Design flaw on the Late 2008 MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by TESEV, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. TESEV macrumors member

    TESEV

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    New Orleans, LA
    #1
    I can't think of anything else. I never really thought about it until I had my MBP do a looping hardware test overnight. I closed the lid and when I got back 6 hours later the fans were the loudest I've ever heard. I opened the lid and the tests were still running. So I looked to see if anything was blocking the vents and that's when I saw it.

    The LCD hinge is simply too close to the main body and thus blocks the ONLY vent. This problem is exasrbated big time when the LCD is closed; the vent shrinks to something a knife could barely fit through.

    I am experiencing the Black Screen of Death along with some other odd anomalies as many other people are which is why I was doing a hardware test. This vent restriction is probably not THE root of our problems but certainly doesn't help things. Also I cannot recommend doing anything more intensive than text editing with the lid closed. Ok maybe that is a bit over-reacting...


    EDIT: got some pictures up.

    The point that I am trying to make here is that the air vent in the back is very restricted, regardless of whether the case is open or closed (tho it does seem to be much worse closed). I am hypothesizing that some of the problems we are experiencing such as the BSOD and very loud fan noise* are made much more frequent due to the very small area for the air to flow through. I'm not a physiscientist but this configuration probably also traps heat since it is harder to move air out.

    And contrary to what some people are saying, Apple designs these machines so they can be operated with the lid closed.

    I am convinced that somebody dropped the ball here.


    *personally, the loud fan doesn't bother me that much but I am mentioning it because I know it bugs other ppl.
     

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  2. RosieKins macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    #2
    So, you wouldn't recommend getting an Apple LED display for the Pro? I ask this since the Pro would be closed during use...

    best,
    Rose
     
  3. RITZFit macrumors 65816

    RITZFit

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    #3
    I believe some of the hot air is also vented through the keyboard (don't quote me on that tho). but I do know that my mbp seems to run a cooler w/ the lid up.
     
  4. lscangus macrumors 6502

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    Newcastle, UK
    #4
    The black screen of death is a known issue to Apple.

    apparently someone will say " This is a feature of the new Macbook pro! How could that possibly be a fault? This machine is mad by GOD apple, and it is benevolent."

    Ignore those people, but this is an known issue which apple is going to fix. If you ran a stress test, did you notice a throttling occurring on your CPU?
     
  5. masse macrumors 6502a

    masse

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    #5
    While I never use an external monitor, sometimes I use my mbp in clamshell mode overnight if I'm downloading something etc. Even under relatively light load it gets pretty hot when closed.
     
  6. lscangus macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Did you use iStats to have a look whats the temperature?
     
  7. svndmvn Guest

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    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Italy
    #7
    They changed the way things were probably because now you can use it on your lap or in bed while it used to be a problem on older generations.
    Just leave it open a bit or completely, sleeping your screen
     
  8. TESEV thread starter macrumors member

    TESEV

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    #8
    Bad design again, especially if the MBP's case is closed. I mean any heat dissipation is good but I really hope they aren't advertising and depending on it.


    Really depends on what you do. I can almost guarantee you'll either get some hellaloud fan noise, or an event that forces you to restart like the BSOD.

    Actually if anybody out there has the late 2008 MBP and uses an external display with the MBP closed I think we'd all like to hear your experiences.
     
  9. nospleen macrumors 68000

    nospleen

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    #9
    I run mine closed with my 23" Display nearly all day. The fan rarely comes on and the MBP never gets hot. So far, so good for me!
     
  10. Grey Mouser macrumors newbie

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    Nov 30, 2008
    #10
    The OP was running hardware tests, which stress the system to it's fullest extent. So I'd expect him to see exactly what he did. A hot system with blocked fans because he chose to close the lid.
     
  11. TESEV thread starter macrumors member

    TESEV

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    #11
    What do you do on your machine? Graphics? Gaming? Is the machine flat on the desk or is it elevated? Do you have a temp monitor such as iStat?
     
  12. sal macrumors 6502

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    Oct 13, 2007
    #12
    I wouln't call it a design flaw because apple can simply say, "a laptop is designed to be used with the lid open". I don't think they had users who use their laptop in clamshell mode in mind. I don't think we make up a large enough percentage to be considered. And I say, "we" because I use it in clamshell mode all the time.

    It's like saying it's a design flaw that I can't put my laptop on it's side like I do my ps3. It was never intended to be put on it's side, just as apple never intended us to use our laptops with the lid closed. If apple designed their laptops to be used with the lid closed, you figure they would give us the option to disable this. instead we need 3rd party software so the laptop doesn't go sleep when we close the lid.

    I guess now I'll have to be more careful when rendering files and make sure it is completely open. I have experienced rising temperatures but not high enough numbers for me to worry about.

    And yes it has to be completely open because I just inspected my MBP and when you close the lid at less than 60degrees, the hinge starts blocking the vents. In order for the vents to be completely exposed, you have to keep your laptop lid completely open.

    I've got some rendering to do later today, I will do a test to compare the temperature numbers with and without the lid being closed. See if the difference in temperature is significant enough for me not to use my mbp in clamshell mode
     
  13. nospleen macrumors 68000

    nospleen

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    #13
    1. I use Aperture, iLife, Safari, Handbrake, Photomatrix, etc... I am not a power user, but I do put it through its paces from time to time. (No gaming)

    2. Laying flat on a shelf. (My setup is on page 12 of the setups thread)

    3. I do not monitor the temp with iStat. It does not get hot, so I am not too worried. I had the original MBP, now that thing got hot. My old macbook gets hot running this setup, but not my new MBP.
     
  14. TESEV thread starter macrumors member

    TESEV

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    #14
    I was running the hardware test because of the BSOD. I like to do a looping test because sometimes errors don't occur on the first run.

