closed macbook + external screen. overheating?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Diddiyo, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    central jersey
    #1
    hi all.

    i have a 1st gen macbook and i just got an external screen. i was planning on using the external screen only most of the time (putting the macbook to sleep, then hit a key on external keyboard to wake up the external screen). but i'm a little worried about the macbook overheating while running hardware-intense applications/games for a longer time since the laptop is closed and heat might not get out that well.

    have you guys any experience with that kind of stuff and could give me some insight if there's any reason to be worried?

    thanks in advance :)
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    slpdLoad

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    #2
    Don't worry - they're designed to be used in that mode. The fans expell the hot air out the back just as well with the lid closed. Take a look at the opening under the screen hinge. As long as it's resting on a solid surface and the back has some breathing room you should be fine.
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio
    #3
    I would definitely install smcfancontrol and ramp up the minimum fan speed while you do this. Running in clamshell mode decreases the ventilation and makes the mac run hotter. If your screen is exposed to too much heat then it will ruin the macbook's screen. Just take extra precautions before you run hardware intensive apps in clamshell mode because you don't want to ruin your screen.
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    #4
    yea it should be fine its built to do that kind of stuff and just make sure your room isnt a furnace
     
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    central jersey
    #5
    thanks guys :) the macbook is on a regular desk with plenty of room to the back. maybe i should buy one of those laptop coolers that you place under the laptop? just to make sure.

    i installed it and ramped it up to 3000rpm. even without the screen closed it goes up to 79C/174F after half an hour of playing quake 3 :eek:

    i'll play with the settings a bit and see what I like :)
     
  6. macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #6
    That seems pretty reasonable to me.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    central jersey
    #7
    ok then :D just seemed pretty high since idle-temp. is only about 55C/132F.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Malawi
    #8
    What about decreased air input? The air enters the MacBook through the keyboard. If the screen is shut, surely that would slow down the flow... And I think heat dissipates through the top of the laptop as well.
     
  9. macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio
    #9
    Yeah these types of temperatures are not good for the screen. These would be fine if the lid was open but since heat rises and therefore dissipates through the keyboard, it comes directly in contact with the LCD screen. I would suggest having the fans run at 4000 or 5000 rpms when you are playing games to keep the temps down. Then you can lower them after you are done. I keep my fans at 3000rpms on my uMB normally and then raise them for games and video transcodings and stuff. You really don't want to mess up your screen so I suggest spinning the fans faster.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    Location:
    Somewhere in Texas
    #10
    If you play games that are somewhat processor intensive, the fan will be ramping itself up anyways.
     
  11. macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #11
    A cooling pad is probably not a bad idea, just in case.
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    #12
    I use my Macbook mainly in closed-lid mode and have done so for over six months since I got it and have never had any problems. Yeah, it gets hot, but what people seem to forget is it's MADE TO GET HOT.

    The only way it can overheat and damage itself is if it gets to be over 100 C, at which point the processor automatically shuts itself down, but I've never had this happen since the built in controllers keep it below 100 C.
     
  13. macrumors G3

    Kilamite

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #13
    I'd keep the lid open. It will get hotter when in clamshell mode..

    Though it is more of an issue with the new MBP's since when in clamshell mode the air vents are literally blocked. Nice one Apple..
     
  14. macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    #14
    Exactly what I was about to say. Wake the computer with the lid closed, then after 5 or 10 seconds and the displays have finished adjusting, just open the screen up. It stays off (until you restart or wake from sleep again) and lets some of the heat escape from the keyboard area. That's how I usually run mine w/an external monitor.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    opinioncircle

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    #15
    Yeah definitely agree. I know that closing the lid maybe a little more stylish, you should just keep it open.
     
  16. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #16
    Warning

    I have a unibody MacBook Pro, not the latest enhanced battery ones, the previous model...

    I have been running it in closed clamshell mode for a while (several weeks), I tend to leave it on as it runs some TCP services but when I came to use it tonight and opened the screen the display looked like an old interlaced CRT screen with flickering black lines across the screen. It has taken about 5 hours for the display to return to near-normal, which indicates it is most likely the heat causing issues.

    I had checked lots of forums for a similar answer when I first bought it as I wasn't sure whether I should leave the screen closed or not but from now on I will be keeping the lid open even when connected to an external display....

    Just so you know!

    p.s. interested in knowing if anyone else has ever had this issue?
     

Share This Page