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Old November 13th, 2006, 07:30 AM   #1
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From Desktop to Laptop: a MacBook Pro as THE Primary Computer?

I've been happy with the MacBook Pro that I bought in May and am thinking about selling off my two G5's and just sticking with Apple laptops from this point forward.

If I did this I would probably sell my current MacBook Pro and upgrade to the new 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with the maximum amount of everything offered.

I would miss my 23' screens, but if I ended up missing them terribly, I could always plug the MacBook Pro into one.

Has anyone here gone to using ONLY a MacBook Pro in your workflow?
Have you been happy with everything?
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Old November 13th, 2006, 01:38 PM   #2
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You can do it but keep heat issues in mind. A major reason for laptop breakdowns is the amount of heat contained in the small shell cooking the components. Always place your laptop on a heat stand if you are going to be doing any long edit sessions with lots of rendering. Even better, find a laptop stand with USB powered cooling fans.
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Old November 13th, 2006, 02:05 PM   #3
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I work as a VJ and i use a desktop as opposed to a laptop purely for the long periods of time that i use it for and like William said. heat issues.

but i also use a desktop for my editing and rendering in prem and after affects.
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Old November 13th, 2006, 02:06 PM   #4
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Thanks William & Liam,

This is the kind of information is was looking for.

For the most part I will be on it ALL DAY using programs such as ~

FCP
Motion
After Effects
Flash
Dreamweaver
Illustrator
Photoshop
Zaxwerks Proanimator
Keynote
Office (Word & Excel)

Most of my work in FCP will be limited to video in between 30 seconds and 3 minutes.

Since I will be using it a good 12 to 16 hours per day, the heat could be a real issue. I think I just got spoiled a little bit this weekend by taking my laptop home and being able to take it all around with me while I worked on some projects. Some of the other issues that's made me consider changing -

Adobe only allow a SINGLE user (which I am) to have software on "up to two" computers.
Tired of going in between 4 different computers in three locations.
Could afford to upgrade once a year.
I feel as though these new laptops are really quite powerful now.

Things I would miss -
Large monitors
7 Gig's of RAM
The power of a new Quad Core 3.0
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Old November 13th, 2006, 04:40 PM   #5
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I have the MBP 2.16 CD and use it as my primary comp for editing... I fried my pc power-horse over the summer (Ehhh, long story that gets me rather upset) and that caused me to finally go Mac. Im not happy though, only due to the heat issues. I thought, like you, that i could use this as my prime comp for all my issues, due to the mobility and the power. But then i started getting bigger projects, 16 hour projects, 8 DVD series, and i render 9-10 hours at a time over night. Im just getting scared about its reliablity in the long run if i continue to use it this way. So here's my solution... Wanna sell your towers you say?? Ha, give me a good deal and that would settle my fears. But no, really im thinking about getting another mac, seriously. Maybe just a used CD mini, and farm out my renders to that box...
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Old November 13th, 2006, 04:41 PM   #6
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I would advise a nice powerful Mac Pro and keep your present laptop for side projects or working away from the main system. The sort of workload you are describing would not be the best for a humble laptop. Motion and After Effects would really push the heat issues, I know from experience. The tower wouldn't care much.
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Old November 13th, 2006, 05:53 PM   #7
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I have existed with just a G4 powerbook for over two years now. I think the laptops are excellent machines, and the computer I buy next year will be mac laptop.

But the trouble is, the rendering time on the macbook pro is never going match the desktop that I costs the same amount of money on. I don't think we're at the point yet where you can put all your eggs in the laptop basket.
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Old November 13th, 2006, 06:56 PM   #8
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My main computer is a G5. My laptop is a G3. The heat issues already mentioned are significantly increased for me when directed at my aged G3.

I believe an imporant issue to recognize for fair consideration is that all laptops appear to derive their power directly from the battery. I haven't been able to perceive a power switching that bypasses (but still recharges) the battery on my G3 laptop.

I feel a power flow only through the battery is not only an important distinction but very well a disadvantage when the laptop computer is thought of as a primary processor of data. My conclusion is that any time the laptop is on, regardless of how it is receiving power, the primary drain is from the battery...and that equates to heat generation in significant addition to what the processor itself produces. This situation of both battery drain generated heat coupled with processor generated heat from current tasks is, at the very least, a major design flaw in the manufacture of labtop computers.
I have often had my G3 laptop's cooling fan turn on for what I now consider rather simplistic processes.

My concern in this discussion is to ask the question, "What happens when processor overheating stops production?" My opinion is that laptops, while very impressive, should not be considered as one's primary processing system.

Any opinions are welcomed, because I believe there are numerous personal experiences out there somewhere which substantially contradict my experiences.
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Old November 15th, 2006, 03:57 AM   #9
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I am also in the midst of deciding whether to purchase a decked out - 4000 dollar Macbook Pro with all upgrades

i.e.

2.33ghz Core 2 Duo
3gb of RAM
17' screen

and am utilising the same workflow of FCP, AF, Motion and Shake - with appropriate cooling and hard drive space do you think this will be enough to edit and render a series of short films in 720p HD of about at 8 minutes each- about 3 hours of footage all up? this is effects, colour correction and audio production all included?
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Old November 15th, 2006, 09:30 AM   #10
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Hey it works great. I did an entire HDV music video on my Macbook Pro and the start of an instructional video edit before I moved it to my G5. I will still use it to do various projects even after I upgrade to a Mac Pro.

If you plan on using a laptop for extended edit sessions, once again I'll suggest a few things:

1) Download an Mac Intel temperature monitor program. Here is one that works: http://www.bresink.de/products.html . Monitor it at intervals. If you feel the area to the left of the trackpad gets very hot then the computer is not disipating the heat enough. In the long term this isn't good.

2) Get a laptop cooler stand with built in fans. I have a NotePal by Cooler Master which, with minor adjustment, is working well for my 15" laptop but is more suited for a 17" laptop. There are others on the market. Most fan coolers discourage you from actually putting the laptop in your lap, something slightly distressing about whirling fans near that place of your body.

3) Purchase an external firewire 800 drive and if feasible capture your footage there. This way the heat generated by the drives during playback is not in your laptop. A 15" Macbook Pro needs an Express34 card adapter to have firewire 800, the 17" has it built in. If you can't capture to an external drive, at least have one to backup to. Firewire 400 will suffice for this.

4) Keep in mind that laptop hard drive upgrades are the domain of a service center. Towers are designed to be upgraded by the user.

These are all issues that tower users don't have. After you consider them whatever your final decision is, it should be a good one.
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