MB Pro 17'' as main computer?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ribbon, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. ribbon macrumors member

    Mar 2, 2010
    About 3 weeks ago my main computer (PC) broke, and since then i've been using my MB 13'' late 2007 as the main computer.

    I need a new computer, and I've been thinking about an iMac. However, a MB Pro seems a very good option, since:

    - I'd use it at work (instead of my 4 years old PC). I go there by car everyday, so the weight is not a problem.
    - I'm leaving my home (currently living with my parents) in 6-8 months, so a laptop would be more "portable" than the huge 27'' imac.

    So: what do you think about the 17'' mb? some people have told me to aim for the 13'' and buy a external screen, but I don't like it very much.
  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    I have a 17" MBP and a 23" ACD and love my set up

    I have never had an issue using the 17" MBP
  3. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    Only you can decide how much screen real estate you require. Personally I find the 13" to be quite usable.
  4. Hellishness macrumors 65816


    Jan 27, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    go for it

    i had a 17" laptop as my biggest computer for 5 years. now i have an 18.4". i will get either a 13" or 15" mbp, which I will use as my main computer.

    I think you'll be fine :)
  5. hajime macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
  6. SoCalRich macrumors 6502


    Feb 6, 2010
    I've been using my Power Book 17" as my "main" computer for about 4 years now. It works fine if not a little slow for me right now.

    When I bought it I wasn't doing photography. Now most of the new editing programs require an Intel based Mac so I need to move up. I'm using Lightroom right now and it runs slow on my old 1.5GHz solo w1.5GB. I've been looking at the new 27" iMacs but I don't want to be trapped in my office for email and surfing the web. I think I will wind up going with a new i7 MBP (when they come out... ) and a 24-30 monitor that I can pug into when/if needed. I sit in my easy chair in my living room and a 17" screen is great in that location. I currently do all my photo editing on my old PB and the screen is ok, it's just slooooow... lol... If I was doing Photo editing a 13" woould work just fine...

    How about Apple coming out with a new 21" Laptop... :eek: Wouldn't THAT be great... LOL... :cool:
  7. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    My MBP has been my main home computer for the two years I have owned it. Before that, I had a Powerbook G4 for 5 years and used it more than 80% of the time. The other 20% was handled by a desktop PC, which I used for a few Windows apps, including Quicken. The MBP, though, has become my sole computer because I can run any Windows app on it as easily as I run OS X apps. The old desktop just gathers dust these days.
  8. ribbon thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 2, 2010
    btw, is there much difference between in performance my current mb (late 2007: c2d santa rosa 2.2ghz, 2gb ram ddr800) and the current mb pro (3.06ghz, 4gb ram...)? use it mainly for music/movies/photoshop, and at work for programming with visual studio (under vmware fusion right now)

    I'd like to wait till the spec bump, but it seems that if they're not upgraded in 1-2 weeks we'll have to wait till june, and I can't be so long just sitting around.
  9. MrCheeto macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2008
    The biggest difference I notice between models is responsiveness. Anything less than the Aluminum MacBook feels a bit heavy in response time.

    I've been using Apple's 13" portables for the past two years and haven't run into a single hitch! Go for it.
  10. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    Oh yea a 17" mbp will be a great main computer.

    I used the latest 17" uMBP for about a year but recently sold it to get more portability.

    I'm now using a 13" uMBP as my main computer so a 17" can more than suffice.
  11. Thiol macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2008
    The larger RAM limit really helps with CS3/4 and VMWare.
  12. R.Perez macrumors 6502


    Feb 16, 2010
    Philadelphia, PA
    I would still want an external display.

    Personally id either get the MBP with an external monitor, or an iMac.
  13. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I've been using only the mbp as my main computer for years. I've in no way wished I had an iMac or mac pro. In fact I sold a mac pro and went strictly with the mbp a number of years ago
  14. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    I agree that the ability to add additional RAM is a critical consideration for those of us who run apps that are memory hogs. I run VMware Fusion and learned the hard way that my Santa Rosa MBP's original 2 gig or RAM were woefully inadequate for the purpose.

