Using a macbook pro as your only station

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mistafreeze, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. mistafreeze macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2006

    I'm moving soon, I was wondering, does anyone have a macbook pro as their only machine.

    i have always had 2-3 machines, but, again, I'm moving. I would like to just have one machine, and have it be a macbook pro (I do not have a laptop currently)

    I used the powerbook g4 religiously, and sold it to get the macbook pro a couple years back (17 incher)

    I really liked it, but as I also upgraded to a Mac Pro, I no longer used it as much and sold it.

    I spend most of my time using photoshop / lightroom and edit photos / create graphics on the regular. I also enjoy watching movies in itunes and surfing the web.

    I also do some video work, dabble in 3d (no dynamics, no high res textures, so no real "need" to have 256 over 128mb)

    I do not play games, but I do use my computer a good part of the day, maybe 8-14 hours a day.

    I'm wondering how a macbook will hold up to that kind of use, how well the new santa rose monitors are for color correcting (I have a 48inch 1080p TV that I currently use as my monitor, and will continue to use, but would like to work on my laptop when I'm not at home)

    I also plan on using the laptop for tethered shooting, and again, this will be my ONLY machine. I already sold my Mac Pro, and displays. I now have my pc workstation, and I will be getting rid of it as soon as the macbook line is refreshed, or the end of march, whatever comes first.

    I was thinking of buying the 17inch. But I can get by with the low end 15inch I'm sure. I plan on upgrading the ram to 4gb (or whatever the new max may be on the new machines) and buying a 7200RPM drive.

    90% of the time, it will be plugged into my 1080p display at home. The rest of the time will be at a clients location, motel, or a friends house. I like to work on my photos when I'm out, doing sharpening, effects, and color correcting. But honestly, in the past, the most I do on the go is organization / rating / and tedious tasks like that.

    Would you recommend this laptop? Will it work for me? I'm slightly paranoid about having just one machine.

    Also has the heat problems gone down? Any good ways to get rid of this problem if not? My past 17incher got so hot I could only use it for short amounts of time.

    My macbook (1 gen) would just pass out (cut off) when it started doing a lot of work (batch render, batch encode).

    Any thoughts / suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    But I think the intro level Macbook would suit my needs fine.
  2. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    I think so too. I use a Macbook as my only machine, and it gets the job done. :^)
  3. mistafreeze thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2006
    err, intro level macbook pro.

    And the reason I ask so much about the monitor for color work (photography is the main work I do), is I kept hearing about the new screen as being so much better. My previous macbook pro was the first gen Core Duo, and the screen wasn't really dark, even after I calibrated it. I bought a glossy macbook, it looked better, but you cant do much work on a 13 inch screen.
  4. mistafreeze thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2006
    Just rechecked Apples page, they offer no decent harddrive upgrades for the 15 inch.

    With my business discount it comes out to:
    200GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm [Add $253]

    Might as well get a couple (yes 2) 500gb externals for 240, and run my video processing from them.

    So this is going to be my first "stock" baseline mac product. Hopefully it will be the start of a trend!

    Now, can anyone recommend some "must have" cooling accessories. Maybe something different than the rain stands. I had the 17ich one, wasn't "too" impressed with it. It was nice to use on a table, but not on a lap.
  5. Jiddick ExRex macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

    May 14, 2006
    Roskilde, DK
    Well something tells me that you're the kind of user who would really want the high end MBP (maybe even upgraded to 2.6 ghz) since you're a poweruser and all and use it for a living.

    Just throwing it in there. :)
  6. mistafreeze thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2006
    I do usually buy the higher end versions, I never pay for the speed bumps, or for apple upgrades (with exceptions to monitors).

    But I'm trying to be more frugal. My d300 is still hurting my wallet, and would like to spend as much money as possible on new lights.

