2011 MBP as a desktop replacement

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by SDAVE, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. SDAVE macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2007
    Here's my specs:

    2011 Early MBP
    15" Anti-Glare HiRes Display
    2.3Ghz Quad Core i7 (Sandy Bridge)
    16GB RAM (Crucial)
    256GB Samsung 830 SSD (SATAIII)
    23" Aluminium Cinema Display (via TB to DVI)
    Apple Aluminium keyboard
    Logitech wireless mouse

    I use this laptop as a desktop all the time nowadays and just unplug the cables if I am on the go and just stuff the laptop in my bag.

    My question is, when I have it in clamshell mode, it just seems a bit "laggy" than when I have it open as a laptop.

    My question is, why does it feel sluggish when in clamshell mode? The fans are always running high (which is a known issue with the MBPs).

    Why doesn't it feel like a "desktop"? The processor is plenty fast, the SSD is there, RAM is adequate. What am I missing? I highly doubt the AMD GPU is having issues at 1920x1200.

    Anyone else have similar experiences?

    I mean I have a Mac Pro and it always works smoothly, no lag. It's a 2008 Quad Core.
  2. Aodhan macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2012
    I use a very similar setup to you. I have a 2012 MBP, which I use in a BookArc, connected to a 23-inch Dell 1920x1080 monitor. I also use the Apple wireless keyboard and Magic Mouse.

    How fast are your fans running? On mine, they run around 1996RPM unless I start gaming, then they shoot right up into the 5000s-6000s.

    What sort of performance issues are you having? Do the keyboard and/or mouse feel sluggish, lagged, or stuttering? Or is it actual software operations that seem sluggish to you? Because I have battled with problems with my keyboard and mouse lagging, and that lag disappeared when I took my MBP out of clamshell mode and used it with the integrated display. For me it was a matter of the clamshell interfering with the bluetooth signal. I moved my MBP and BookArc closer to my mouse and keyboard, and my problems have almost entirely resolved themselves.
  3. SDAVE thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2007
    Thanks for your reply,

    the fans are usually running 2000-6000, mostly around 3500rpm.

    It just feels a bit sluggish when I browse, work in photoshop, have multiple apps open. When I check the CPU usage, it's not even being used for more than 20%.

    Note that this is a fresh install of Lion when I popped in the SSD.

    I've used desktops for a long time and I like the fact that all my files are portable and I can just move around and come home and continue working on a bigger screen.

    I have similar issues, I do get disconnections from the Apple BT keyboard.

    Overall, it just doesn't feel like a "desktop" when in the clamshell mode. I can get work done, but it's kind of annoying sometimes that it works fast, then all of a sudden can get laggy.

    This never happens with the Mac Pro or iMac's that I've used.

    Maybe Mountain Lion will fix this?
  4. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    The fan always running high is not really a known issue. The thunderbolt port is only connected to the GPU, thus the GPU is always on when you're running your external display.

    The lag could be attributed to the fact that you're using a wireless mouse. The trackpad has virtually no stutter, but I can notice lag on my Orochi when it's in wireless mode. When it's wired, I crank it up to 1000Hz, but when wired it's at 125Hz so it's 8 times as laggier. I guess that kind of exaggerates it, but it could be the cause.

    Have you enabled TRIM on your SSD? If not, doing so will help a lot. No matter how fast a SSD is, if there's garbage data cluttering it up, it'll always be slow.

    Boost your computer with some cleaning with Onyx. Again, garbage data and such can slow you down a lot. Also, verify your SSD so you're 100% sure that it doesn't have any problems. Fix any permission errors.

    I run my 15" MBP through a Thunderbolt Display (2560x1440, more pixels than your monitor, mind you) and when it's idle the fans run at 2000RPM and the CPU hovers at 63°C.

    I emphasize that the mouse and SSD could be causing this. I bought the Orochi because it was a wired/wireless mouse but ironically I almost never use the wireless mode because it's really laggy compared to the wired mode.

    I am able to edit on Photoshop and manage my photo library in Aperture at the same time while having a lot of apps open with only 8GB of RAM in clamshell mode. So the only problem I can see are those two...
  5. Dragoro macrumors 6502


    Nov 27, 2010
    I keep seeing "clamshell mode" talked about on these forums. What exactly is that?
  6. Aodhan macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2012
    Running a notebook with the lid closed, connected to an external monitor.
  7. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    My laptop is almost the same as yours, although I have a higher capacity ssd. I'm not having lag. You could test if it's the mouse. I've never bothered with clamshell mode as that means having to situate an external keyboard. Works fine with a 1920x1200 display that I use.
  8. Dragoro macrumors 6502


    Nov 27, 2010
    Thank you
  9. SDAVE thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2007
    I've tried the wired Apple mouse/keyboard combo, and it's similar.

    I have a feeling that it's Lion.

    I hope ML makes the performance better.

    I am used to OS X being super fluid so this is distracting me from actual work.

    Also just enabled TRIM on the Samsung, hope that helps a bit.

    The sluggishness is everywhere. Watching quicktime videos in Safari, multiple tabs, Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign operations etc. It just feels like the computer is CAPABLE of being fluid, but something is not allowing it to have the full potential.

Share This Page