Question about components for turning MB into a desktop

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by samstod, Dec 20, 2006.

  1. samstod macrumors member

    Dec 20, 2006
    I am looking at upgrading my macbook by getting the accessories necessary to turn it into a desktop so that I can use it at home with a nice big display, or at work and school. I have a 1st gen Macbook white with a gig of ram. I would also use this setup (or the monitor and speakers at least) to hook up to my xbox360 for some more HD gaming. I have done some research in terms of what components I would want to get, but I haven't really found much that I am sold on. I am looking for some advice from anyone else who has put this setup together, or know some stuff about what components are out there.

    Monitor: Acer AL2223WD 22" -$299

    Obviously I wanted a ACD, but their prices are pretty absurd. $999 for a 24" display is pretty steep, even if it is good. Also, they are totally out of by budget. Now, I haven't done a lot of computer hardware shopping in the last few years, but I remember Acer as being about as bad in quality as it came, but all the reviews of this monitor have been pretty positive. The stats look comparable with the other 22", and the price seems unbeatable.


    I have some questions on this, mostly - can the macbook do 5.1, or is am I stuck with stereo? Not that that’s a really bad thing, but it would be nice to watch movies in 5.1. Any suggestions on a $50 or so setup that is pretty good?

    Mouse and Keyboard:
    I have a number of these lying around, including an old style bucking-spring ps/2 keyboard with ps/2 to usb converter. While I loved the feel of it on my old pc, i'm pretty sure that it is lacking all the required keys to use osx correctly. What are the good wireless keyboards out there?

    In terms of mice, how is the mighty mouse wireless? I have read a lot of mixed review on it, and bluetooth mice in general. I might be doing a bit of photoediting, but nothing that requires total and utter precision. Would it be better to get the Mighty Mouse, a bluetooth mouse, or the Logitech G7?

  2. killmoms macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    For what it's worth the display looks decent enough.

    As for 5.1, yes, your Mac can ouput DIGITAL 5.1 audio via optical-out, but you won't find a $50 5.1 speaker set that has a digital input.

    I love my Bluetooth Apple Pro Keyboard and Bluetooth Mighty Mouse. I have an old Logitech MX900 for the few times when I need to use the right and left mouse buttons at the same time (read: games). All the rest of the time, I really like the MM.
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Screen: it seems like if you're going to all this trouble, it would be worth it to spend more money and get a 24" screen with a higher resolution (e.g. the Dell one)...The 22" screen also has exactly the same resolution as a 20" screen. Otherwise, no comments.

    Speakers: At least some 5.1 USB systems are supported on Macs. Here's an example. But I don't have one, so I'll defer.

    Mouse and KB: First, keys on standard Windows keyboards map to Mac keys. So this works fine, although it is not ideal. The Apple keyboard is great, though. I have the wireless version. With respect to the mouse, there are a number of threads about this... a sort of rough summary from what I've read is that many people who don't play games are satisfied with Bluetooth mice, but most gamers are not satisfied. In any event, the Mighty Mouse also generates mixed opinions, of which I'm sure you'll see many re-iterated here. If you want to play games, your best bet is probably a wired laser mouse from someone other than Apple....

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