MBPR 13" Clamshell Temps?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by $MacUser$, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. $MacUser$ macrumors 6502

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    Mar 27, 2005
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    Los Angeles
    #1
    Hey hey. Will be in the market for a new Mac laptop within the next six months or so. My current MB Air 11" (late 2011, 1.6GHz, Iris 3000) does the trick just fine for most everyday stuff but it really doesn't like any type of video editing...which yes, I know, goes without saying. I'm referring specifically to iMovie, which in fairness I only use on a laptop once every couple months as needed. The 11" air is usable in this capacity but especially clam shelled (as I typically run it) requires a cooling pad. Ramps up to maximum fans really quick in iMovie and I've noticed some online live conferencing clients also get it spinning up as well.

    I'm wondering what type of heat one can expect from the retina 13" MBP either the current iteration or the skybridge one coming out soon. Specifically for HD video editing in iMovie. I imagine the built in cooling on the MBP = better right out the gate, and I'm also assuming the Iris 6100 and new chip will show heat improvements. Ideally I'd like to run it without a cooling pad if poss.
     
  2. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    Location:
    Oregon
    #2
    You can run any Mac portable in clamshell mode without a cooling pad. The CPU will throttle if the temps get too high.
     
  3. $MacUser$ thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I get that. Thing is my late-2011 MBA 11" with Iris 3000 graphics spools up to maximum screaming fans and becomes nearly unusable without an external cooling solution when running graphically-intensive programs. I also understand this wasn't the intended use of the MBA, but I didn't anticipate using it for editing until I found out I'd occasionally need to edit in iMovie with my laptop. Hence my eventual transition to the entry-level MBPr.

    So I guess I'll just ask directly: For those of you who've used a MBPr 13" of the latest generation with Iris 6100 graphics in clamshell running graphically demanding applications--like iMovie chopping together HD footage--what sort of temps are you getting? Is it practically useable in this configuration or should an external cooling solution come into play? I assume the MBPr has better internal cooling compared to the air to begin with but I don't have a baseline for comparison.
     
  4. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #4
    You won't need an external cooling solution. The way the chassis is built makes them nearly useless anyhow.

    The fans ramping up is both normal and needed, hearing the fans do their job is not what I consider "unusable".
     
  5. $MacUser$ thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Unusable in the sense that it it will reach TMax and shut down without an external cooling solution...I could care less how much noise it makes. I've had this happen streaming over video conference (with some background programs running) and also editing HD video---literal shutdowns.

    I've monitored my MBA with and without external cooling, and temps in iStat show 10-12C+ difference at anything over idle, which by anyone's standards is significant and does, in fact, make the difference between usable and literally unusable. And no, there's no problem with my heatsink et al, I've seen these results on identical machines in work.

    About the chassis design, not sure where you're getting your data but the entire body of contemporary Macs act like a heatsink, moreso than any other design I'm aware of. It's aluminum after all, an excellent thermal conductor...not as good as copper, but not as prone to corrosion either...which is why apple chose it. They transitioned from Titanium for this reason (among others). See chart for reference: http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-d_429.html

    Common sense dictates reducing the temp of the aluminum case--as stated an excellent conductor--will naturally decrease the internal temperature through osmosis. I've proven this to myself time and again with an IR temp gun and temp probes. Even if it Macs were made of carbon or some other insulator increased cool air density close to the intakes and an upward draft to prevent stagnation will, obviously, net dividends. This is common sense. Anything pushing or forcing air over Macs will naturally have a positive effect, especially in clamshell and especially when the fans are mere millimeters away.

    Not trying to play who's the smartest. Again, just wondering what kind of temps people are getting in the real world with MBPr 13". Pretty simple.
     
  6. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #6
    It sounds like something is wrong with your Mac to me. Apple supports running all Mac portables with the display closed.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201834

    I've run my 2015 13" rMBP in clamshell mode while watching movies on my TV via HDMI. I don't monitor temps because I don't believe it's necessary, but it didn't shut down and I didn't notice the fan. I haven't run anything as processor intensive as video editing though.
     
  7. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #7
    I had very good grades in heat transfer classes back in school and know all about that, but thanks for putting the information out there for anyone who could be interested in reading up a bit.

    As far as Apple transitioning to aluminum, they likely transitioned from titanium for cost, ease of forming (back then, machining now) and durability reasons, with conductivity way far behind any other reason for switching. Titanium is soft, scratch prone and doesn't like being formed in a oxygen rich environment amongst other things. Basically the choice was made from an ease of manufacturing and cost standpoint.

    Back to the matter at hand. Your computer reaching tjmax tells me something is wrong with it. There is no reason for this to happen, ever. I've had multiple macs over the years running in clamshell mode with all cores maxed chugging away for hours, or even days on end with no problem. You can surely agree that running a video conference is nowhere near having all cores and the GPU at maximum power for a few hours.

    Regardless, a 13" rMBP and MBA's cooling systems are two very different beasts. There is more air in the rMBP's chassis to be moved around, a bigger and more powerful fan and a much larger heatpipe with a bigger surface area.
     

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