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LoveTheBerry Level 1 Level 1

I am using a 2011 15" MBP with the new TB Display. Clamshell mode works well and it's what I ultimatelly wanted,...but the MBP is getting VERY hot and the fan is spinning at maximum capacity.


I realize that the fan is doing it's job, but the LCD on the MBP is very warm. This cant be good for the longevity of the MBP.


Is anyone using Clamshell Mode? Any suggestions? Thx.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Mario_MM Level 3 Level 3

    The MBP should be able to tolerate the heat. Most advanced electronic components have built-in sensors to detect overheating and reduce power dissipation. E.g. that could mean the CPU cannot run as fast as it would be able to at a lower temperature. However, fans at full speed are a nuisance (at least for me). Therefore I would recommend to use a notebook cooler. For the sake of completeness I'd like to add that the lifetime of most electronic components decreases with increased temperature. That shouldn't be a problem, though.



  • LoveTheBerry Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks for the input. Is anyone using the new TB Display on a MBP in Clamshell Mode? Any issues? Thx.

  • SRINATHSADDA Level 1 Level 1

    I encounter the same situation. The MacBook Pro is getting vey hot (at 60F room temp) since I close the lid while I connect it to Thunderbolt display. I put a very smal extrnal fan to cool it! It works!

  • AshleyFromCornelius Level 1 Level 1

    Has anyone had any issues with their monitor after prolonged use of Clamshell Mode?

  • wolfcam Level 1 Level 1

    Same situation here. My MacBook Pro is getting about 55~60C in clamshell mode, i believe it's normal and the hardware was projected for this situation

  • chicago29 Level 1 Level 1

    The only thing I can add is that I'm seeing the exact same thing with the MBP in clamshell.  The fan on my MBP runs MUCH more than it did prior to connecting it to the Thunderbolt Display.  I heard the Display has fans as well but I haven't heard them running.


    There doesn't seem to be any rogue processes running according to iStat Pro - But my MBP is definitely warm/hot and the fans are busy.


    I hope this is something that gets fixed as it is annoying.

  • wildgunman Level 1 Level 1

    I'm guessing the fans are throttling up because the GPU is having to a lot more heavy lifting with the giant monitor and is heating up substantially.


    The question I have is whether there's any difference in heat dissipation by having the lid closed.  I can't see any technical reason why it should be.

  • steveprice Level 1 Level 1

    I have MBP 15" early 2011 2.3 GHz i7 with 8 GB memory and the standard 750 GB drive.  I use it in clamshell mode with the Thunderbolt display for hours photo editing with Aperture and Photoshop for hours.  I have it standing vertical in a Twelve South Book Arc Stand beside my desk.  While it gets pretty warm I never hear the fans run. Currently running at 1,999 RPMs and I have been at it for 3 hours.  

  • sftobos Level 1 Level 1

    Photo editing does not truly tax the GPU.  Try using handbrake or watch a you tube video.  You will then hear the fans. 

  • SRINATHSADDA Level 1 Level 1

    The fan spins faster even when I open iPhoto! It just spins!

  • Jerome Meyer Level 1 Level 1

    I have a similar issue with my MBA i7 13" and TB display; fans are running at full speed a few minutes after I start 720p video playback (using VLC 1.1.12):

    2011-10-23 08.36.34 pm.png

    I'm also using the vertical stand in clamshell mode, positioning the exhaust at the top for better dissipation.

  • MacLifer2 Level 1 Level 1

    Same here. I have two thunderbolt displays connected to my MBP with the Twelve South Book Ark and it doesn't seem to get any hotter than when I had it connected to my 27" Apple displayport display.

  • SRINATHSADDA Level 1 Level 1

    Yes, it happens with Air + TD combination too!

  • LoveTheBerry Level 1 Level 1

    Does anyone know why the MBP fan runs even thought the MBP is closed and in "Sleep" mode?

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