Gamin in clamshell mode on the 15" with 750m

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by SVTmaniac, May 29, 2014.

  1. SVTmaniac macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2013
    I've decided that I'm going to upgrade from my 13" rMBP. I'm going to go today to pick up a new 15" 2.3, 16, 512 with the 750m in it. I currently have my 13" for most stuff and an Alienware mx14 for gaming. That Alienware is ok I guess, but it's like a clunky dinosaur compared to my Macbook. So I've decided to get the best of both worlds, gaming and the sleekness of a Macbook.

    That being said, I have a 27" Thunderbolt display that I will be hooking the 15" up to and would prefer to run the Macbook with the lid closed while doing this. I have heard that some of the cooling comes through the keyboard. Is this correct? Would gaming with the lid closed be too dangerous as far as heat goes?

    I run my 13" this way all the time but of course I'm never gaming on it since the HD4000 can't really play many hardcore games.


    Also can a mod correct the typo in my thread title? It should say Gaming, not Gamin.
  2. skyhawkmatthew macrumors member


    Oct 1, 2007
    There is no cooling airflow through the keyboard, so that is not an issue, however I imagine with the lid close it will still hamper heat dissipation somewhat. I have found with my 2009 MBP that when it gets hot while running in clamshell mode it must enter some kind of throttling mode. Framerates drop significantly until I open the computer, at which point they immediately pick up again. I can't find any documentation of throttling when in clamshell mode, but I believe it does happen.
  3. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    Sorry I don't have much insight on the clamshell heat issue. In principle there is no problem, since the rMBPs take air in on bottom/sides and vent through the hinge. In practice it might be a bit hotter than with open screen, but still it shouldn't damage the system or hurt performance.

    I'm wondering why you are not looking into a new gaming notebook. While the 15'' rMBP is an amazing notebook, it is a bit of a compromise compared to your current setup. It has a little less mobility than the 13'' (mostly the size, battery and weight are not that different), and of course a solid gaming laptop should be able to offer better performance. A compact desktop might even work better with your TB screen.
  4. yabai macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2007
    You might consider the Razer Blade as an Alienware alternative. Very Macbook-like in size.
  5. Acronyc macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2011
    I have a 2012 15" rMBP with the 650M and game with it hooked up to an external monitor and bluetooth keyboard/mouse. Whenever I use it for intensive gaming I just leave the lid open and turn the internal screen off. Even if there's no technical restriction to cooling with the lid closed, I feel like leaving the lid open can't hurt. After 1.5 years I haven't had any problems.
  6. SVTmaniac, May 29, 2014
    Last edited: May 29, 2014

    SVTmaniac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2013
    Thanks for the information everyone. The reason I'm not looking to get another gaming laptop is because currently I have the newest Mac Mini quad core i7 16gb ram and a 256gb ssd and I also have my 13" rMBP. The Mini is connected to the TB display and sometime I run my 13" on it as well. Then I have the Alienware mx14 that I've been using for gaming, but it will not connect to my TB display and I really hate that. I know I could sell the TB display and pick up a Dell 27" or something that would work with it, but I really like my TB display. I picked up the 15.4" today as a "One machine to rule them all" sort of thing. It's decently portable and it's just as powerful as my Mini plus it has a dedicated Gpu so I can game on it.

    My mx14 has a quad core i7, 12GB ram and a 650m with a 512gb 5400rpm hard drive, so theoretically my new 15.4" should be just as fast if not faster. And I'm happy with the performance of the Alienware as is. So now I'll have more portability than the clunky Alienware, more power than the Mini, And more screen than my 13" rMBP and the ability to use it on my TB display. Now I can sell all three of those other systems.

    Edit: Another bonus I have now is the ability to drive a 4K display whenever they finally figure out how to perfect those things. I couldn't do that with the Mini or the 13" rMBP as far as I know.
  7. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    I got the same mbp for similar reasons. Good choice!

    Basically all laptops have a similar issue. With the lid open, you get some extra passive cooling through the top part of the case. However, the fan is doing most of the work. If you are gaming in bootcamp, you can just disable the built-in screen if you want and keep it open. However, I chose to keep the screen open and on for the extra cooling reasons and because I paid the extra money to have a fancy retina screen!

    I've got to 2880x1800 at 125% DPI, the screen real-estate is just ridiculous. Everything is readable from a reasonable distance, but you have the workable area of almost two 1920x1200 displays to use. With it showing just an empty screen and running a game on a 1920x1200 external screen, my FPS was about the same as if it were off.
  8. Jerz macrumors regular


    Dec 21, 2013
    Boston, MA
    On a 1080p monitor, my 1TB SSD, 16GB RAM 15" Macbook pro Retina late 2013 runs very well. Rarely do you hear the fan turn on.

    I play league of legends and the FPS on everything max settings goes up to 100. That matches some of the gaming laptops.

    Someone mentioned the razer laptop here, my friend has it and that runs 70 fps on the native resolution. I know im comparing 1080p to some hi-res razer laptop but gaming on the late 2013 retina with external monitor runs perfectly fine.

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