Using rMBP at -8 celsius

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by J3ffry, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. J3ffry macrumors member

    Dec 30, 2012
    Hey all,

    I'm going to beautiful La Plagne in the france Alps on friday. Where with a group of students and besides skiing my role is to host some apres-ski parties over there. They will be held outside of a local club. Temperature at La Plagne varies from -4 to -8 celsius now. It would suit me best to use my own computer; however the manual says you should use your computer at a minimal temperature of +10 degrees celsius. However, I also went to the Alpes in January at another student-party thingy and saw DJ's use their MacBook at similar circumstances...

    What's your opinion about this?

  2. Asuriyan macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2013
    Condensation from abrupt temperature changes is going to be your worst enemy. When you're going indoors, make sure the computer is powered down. You may also see some oddities with the screen- slow response times, etc. LCDs don't like cold. Be careful about humidity as well.

    I wouldn't recommend outdoor use in general, but as long as you're careful you shouldn't kill the computer.
  3. J3ffry thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 30, 2012
    Okay, thanx!

    So you advise to let it adjust to the outside temperature before turning it on, and when i'm done turn it off and let it cool down (how long?) before taking it inside?

  4. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    I wouldn't use it at all outside if I were you, most laptops are not made to be used in extreme temperatures.

    Oh, La plagne, I've there long time ago, huge ski area, you can ski for days without being on the same piste.
    Expensive though.
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Being so cold and clearly far out of the stated operating temperature "Operating temperature: 50° to 95° F (10° to 35° C)" is there a risk that the LCD component will freeze in -8?? That is the liquid in the LCD freeze and cause dead pixels?
  6. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    At the altitude airplanes fly to get your MBP from china to wherever you are, it is a constant -55°C, and I don't think the cargo areas are heated, so it probably gets pretty cold in there...

    I don't think the LCD is in any kind of danger. My GF left her cellphone outside overnight by accident a few times this year, with temps reaching into the -20°C's, and there were no adverse effects on here phone's screen.
  7. akdj macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2008
    If you're going to use it outside, no---definitely don't let it adjust to the cold (before powering up)---instead, turn the computer on indoors first...let it warm up and ready itself---and then bring it outdoors for the party, you'll be fine! Don't turn it off while outdoors, keep it on until you come back inside. I use both iMacs and MBPs and do the same you're planning to do...for a living, in Alaska. We do a ton of outdoor parties and many during the winter months. I also host a yearly 'spring break' deck party at our local ski resort, outdoors on the back deck. My limit is 15ºF, about -10ºC. You're close...but if you can get a small tent area---possibly one of the portable propane heater deals...or if you can set up next to any type of heating area (fire pit, etc), this will help with your peace of mind. The biggest thing about electronics is NOT powering them up when they're under the posted thermal limits suggested by the manufacturer....once they're powered up, they're typically just fine to move to colder areas---just don't let it 'sleep' or hibernate. Even the LCD/LED (display) will/should be just fine as the back light keeps the display warm.

    You can always pack a small electrical heater with you---plug it in next to your computer (they look like small fans). This will help with 'peace of mind'. Your temperatures aren't too extreme. You're lookin at about 22-26º F which is a pretty typical temperature where I live...about 8 months of the year;). We do a lot of weddings outdoors in the winter months as well.

    PM me if you have further questions about your gear. The same should hold true for the rest of your equipment. Amps, speakers, mixer, et al. Keep them warm until you're ready to bring them outdoors, power them up immediately to 'keep' them warm. Their own thermal warmth, even in standby will typically be enough to avoid any kind of damage. The last thing you want to do though is what I quoted you on. Don't let the gear 'equalize' to the outdoor temps before turning on the power. That's where you can run into issues.

    When you're done with your show---keep the computer powered on when you return indoors and power it off 10-20 minutes later.

  8. pgiguere1 macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    Even the iPhone shouldn't be used at subzero temperatures according to its specs. I use mine all winter in Canada, often being outside for 1h+ at temperatures reaching -30 degrees. I often have my iPad/rMBP in a backpack as well, which must reach this temperature as well by the time I get to school.

    I wouldn't care too much about it. Never had a problem with any of my Apple products and I've used them for years at much colder temperatures. Never had to wait to use them or anything. Maybe your battery won't last as long. At some point, your trackpad may also stop detecting your finger (but at a colder temperature than -8), but it won't crash or anything at -8.
  9. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2012
    put it into a ziploc bag before getting it indoors, and only open it after it warms up inside the bag. that way, no problem.

    same thing goes for cameras or electronics in general.
  10. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    A battery doesn't like cold but afaik it only can hold less charge. If it heats up again it shouldn't have a problem.

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