    How are you enjoying your MBP, the screen really nice? Especially when looking at photos? Pretty snappy unit?
  7. aldog macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2007
    I still techincally have my dell, but it's not plugged in, no monitor connected or anything. So basically I'm just using my macbook pro for everything, haven't used another computer for 2 months. I think I'll be just fine with just this computer.
  8. Jiddick ExRex macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

    May 14, 2006
    Roskilde, DK
    My MBP is awesomely snappy and just works. I am more than happy that I didn't go 17" or high end because I was basically in the same boat as you.

    The screen alas, is nothing to write home about. My Dell 2005FPW runs circles around it (obviously since the Dell has an S-IPS and the MBP has a TN) and I much prefer to use the Dell when I am at home (even though it has horrible backlighting issues).

    If you are going to use the MBP a lot it can be done by getting used to focusing and not moving your head too much, and for the love of all that is good and holy calibrate the screen with a professional tool! The screen will blow **** so much with the standard color profile and I will myself spoon out the dough for a Spyder 2 Calibration tool, even though I am not a professional at all. I am simply picky :)
  9. mistafreeze thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2006
    Hah, sweet. I was wondering if the spyder 2 worked on leopard. I was worried when I got an intel mac, but it worked. Guess you can't stop it!

    I may just buy a small 20 inch display later on if my TV will not work too nice (honestly haven't tried doing any photo work on the TV monitor. Just sold my Mac Pro with dual monitors this week). But I think it will be fine, I specked this TV out the same time I got the cinema displays.
  10. Jiddick ExRex macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

    May 14, 2006
    Roskilde, DK
    I was worrying about Leopard and Spyder 2 too but good to know you got it to work.

    Regarding the TV thing, tv monitors usually are a lot brighter than computer screens, because they are larger and you have to sit farther away. This means that photos edited on TV-screens won't get the ' true' reproduction of color and gamma as you would on a good S-IPS panel.
    Just keep that in mind.
  11. Osarkon macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2006
    Just a thought but it might be an idea to get the macbook pro seeing as the macbook chipset might not be able to run that tv at the best resolution.
  12. Jiddick ExRex macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

    May 14, 2006
    Roskilde, DK
    3rd post the OP corrects himself. Also it helps to read through the thread and you could have avoided posting in the first place :)
  13. skyrider007 macrumors 65816


    Aug 5, 2007
    I'm using my MBP as my primary computer, it's the best! I say go for it!
  14. bmcgrath macrumors 65816


    Oct 5, 2006
    London, United Kingdom
    My Macbook Pro is my main computer. It's more than able for it
  15. tersono macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2005
    I use a 17" high-res MacBook Pro as my primary computer - both for desktop use and on the move - with an external monitor for dual-screen desktop use (and wireless mouse/keyboard). I'm a heavy user of Adobe CS and find that the MBP handles all of my requirements with ease - it replaced a Powerbook G4, a G5 tower and a desktop PC and seems to cover all of the bases required for me.
  16. dimme macrumors 65816

    Feb 14, 2007
    SF, CA
    I have a 2.4 MBP and also use Photoshop & Lightroom. I also have a G5 but do not use it that much. My machine does get warm but it never shut down because of the heat. Performance is as good as the G5, I use external firewire drives also. I prefer a external monitor. The MBP screen is good but as some one said it is a TN. Both screen are calibrated with a monaco optix. As far as the TV goes I have a 42"LCD which I hookup to sometimes for a game or two but I do not think it is good enough to edit photos. (I am retired from the photo lab business) The summarize IMO the MBP should work great but I would use a external monitor for color critical work.
  17. mistafreeze thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2006
    Thats nice, how are you coping with using the new wireless keyboard? I'm going to get the wired keyboard. I had the old wireless keyboard and loved it, but I do not like the new ones. When I'm working on photos or anything, I kind of get into automatic mode, and never look at the keyboard. Thats why I always use an external keyboard with my laptops, I'm always hitting the fn key or some other nonsense.
  18. mistafreeze thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2006

    Ok, so you use these programs alot, do you keep your Lightroom catalog of pictures on your external harddrive, and do all edits on it?

