Thinking of going back to a Mac Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by wikus, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. wikus, Oct 22, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011

    wikus macrumors 68000


    Jun 1, 2011
    Planet earth.
    I've had two desktop macs in my time; Power Mac G4 MDD and a Mac Pro 1,1. Both of which completely satisfied my needs and then some.

    I'm now in school and bought a MacBook Pro 2.3ghz, 15" w/ 4gb RAM and added an Intel 320 120gb in an optibay caddy and 1TB WD in the main bay. Since buying the Macbook Pro, I've been trying to sell the Mac Pro and do a complete transition over to a laptop... this is completely new territory for me.

    I'm starting to get really annoyed with some things, particularly it being a macbook in itself as well as the fact that its a laptop in general.

    1) Blue screens.

    Yes, I literally get blue screens. They used to happen often until I reinstalled OS X 10.6.8, but now theyre back (sometimes). Apparently this is due to automatic graphics switching. If I quit firefox, sometimes I get a blue screen which will lock up the system unless i do a reboot or put the laptop into sleep mode and open the lid again. I expect better when shelling out 3K for a laptop.

    2) Noise.

    Coming from a Mac Pro 1,1, the laptop is generally not as loud but under intensive tasks the fans DO kick into full gear. Sometimes when browsing youtube, other times when working in photoshop and multitasking across other applications.

    3) Connecting to external display.

    This is a major pain in the *********g ass. Connecting the laptop in OS X to my 24" monitor works fine, but if I want to use the laptop closed lid, it NEVER registers the first time. I have to connect while its open, then close, open again, close again, then it works and then not even always.

    A 15" screen is fine for a portable, but theres no chance in hell I want to continue working on a screen of this pathetic size at home, at my desk, working on multiple projects.

    The other problem is that my monitor is an LG L246WP monitor, and I'm having this problem: click here. Basically; my image on my monitor shifts to the left using an adaptor cable. Using a minidisplayport to HDMI cable works fine, but theres no sound through the headphone jack (which is where I could extend the sound and into my stereo instead of having to go through a cinema display).

    4) Connecting the rest of my devices.

    In order to make my work-flow feasible, I need a real mouse (Logitech MX-518) and the standard apple chiclet keyboard with numpad. The other problem is this: I'm not willing to spend 1k on apple's neither inferior or superior cinema display, especially when it has no connection to HDMI. I'd like to run my laptop to my monitor but i need to connect my keyboard, mouse, LCD and sound (optical out to my stereo). This bugs me, thats a lot of connections to do on a daily basis when I come home from school, which will probably take its toll and damage some of the ports. I've had it happen on other devices, i would be surprised if the audio out plug got damaged. The cinema display would alleviate this, somewhat, but the speakers on that are garbage. It'd be nice to just connect everything through JUST a thunderbolt port and everything else works as normal.

    5) Documents on Mac Pro and Laptop.

    I take my laptop to school everyday, which gets used to work on web development and some design (but mostly coding). I'm also a graphic design graduate and do some photography as well, so I do a variety of work. However, I currently have everything on my laptop, and the Mac Pro is being used as a temporary computer, consider it as a guest account computer. But, I do need to access some files on the macbook. Which kind of defeats the purpose of trying to transition to the macbook.

    6) The video card bothers me.

    Its an ATI 6750M, although fast for laptop standards, not so fast for desktop standards. My Mac Pro has 2 ATI 3870, one of which was modded with an Accelero S1 heat sink. Anytime I play a game, the fans in the laptop for the GPU rev up *really* high causing lots of noise. Its not like the laptop sits on the floor like a desktop does, so the sound is very evident. Generally I'm fine with the noise as I mostly just code these days, but I do get into situations where the fans go nuts, the heat becomes an issue, and the overall pleasure of using a computer is hindered.

    7) Tinkering/modding

    This really sucks for me, as I'm limited to just *two* drives in the laptop, stock cpu and stock gpu and lack of pci slots as well as the optical drive (removed for optibay caddy). I've messed around with video cards a LOT on my mac pro.



    -it's portable and it goes anywhere/everywhere with me
    -I have all my documents and projects at school with me, no need to use the schools computers which act as guest accounts <-- main reason why I bought the laptop
    -i can use the laptop in bed
    -easily can move the laptop to a larger screen and watch movies located on the home network
    -significantly less heat (awesome in summers, although unfortunate in winters when i need it, lol)
    -the cpu is actually 2X as fast as my mac pro, this is AWESOME for crunching through heavy filters or layers in photoshop.
    -the ATI 6750M is close to in performance of a single ATI 3870 desktop card. Not bad, but the noise and heat suck.


    So, has anyone experienced this kind of discomfort or disappointment moving to a laptop? Any solutions to the issues I'm having, or advice?

    I'm having a tough time trying to decide on what to do. I'm done school next year, after which I plan on going to europe for a couple months to seek potential employment (would like to work abroad just for the experience).

    I have to be honest, I don't see myself being in great need of a laptop once I come back to Canada and return to a full time 9-5 job. I never had the need after graduating the first time and working for 4 years, I've been content with the Mac Pro. That said, I'd probably like to have another Mac Pro down the line.

    Thanks to anyone that actually read all this crap. :)
  2. mark28 macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2010
    The Mac Pro I used were dead silent, also under heavy load. You're not going to get same silence when using the MBP under heavy load.

    For Documents, how about using a Cloud based solution like Dropbox?

    Are you using Lion perhaps? If so, maybe try out Snow Leopard and see if you still have the same issues.

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