"Clamshell Mode"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Relznuk, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. Relznuk macrumors 6502


    Sep 27, 2009
    UT, USA
    I have questions about how to use clamshell mode, and hopefully you folks can help me out.

    I have an external monitor for my 13" MBP. The external monitor (actually an HDTV) connects to my MBP via HDMI (through the use of a MDP to HDMI adaptor.) I have been trying to use this in clamshell mode, however, whenever I close the MBP, the external monitor also goes blank.

    Does anyone know how I can prevent this from happening (besides using a program like Caffeine or InsomniaX, which are often buggy and problematic)?

    Basically, I want to use my MBP in a desk setup. The MBP will be in a sideways stand, and I have a wireless bluetooth keyboard and mouse (Magic Mouse and Apple Wireless Keyboard) that I want to use with it while it's connected to the larger external display.

    Another problem I am having with this is that whenever I shut the MBP, bluetooth stops working.

    Does anyone have a setup like this working for them, and if so, can you offer tips and suggestions that I can use to get this working?

    J. Glenn Kunzler
  2. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England

  3. hellric macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2010
    I don't think it's very good for the MBP to do that, I tried for word processing and internet browsing, and the computer was really hot ! I think the air intakes come from the holes on both sides of the keyboard, so if they are obstructed, air doesn't flow well.
  4. tatical macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2009
    Intake & exhaust location

    I've never used the clamshell mode, but the intake & exhaust are located in the hinge area (the folding area between the screen & main body).
  5. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    Yes, but MBPs also dissipate a little heat through the keyboard. I ran my MBP in a clamshell mode for several months with no issues. Lately though it's been sitting open on my mStand so that I can use it in a dual-screen mode. This is much more convenient.
  6. kasakka macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    I use my MBP mostly in clamshell mode all day long at work. No problems and it doesn't run hot. The fans only ramp up when viewing either Flash videos (damn you Adobe!) or if you have anything blocking the hinge edge of the MBP.

    To get clamshell mode working, you need to have the power adapter connected and a keyboard and mouse connected, doesn't matter if they're USB or bluetooth, at least my Magic Mouse seems to wake the laptop just fine.

    So essentially just have the laptop open so it's running, then close the lid, the laptop goes to sleep and then you hit a key or mouse button on the external input devices and it wakes up.
  7. ml2k1 macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2009
    does the processor, harddrive or anything else in the macbook slow down when it's in clampshell mode?
    I ask because I heard that if the macbook doesn't have a battery attached, then the processor or something isn't used at its full potential.
  8. 8CoreWhore macrumors 68020


    Jan 17, 2008
    Big D
    If nothing else - just dim the display and lower the lid most of the way.
  9. coledog macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2006
    Roanoke, VA
    Clamshell mode won't hurt it a bit, I use it on and off in it and it runs great.

    So far been 3 months or so doing it.

    If it hurt the computers Apple would have disabled it by now since Powerbooks have been able to do this...

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