How hot does the MBP 15" 2011 / 2012 run with an external display?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by smellalot, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. smellalot macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2011
    Hello everyone,

    I'd like to hear some experiences of owners of the 15" MacBook Pro's early/late 2011 and mid 2012.

    My MacBook Pro 15" 2010 runs very hot when connected to an external display with the lid open (dual monitors) and I'm very unhappy with this situation since even simple web browsing can make the fans spin up to 3500 rpm.
    The reason is that it always uses the dedicated GPU when connected to an external display.

    Do newer modells behave the same?
    Are the newer models running cooler (more quiet) on the dedicated GPU?

  2. FastEddiebags macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2012
    I bought a cooling pad with a usb hub so I wouldn't have that problem. It works great and the computer temp stays between 60-75 degrees. The fan in the cooling pad I have runs pretty quiet so I'm happy with it. M stand works great too.
  3. swerve147 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2013
    The 2012/2013 15 in. models also use the dedicated GPU exclusively when driving an external display.

    I've been running my 2012 rMBP in clamshell mode for the past week. Temperatures are maybe 4-5 degrees Celsius higher on average (~45-50), fans stay at default 2000 RPM when idle and doing light work, and kick in at the expected times (rendering video, watching Flash movies, playing games), i.e. no significant difference between this and using it normally. YMMV though, depends on how good your thermal paste job is.
  4. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2011
    I've been running my cMBP in clamshell mode for most of the past year with no problem. The fans only go above 2000RPM when I'm doing something CPU or GPU intensive and temps are fine otherwise.

    I would look at Activity Monitor or "top -o cpu" in a Terminal to determine if you have something running that's using a fair amount of CPU.
  5. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2007
    My early 2011 runs an ATD fine. It only gets hot enough to audibly spool up the fans when:

    1. Playing games with moderately high settings
    2. Watching lots of youtube (or other intensive flash use)
    3. Intensive use of the Win7 VM.

    Though only the flash use makes it get really hot.


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