Benefits of clam mode?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by nightlong, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. nightlong macrumors 6502a

    nightlong

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    I've been looking for info about the benefits of using clam mode with MacBook Air. Do you get better performance with only the external screen activated? Sorry if this is such a basic question, but I'm a newbie and clam shell mode is new to me.

    Planning to get 13" MBA and external monitor and would appreciate some advice on getting best performance. Does having the MBA vertical in an arc stand help with cooling ... Better than sitting flat on a desk? Does the MBA get hotter in clam mode?
     
  2. MacBird macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2010
    #2
    I leave my laptop a crack opened when attached to an external monitor for better heat dissipation. A stand might work, too as long as the back of the computer faces upward.
     
  3. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    #3
    Read this thread to see how an MBA is cooled. From this, you should be able to determine the best way to position your MBA when connected to an external monitor.
     
  4. nightlong thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightlong

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
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    Australia
    #4
    Thanks for the info. So, does clam mode improve performance? I presume it must, otherwise people would use both screens with different things on each?
     
  5. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #5
    THis has me wondering too. I guess the main benefit is that the mba can divert all its resources towards powering the external display, rather than splitting between its screen and external display, so you should theoretically get better graphics performance.
     
  6. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    #6
    How could it improve performance? Direct from the graphics controller to the screen versus out a cable to an external monitor. What do you think is faster? Also, lots of people use both screens with different things on each. Why would you assume they don't?
     
  7. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #7
    All of the VRAM (256-384MB on the 2011, 512MB on the 2012) is available to the external display in clamshell mode.
     
  8. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    #8
    As anal as many people on MR are, going out an external cable HAS to be slower that a short ribbon cable, right?:D
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #9
    The answer is yes, you will get better graphics performance only running the external display with the lid closed than you will with the lid open and the graphics chip being forced to run both the internal and external monitor at the same time.

    There is only some incidental radiant cooling occurring with the lid open and it won't make much difference. Same with the position of the machine.
     
  10. molson2k macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    #10
    There is no benefit/drawback from using a MacBook Air/Pro in clamshell mode. I use my MacBook Pro in clamshell mode all the time. You might get better cooling if it's on a stand but I just leave my MBP flat on my desk and it performs just fine with no issues. I prefer using my MBP with an external display instead of having dual screen activated because I don't like my windows zipping half off on two screens, so it's just a matter of personal preference on how you want to use it with an external display only or dual display mode.
     
  11. nightlong thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightlong

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    Location:
    Australia
    #11
    Most of the setups I've seen in pictures in this forum with Airs and monitors use clamshell mode and so I assumed better performance must be the reason.

    ----------

    Thanks, this is helpful
     
  12. yoyoma1992 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    #12
    Is there an option to make the macbook display only on the external monitor and have the actual macbook screen turn off? I know you can do this in windows 7 because I always choose the option that makes my asus display on my external but my asus is completely black and turned off.
     
  13. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #13
    Not in Lion. There is a terminal hack here that will do what you want. I have also read of people putting a small magnet in just the right spot on the Macbook to trick it into thinking the lid is closed.
     
  14. yoyoma1992 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    #14
    I think you get better wifi reception with open lid?
     
  15. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #15
    So many answers to a simple question. Wow

    It allows for a larger screen and a more comfortable working environment at home. Sitting over a laptop working night after night isn't good for you!!

    Will performance differ? No not unless your running both the air screen and an external.

    Just make sure it's sitting on a hard flat surface to allow the cooling to work and your golden!
     
  16. nightlong thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightlong

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    Jun 16, 2012
    Location:
    Australia
  17. th1nk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    #17
    I am using "open clamshell mode". just put a weak fridge magnet to the area left of the keyboard near where the magsafe2 connector is and the screen will turn off while keeping the lid open. that way you get the best of both worlds: higher performance and better cooling though the vents in the keyboard. :)
     

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