Macbook - Using It As A Desktop

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Harlowgold1, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. Harlowgold1 macrumors regular


    Jul 14, 2008
    Ohio - GO BUCKEYES!
    Please do not be mean :mad: I have a stupid question. If I bought a MACBOOK or MACBOOK PRO - I know that I connect it to my monitor and use it in that manner. Is it possible to close the notebook and still use it with a separate mouse and keyboard without it shutting off? Thanks!
  2. SuperCompu2 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2006
    Yes, in fact the newest MacBook and MacBook Pro make this more simple than ever!

    All you really need to do is plug the external display into the side, plug in (or connect via Bluetooth) a keyboard and mouse and you're ready to go! As long as it is plugged in, and your power settings are not screwy, it should stay on and act just as a desktop would.

    While the external display, keyboard and mouse are plugged in, it'll even be able to operate with the lid closed in "clamshell" mode. All you need to do is wake it up while the lid is closed with the keyboard or mouse, and it'll start right back up with one monitor (the external) instead of both!
  3. Harlowgold1 thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 14, 2008
    Ohio - GO BUCKEYES!
    Do you just close the top or do you have to change the settings!

    Thanks! Jenny
  4. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    when you close it, it will sleep. however if you have a keyboard attached, just press a key and it will wake up in clamshell mode and youre good

    though i will say it is nice having two monitors...aka leave the mb open and use its screen along with the external monitor
  5. eBrooker macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2008
    Is it viable as a desktop replacement performance wise? Is it more powerful than the iMacs?
  6. phobic99 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2008
    I plan on using my macbook as my new primary machine since I only use my windows PC for gaming (and not very much these days). I foolishly bought another 24" monitor so that brings me to:

    1 PC
    1 Macbook
    2 24" monitors
    2 keyboards/mice

    Right now everything is setup separately. I'm debating on if I should either resell the additional 24" monitor and use a KVM switch to control both computers or if I should use dual monitors + a KVM even though I can't get dual externals on the macbook without spending even more money.

    Ugh, what to do? What to do..? :(
  7. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    It's a viable desktop replacement, though the iMac has a better GPU than the MB does. But the processors are the same (I think).
  8. Mercellus macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2008
    Yes, both the MacBook and the MacBook Pro make great desktop replacements depending on what you are planning on doing with them. The MacBook Pro has a bit of a performance edge over the MacBook due to the GeForce 9600M GT graphics processing unit.

    However, if you're looking for a "desktop" unit and aren't worried about the portability, I would recommend an iMac, simply because you're getting an all-in-one package that will not only take up less room, provide slightly better performance, and eliminates the need to purchase an external monitor/keyboard/mouse, therefore cutting your costs.
  9. snessiram macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2008
    Regarding closing the macbook with external display: You could take these steps to avoid going to sleep and wake back up:
    1) install insomniax. When started it will display an icon in your menu. Select the first option of the dropdown ("Enable insomnia") to prevent your macbook from going to sleep when closing the lid.
    2) Go to the displays preferences pane and check the checkbox next to "Show displays in menu bar".
    3) Attach the external display.
    4) Close the lid, the laptop will stay running.
    5) Select the display icon in the menu and choose "Detect displays". Because the macbook's lid is closed, the display will no longer be detected thus only the external screen will be used.

    1) You can still let the macbook go to sleep by using the menu or the insomniax icon.
    2) Insomniax also gives you the possibility to hibernate ("go to sleep but write the contents of the ram memory to the hard-drive in order to not use ANY power anymore"). You could also use the deep sleep widget for this purpose (click on it to hibernate).

    @phobic99: I think you should check for yourself what you actually use each computer for and if you need them at the same time.

    If you use your pc for small things you might want to use a vnc solution. I sometimes use ultra-vnc server on my windows pc and Chicken of the vnc on my mac to go on my windows pc from my mac. The interface looks a little bit like a virtual machine. Teamviewer is also an option in this category (I use it to connect from outside my local network).

    If you use your pc at the same time, dualscreen can be really nice. I use Synergy to share the mouse/keyboard on my mac with my pc. This is a software-solution that goes over the (local) network (works fine over wireless) to send the "move commands" to the other computer. You can even copy/paste text. Use SynergyKM as a preferences plugin on the mac.

    If you use your pc completely seperated from your mac (for example pc for gaming, mac for work, never the 2 together) there's little point in having 2 big displays. Maybe you can use one to watch movies?
  10. phobic99 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2008
    Yeah I already have a server (using Windows Home Server) so I think I'm just going to either get a KVM switch or try out Synergy. I really won't be using the other monitor it seems. Unfortunately for me, I bought the monitor on eBay so now I have to try and find another buyer. :(

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