Closed clamshell mode and temperatures / longevity

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by yousifabdullah, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. yousifabdullah macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2011

    Realizing that there are a ton of topics on the subject, I didn't truly find what I am looking for -- I apologize in advance. If knowledgeable people could chime in, that would be great.

    I have the MacBook Pro 15" (Late 2008) model with 2.8Ghz processor and 8GB RAM. I primarily use this computer for video editing and other, fairly demanding tasks (e.g. graphics design). Now I'm not necessarily concerned with heat, as I'm used to working with powerful workstations that can get pretty hot even under moderate load. I'm concerned about the longevity of my current setup.

    Most of the time my MacBook Pro operates in 'closed clamshell' mode, connected to my external display. When idle, the processor reaches 45°C or a few degrees more when the more powerful graphics card is active. During load, such as when processing / transcoding video, it is not unusual for the processor to reach temperatures as high as 95°C. While these temperatures are within safe range, I would like to know if someone has ever had any problem with the MacBook Pro display becoming damaged due to heat or other components breaking down because of insufficient cooling.

    An option I am currently considering is reapplying the thermal compound with something better (Arctic Silver 5 / Ceramique 2). While this is a somewhat risky procedure, I have opened a computer case before and done way more than that. It's only a question of 'whether or not'. Also, I am looking into other ways of keeping the temperature on my MacBook Pro low, if only to make it more comfortable to use when resting on my lap. Undervolting (i.e. with the aid of CoolBook) has done wonders, but currently does not work in OS X Lion. While some products like smcFanControl help keep the idle temperature low, it isn't as efficient as undervolting.

    Anyone here with experience who can guide a fairly new Mac user? Thank you very much.

    P.S. As I couldn't find this information anywhere, is it possible to remove the heatsink on the Logic Board without removing the Logic Board itself?

  2. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    Users who run clamshell for tasks like yourself have not experienced any faults to the display so I think you'll be fine.

    I wouldn't bother. If you're idling around 40 C (I believe that's what it should be idling around at if you're using the 9400M GPU), re-applying the thermal paste won't lower that anymore or have that big of an effect.

    You would have to remove the logic board to get to the heatsink.
  3. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Putting in new thermal paste would make getting to 95C take longer, but it would still go up to 95C, I wouldn't bother.
  4. yousifabdullah thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2011

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