Closed lid MacBook Pro desk setup ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by CookieFlow, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. CookieFlow macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2015
    Hi all,

    So I purchased a 15" TB MacBook Pro 2016 at launch and I haven't been using it as much as I should since I am often at home and I have my PC setup already in place.
    I am getting back to the Apple Eco-system with an iPad Pro this summer and waiting for the iPhone X next month. Since most days I am actually not gaming, and just doing basic stuff, I would like to setup my MacBook Pro as my main desk PC.

    However my desk is tiny and I would have to run it closed on a vertical stand like a Twelve South BookArc. However (maybe I shouldn't?) I am worried about this idea and that the thermals might get too hot and be bad for the screen, touch-bar and other components.

    I wouldn't been doing crazy tasks with this setup, but it would be driving a 34" 3440*1440 monitor, with generally 10+ Chrome/Safari tabs with 1440p+ video streaming quite often.

    So before buying all the usb-c cables, stand and wireless peripherals, I would love some feedback !

    Thanks !
  2. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    I run my closed lid 2017 13" TB at 4K (3840x2160) for hours on end with no issue. In fact, I don't hear any fan noise for 90+% of the time. is harsh on MacBooks, though. It will get hot when watching streams, but it won't cause any damage - "clamshell" mode (closed lid) is a perfectly normal use case.

    What's deemed an unsafe temperature in a gaming PC is perfectly normal on a Mac. It takes some getting used to, but it's true. 90C in a PC - you've got a serious issue. 90C in a MacBook - you've still got another 15C to play with.
  3. 2IS macrumors 68030

    Jan 9, 2011
    I'm not sure where you're getting this information from, but the TJMax temp on a i7 7700k (commonly used in a gaming PC) is 100C and the load needed to get that CPU in a gaming computer up to that temperature is going to be ridiculous. The load needed to get a MBP to that temperature is going to be a fraction of what a gaming PC with a 7700k would be able to handle.
  4. mcpryon2 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 12, 2008
    I use my 15" 2016 in clamshell most of the time, partly because of keyboard problems. I use a 27" 4k monitor and do audio and video editing daily and haven't had problems with it. The CPU temp regularly gets in the high 90s centigrade, especially when encoding and playing World of Warcraft.

    I sent it in to be repaired and am getting it back tomorrow, hopefully with a new keyboard. The 15" 2017 I have at work's keyboard was instantly better than mine. It feels and sounds different. My 15" is a monster with everything I throw at it and I want to like it again, so I've got my fingers crossed for a keyboard like the work one.
  5. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    That was exactly my point. I just simplified for the sake of the audience.

    MacBooks run significantly hotter than your average gaming PC, and I was warning the OP about this as for many it is a surprise.
  6. CookieFlow thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2015
    Thanks for your input guys ! Guess I will go for it !
    Running the CPU at 90+ C with the lid closed for extensive period would get me really worried, but I guess they are made to withstand that amount of heat.

    @andy9l That is one of my worries, I almost always have Twitch open, and it does get the MacBook pretty hot for what seems a fairly basic task. But it's much better on my 15" 2016 than on my 2013 MB Air which was getting crazy hot.

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5 September 26, 2017