27' ACD as Main on - MBA open but screen OFF?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Mechinyun, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. Mechinyun macrumors 6502

    Jun 24, 2010
    Racking my brain here.. this AIR is my first mac with the cinema display, i have googled it but the answers were all from years ago.

    So question is, i want to leave my MBA open, but the display off (heat/energy/performance).. and run it 100% through my 27' ACD. If the machine goes to sleep, I have to go through this crazy operation of closing the MBA, waiting for it to do its sleep cycle, then open it back up, which keeps the MBA screen off and the ACD on.

    Isn't there just a software of key combination to keep the display off on the MBA no matter what?

    Assuming the answer is "no option to do that, which is crazy, but true".

    Anyone know how the new MBA senses that it has been closed? Trying to think of a way to trick the MBA to think its closed, but yet OPEN!
  2. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I always just use both the MBA's display and the 27" LED ACD's display... but I will try it out tomorrow afternoon if you don't get an answer by then. A little tired to try it right now...

    Is there a reason you don't want to just use both displays? I find it works best myself. You don't want them to mirror when you do that, and you get even more desktop space when you use both. It's a little tricky at first though, as you have to realize when you're on the bigger display that you need the mouse pointer high enough when you move it back to the small display. Once you get used to it, I think you would enjoy it.
  3. Mechinyun thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 24, 2010
    Hey thanks, I was thinking that given the MBA has so little Vram/weaker GPU in it, that powering the 27 incher with its crazy resolution is pushing the little guy pretty hard. (13 inch/4gigs)

    I figured leaving the laptop display off would cut down on how many pixels its trying to push and maybe a bump in performance. Maybe im wrong?

    But, there is a definite difference in my running temps/ fan kicking in with moderate work - between just the air by itself vs the air + the ACD 27.
  4. shootingstar64 macrumors regular


    Nov 27, 2008
    Monterey, CA
    no thread hijacking here,.... just chiming in for a second

    i just bought the new base model macbook air 11.6 (2gb/64gb).

    now i am wondering if i would buy the new 27" acd will this workout, speaking of the 3-way cable to fit to the air and will the graphics of the 11.6 be powerfull enough to drive the 27" acd?

    thanks for your help
  5. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I use mine with the laptop closed connected to a 30" display. I have a dual link DVI cable so I can run it at 2600 X 1600. I haven't noticed any heat or performance issues.

    I know that I can also connect my MBA to my 27" iMac as well, but I have not tried that yet (I probably won't). It just seems that if I am going to be using that machine at all, I might as well be using the i7, more memory, and Gb wired connection to my NAS drives.

    I got into the habit years ago of not using my laptop and desktop screens simultaneously because of some screwy operations of Microsoft Windows. I should try again... I have been just keeping the laptop closed out of habit... but I have been considering getting a book-arc stand to free up some desk space.

  6. Mechinyun thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 24, 2010
    Careful on the Arc, i was going to buy one too until i read this on amazon.com

    "The bookarc ships without the silicone insert required for the macbook air. You need to email the manufacturer to send you one, which they do at their own cost. The #3 insert is designed to support the fat end of the macbook air, the side where the fan vent is located. As such the natural direction of air flow (being up) causes air to radiate back into the case. I found that (using smcFANcontrol) the macbook air runs consistently warmer compared to clam shell mode in the horizontal configuration. It would have made more sense to create an insert to house the thinner end of the MBA, however, would have resulted in the apple logo on the lid of the laptop docking in the upside down position and arguably less stable as the center of gravity on the MBA leans toward the fat end. There is no suitable way for the MBA to work in the vertical configuration, and do not recommend this device for that reason. I must also mention that with the MBA docked, there is around 2 - 3mm of play, which is a bit irritating considering the cost of this device."
  7. Mechinyun thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 24, 2010
    Yes, it will be fine, go for it. Even under heavy load, email, youtube, photoshop, multiple browsers open I barely crack the 75-80c, which is comparable/slightly less than most MBP's and well well below the CPU "danger zone" of 110c plus. GPU is the same on 13 vs 11 which is what matters to me here about the 27', so in theory you should be all good.

    Im just a total OCD nut about 1 degree heat variations, I come from the PC school of watercooling, overclocking, custom building. I dont like my fans to come on ever.. which is insane i know.. but its fun to try.

    I also think my ambient room temperature has alot to do with things, today its cool.. i have my windows open and its 74 degrees in my house..

    Under normal computing (surfing/emailing etc) im barely cracking 42c on the CPU. Which is almost 20 degrees cooler than last night..
  8. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    The GPU is neither weak nor has just "little" VRAM inside the MBA, especially not when talking about simply displaying a desktop.

    Double buffered 32 bit color frame buffers take up very little RAM. The calculation is easy. (# bits * # of pixels / 8) * # of buffers = bytes of RAM required. For the 27" ACD, that's 28.125 MB. The MBA currently has 256 MB of VRAM.

    GPUs have been powerful enough for this stuff for ages now.
  9. joesuburb macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2010
    If you use a bluetooth mouse or keyboard, ->preferences ->bluetooth -> advanced -> Allow Bluetooth devices to wake this computer and just use the computer closed.
  10. ciaran00 macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2010
    I have found SwitchResX to be the only software to nicely turn off the laptop display while it's open without having to worry about it.

    Unfortunately it is not freeware.
  11. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    The former Nvidia 9400m MBA and new Nvidia 320m MBAs can both easily drive either a 27" LED ACD or a 30" ACD.

    In fact, using the Cinemaview Duo device the MBA can drive two 24" LED ACDs. The device can be found at CinemaView.com. Unfortunately the MBA cannot drive two 27" ACDs as it doesn't support that much horizontal resolution. I considered buying the Cinemaview Duo and driving two 24" LED ACDs vs buying using just one 27" LED ACD but ultimately decided one 27" was plenty of workspace.

    Anyone that does go to Cinemaview.com should beware that they also sell an aluminum 24" display that looks like the 24" LED ACD for $399, BUT it isn't the same quality or IPS tech used in ACDs just wanted to share that info since the LED ACDs were being discussed.

    OP, did you get your answer about turning off? Oh, and it can easily drive it's native display and 27" LED ACD without any trouble so if that helps don't worry about it. However if you still want to run just the 27" with your MBA open but display off and haven't received an answer send me a pm so I don't forget to figure it out tomorrow morning when I'm at my desk in front of ACD.

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