Is it true that better to leave MBP open than in clamshell for ventilation?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ejosepha, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. ejosepha macrumors 6502

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    Jan 12, 2009
    #1
    I visited the Genius Bar at an Apple Store in Paris today and was told that even though my MBP 17" is attached to a 30" ACD, it is better to leave the computer open than in the closed clamshell position because ventilation intake occurs through and around the keyboard area. I haven't notice that temperatures go up at all in the clamshell position but the Genius recommended leaving the computer open. My desk would be cleaner and neater if leaving the computer closed makes no real difference. But if it really is semi-dangerous or harder on the machine I could leave it open.
    Any confirmations or advice concerning this?
    thanks
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #2
    It was true on the older models, but the unibodies have a layer of plastic right behind the keyboard. The claim that ventilation occurs through this layer of plastic is more or less a myth.

    It does increase the surface area available for convection cooling, but that's about it.
     
  3. ejosepha thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    So ventilation is the same whether closed or open?
     
  4. Reelknead1 macrumors 6502

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    #4
    If your not seeing high temps with it closed then continue to do so. It also protects it from mess on your desk, such as drinks and food. That is if you commit those sins while using an apple product lol. The 17" have very good cooling compared to the others due to the size of them.

    All the way back to the later G4 aluminum laptops they were fitted with plastic under the keyboards, so ventilation would be lessoned by this.
     
  5. Minimoose 360 macrumors 65816

    Minimoose 360

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    #5
    My 17" MBP is usually connected to my monitor in straight clamshell mode and it's fine. Download smcFanControl and set it to the menu bar so you can monitor your temperature.

    I've played games like StarCraft II and been perfectly fine.
     
  6. ejosepha thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I use IStat Pro and haven't seen any tremendous difference in temps, though when I have downloaded large files, like films, I do notice that the fans come on after a while and I don't remember that they did this previously. Other than that, I haven't seen any big difference in temperatures. The guy at the Apple Store just recommended this for general ventilation and cooling purposes.
    Perhaps for large file downloads and other heavier work it might be better to leave the computer open, and then leave it shut in clamshell for day to day work; but if you are playing video games in clamshell I can't imagine it making a big difference open or shut.
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #7
    Yes. The vents for both air intake and exhaust are located at the rear of the MBP, which are not blocked by closing the lid.
     
  8. MisterFeeney macrumors 6502

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    #8
    I use my MacBook Pro in a BookArc and have not noticed it any hotter than it is when in my lap. As a side-note, apparently running the MacBook in clamshell can boost performance.


    (Via TwelveSouth)
     
  9. ejosepha thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    The gentleman at Apple suggested turning the display off by diminishing the light to the last stop and leave the computer open. I am going to test temperatures doing it both ways to see if there is any difference at all performing the same workloads.
     
  10. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #10
    I would not worry about it. It is designed to run in clamshell mode.
     
  11. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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    #11
    I've tried it extensively both ways and looked at temps carefully. If there is a difference, it is very small. If you want to be more aggressive with the fans, use smcfancontrol.
     
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #12
    It's important to remember that Apple refers to its tech support people as "Geniuses". That's only their job title, and not a description of their knowledge or intelligence level. Don't believe everything they tell you. In this case, you were mislead.
     
  13. ejosepha thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Thanks for the input.
     
  14. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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    #14

    He is not a real Genius ... an imposter Genius ... lol

    Your Mac was designed to run in Clamshell mode ... there is no venting coming through the keyboard ... it is perfectly safe to continue running in Clamshell :cool:
     
  15. Phazer macrumors member

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    London, UK
    #15
    From time to time I use my MBP in clamshell mode and the temp goes up only slightly, nothing to worry about.
    What really annoyes me though is that when it's in clamshell and I'm downloading something big, or loading a video from youtube or facebook, the mouse will become all laggy and it won't respond correctly.
    This happens only on wifi, not if I'm connected with an ethernet cable.
    And only with magic mouse, not usb mouse.
    Am I the only one?
     
  16. MisterFeeney macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Strange! Why do so many people use iSkin-like keyboard covers and not have any sign of a hotter running MacBook? That is, in a sense, covering the keyboard just as much as the screen would in clamshell mode if not more.
     
  17. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

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    #17
    That's because the so-called "Genius" is giving his personal advice, as opposed to "Apple" advice. Clamshell mode is fine, as are keyboard protectors.
     
  18. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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    #18
    there is No air coming in or out of the Keyboard :cool:
     
  19. ejosepha thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #19
    If the computer is running only slightly hotter in clamshell as opposed to open, as stated by a few people above, what would account for that if there should be no difference at all? Perhaps, as one poster suggested, it would just be more surface exposed externally.
     
  20. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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    #20
    the little bit of difference is because of the Hinge area ... when open it lets a bit more air get to the hinge area ... the keyboard actually has a plastic shield under the keys where air cannot pass through. :cool:
     
  21. SubaruNation555 macrumors 6502

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    #21
    If you're worried about it download smcFanControl for when you're really pushing the computer but your MBP can handle it just fine without. For what it's worth, I've used my Santa Rosa MBP in clamshell mode on and off for the last 3 years and it's perfectly fine.
     
  22. drambuie macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 16, 2010
    #22
    Does that mean that liquids spilled on the keyboard won't reach the interior of the MBP? I can see where syrupy liquids could gum up the keys, but turning over the MBP immediately to drain the keyboard, then rinsing well with distilled water, and draining should clear that.
     
  23. applepearpp macrumors regular

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    Oct 19, 2010
    #23
    get a cool pad. summer here in my region is like 100 - 110 and without the cool pad my 15 inch can cook an egg on it.
     
  24. JohnnyComeLatly macrumors member

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    Nov 12, 2010
    #24
    I have my MBP hooked up to a 24" LCD and when I close it, the display turns off. I just always assumed there was no way to get it external display only, closed.

    How do you get it to work?
     
  25. Erasmus macrumors 68030

    Erasmus

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    #25
    I would not be worried about the internals of your computer. They will take the heat. I can get my CPU temp up to 100˚C if I really try (Using normal software, not by doing stupid stuff like blocking vents, lol) according to iStat Pro.

    What I would be worried about is the screen. When I push my computer (see sig) the metal bezel just above the keyboard gets too hot to touch. I don't like the idea of the bottom of my screen being 2mm away from that.
     

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