MacBook Pro vs Desktop PC as a workstation?

Started Nov 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
graybalanced
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Re: MacBook Pro vs Desktop PC as a workstation?
In reply to acidic, Nov 9, 2012

I've always used Macs...but you should always be wary of the fanatics. You are right to be suspicious of his recommendations.

This isn't strictly a Mac or PC question. On both platforms, laptops are getting so powerful, and with such high-speed ports, that a lot of the reasons to get a desktop are going away.

I have a Mac Pro desktop workstation. I bought it because it had more cores, could take more RAM, and more internal fast hard drives, and could drive more monitors than a laptop...at the time.

But now, the MacBook Pro can take 16GB RAM, which is more than my desktop has. If you use a desktop for the fast storage, the Thunderbolt port plus a RAID enclosure equalizes that, and Thunderbolt or USB 3 gives you as fast external storage as a desktop. The potential problems that still exist for laptops are the capabilities of the video card and the future internal expandability (of which the MacBook Pro Retina has absolutely none; get the non-Retina if you want internal expansion).

I was starting to wonder what my next desktop might be, and I'm not sure I'll get one. I was thinking about the Mac mini, though...with a quad-core i7, two fast internal SSDs, a Thunderbolt external RAID, 16GB RAM, and two monitors attached, it would be most of a Mac desktop for a fraction of the price.

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