When Using an External Monitor - Clamshell or Open?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by amabo, May 17, 2009.


When using an external display, is your laptop:

  1. Open w/ the display off

    8 vote(s)
  2. Closed, in clamshell mode while running external display

    21 vote(s)
  1. amabo macrumors member

    May 2, 2009
    Hello, as I'm going to be buying the Mini-DVI -> DVI cable tomorrow I just wanted to get a general consensus of what most users do when they're running with an external monitor. Usually I like to use just 1 screen (with spaces, 2 displays gets confusing) but when using just 1 display I tend to leave my laptop "open" so that there aren't any heating issues (as I guess is recommended).

    What do you do? Closed in clamshell or open with the display turned off?
  2. u49aa2 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 3, 2008
    Between Heaven and Hell
    There is no recommendation from apple advising to avoid clamshell, actually they have a page in apple support giving instruction about how to use it:


    I use clamshell mode very often and never any heating problems.
  3. dhuang macrumors member

    Feb 9, 2009
    Clamshell... cannot get used to the PPI difference between the uMB and my Dell 2407. Plus, there's just not enough space on there!

    And I like the sleek look when closed!
  4. RDM3 macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2009
    Concordville PA
    I have mine closed all the time, I just opened it today and unplugged the power cord to runt he battery down, I do it every so often to cycle the battery, but when I opened it I put my hand near the keyboard to check for heat and it was fine.
  5. dontwalkhand macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Why no option for Open with the display on? I use it as a second monitor.
  6. amabo thread starter macrumors member

    May 2, 2009
    Because that's not the question the poll is addressing - it is when you're using an external display as the display to your laptop, is your laptop closed or open.
  7. dontwalkhand macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Yes, but open and on, is not an option...an external monitor can still be used on the laptop, with the laptop display also on.

    EDIT: Nevermind, I just read the thread, Why would you not want to use it as an external monitor? I find it more productive.
  8. Apple all life macrumors 6502

    Apr 2, 2009
    Me too I usually work on the external screen and use my macbook screen for itunes for watching movies or tv shows during work.
  9. peepboon macrumors 6502


    Aug 30, 2008
    Doesn't really matter, lol... whichever u think looks best :)
  10. Buskape macrumors 6502


    Dec 10, 2008
    NGC 4889
    Open with the display off, allows for more heat dissipation = less heating, thus a longer overall component lifetime for my aluminum MacBook :apple: :)
  11. peepboon macrumors 6502


    Aug 30, 2008
    SOME, only some heat goes through the keyboard area
  12. amabo thread starter macrumors member

    May 2, 2009
    Why do I find something wrong with this... Regardless, I'd like more input as to whether or not the heat effects the screen / topcase, etc. of the laptop if it's left in clamshell mode while plugged into an external monitor and charger.
  13. pellets007 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 28, 2009
    New York
    If I do clamshell, which I usually never do, I'll leave it open so I don't have to attach a keyboard. But it's more efficient to leave the display on, so there's little point.
  14. Sareth macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2009
    Option 3, closed when engaging in basic tasks, open for anything processor intensive.
  15. UnderLoK macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2009
    Detroit (not IN it)
    It's fine... We aren't talking about a Prescott or the old PPCs here where the thing would singe your pants. Common sense should tell you to try it, put your hand on it and if YOU think it feels too hot, don't do it. As you can see by the poll, most of us aren't concerned.

    One thing to keep in mind though, getting it to work just on the external screen can be a little screwy at times.

    That would be OPEN then :rolleyes:
  16. drj434343 macrumors member


    Jan 11, 2006
    Portland, OR
    I've used mine both ways and noticed something interesting. When open, the heat management allows the CPU to go to 90 C. When closed, it only allows it to get to 80 C. Thus, while the argument could be made that closed allows a higher percentage of heat to get to the screen, leaving it closed will force your CPU max temp lower for processor intensive tasks.
  17. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Jan 8, 2009
    I find it too hard to type when closed. :D

    Really though... if closed you're just restricting heat dissipation. Over time, that's got to be bad for the mac's innards.

    But that's just me!
  18. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    I use both, Closed when doing light work, and open when doing heavy video/audio work.
  19. FmlyDskst macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2012
  20. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    Thank you for necromancing this 3 year old thread to show us how fancy you are.

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