Mbp + 30" Acd?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bigwig, May 24, 2008.

  1. bigwig macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    #1
    What are your pains and joys with this setup? It's a pretty enticing idea, after all (especially with next year's 4-core/8-thread Nehalem).
     
  2. wrongrobot macrumors newbie

    wrongrobot

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #2
    Pain, honestly only that I waited this long to do it. I have to say, I got the display for a more palatable $1200 at about 9 months old. But the MBP is new and the set up is amazing. I use an aluminum riser purchased from a third-party vendor, that is JUST enough of a lift for the display, so my external aluminum keyboard slips underneath it, which was an amazingly cool design concept. Anyway, I gang the MBP to the display when the laptop comes home, usually just on weekends and occasionally during the week, and since the home Wacom and other devices are daisied off of the cinema display's firewire and USB ports, it's nice that it's acting as a hub, as well. It took me awhile to grasp the counter-intuitive nature of Apple not providing an external display toggle on the laptop keyboard. I couldn't understand why I couldn't get the display to fire up... you have to sleep the laptop, then wake it closed, to get the display to be the solo output device. Then you get the full rez. And it warms like the sun. I do illustration and comic art on it, and it's a joy. Also, you can set the display's power button to be a sleep/wake switch for the whole system.

    Yep, it's pretty much the best thing ever. DO IT!
     
  3. phalewhale macrumors 6502a

    phalewhale

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    #3
    I recently hooked my MBP up to a 23" ACD and although it was easy to connect and use, I have to say, the MBP was simply not powerful enough for what I used to do with my 2.8GHz iMac.

    I tend to have a fair few things running, like Firefox, Mail, iCal, Word/Excel, VMWare, and iTunes. I simply found that it was too slow to cope with my demands. I thought it would have been OK but evidently not. I found switching desktops in spaces (with extended desktop mode running) was way too slow and infuriating. I was thinking this may have been due to having more spaces to work with, but when I ran the MBP with the lid closed, performance was better, but still not great.

    So, my point is, if you do a lot of stuff with your MBP, I wouldn't recommend using the MBP as your main machine with an external display based on my experiences). Like me, you may find that you need something more powerful.

    BTW, I'm running a 2.2GHz SR MBP, 12GB 5400rpm HD and 4GB RAM. I would be very interested to hear anyone with similar specs who haven't had the issues I have...
     
  4. plumpan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #4
    well, i have a MBP SR 2.6 ghz, 7200 rpm hd, and 4 gb ram, connected to a 30" ACD. I am running vmware fusion, photoshop, indesign, firefox (with tons of windows + tabs), ichat, microsoft word, and a few other lightweight apps right now, and its just fine. i LOVE this setup.
     
  5. wrongrobot macrumors newbie

    wrongrobot

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #5
    phakebrill, I cannot parse your statements.

    I will say, however, that the one thing about driving a 30" display with the MBP: you need to have the AC power connected to the laptop. Without it, you'll get the triple pulse on the display's indicator light. Freaked me out the first time.
     
  6. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #6
    I'll shortly be moving to a MacBook Pro with a 30" (likely the NEC since I need more features then the ACD offers) so good to know it looks sharp. :cool:
     
  7. merl1n macrumors 65816

    merl1n

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    #7
    I also use a similar setup using my MBP (see my signature) connected to a 23" ACD. The difference is that I modified an under desk keyboard tray to fit the MBP. I can access the MBP, by just pulling out the tray. My ACD sits on a steel riser on my desk while my MBP is under the desk.

    http://www.macessity.com/index.php?target=products&product_id=29800

    To avoid having to start up and putting the MBP in sleep mode and then having to wake the ACD screen, you do this...

    ... As soon as you hit the power button on the MBP, close the lid. You will then see your ACD light up with the grey screen and Apple and booting will take place normally. To power down, just hit the power button on the right side of the ACD. It will pop up a dialog asking you to restart, shutdown or cancel. Since shutdown is the default, just hit the return key on your keyboard. That's it.
     

