Is it okay to run with lid closed all the time?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by HiFiGuy528, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. HiFiGuy528 macrumors 68000

    HiFiGuy528

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #1
    I am using my MacBook with the lid closed, mainly as a desktop. I plan to run Handbrake to rip DVDs. It takes hours and fan is on constantly. Will the heat dissipate better with the lid closed or open? The vent seems to be on the back and I can feel the heat venting out with the lid closed. Thanks for your input.
     
  2. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    !!!!! keep the lid open!
    Macbooks are not meant to run closed (period)
     
  3. jtibbitt macrumors regular

    jtibbitt

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    #3
    Can you get it to run closed?




    I'd like to see some actual temperature tests. And what about with using an SSD and/or carry bag?
     
  4. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    You have to use a hack to do it. This is an idiotic question, simply because of that fact.
     
  5. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #5
  6. VSMacOne macrumors 601

    VSMacOne

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    #6
    Tons of people are running their MBs in clamshell mode so you should be fine. Just to be safe, I'd have it sitting on a stand.
     
  7. tubbymac macrumors 65816

    tubbymac

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    #7
    I run mine almost exclusively hooked up to an external monitor in clamshell mode (lid closed). It's supported since somewhere on the Apple site, can't remember the link, Apple tells you how to do it.

    All it does when you keep it closed is send the heat out the back and downwards. When you keep it open half the hot air goes out the back and half of it gets deflected up the front of the screen.

    I've noticed no overheating issues or any strange quirks. Just to be cautious though I let the back of the Macbook hang over the edge of the desk. My rationale is that the hot air coming out gets to diffuse into the room air instead of bouncing off the desk or heating up the desk surface this way.
     
  8. arsenijcz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    London, New York
    #8
    i have windows running and i close my lid all the time and let it run through the night, it doesnt get over heated really.
    but running in Mac OS is hard, the screen is constantly on and it creates more and more heat
     
  9. jshelton macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    #9
    I run my Macbook in clamshell almost exclusively. If I am ripping a DVD or downloading something, I will open it up. I do have the MB on a mStand by Rain. It seems to dissipate heat well and it is also aesthetically pleasing.
     
  10. michael.lauden macrumors 68020

    michael.lauden

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #10
    yes of course it's fine. why would Apple include a feature that would damage it's computers.

    just make sure you have the display off (to not wear it out for no reason) while it's closed, and if you do anything processor intensive, that you keep an eye (check every 10-15 minutes or so) on the temps.

    iStat Pro can be a great help, or you can get iStat's menu bar program and just have the temps up there.

    clamshell mode has never given me, or my girlfriend, any problems (on a UMB, or a Alu' MBP)
     
  11. elfxmilhouse macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Northeast USA
    #11
    im gonna have to say youre wrong
    its very possible and apple has an article on how to do this:
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3131
     
  12. SkippyThorson macrumors 65816

    SkippyThorson

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    Location:
    Utica, NY
    #12
    No, everyone is misunderstanding. The MacBook is not meant to run with its lid closed. Not saying it can't, but it's not built to. When the hinge is rotated 90 degrees as the screen opens, it allows from proper airflow through the main vents into the computer that sit just behind it. When closed, it traps heat inside, and we all know how technology feels about trapped standing heat.

    Think of it like the grill to a car. If you block off airflow from the main source, then the machine runs hotter, and much less efficiently than it would normally - the way it was build and intended.
     
  13. belvdr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #13
    Do you know of an Apple doc that recommends not doing this? I can't find one, and if Apple provides a way to do it and no recommendation not to do it regularly, one can only assume they support doing so.

    That's a bad analogy as I fail to see any radiator-like features on the keyboard area of any of Apple's notebooks. Sure there may be one on the internal components, but again, unless Apple says specifically not to do this, all else is just opinion.
     
  14. Chase R macrumors 65816

    Chase R

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    PDX
    #14
    Running with the lid closed, the hot air doesn't get "trapped" inside the MacBook. Instead of flowing out of the back in a straight line or up the screen, it flows down. Just put something under your MacBook like a book or whatever to keep enough space between the desk and vent.
     
  15. elfxmilhouse macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Northeast USA
    #15
    i agree.

    also agree with the poor analogy statement. its specifically stated that the radiator needs airflow to cool. also i do not know of a car that comes with something to cover the grill to operate it in "blocked radiator mode"
     
  16. logana macrumors 65816

    logana

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland
    #16
    Running in "clamshell mode" for extended periods is NOT a good idea.

    The MacBook keyboard is designed to suck in cool air into the logicboard - yes like a radiator.

    With the lid closed the hot air flow from the fan is restricted and the air that can be drawn in through the keyboard is seriously restricted. The lcd screen is also sitting about 1 cm/0.4 inch from the processor and the airport card - both of which are probably about 65-70C.

    Yes - it can be used in "clamshell mode" but the airflow is restricted and the operating temperatures will be higher. I used one closed for about 6 months and the plastic cover for the inverter/hinges turned a lovely shade of deep yellow/brown......
     
  17. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #17
    I never said it wasn't possible, I said the Macbook isn't meant to run while closed. If it weren't possible this thread would have been a lot shorter.
     
  18. jtibbitt macrumors regular

    jtibbitt

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    #18
    There are many speculations of how hot the temperature would get. Does anyone actually see the numbers. It might be that running it closed while sitting on a table is fine, but doing so while carrying it around in a bag is not. But perhaps doing it with an SSD is not as bad as doing so with a conventional HD. And there might be a fan upgrade that would allow sufficient cooling while the unit is closed and running.



    I don't gather you quite correctly. Many hacks are possible that are not dangerous. I'm trying to find out the circumstances under which using a hack like this would be dangerous, and if there is any way around the danger.
     
  19. HiFiGuy528 thread starter macrumors 68000

    HiFiGuy528

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #19
    Discoloring and screen damage are my main concerns. I read that air is pulled in from keyboard area and pushes out via fan to backside. With the lid closed, the fan is working harder. Just wonderring if anyone here experienced discoloring or screen damage (keyboard/trackpad imprint on screen).
     
  20. logana macrumors 65816

    logana

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland
    #20
    See my post (17 above) - it is more difficult to pull air in through the keyboard when the lid is closed. It does the lcd no good to be that warm and yes - you do get discoloration.

    I now use mine open with a small magnet sitting above the sleep switch - it fools the computer into thinking that the lid is actually closed.
     
  21. michael.lauden macrumors 68020

    michael.lauden

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #21

    if you watch nascar you'll see that they block certain airvents to make the car run hotter on purpose to INCREASE performance and aerodynamics.

    too much air is bad, too little is bad.

    however if you run into a problem after following apple's instructions for using clamshell mode, then i think you are entitled to an exchange.
     
  22. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #22
    Yeah... Nascar translates to computers?
     
  23. dr.devious macrumors regular

    dr.devious

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    Truckee Meadows, NV
    #23
    I have found that my wireless and bluetooth performance is less when in clamshell mode...I have not noticed any significant spike through iStat with the lid closed. My WiFi is significantly faster with the lid open.
     
  24. dubels macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    #24
    That makes no sense what so ever. In clamshell mode the vents actually have more space because the overlap from the monitor does not block them. Plus the screen does not take power and thus most likely producing less heat.
     
  25. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #25
    Except it's a fact that the macbooks run hotter when closed, because they get the air that goes through the vent from the keyboard.
     

Share This Page