    Although Apple tells us that 4 gig of RAM is the limit for the Santa Rosa machines, that's not true. I researched the matter and learned that the Santa Rosas can take up to 6 gig of RAM with no problem, so I bought a 2 gig and 4 gig module from OWC and the improvement was dramatic. Now I can run Fusion 3.02 and Windows 7 in Unity mode. This means that I can open and run Windows apps from the OS X desktop as if they were OS X apps. That's just one more reason why I have found my 17 inch MBP to be perfect for me to use as a main computer.
  15. leftroom macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2007
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I've had my MacBook Pro 17" as my main computer for two years now. It has been great. Before that I had two computers. One iMac and the other one a MacBook.

    I did use my iMac more than my MacBook so I sold the two and bought one MacBook Pro as a desktop replacement. No problems what so ever :)

    It's more perfect for movies. I love the 1920x1200 LED screen! :D
  16. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

    Jul 12, 2009
    Athens, Greece
    Moving shouldn't affect your decision since you'll be doing it once. If I had a laptop to take with me every day, I would probably get a Quad Core iMac for everything else.
  17. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    I agree that the 27 inch Quad Core iMac is certainly appealing. After considering one of them for awhile, though, I concluded that it wasn't for me. I spend a lot of time in my home theater watching movies and TV shows but also working with various of its components, too. Unfortunately, it proved to be impossible to do that and work with a desktop machine, at the same time. That was why I bought my old 17 inch Powerbook 7 years ago and replaced with my current 17 inch MBP 2 years ago. With a laptop I can easily multitask between computer related stuff and home theater related stuff. It works well for me and the tradeoffs that I have admittedly had to make when using a laptop instead of a desktop have not really inconvenienced me.
  18. neilhart macrumors 6502


    Oct 11, 2007
    SF Bay Area - Fremont
    I think that the answer lies in how mobile you are in your computing needs. Mine are fairly static, work and home office. The 17" uMBP was a good solution for me. However having owned a selection of Apple laptops, I found satisfaction in each one (at least until I found a reason to move on).

  19. jedivulcan macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2007
    I use a 15" as my main computer... and a 13" as my glorified iPad/secondary main computer.
  20. 7031 macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2007
    I would just use the Macbook 13" for work, and use a 27" iMac at home. Seriously, the power that the iMac has is definitely a lot faster than any laptop, and the screen size is just incredible for all kinds of creative work.
  21. phantasmagoria macrumors regular

    Nov 15, 2006
    I use a 17" uMBP hooked up to a 23" ACD as my main computer and I love it. I'm a freelance web developer and spend just about all day every day on it, and I'm really pleased with how it's worked out.

    At the time I was torn between the 17" MBP and a Mac Pro, but couldn't really justify the latter as it would have been overkill for my requirements and I was finding syncing my old laptop and desktop (15" MBP and iMac) tiresome. Now I can work at my desk using two screens, but if I need to visit a client or just feel like sitting on the sofa to work then I can just unplug and do so.

    It's the addition of the external monitor that's made it workable for me... I don't think I'd want to rely on the 17" without it, given the time I spend on my computer, so I'd highly recommend that if you can.
  22. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    I personally would go with a 15" MBP and use the surplus from the 17" to buy an external monitor. Also, be sure to invest in the anti-glare model, you won't regret it!

    I really wish Apple still made the 20/23" ACD's, they are far more beautiful than the 24" ACD, plus they were matte.

    My ideal setup is my 15" MBP with 23" ACD.
  23. MrCheeto macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2008
    I've been matte before, and I've been glossy for the past year. I love the glossy displays, reflection is NEVER a problem.

    It's opinion-based.
  24. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Agreed.. but worth mentioning the anti-glare option.

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