Using MBP vertically in clamshell mode?

siritalks

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 19, 2011
85
1
Hey,

I've just bought a Thunderbolt Display which I'm hooking my Macbook Pro up to. I'm thinking of buying one of these stands (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Twelve-South-BookArc-Vertical-MacBook/dp/B002LARBWM) to allow me to store the MBP vertically and save desk space.

However, I've read two things...

Firstly, that running your computer stood up vertically can cause performance issues and even damage the disk drive?

And secondly, that running in clamshell mode will cause the MBP to get very hot.

Any one here got any experience with using their MBP in a vertical position, and if it effects performance at all?

ST
 

Macman45

macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
13,198
133
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
I've seen this done, but wouldn't want to personally. I too would be concerned about heating issues, although the machine will shut itself down automatically if it reaches a critical high.

I'm looking for a stand to enable me to do something similar with my Pro, but I'm going for one that keeps the machine in it's standard horizontal position.

Plenty around. It's okay to do this type of thing with iPads etc....I might even consider it with my MBA as it has an SSD and therefore no moving parts as a conventional hard disk does, but IMO vertical is not for the MBP.
 
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siritalks

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 19, 2011
85
1
I've just had a chat with Apple about this, and they said that as long as the MBP isn't moved whilst switched on it should be fine, and also, the general consensus is that it might actually be better for the cooling of the machine to store it vertically.
 
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snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
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Firstly, that running your computer stood up vertically can cause performance issues and even damage the disk drive?
Whoever told you this is an idiot. Hard disks don't give a crap what orientation they're in, so long as they don't get moved/vibrated around too much.
And secondly, that running in clamshell mode will cause the MBP to get very hot.
A few degrees at most, nothing dramatic. In fact, technically speaking(one would have to calculate it) the heat transfer by natural convection on the body might even be better when it is stood up veritcally as the bottom plate is exposed to more natural air movement.
 

Nielsenius

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2011
565
0
Virginia
Ever since getting a Cinema Display I've been using my MacBook Pro in clamshell mode when I'm at home. I don't use the BookArc (considered it, but thought it was a pain/waste of money). The Mac will get somewhat hotter in clamshell than it would doing the same tasks while open. I play Minecraft. In clamshell my fans get around 5000 RPM. Open they get around 4000. When watching flash videos my fans are more likely to go past 2000 (base). I think that the BookArc would allow for more heat dissipation since more air is allowed to pass over the machine.
 

siritalks

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 19, 2011
85
1
Thanks for the info!

snaky69, with regards to the disk drive, sorry I was actually referring to the DVD/CD drive, not the hard disk. Is there any damage to be done there with a vertical orientation?
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,177
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NYC
Is there any damage to be done there with a vertical orientation?
As long as you do not move the computer when there is a disc in the optical drive, you should be fine. Just look at the iMac; it's been using vertically operated optical drives for ages.
 

Boe11

macrumors 6502a
Sep 12, 2010
516
23
I've used my macbook pro this way for quite some time, and it works just fine.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,436
800
I too would be concerned about heating issues, although the machine will shut itself down automatically if it reaches a critical high.
The impact on heat in clamshell mode is minimal. The primary cooling is through the vents in the rear, near the hinge, so the only benefit to having the lid open is some dissipation of heat that is radiated in all directions. Apple notebooks do not depend on the lid being open to maintain temps in a safe operating range. If that were the case, Apple wouldn't give instructions on how to operate in clamshell mode.
snaky69, with regards to the disk drive, sorry I was actually referring to the DVD/CD drive, not the hard disk. Is there any damage to be done there with a vertical orientation?
You can orient your Mac in any position, horizontally, vertically, at an angle, etc. It doesn't matter to a SSD, HDD or optical drive, as long as the Mac is stabilized.
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
5,904
484
Thanks for the info!

snaky69, with regards to the disk drive, sorry I was actually referring to the DVD/CD drive, not the hard disk. Is there any damage to be done there with a vertical orientation?
Nope the optical drive clamps the disc in place on it's spindle, orientation doesn't matter there either.
 

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
10,853
11,240
Vilano Beach, FL
I was originally going to do this (did with my HP DV7), but I kind of like having my integrated monitor running concurrently, gives me a little extra desktop working space :)

When I close my lip, I definitely hear a different sound if the fans are running, like slightly restricted airflow (like holding your hand over a vacuum cleaner intake), but since other posters have pointed out, it's part of the design engineering [to operate closed], I wound't worry. I might wind up running two external monitors, in which case I'll definitely run mine closed and vertical.

I also noticed a tiny bit of the same sort of restricted airflow with it just sitting flat, sound so I propped up the rear of mine, just a tiny amount, like 1/4" or so on a small rubber bumper, figured it couldn't hurt. When I'm not neck deep in development, I want to use iStat and check the temp variants (vs. different activities).

