Using a MBP as a desktop replacement?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mkgm1, Jul 29, 2007.

  1. mkgm1 macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2007
    I had wanted to get a Mac, and I thought the MBP would suit my needs best.

    For the last 4 years I've used a Sony Vaio laptop pretty much as a desktop replacement - it's been on pretty much 24/7. Recently it started to groan under the strain though, getting excessively hot. I managed to fix this by opening it up, leaving an icepack on the processor, and cleaning the fans a bit. However, I suspect this is only a temporary solution, and soon some vital part inside it is going to die.

    This has led me to thinking that perhaps I need a desktop (not a Mac), since laptops these days simply can't cope with the strain. So I want to ask - is this true of the MBP? Will it be a suitable desktop replacement? I won't be able to replace it for at least another 4 years or so, therefore I really want it to last.

    Or would I be better off going for a desktop? I don't really want to go down this route because it would mean not getting my first Mac, as I can't afford the Mac Pro, and an iMac wouldn't be enough for me.
  2. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    Hmm...the macbook pros do get hot after extended use, but with proper air flow, it shouldn't be a problem. I'm guessing that you're going to be using it in Clamshell mode right? Get a good stand to put it on, and be sure to have the vents in the back unobstructed.

    Out of curiosity, what are you going to be using it for primarily?
  3. KristieMac macrumors 6502a


    Jun 3, 2007
    Harrisburg, PA
    I've used laptops exclusively for years. I had 2 Dells over 5-6 years and I just bought a MBP. No special stand yet, although I do have my eye on one, so I can have it sit higher and use a real keyboard when I am at my desk. I often use mine, OHNOES!, on my lap.

    It gets warmish and the fans usually kick in. If they don't I have several smcFanControl profiles that I can use in 2 shakes of a tail feather.

    I guess it depends on your needs. I admit that I've been eyeing up the iMac. But for now, this works fine. :)
  4. SandersHokie macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2006
    what is a link to a good stand? I'm thinking of buying a Cinema Display for my macbook pro and would like a stand to put my MBP on when it is in my room.
  5. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    An iMac not enough, and you are asking about the MacBook Pro... :confused:

    They are basically the same machine inside, except one is portable and the other isn't.


    However if you can squeeze out enough for a MacBook Pro, look at a refurbished Mac Pro or wait for the next upgrade and buy the "special deals" on old models.

    And there isn't a need for new monitors, etc. with a Mac Pro -- use what you have.
  6. daisu macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2007
    Flushing, Queens
    I think I'm going to use my mac book as much as my desktop and haven't even thought of getting a stand for my MBP (17")... What would be a good stand for one of them?
  7. Am3822 macrumors 6502


    Aug 16, 2006
    Groningen, The Netherlands
    MBP s a desktop replacement

    I have a C2D/2.33/2G machine and it replaces my desktop as well as the remote server on which I used to run small-scale numerical work (matlab, for the most part). I wouldn't use it to run 10-hours long simulations, though -- wouldn't risk overheating, but apart from that it's a perfect replacement.
  8. Bern macrumors 68000


    Nov 10, 2004
    My MBP is used exclusively for all my design work using Adobe CS3 plugged into an external monitor. It performs effortlessly.
  9. chaosbunny macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2005
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    Well, no mbp here but a G4 powerbook. I use it as primary machine for my design work (mostly Adobe CS2, soon CS3), and when I'm not working I play some WoW on it. It's been running 10+ hours every day without problems for the past 2+ years, connected to a 21" Eizo monitor on my desk, or on the road.

    If you don't really need the power of a tower I can recommend using only a notebook. No "omg I forgot that file/font/whatever on my desktop" problems.
  10. katy macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2006
    I'm using a macbook and i feel it suffices as a desktop replacement so...
  11. Simondo macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2007
    For recommendations on stands, I use a Griffin Elevator which is great for my macbook. Ive also heared good things about the mstand, google them to find out more .
  12. mkgm1 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2007
    Thanks for all the replies. :)

    Yep, I've already got a separate monitor etc.. So a stand would be better for ventilation, compared to one of those cooling pads?

    I wouldn't really be using it for anything too demanding. The main reason why my current laptop stays on when I'm not on it is because I'm downloading various things, and I'm also connected to various chat programs.

    I don't see how that's true - the iMac has an older, slower processor and a worse graphics card. Admittedly they might be updated soon, which might have an impact on my decision.

    I'm not hugely keen on a desktop. I'm not convinced that a refurbished Mac Pro would do the same job as an equally priced 15" MBP (after the HE discount, which obviously won't apply to the refurb computer). Just a quick check in the refurb store shows me that the only Mac Pro within my budget has specs almost identical to the iMac, except for the faster processor.
  13. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    My MacBook has occasionally run both CPUs at full blast for 48 hours in a row or more. When I do that, I put it on a could surface, with nothing in the way of the fans, just in case. I think it should be able to handle this.
  14. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    A MacBook Pro is a very capable desktop replacement....even more so the 17" model as its less prone to overheating due to the larger base. I would've recommended that BUT im gonna have to go with the iMac

    A redesign with upgraded specs is just around the corner and the iMacs are usually basically macbook pros inside a desktop casing meaning the same or even sometimes better performance and are cheaper than the MBPs and would most certainly be the viable option for you IMHO. Heat issues would also be less of a worry. A no brainer
  15. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    The MacBook, iMac, and Mac Mini are all basically based on the same laptop architecture -- Intel 945 Mobile chipset.

    The MacBook Pro has been bumped to the latest version using the 965 Mobile chipset.

    As long as they are using the same CPU and GPU, there isn't any real world difference. The same MacBook Pro and iMac will be basically the same in performance.

    A Mac Pro and iMac/MacBook will have quite different performance levels. Since you are comparing a laptop architecture to a workstation/server architecture.

    Plus the Mac Pro will keep up with the RAM app bloat all the way to 32GB, while the iMac/MacBook will stall out at 4GB and make you use the VM Manager -- which will slow the machine down.

    As far as a Mac Pro not being able to keep up with the MBP, it ain't true for most apps. Especially since Apple switched from OS 9 to Unix, and the machines with more cores/CPUs became king of the block.

    The Mac Pro isn't portable, but if you are going to spend a lot of bucks to turn a MBP into a desktop and use it for that sole purpose -- a Mac Pro might give you better bang for the buck, until you need to pick it up and move it quickly.
  16. dan1013 macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2007
  17. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007

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