Does the Unibody MB heat up with the lid closed?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Ryuukumori, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. Ryuukumori macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2008
    Surprisingly, I haven't seen a single thread on this topic, whereas it has been around for quite some time with MBPs.

    Lets say I wanted to use a MB in desktop mode, with a wireless mouse, keyboard, and external monitor. With the lid closed, and the external monitor as the only screen (main screen), will the MB heat up?

    Oh also this came to mind. I know it might have been an issue in early Leopard stages, but there were glitches where doing this desktop mode will cause the notebook screen to go dark and you have to reboot if you want to use the notebook's screen instead or with the desktop screen. Does this happen with the MBs now?

    Thanks for the help everyone.
  2. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040


    Sep 28, 2008
    As to the first part of your post, yes, posts here in the past suggest the computer does get a touch warm in desktop mode.
  3. Ryuukumori thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2008
    So I should leave it open then, and use the external for a secondary display?
  4. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040


    Sep 28, 2008
    I suppose it depends how long you're going to use it in desktop mode. The fans should/will kick up if things get too warm anyhow.

    I like to think of it this way: If Apple didn't think the computer could handle it, they wouldn't have made it an option.
  5. chevychase macrumors member


    Oct 26, 2008
  6. tubbymac macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2008
    I've been using my Macbook with the lid closed for months and it doesn't heat up any more than with the lid open. I don't play games on it though. For normal web browsing it runs fairly cool. When watching HD video content the fans start ramping up and it gets warm. The only thing I notice is that under OSX operating it in clamshell mode causes the wireless connection to lose signal strength. I'm guessing because the antenna is horizontal instead of vertical maybe?

    I haven't had to reboot if I wanted to switch screens in OSX. When I open the lid the Macbook screen comes on and if I unplug the adapter the external screen turns off. Works properly and as you expect. The only bug is that every so often when the machine comes out of sleep the external monitor has "static" on the screen that looks like when a TV channel goes out for the night. It's a pretty well known problem though and simply unplugging and replugging the adapter fixes it.

    Under Windows it's a different story. If the monitor goes to sleep it requires a reboot to get it to work again. This is with a Dell 2407.
  7. macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2008
    I have my macbook in a stand and it helps to cool asweel, so I guess it would compensate the heat created by being in clamshell mode. Anyways, doing regular stuff and internet browsing keep it ok. Aroun 50c~ @2000RPM so its fairly decent. Maybe you can keep track on your own and see what temps you get while on clamshell and with the lid open.
  8. polaris20 macrumors 68020

    Jul 13, 2008
    It should be fine, however I would recommend using the laptop as a secondary display anyway, as it's very functional to have multiple screens. I can't live without it! The larger screen can be your primary, and the MB would be a secondary. Then when the laptop is on its own, it'll revert to the MB being primary.
  9. macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2008
    i think i do have lower temperatures with the lid open than closed, both with the stand. Now i have 47c, when i posted i was around 52 with the same stuff (itunes and firefox only)

    However i dont like to leave it open in order to avoid getting dust on it. +5c is acceptable for me.

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