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Thread: clamshell mode?

  1. #1
    clamshell mode?
    Hi guys

    I'm using a HP 27” external monitor plugged into my USB-C hub along with the wireless keyboard, mouse. my laptop - MacBook Air 13-inch lid is closed 24/7 (in “clamshell mode”) because of my external monitor. Today I noticed that macbook is heating up. Is this normal? I guess it's because of the GPU? do i need to use a cooling fan/table fan to keep the laptop cool or can i just leave it like this?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    clamshell mode?
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    The vent for the Macbooks is right in the hinge between the base and screen. When the screen is opened, the heat has a place to go. Having the lid closed means that the air can't escape easily. Additionally, all Macbooks are made of aluminum and will get a lot hotter than plastic laptops. Generally this isn't an issue, but if you do plan on using it purely in clamshell mode, you might want to get a stand that will hold the MBA vertically and then place a table top fan (could be small) running at a constant low speed right in the middle of the MBA, that airflow should help the heat escape nicely.
    --
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    ...Ashwin


  3. #3
    Hi thanks for the reply.. the thing is i read an article (from apple website) and they say using in clamshell is recommended because both the screens wont be on at any given time.. i thought of getting a fan just wanted to confirm.

  4. #4
    clamshell mode?
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    Not sure what having both the screens on have to do with anything, the only reason to run in clamshell mode is if you have enough other monitors to do what you want. When I use my MBP on my work desk, I plug it into a dock that powers 2 external monitors. I have the apple wireless keyboard and mouse and use the external monitors as my primary work surface and the laptop's screen as my email/chat screen.
    --
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    ...Ashwin


  5. #5
    clamshell mode?
    pm-r's Avatar
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    i thought of getting a fan just wanted to confirm.

    You could always just use Macs Fan Control:
    CrystalIDEA - Uninstall Tool, Uninstall Software, Remove Programs, AnyToISO & Macs Fan Control

    I've used it with all my Mac for many years.



    - Patrick
    ======

  6. #6
    Have you checked "Activity Monitor" for any programs that may be running in the background ?
    KenK

  7. #7
    if u have both screens obviously gpu usage will be high right? anyways from what i can see chrome is using up quite a lot of resources. I'll try and get a fan

  8. #8
    clamshell mode?
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what you are trying to protect. Your MBA came with a screen attached, and is able to support a number of external monitors at certain resolutions, so use it or don't that entirely up to you. The GPU isn't a mechanical part that is going to break down with usage. If things get hot, there are fans inside to bring it down. I would NOT recommend using a 3rd party fan tool to arbitrarily set the fan speeds, since the fans ARE mechanical and will fail over time.
    --
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    ...Ashwin


  9. #9
    clamshell mode?
    pm-r's Avatar
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    I would NOT recommend using a 3rd party fan tool to arbitrarily set the fan speeds, since the fans ARE mechanical and will fail over time.
    I have never experienced any problems over all the years I have been using Macs Fan Control, nor have I heard of any other users having problems.

    Apple's OS may set the maximum temperatures for the fans to work at higher speeds, but too often they seem to be just too high for my liking, especially knowing that temperature kills electronics.

    Even if a fan did fail, replacing one is sure a hell of a lot cheaper then replacing a logic board excetera.


    - Patrick
    ======

  10. #10
    clamshell mode?
    chscag's Avatar
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    I have never experienced any problems over all the years I have been using Macs Fan Control, nor have I heard of any other users having problems.
    Depends on your noise tolerance Patrick. I agree Macs Fan Control can be useful but setting the Fan(s) higher than normal can be noisy. And with the new 16" MacBook Pro and the amount of coil whine it creates, not sure boosting the Fan RPM would be something that most users would want to do on that machine.

  11. #11
    clamshell mode?
    pm-r's Avatar
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    Depends on your noise tolerance Patrick. I agree Macs Fan Control can be useful but setting the Fan(s) higher than normal can be noisy. And with the new 16" MacBook Pro and the amount of coil whine it creates,

    I can't say I have ever noticed any fan noise nor has my wife on her iMac since installing Macs Fan Control, at least for the speeds we have it set to, which varies from about 50% to 200%± above OS default speeds.

    I don't know about the new 16" MacBook Pro and their fan noise, but I don't predict if one will ever be in my possession for my use. What is the coil whine it creates all about???

    Has Apple got them running on some sort of extra turbo boost???


    EDIT:
    Gads... OK I just googled 'coil whine' on the 16" MacBook Pro.

    That's worse than a damn dentist drill screaming away...



    - Patrick
    ======

  12. #12
    clamshell mode?
    chscag's Avatar
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    Gads... OK I just googled 'coil whine' on the 16" MacBook Pro.

    That's worse than a damn dentist drill screaming away...
    Yeah, it's really bad and there are complaints all over the net about it. I listened to some samples for about 30 seconds and decided if I paid that much money for a new MacBook Pro and heard that noise, it would go right back to Apple for a refund.

    As for Macs Fan Control, I use it for my iMac but only at the normal set RPM for that model. The app is great at providing temp and rotation info which is useful. I also have iStats but got tired of looking at all it gives which at times can be confusing.

  13. #13
    clamshell mode?
    pm-r's Avatar
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    I also have iStats but got tired of looking at all it gives which at times can be confusing.

    That sounds rather familiar and the same thing happened here, just too much information and too busy, it went into my trash can in the sky, but I seem to vaguely recall it was doing other things I didn't want it doing. I can't remember what they were now.

    And I think it came at a cheaper price with some Mac Software Bundle so no huge loss.



    - Patrick
    ======
    Last edited by pm-r; 12-06-2019 at 08:57 PM.

  14. #14
    clamshell mode?
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    I'm with Raz0rEdge here. No third party fan controls, just let the OS handle it. I do use iStats to monitor temps. I had gotten rid of it a few years ago, for some reason I cannot remember. But now it seems to be improved and does just what it says, monitors things. I have mine just monitoring temps, but it can also watch memory, disks, network, and battery, plus weather and time. I just don't need the clutter of all that, all I want is temps.
    Jake

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by johnchristy44 View Post
    Hi guys

    I'm using a HP 27” external monitor plugged into my USB-C hub along with the wireless keyboard, mouse. my laptop - MacBook Air 13-inch lid is closed 24/7 (in “clamshell mode”) because of my external monitor. Today I noticed that macbook is heating up. Is this normal? I guess it's because of the GPU? do i need to use a cooling fan/table fan to keep the laptop cool or can i just leave it like this?

    Thanks.
    I had the same problem with my MacBook Pro. It is quite old though, but what I did was reset the SMC and all was well agin (for the time being)

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