My HP has this spectacularly dumb design of the main vents on the bottom, so sitting without being elevated bumped the heat a good 15+ F


Whoever told you this is an idiot. Hard disks don't give a crap what orientation they're in, so long as they don't get moved/vibrated around too much.
Haha, yeah, though there was a time, when HDD manufacturers suggested against anything outside of perpendicular mounting, and some even specifically noted no vertical mounting ... that was OLD school though when I was building machines in high school (early 80s).
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
5,904
484
Haha, yeah, though there was a time, when HDD manufacturers suggested against anything outside of perpendicular mounting, and some even specifically noted no vertical mounting ... that was OLD school though when I was building machines in high school (early 80s).
True enough, but back then hard disks were huge, heavy and poorly balanced. Now everything is machined to a few thousandths of an inch of precision, it just no longer applies.
 

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
10,853
11,240
Vilano Beach, FL
True enough, but back then hard disks were huge, heavy and poorly balanced. Now everything is machined to a few thousandths of an inch of precision, it just no longer applies.
Oh I know, haha, I was just thinking about the ol' days of giant HDDs when they were so temperamental (...and doing low leve formats, "cheating" on RLL encoding to squeeze out 50% more space, all that crap ...).

BTW kind of semi-on-topic: iStat is showing ~70° with my Win7 VM (running VS2010, IIS, SQL, EM, notepad, VPN) and my native OSX running Mail, iTunes, Chrome, a few misc services (like DropBox), I did have ITunes running too, and it had a few surges toward 76° :)
 

SPNarwhal

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2009
1,237
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illinois
You should look into a HengeDock, it pretty much does the same thing but it connects all the ports for you when you place it in the stand. This one I'm sure you will need to connect and disconnect ports every time you want to take your laptop.

http://hengedocks.com/
 
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D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
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Thought I’d give this thread a little bump.

I pass on the info to a friend of mine, also running a MBP (17”) with an external display. We talked about the possibility of the closed top reducing airflow, etc., some of the thoughts from this thread.

However, we’ve both been experiencing - based on our really inaccurate science :D - cooler temps with the top closed.

I’m wondering if not having to drive the internal display (less CPU/GPU), the lighting (display, keyboard, tend not to totally dim these when it’s open), reduces heat better than any additional venting that might occur with the lid open.

...?
 

phyrexia

macrumors 6502a
Sep 3, 2010
611
0
I bought a BookArc, like it a lot, use it a lot. No issues. Not even increased heat that I can tell.

----------

You should look into a HengeDock, it pretty much does the same thing but it connects all the ports for you when you place it in the stand. This one I'm sure you will need to connect and disconnect ports every time you want to take your laptop.

http://hengedocks.com/
Now that is awesome. Might have to check one of those out.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,436
800
I’m wondering if not having to drive the internal display (less CPU/GPU), the lighting (display, keyboard, tend not to totally dim these when it’s open), reduces heat better than any additional venting that might occur with the lid open.
There is no additional venting with the lid open. There is no air intake or exhaust through the keyboard on any Mac notebook, and there never has been. Both intake and exhaust is through the vents in the rear, which allows venting with the lid open or closed (for operating in clamshell mode). There is a solid panel under the keyboard, preventing any meaningful airflow.
 

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
10,853
11,240
Vilano Beach, FL
There is no additional venting with the lid open. There is no air intake or exhaust through the keyboard on any Mac notebook, and there never has been. Both intake and exhaust is through the vents in the rear, which allows venting with the lid open or closed (for operating in clamshell mode). There is a solid panel under the keyboard, preventing any meaningful airflow.
That makes sense! I think the discussion in this thread of potential temperature differences (open vs. closed) were making some assumptions about the [fan/vent] design (which is why I said might).

I suppose it’s possible due to some change in the heat dissipation like you pointed out above.

However, I’m definitely seeing generally lower temps with the top closed, same with my friend, but it’s of course hard to determine if your workload is the same, same apps, even the house temp :) Like I said, not very scientific. :D
 

djrod

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2008
1,011
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Madrid - Spain
There is no additional venting with the lid open. There is no air intake or exhaust through the keyboard on any Mac notebook, and there never has been. Both intake and exhaust is through the vents in the rear, which allows venting with the lid open or closed (for operating in clamshell mode). There is a solid panel under the keyboard, preventing any meaningful airflow.
Weird, I had a 13" 2009 Macbook PRO and the heat went up when I run it in clamshell mode.
 

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,217
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Weird, I had a 13" 2009 Macbook PRO and the heat went up when I run it in clamshell mode.
It would do a lot of heat radiates through the keyboard! People also forget the gpu will generally be running hotter driving a larger panel!

As for the arc. Try to keep the hinge side at the top you'll notice better temps this way.
 
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