What is the ventilation like on a MBA in clamshell?

L T

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 24, 2013
359
32
UK
So guys, I have my MacBook Air on a blue lounge mika stand, so its stood up with the Apple logo facing me the right way up.

I am using it in clamshell mode with the my iPad as the keyboard and a magic mouse.

I just wondered if it is bad to keep it running with the lid closed, the only openings I can see for it to breath are in the hinge mechanism when the lid is open.

Am I going to cook my MBA by leaving the lid shut?
 

lo100469

macrumors member
Sep 26, 2013
72
9
Brussels
They are designed to be used in clampshell mode, i use mine like this all day long without any problem. Cooling is plenty enough.
 

cyber16

macrumors 6502
Jan 12, 2013
488
26
You will be fine.
Those that think air passes via the keyboard are 100% incorrect.
Air does not pass that plastic membrane on the backside of the keyboard.
 

Attachments

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,217
1,585
The air is pulled in one side of the hinge and out the other side of the hinge. The gap exists wether the lid is open or closed.
 

iizmoo

macrumors 6502
Jan 8, 2014
260
34
The question is, is the fan running? If not mistaken, mine run completely passive even as I'm programming, surfing, and doing productivity works, the only time the fan have ever came on was when gaming.

If the lid is closed, you're also saving power from the display being off. It seem a small amount, but if you're that concerned about heat, every little bit of energy saving will help a lot.

If your fan's running and you're doing regular browsing and office work, then that's another story.
 

L T

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 24, 2013
359
32
UK
I only ever hear my fans when using Handbrake, on that occasion I think I may just open the lid for peace of mind!
 

l.a.rossmann

macrumors 65816
May 15, 2009
1,054
162
Brooklyn
Ventilation is terrible on almost every Apple laptop besides the Retina. There are no ventilation slits, no holes, no window, no nothing. Just a very thin fan with exhaust, but no intake. .

Which is why the 820-2249, 820-2101, 820-2262, 820-2850, 820-2915, and 820-2914 drop dead like flies 2-3 years into use.

The air does not create much heat, so its lack of proper ventilation does not affect it as badly as other models with higher end CPUs & GPUs.
 

DisplacedMic

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2009
1,411
1
i only hear my fan when i'm doing something intensive - open or in clam. it will get a bit warm in clamshell watching a movie on the TBD but barely above ambient.

my fans came on a little bit this weekend b/c i was watching netflix and there were youtube videos playing in the background i'd forgotten about

not bad
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,383
705
Ventilation is terrible on almost every Apple laptop besides the Retina. There are no ventilation slits, no holes, no window, no nothing. Just a very thin fan with exhaust, but no intake.
The intake for most Mac notebooks is in the rear, right beside the exhaust. All recent Apple notebooks were designed this way, to allow for both intake and exhaust, even when operating in clamshell mode. The only exception is the newer retina models, where intake slots were added to the sides, but earlier models still had intake in the rear, near the hinge.
 

l.a.rossmann

macrumors 65816
May 15, 2009
1,054
162
Brooklyn
The intake for most Mac notebooks is in the rear, right beside the exhaust. All recent Apple notebooks were designed this way, to allow for both intake and exhaust, even when operating in clamshell mode. The only exception is the newer retina models, where intake slots were added to the sides, but earlier models still had intake in the rear, near the hinge.
The retina has good intake and exhaust.

The older Unibodies are just exhaust. Feel it. Experiment with a tissue or something.

Or just play a video game on an 820-2850 or 820-2915 board for a few hours and see for yourself. :)
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,383
705
The retina has good intake and exhaust.

The older Unibodies are just exhaust. Feel it. Experiment with a tissue or something.
I have experimented with several models over the past 6 years. Both intake and exhaust are there.