.25 ram as my replacement desktop attached to a 17" lcd. its a solid machine and i got no complains.
  5. Voltes V macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2006
    music and photos are not a problm for my machine but the video, when i transfered my mini dv into dvd, well, i know its gonna take a very long time, so just leave it overnight and let it do its thing.
  6. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level

    Yep I use mine as my main system. Just added a 19in monitor and external hd. Works great
  7. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030


    Apr 14, 2006
    Clemson, SC
    Mine is my main system, as well. I have an external 19" monitor that it gets plugged into when at home, as well as a bluetooth keyboard, wireless mouse, and some external speakers.

    Works out really well for me!
  8. AJ's Apple macrumors newbie

    Sep 2, 2006
    I have an iMac 17" as my desktop/main computer and a MacBook as my work computer. I like the iMac screen size and speed over my first iBook. I still use an external 3.5 HDD and external high speed optical drive, so the disk space or optical drive of the iMac isn't of my concern. I like having the free space on my desk in front of the monitor that having an open laptop doesn't afford- I have a pullout keypad table under the desk. I also like not having to plug and unplug my printer, scanner and other junk that had I not had a desktop Mac, I would have to do. I also would like to say that repairs after Applecare would be less expensive, but I'm not sure that's true.

    I like my MacBook, despite all the disconcerns out there. With the extra memory, it performs well, so much so I can't tell much difference between it and my iMac. I usually leave it in my computer bag, and have learned to use a 2.5 external HDD to move files to and from each Mac, rather than getting the MB out and networking between the two. I wouldn't hesitate to use a MB as a main computer other than the size of the screen and the constraints I mentioned above.

    My iMac is in for repairs at the moment, so I actually am using my iBook w/o it's HDD with my external HDD and a backup OS installed on it. A bit slow, but I don't have to hookup, unhook, re-hook all the cables. So, to answer your question, depending on your usage, I'm sure a MB would make a fine main computer for some. It really depends on what you want to do with it.
  9. macanudo macrumors regular


    May 9, 2006
    Philadelphia, PA
    I've been a portable mac user for the past 5 years, starting with a 12" powerbook and now with a 15" MBP. You will definitely enjoy using it as your main system. It can take care of your current needs and your future needs as well. I am a project manager where I work, and I am always on the road, so having a portable mac has been valuable in what I do. I convinced my brother to get a macbook this summer and he loves it. He bought a very inexpensive 19" widescreen LCD, which works great!

    I think once someone realizes how powerful, simple and elegant OSX is, along with how nice apple's hardware is - you won't turn back. Good luck with your decision!
  10. fivetoadsloth macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2006
    Mine is my main system i use a 17" monitor, and love it. alot.
  11. pianojoe macrumors 6502


    Jul 5, 2001
    N 49.50121 E008.54558

    ...if you max out the RAM and get a bigger, faster HD. Mine is 2GB with a 100 GB HD (7200prm).

  12. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030


    Apr 14, 2006
    Clemson, SC
    this is definitely true. 60/80gb just isn't enough to be your main computer (at least not me).. i have 30gb+ in music alone!

    also, the 512 stock ram doesn't cut it. even running safari and thunderbird i'd get the spinning beachball of death... tiger is a ram-hungry OS, so as much as you can give it, the better (not to mention if you throw in any rosetta apps.. :eek: ).

    i wasn't very happy with my blackbook stock, but now that i've upped the ram to the full 2gb and thrown in a 120gb HD - it's great!
  13. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    mine is my only system. I have an external mouse and KB but no monitor. Works very well for me, much better than my old ibook did because of the higher-res/brighter screen. It's a good setup.
  14. gadgetgirl85 macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2006
    I use my 15" MBP as my main system no external monitor nothing :D Works a treat.
  15. twoodcc macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    i say get the MBP if you can if it's gonna be your main computer. The macbook is great, but it'd be hard to have it as my only computer. i also have an imac.*

    i have a powerbook that i'm selling. i think the bigger laptop is better for your main computer, and the video card is alot better
  16. sierra oscar macrumors 6502

    Apr 23, 2006
    South Australia, Australia
    My 2 cents: the current MB is just as powerful as the earlier low end MBP - and I know colleagues using still using their PB's or iBooks (or earlier) portables as their main computer with great results (productivity-wise).

    It's a good thing to consider what the benefits will be to you about affording peripherals, so whilst the MBP is the current flagship of power in a portable - it may yield you less 'power' in productivity if you can't get the printer, scanner you want to complement your setup.

    Like others have said...wait until the next announcement - just a few days away now ...just in case - as you will get better bang for your dollar if there are any upgrades... or revisions... etc...

    Edit: Another thing to consider in deciding the MBP / MB as a main system - is that you indicate you will also be using it as a full portable at uni and things. I find the MB better value here - as often when I go to meetings there are limited power points to plug into - so the extra battery life on a MB is a real advantage. Bottom line: is that a portable need to work to be effective for you (not go flat after the first meeting of the day). But if you need the extra video capabilities and battery life isn't essential - the MPB may be better.
  17. harisdmac macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2006
    I am new mac user, just switched using a black macbook with 1GB ram. I use it as my main system for everything: browsing, writing, image processing, developing, everything! I am so amazed there is no way i go back! It even replaces my linux partition in my old pc, since lot of networking stuff i was doing with linux can also be done with macosx!
  18. shawsinio macrumors regular

    May 29, 2006
    mine is my main system, i dont do much processor intensive stuff, but it runs really nicely. i dont have an external monitor or anything, i just use it as it is! Ram is upto 1.5 GB though, definately get as much ram as you can.

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