External Monitor: Your experience

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by burdendds, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. burdendds macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2008
    I am considering purchasing a MBA, and I'd like to hear from everyone that has experience using it with and external monitor.

    I've read some posts that descibe it as running really hot, excessive fans, etc. when utilizing and external display. Is this true for all or just some?

    How is the performance? Scrolling, expose', video files?

    So if you are using one with an external display please chime in with your experience.
  2. raremage macrumors 6502a

    Nov 21, 2005
    Orlando, Florida
    I have a 20" ACD and use it when at my office, but admittedly I am not there often.

    Havig said that, my experience is it works fine, but the fans do run pretty much constantly when powering the external display.
  3. Alkiera macrumors regular

    Mar 11, 2008
    I've hooked up my 19" LCD from my WinXP desktop up via DVI... it's 1280x1024, had no issues. Didn't notice fans spinning up hard, but my MBA seems to run cooler than some others.
  4. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    Depends on how you use it. When I'm in clamshell mode, fan runs at max all the time but temps don't rise too high. In dual screen, the fans are mildly running higher then normal.
  5. mykoljay macrumors member

    Feb 1, 2008
    I have mine hooked to a 22" Haans G monitor using a mini-dvi to hdmi plug. works perfect. much better than with my dell and its docking station.
  6. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    I run mine open and plugged into a 23" ACD when I'm at my desk: can't really tell any difference with fans, etc when it's plugged into the monitor than when it isn't
  7. isdereks macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2008
    Is the Air similar to the MacBook / MacBook Pro for external display use with the lid closed? Could I simply place the Air on a stand with it closed, then plug in my peripherals via USB, power cord, and display connector to wake the machine to the external?
  8. Alkiera macrumors regular

    Mar 11, 2008
    People here in other threads have indicated that that is the case. I haven't done it yet, need to pick up peripherals.
  9. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    For just external display use, the system has to be PLUGGED in. It won't work on battery. Just plug everything in (when the system's on), close the lid. The system will goto sleep but press a key on the keyboard and it'll wake itself up.

    If the system's not plugged in, the system won't wake up.
  10. jsobotor macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2010
    MBA must be plugged into power supply for clamshell mode to function

    Am I mistaken in believing that this is detrimental to battery life over the lifetime of ownership? I am currently using 11" connected to Samsung SyncMaster 22" several hours each day. Bad idea?
  11. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    Why even use clamshell mode ? 2 monitors is always better than 1 ! And that way, you can use it on battery (not that it really matters).

    I usually toss iTunes on the MBA screen or a browser window and work on the external display.
  12. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2008
    My 11.6" MBA runs silently almost all the time regardless of if it's on it's own, running a 22-24" external monitor, in dual monitor mode or in clamshell mode. My revA and revC MBAs tended to spool up fans when driving an external monitor but this 11.6 does not do it.

    When running an external monitor video performance is great - fast and smooth. I have an impression that some actions take a bit longer or there is a slight delay in them but it's only an impression and not measurable. Maybe it's just that I have all the special effects turned on still and on my other machines I had them turned off. It's not annoying, just different somehow.

    I tend to run in clamshell mode more often when using an external monitor, with either USB or Bluetooth kb and mouse. If I need the extra screen real-estate I'll run in duel monitor mode but usually I need the room on my desk more so I use clamshell mode and put the MBA in an out of the way spot so I have more desk space close to the main monitor.
  13. jayo123456 macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    I'm using a 24" ACD, and it expose seems a little laggy.

    Fan revs up more easily, on Flash.
  14. ITASOR macrumors 601


    Mar 20, 2005
    I use my 11.6" MBA all day hooked up to a 23" 1920x1080 display. I keep it in clamshell mode and I have never heard the fan before, or felt it get hot.
  15. Mechinyun macrumors 6502

    Jun 24, 2010
    I have my 13 inch ultimate hooked to a new 27'' ACD. Works just fine, the system does run hotter, about 10 degrees. Because of this the fans do cut on a more often as stated above when working with intensive applications and flash.
  16. Masqurin Wizard, Nov 27, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010

    Masqurin Wizard macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2010
    I bought a Dell U2410 Ultrasharp 24" monitor earlier this year to pair up to my Macbook Pro. It was a supremely lovely monitor, with plenty of connectivity options so I could use it with a PS3 and 360 as well. The stand was great and solid, as well.

    But then, after eight months the power started randomly dropping out every few seconds. After a very disappointing round of phone calls to Dell customer services (separate monitor support department, rude staff, lack of support numbers on monitor products) I contacted Amazon who refunded it on the spot. I was very happy with Amazon's service, but dismayed with Dell's - it was a *lovely* product, but terribly supported. I won't be buying any more Dell products for a few years.

    I'm planning on making my next purchase a 27" iMac for both the quality of the screen (I'm lucky enough to work with a flawless example of the machine) and the great support I've had from Apple.

    My Macbook Pro ran very hot while playing WoW, but then again it always did. The framerate suffered slightly. Otherwise, I felt that the performance using simple desktop apps was essentially identical. In my experience running in closed-lid mode made a very small, but surprisingly noticable difference.

    (Apologies for MBP stuff - I went and posted and realised the context was much more MBA-specific than I thought :p)
  17. flickwg macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2006
    I've tested my MBA 11 with my Dell 30", connected by a mini display port to display port cable, it works fine with no problems. I love the fact that something so small can power something so big.
  18. gonzoguy24 macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2010
    I hook my 13", 4GB Ram Air up to my 40 inch HDTV via mini dp to HDMI and i never notice any issues. Fans kick on sometimes but with the sound from whatever movie/tv show I am watching I do not notice...Only time I have seen a performance issue is running itunes visualizer full screen on my 40" HDTV hahaha.

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