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  8. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    #8
    Its the total opposite for me. I think your experience worse because of the 128mb vram on your 2.2ghz mbp. I owned this mbp as well and I do remember the pains of running the 23" acd.

    Now its a much different story with the 2.4ghz/2.5ghz/2.6ghz mbp with 256mb/especially 512mb vram gpu.

    Evev with the 256mb I run the mbp in dual monitor mode with safari with 20+ tabs of webpages open and 1 hd trailer playing with parallels running for windows vista running bearshare + party poker, mail, iChat, word, iTunes, and even with a 8-9gb mkv 1080p movie playing, with azureus downloading 40+ gb of files, unison downloading 100+ gb of files and using fw800 with my 1tb external hdd transferring 120gb of files it all runs without a hiccup.

    Trust me Im coming from my 2.8 8 core mac pro and I tested the speed of the mbp before selling my mac pro thats on my sig and its more than fast enough.

    I also have expose setup and does fine and spaces at 4x4 and runs fine. But the fluidity of the mac pro ran silk smooth and the whole interface as well but the mbp ran just fine.
     
  9. jnc macrumors 68020

    jnc

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Location:
    Nunya, Business TX
    #9
    The 2.2 MBP has a 128MB GPU, right? Whereas the iMac has a 256MB?

    ^ So with this guy's testament it appears to be the vRAM that's the issue. Sounds like less than 256MB won't cut it for the 30" if the 128MB model struggles with 23".

    Note to self: buy the 512MB model...
     
  10. wrongrobot macrumors newbie

    wrongrobot

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #10
    merl1n, that's the method I use, personally, power and then shut the lid.

    And that's the aluminum riser I spoke of, yep! Finish quality isn't the BEST at the cut edges, but it does the job. I chose the hubless one.

    My under-desk situation is a little different... because during the week I frequently don't have the MBP at home, I still have a Mac Mini under here driving the Apple TV as a media server, and performing other tasks. I can't access the Mini from the 30" display, obviously. So I have a second flat panel under the desk on a slider, that is wired to the Mini. When I've got the MBP home, I just screenshare/fileshare into the Mini to mess with it, if necessary, and have access to the shared drives and the ATV from the network as it is. So the underdesk monitor is exclusively for those occasions when the MBP is away...
     
  11. zer0tails macrumors 65816

    zer0tails

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #11
    Ok, so will a MBP 2.4, 4GB Ram, and with 256 vram cut it with the 30" ACD? I really want to get the 30" ACD but I've been wary about it slowing down, expose/spaces not being smooth etc. 256 vram seems to be the problem is it? :confused:

    I'm sure the 2.5 MBP with 512 vram would be great, but I can't afford that so got the 2.4. Don't want the 23" as well. Anyone with experience? or running that set up? gracias:)
     
  12. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    #12
    I dont see why the 2.4Ghz with 256vram couldnt run the 30" ACD and run it well. Imho I would get the 512mb vram just to drive the 30" the more mb of vram in my experience of owning the 128mb/256mb/512mb does make a big difference in driving external displays.

    The 512mb vram mbp does drive the 23" acd much easier than 256vram when I tried both for a full week on my 23" ACD. Both driving the 23" ACD in dual monitor mode and the 512mb vram felt almost the same as when I ran the 256vram mbp with it in closed shell mode as to the 512mb vram used in dual monitor mode. I think it could do something with each monitor splitting the vram, for example 256mb/2 for 128mb for each monitor and 512mb/2 for 256mb for each.
     
  13. chris y. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Location:
    los angeles, ca
    #13
    I've got this same setup and it powers my ACD30 fine, although I mostly run my MBP in clamshell mode. I do often have multiple apps running at the same time including Photoshop CS3, Lightroom, Office 2008, Safari, iTunes, and iChat.

    I have yet to run into any sort of sluggishness or slowdown while running these apps simultaneously.
     
  14. wrongrobot macrumors newbie

    wrongrobot

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #14
    Mine is 2.5GHz w/512 so I can't say what the other configuration will yield.
    Can you get to an Apple store? They might let you hook up to a 30" on display, if they have one...
     

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