    But that's the thing. Laptops are designed to be able to operate with the lid closed. I was not trying to block the fans; that's dumb. Fans should not be blocked simply because the lid is closed. In fact fans should not be blocked ever.

    I had anticipated the system would get hot during the test so I elevated it. I never expected this however. I've never seen this in another laptop.

    I can't run iStats in the Apple Hardware Test.
     
  15. Grey Mouser macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    #15
    Yes, they are designed to do that and do work. However when you run stress tests (which run the CPU at 100% for hours on end) what do you expect? Someone using it as a workstation in clamshell mode won't be doing that. There are periods of inactivity, and many many periods of CPU utilization way under the 100% mark.

    Closing the lid restricts airflow, but it doesn't PROHIBIT it. Set your notebook up tonight in OSX and shut the lid (disabling sleep when lid closed) so you can run in Clamshell and come back in the morning. It'll be warm at best, I'd imagine.
     
  16. spooky2k macrumors 6502a

    #16
    Dude...you have 2 threads already ranting about something that is NOT a problem. Don't bring it into this one. It's a different problem.
     
  17. sal macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    #17
    I don't think they are. just because a few of us like to use our laptops with the lid closed(external monitor) doesn't mean the majority of macbook users operate their machines in this way. We are the minority here.

    The majority of laptop users, use laptops with the lid open
     
  18. TESEV thread starter macrumors member

    TESEV

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    New Orleans, LA
    #18
    They're still posting Knowledge Base articles on how to use portables in closed clamshell mode. Updated 11/17/08.

    That's the point I'm trying to make. The vents should not be blocked!!

    Looking forward to the results.
     
  19. TESEV thread starter macrumors member

    TESEV

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    Jun 1, 2006
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    New Orleans, LA
    #19
    Got some pictures up. They're in the first post.

    The point that I am trying to make here is that the air vent in the back is very restricted, regardless of whether the case is open or closed (tho it does seem to be much worse closed). I am hypothesizing that some of the problems we are experiencing such as the BSOD and very loud fan noise* are made much more frequent due to the very small area for the air to flow through. I'm not a physiscientist but this configuration probably also traps heat since it is harder to move air out.

    And contrary to what some people are saying, Apple designs these machines so they can be operated with the lid closed.

    I am convinced that somebody dropped the ball here.

    *personally, the loud fan doesn't bother me that much but I am mentioning it because I know it bugs other ppl.
     
  20. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #20
    And I haven't really noticed this. I normally just start the computer in clamshell, but once I'm in the OS, I open the display. I also use a Griffin Elevator. It does look like this is a design flaw.
     
  21. brentsg macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    #21
    Tell that to the army of people in the corporate environment that use their laptop closed and in a docking station 99% of the time when they aren't traveling.

    Seriously, there are literally thousands of people doing this in each and every single major corporation in America.
     
  22. cg165 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    #22
    Why wouldn't they still be able to do it? This is honestly really overblown. If you're running stress tests with the lid closed, it gets hot? Wow that's strange. You can still use the computer without any problems while in clamshell mode. People game with it like that on an external monitor and run pro apps from it. Running a stress test on a computer of course will make it hotter, since it's pushing it to 100% and yes heat does escape through the keyboard. The vents don't need to be huge in the back because there really isn't that much heat this thing gives off. The fans don't really kick on because they don't need to. Just my opinion, but I think people come on here trying to create problems that don't exist because of some strange tests. It's a computer, it gets hot especially when pushing it to the max (running stress tests).

    I don't know about some of you, but I didn't get this computer to run looping stress tests all night long to say that it's hot while restricting the heat even more with the lid closed. It's a notebook, the heat has to go somewhere. Why don't you try running actual applications while it's closed and if you're somehow restricted then tell us the programs you used and the temperatures that were reached. Wouldn't that be more useful than this thread? Also you can use SMC Fan Control to set your minimum fan speeds.
     
  23. cg165 macrumors regular

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    Jun 24, 2008
    #23
    Black screen of death? Do you mean when it won't wake up from sleep? I've had that happen. It's never gone black without actually shutting the lid or sleeping it all by itself though.

    Haha, there's always someone who has a problem with everything and anything too and will do whatever it takes to find problems even when one doesn't exist. I'm not saying this machine is perfect, as there are still bugs, but I don't believe there is a hardware bug. If your machine is acting up or the fans are getting really loud for no apparent reason, call up apple or take it into the store.
     
  24. cg165 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    #24
    BSOD in windows or OSX? I haven't seen a blue screen in OSX so I assume you're talking about windows. Have you changed out the default nvidia drivers for www.laptopvideo2go.com drivers?

    Very loud fan noise only happens for me when I'm playing games like crysis, half life 2, far cry 2 or games like that. That's what is supposed to happen though to get the heat out. Maybe I'm confused on this or missing something... are you having the fans get really loud when doing basic tasks? Which OS are you using, what are your temps, what programs are you running (other than benchmarking/stress tests)? What are your default fan speeds? What video card are you using (if in OSX)?

    Please give more information about your problems and I'll try to help if possible. You could just have a bad machine.
     
  25. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #25

    Agree 100%. Do that with ANY laptop and it will get hot, obviously. Some of the people on these boards definitely seem to LOOK for "problems" that aren't there.

    The real question is how does it behave when you're actually using the computer for something useful, something real-world, something you intended to use the computer for? Personally I don't know anyone who buys a computer just to put it in the worst possible environment which has no real world application right out out of the box.

    I guarantee you mine would get very, very hot if I did the same. But, when I run internet, skype, photoshop, premiere pro, and any other usual applications I bought the computer for, it gets quite warm as expected but not burning hot.
     

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