Macbook - clamshell vs extended desktop

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by jmb667, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. jmb667 macrumors regular


    Aug 7, 2008
    Philomath, OR, USA
    So I was wondering what other people do with their Macbooks and external you use your Macbook in clamshell (closed) mode or open as an extended display? I've been using mine in clamshell mode, but am considering going extended instead. Thoughts?
  2. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
    When I had my 12" PowerBook, I worked in clamshell about 99% of the time. The notebook's display was just too small and physically separate from my 17" LCD to be of much use.

    On the other hand, now that I have an iMac, I've been using dual-screens since day one.
  3. steve31 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2007
    Edmonton Canada
    I use mine closed most of the time:D. I have a Appple 24 led cinema dislay.
  4. finnschi macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Well i would use it closed ( I am in fact right now) because its too annying to switch back and fourth between my 22" and my macbooks small screen, its just too hard to move windows and stuff around, and really doesent help at all!

    Sometimes I let iTunes run on my macbooks screen, or my EyeTv while i am doing photoshop stuff, so I think it depends on the situation!

    Its really bad that I can't connect my two 22" Samsung Screens to my macbook, but only one... it would be great for finalcut, because i used to work with both monitors connected to my Powermac,so i had a nice viewfield which i now Don't, but considering faster rendering times thats still worth it! :apple:
  5. MooneyFlyer macrumors 65816


    Nov 18, 2007
    I actually use mine open to the right of my external. I put something over there that I want to look at occasionally like a streaming stock window or itunes. I find that works well.

    I've got the Alu MB with the 24" LED and one problem that I do have is when I disconnect the desktop icons that were on the LED are nowhere to be found on the MB. I can bring up Finder to find them. It looks like the MB doesn't reset its understanding of the bounds of the desktop so the icons are off the edge somewhere. Maybe someone can tell me if I'm doing something wrong...
  6. musiqzuki macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2008
    How do you run the Macbook Alum. on external display in clamshell mode??

    When I close my Macbook Alum lid. The monitor screen also goes to sleep...

    help appreciated
  7. Chandler Adaway macrumors 6502a

    Chandler Adaway

    Jun 29, 2008
    Beaumont, TX
    I think all you do is hook up your mouse and keyboard and shake the mouse to wake it up.

    You might have to do something in the Pref. though.

    I don't know.
    My first Mac is currently in transit to my house, so I'm a noob. ;)
  8. macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2008
    yeah, that works. OR you can power on your macbook and close the lid right away with your external monitor plugged in, and it will use the external monitor as the main display.

    I also read that placing some magnets will make it think it is in clamshell while its in fact open and allow a good heat/air flow through the computer. I have a stand so I dont worry about that, but still be careful with magnets. They are not safe for HD's, I believe.
  9. MattyK macrumors 6502a



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  10. musiqzuki macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2008
  11. musiqzuki macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2008
    thanks for the tips and advice.

    so by having the macbook alum. in clamshell mode, heat flow is disrupted? i'm assuming heat comes out through the keyboards or something...

    a stand helps disperse heat flow though with clamshell mode enabled though?

  12. jonbravo77 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 20, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    I use it open to the left of my Dell 21". Keep Adium and My Day open over there.
  13. macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2008
    Some that using a stand helps because the whole device is mostly in contact with air from the room. Whereas leaving it over a desk you notice how the heat accumulates and you can feel the heat beneath the desk after a while.

    As for using the computer open, well, since the whole computer case is metal, having the most of it exposed to the environment helps to dissipate the heat. Using clamshell takes out the palm rest and keyboard from direct exposure to the environment.

    I dont think using clamshell is bad if you dont use demanding tasks, in the other hand if you are making the computer run hot very long times, then maybe it is not a good idea to leave clamshell all the time.
  14. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    Hahahaha that probably makes some people jealous, smaller than a mac mini.

    I keep my macbok open. Firstly, I don't have a USB keyboard. And when I will, I'll probably keep open next to my 22" display. Hey, extra space, why not !?

    I usualy keep my main work on the 22" and then swoop things that don't have to do with it on the macbook or if I don't have the space for it on the 22". Using audio software, watching a movie or playing games isn't fun when you shrink the window to put other stuff. It also removes the wrist job of opening exposé, I can see pretty much all my windows all the time. Mind you the macbook does get cluttered, having iTunes, firefox and adium open all at once, I actually have to flip windows or use the mini player. It can both be a plus as I can see all my info at once but I guess that since I don't really need it, it could cut in my productivity at some point, great time waster.

    Once I do get a keyboard, I'll probably center the big display and keep the macbook on the side. That said, I like having both the touchpad and the mouse. Being able to do pretty much all my surfing on the pad (tab flipping, going back and forth) and a couple of time savers with multiclutch.
  15. fedup flyer macrumors regular

    Jan 18, 2008
    I am pretty sure the mag close has absoluty nothing to do with the sleep function. I had an issue a couple of years ago with my Macbook going to sleep based on the angle of the screen and would not sleep when it was closed. I did a PRAM reset (and a coouple of other things I dont remeber) that led me to believe that there is a micro-switch in the hinge that determines sleep.

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