MacBook Pro as desktop: Battery Needed? and other help.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by roland.g, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #1
    I am thinking of getting a MacBook Pro (possibly a MacBook - after Santa Rosa) along with a 23" ACD as a desktop solution rather than a Mac Pro or a 24" iMac. I guess the Mac Pro may be near the same cost for much better power, but I don't know that I need it, and the current Mini is not an option.

    My question is. Can the MacBook Pro/MacBook run off the power cord with the battery removed? If it is going to stay plugged in for days or weeks at time I don't want to kill the battery by leaving it in there, nor do I want the heat that comes off the battery on my desk all the time. I know that it's not the only part of the notebook that gets hot.

    Also, I would most likely use the 23" as my display with a BT KB & MM and close the lid, unless I'm working on video and want a separate playback screen. I'm not opposed to dual screens if it is a pair of 20" or 23" side by side, but I dont like using two screens when one is an elevated monitor and the other is the portable on a desk, not to mention the size difference. Would there be any danger to standing the notebook on its side while in use, like an external drive to save desk space. I guess my other option would be to slide it onto the foot of the ACD and put the keyboard in front of it.

    Thanks.

    BTW, if you think this isn't my best solution, feel free to give me suggestions of setups, configs, etc.
     
  2. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #2
    You can run the MacBook Pro off AC Power for long periods of time. I've had my MacBook Pro running off AC for 2 weeks now and I haven't seen any ill effects on the battery, it's still 97% capacity after 40 charge cycles. I would not suggest running without the battery in it, I've tried that before and someone tripped over the power cable and the MacBook Pro shut off and that's not good for it. I personally would not stand the MacBook Pro up on it's side, but I don't see how you could because the DVI port is on the right and the Magsafe is on the left side of the laptop. You would either have to stand it on the front or the back of the MacBook Pro. I am personally pleased with using my MacBook Pro as a desktop and laptop, although I would like a computer to do stuff while I'm at school, but that wouldn't be a problem for you most likely.
     
  3. dornoforpyros macrumors 68040

    dornoforpyros

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    #3
    When you run a MBP without the battery installed you take a noticeable performance hit because the processor gets throttled down to 1ghz.
     
  4. roland.g thread starter macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #4
    I would turn it on it's spine.

    The reason for my wanting to do this is that we have an original 12" PB 867, and while yes it is 4 yrs old it has had a replacement battery at one point but my wife has left it plugged in for weeks at a time, either off, lid closed in sleep, or lid open but still in full sleep, and while I know that batteries have improved some since then, even the replacement is toast. It can go 10-15 minutes on a full charge without doing anything media related. Run the optical drive and you might get 5 minutes out of it. I would rarely take the laptop anywhere, using it mainly as a desktop, and I know anything that works in charge cycles suffers when left constantly plugged in b/c there is no smart system in place to recognize how much power is in the battery and stop charging it. My iPod can be fully charged according to the screen logo and I can take it out of my Bose Sounddock to select a playlist and put it right back in to play something and it starts charging again. (That is why you never buy a demo unit from an Apple Store, their batteries have beek killed by overcharging). So I don't know that the new MBPs and their batteries fare that much better, but I am thinking of performance 2-4 yrs down the line.

    I did not know that. That seems quite odd. Why would that be the case.
     
  5. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #5
    Apple's KB article on the subject: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=305336
     
  6. deadpixels macrumors 6502a

    deadpixels

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    #6
    there is many reports about the cpu runnig at 1ghz without battery, it is true. i don't know why but maybe apple wanna sell more batteries :D
     
  7. roland.g thread starter macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #7
    Ok then. I don't know that it will be that bad over the long haul. I guess I could buy a used battery off eBay to keep in full time and save the original for travel. But I wasn't really that sold on the setup. MBP with ACD connected to DVI and USB/FW ports. FW drive connected. My desk has decent space but not that much. I think I will have to lean towards either a 24" iMac or a Mac Pro. I can't see myself getting a C2D Mini w/ or w/o Santa Rosa, especially when they use a 2.5" notebook drive. I have a 1.66 Mini now that I got in Oct just to hold me over till this spring/summer. It's ok, but not for video rendering, even if it is just iMovie stuff. And I want to move to FCE.
     
  8. EvryDayImShufln macrumors 65816

    EvryDayImShufln

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    #8
    Hey, for what you need, I'd say get the mac pro, it's not that much more expensive than the MBP and you get significantly more power. You can't go wrong with the imac either. The reason I say this is because it seems you want to use your computer only at home and never out, and while you could do this with a MBP, you will be paying extra money that could have been put to performance (mac pro) or screen size (iMac 24 inch). As an added bonus, they can carry even better videocards for your video rendering, although I'm not sure how much of a different they make for that.
     
  9. orangemacapple macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Raleigh
    #9
    i have a macbook. i use it as a desktop. it stays plugged in nearly all the time. i exercise the battery an hour or so every couple weeks and calibrate it about once a month.

    i've had it 6 months. still have 95% battery health after 36 cycles. i expect the battery to last 2 years, which about average before it needs replacing. a rechargeable battery only has about a 2-3 year life span. it will be less if you don't exercise it and calibrate it.
     
  10. roland.g thread starter macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #10
    I found the idea of the MBP solution appealing because I feel that the Mac Pro is overkill for my needs. I would be paying for something that I wouldn't get the use out of and ultimately would get obsolete out of newer tech without me really tasking it. I like the iMac but somehow can't get the idea of a Apple display out of my head. Those silver casings are really sexy. And the white iMac just doesn't appeal to me. And of course the MBP has the same look. I'd almost contemplate a Mini if they get Santa Rosa and Core 2 Duos along with the display. I just don't see the Mini going Santa Rosa till August, after the iMacs and then the notebooks and I don't want to wait that long. Also, the only limiting factor with the Mini is the slower hard drive. But I suppose I could deal with that or replace it.
     
  11. EvryDayImShufln macrumors 65816

    EvryDayImShufln

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    #11
    It looks to me like you'd need the low end macbook pro. Have you thought about a macbook also? If you don't need the dedicated video card and don't need to drive a 30 inch display, a macbook will perform nearly identical as a MBP and cost you significantly less.

    Anyhow I still think your best option is a 20 or 24 inch imac, you should go see one in stores if you haven't yet. Huge hard drive space (and fast), huge screen, great videocard, all for a very decent price. It would definitely give you more for your money than buying a display + a macbook (pro).
     
  12. wongulous macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    #12
    You'd definitely want to keep the battery in, not only for convenience, and for the CPU-throttling, but to reduce the risk of accidental immediate power-down, which could lead to HDD damage and loss of data. Plus, it'd have almost no effect on the battery so long as you left and took the MBP to the bed or couch or coffee shop or work a couple of times per month, and it would give you theoretical flexibility if your work style should change. That's not to mention that the battery gives you an automatic, built-in, four-hour UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply).

    You'd also not want to shut the lid, because that would harm heat dissipation. The reason that it doesn't get very warm with a MBP, if you aren't encoding, rendering, or playing a graphics-intensive game, is partially because of the keyboard and bottom case surface being a big heat sink.

    I also find it weird that you're making choices based on how you "don't want upgradability," and simply because of the aesthetics of the Apple displays. I mean, you're not alone and you certainly have good reason to want a laptop or get a bigger dedicated standalone display (especially such a beautiful aluminum one), but this is kind of silly to ask for advice when your choices are motivated by personal whim.
     

Share This Page