    I was thinking of having my archive of raws on an external, and mirror my new work over onto the notebook, and then start moving them off every 2-3 weeks (I haven't worked this out yet)

    i was also looking at buying this to carry around

    that way I can keep my photos with my laptop (this would be my working backups)

    My main drives would be Western Digital 500gb "My Books" which have worked great in the past.

    I lost a load of photos, as well as other important data recently when my "porsche" lacie drive took a dive. It worked fine one day, 2 weeks after a backup, i switched machines, all my data was lost, as the drive started smoking.

    About the TV. I'm thinking of getting a 20inch to use to proof my work. I'm not doing any photo work for the next 3 weeks, as I will be doing a contract job these next 3 weeks, but plan on buying so my stuff is here when I get back.

    My current tv is
    westinghouse lvm47w1

    it leaves something to be desired in reaching dark blacks, which is why I do not fill 100% confident using this as my main display. But when calibrated, it does look quite good (not color proofing good).

    Does anyone know if apple is going to be coming out with a new monitor anytime soon?

    These monitors have been the same for a few years.

    I remember a month or so ago, macrumors was thinking new displays would be on the way, especially since they got removed from the front page of the store.

    But then again, I have been hearing rumors of new displays since the first macbook came out!
  19. a4abt macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2008
    My MBP is my only computer. I think a notebook as your main computer is the best way to go. You can get an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse for when you're at home and still be able to carry all your data while on the go.
  20. chriscl macrumors 6502


    Jan 4, 2008
    Stuttgart, Germany
    As with others above, my 2.2 MacBook Pro is now my only computer; it gets a lot of use for my digital photography (both at home and when out on shoots).

    I also went with a couple of Western Digital external 500GB Hard Disks, one for additional storage an one for Time Machine backups. The beauty of external drives of course is you can add as many as you need.

    I've gone with a Wireless Mighty Mouse too at home (very useful) an if you're in to photography, a decent card reader is a must - I went with the SanDisk Firewire Compact Flash Reader (my EOS 30D uses Compact Flash) this is a super bit of kit, although not cheap, and its Firewire too so doesn't tie up a USB port (as, of course, the 15" MBP has two USB ports).

    I was sure I'd be fine with just the MBP as my only computer, and three months down the line I've never found the need to use another!
  21. SVT Amateur macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2006
    Tyler, Texas
    I bought the base MBP 2 weeks ago and it's my only computer. I use it at home, at school, and then use Windows Vista on it at work. I found the battery lasts a long time (over 4 hours), especially if I turn the brightness down. I love the thing so much that I'm reformatting the HD on my desktop PC and after installing a fresh copy of Vista and Office I will be giving it to my dad.
  22. dimme macrumors 65816

    Feb 14, 2007
    SF, CA
    Yes I keep my Lightroom catalogs and raw files on the externals. I also have a 60gb itunes libary on externals. I have acquired about 6 externals over the years so I have multiple backups of everything. My internal drive is mainly for apps and personal doc files. I also have a XP partition.
  23. ewxlt macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2008
    Sorry for the thread hijack...which wireless keyboard do you use?

    On topic...even my old Powerbook is used 6-8 hours a day, 6 days a week, and has done so for 3 years without complaint.
  24. jhollin88 macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2008
    I use a Macbook Pro 17" here at school and it works fine and is being used most of the time. I run the Adobe Design Suite and I even run Alias and Solidworks on the Windows side without any problems. I did add a gig of Ram though, the 2 GB is really nice. I have had worries about how hot it gets sometimes though.
  25. Stopsignguy macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2007
    The Santa Rosa MBP don't have a new screen but instead have gotten their backlighting replaced with LED ones which save energy and are brighter. Santa Rosa is the codename of the new processor used in these machines.

    A single MBP would be sufficient for all the things you need; it is very capable and a good middlegrond between power and portibility.

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