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Use laptop Macs in lid closed mode for quieter operation Laptop Macs
It might sound odd to some, but I like to work in complete silence. My MacBook is quiet, but there's still a blowing sound from the hard disk and fan, something that seems to be magnified in my small office.

Recently I got a mini DVI adapter to run an external monitor, and found that Apple considers it OK to run MacBooks with the lid closed, so that the external display becomes the primary (only) display. Instructions on what to do can be found in this support document. According to the article, PowerBooks, MacBooks and MacBook Pros are all OK to run with the lid closed.

With the lid closed, the notebook is much quieter, simply because the screen seems to stop the noise from reaching your ears. In fact, it really is "whisper" quiet.

Needless to say, for this to work, you'll need not only an external display plus the mini DVI adapter, but also an external keyboard and mouse.
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Use laptop Macs in lid closed mode for quieter operation | 14 comments | Create New Account
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Use laptop Macs in lid closed mode for quieter operation
Authored by: dencinias on Sep 26, '07 08:12:20AM

do you know if a bluetooth mouse and bluetooth keyboard will work as the external input devices?

thanks



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Use laptop Macs in lid closed mode for quieter operation
Authored by: thehigherlife on Sep 26, '07 08:25:10AM
the link in the hint says it is possible, but has a different proccedure to do it.

here is the link on how to do it with bluetooth

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=300562

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Use laptop Macs in lid closed mode for quieter operation
Authored by: sbnelson on Sep 26, '07 11:13:53AM

Yes, you can use your bluetooth mouse and keyboard. That's what I do.



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Use laptop Macs in lid closed mode for quieter operation
Authored by: DaveA on Sep 26, '07 09:19:54AM

When doing so, I would recommend you place the laptop on your desk battery-side up to aid cooling.



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Use laptop Macs in lid closed mode for quieter operation
Authored by: pslatt on Sep 26, '07 12:05:57PM

This is strange. I followed the links and the tip works, but the fans are going crazy. It is definitely quieter with the lid open ebfore or after turning off the laptop screen. Using iStat I saw that the fans went up to 5000+ rpm with the lid closed and within 30 secs of opening it again they came down to 3000rpm. GPU Heatsink was 50C+ and dropped to 48C. I am using the the Griffen elevator (http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/elevator).

Is it just me seeing this? I definitely question the "for quieter operation" part of this tip.



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Use laptop Macs in lid closed mode for quieter operation
Authored by: hamarkus on Sep 26, '07 02:44:46PM

Simple, if the heat production by the laptop (ie, mainly the processor load) is low enough and/or the heat transfer away from the laptop is high enough (eg, low room temperature) for the computer to stay cool enough with the fans at their lowest speed even with the lid closed than this tip works.



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Use laptop Macs in lid closed mode for quieter operation
Authored by: t-hak on Sep 26, '07 09:02:49PM

I've been using an external monitor with a TiBook and more recently a MBP. I don't always want to use the extended desktop, but I notice that the computer runs hotter with the lid closed, causing the fans to start.

My solution is to plug the keyboard, external monitor and power cable into the laptop with the lid closed and the computer in sleep mode.

After the computer comes to life on the external monitor (usu right after I plug the USB cable of the keyboard in), I then open the lid. The laptop screen stays dark, and the spaces between the keys on the laptop keyboard allows more air to flow through the machine. This keeps the fans from running.

I have also elevated the laptop off of my desk by placing it on top of an Allsop printer stand, which keeps the heat of the computer from drying out the wood on my desk's surface. The printer stand lifts the computer high enough so that the bottom of both screens are almost aligned, which makes for a really nice extended monitor setup when I want to use it.



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Use laptop Macs in lid closed mode for quieter operation
Authored by: muychingon on Sep 26, '07 12:17:52PM
I would so much rather have a 2nd monitor for extra desktop space than be concerned with the "noise" my macbook pro makes. I mean if I have the option to attach an external monitor I'd rather have the extra workspace.

The noise... It is hardly noticeable over regular office and usually home background noise. But to each its own I guess.

[link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/muychingon/tags/dualmonitor]

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Use laptop Macs in lid closed mode for quieter operation
Authored by: muychingon on Sep 26, '07 12:19:19PM
oops, I guess I don't know how to use the link tags... or how to edit my prev post. here's the link in plain txt.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/muychingon/tags/dualmonitor/

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Use laptop Macs in lid closed mode for quieter operation
Authored by: Twist on Sep 26, '07 09:02:58PM

There has long been software for enabling this kind of setup (there were ways to do it back in the pre-OS X days, and I think KisMAC can enable closed lid operation without any external devices connected) though I have heard people say that it hasn't always been a good idea to use your laptop in this fashion because they are designed to dissipate heat through the keyboard. I don't know how accurate this is but I do know that my G4 iBook does seem to radiate more heat through the keyboard when under a heavy workload.



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Use laptop Macs in lid closed mode for quieter operation
Authored by: nuggi25 on Sep 26, '07 11:19:43PM

The machine is only quieter as long as you're not really stressing the machine.
The laptops dissipate a lot of heat through the top of the case, and now you're trapping that inside which means the fans will work harder to keep the machine cool.
On average with the lid open my 2Ghz macbook has a fan speed of about 2500rpm, and doing the same tasks with the lid closed will raise fan speed to about 3500rpm.

Other than that, its a neat thing to be able to do. I "dock" my macbook to a large display and BT mouse/keyboard when i'm at home. Works very nice indeed.



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Use laptop Macs in lid closed mode for quieter operation
Authored by: knagurski on Sep 27, '07 06:50:34AM

When I got my PowerBook G3 back in '99 I used this method regularly and kept my 'Book under my Studio Display. Back then, the Studio Displays had wide legs to accommodate a keyboard being stored under when not in use, and it was the perfect fit for a closed PowerBook.

Anyway, after about a year of using the PowerBook closed, I found that my screen had pretty much fried and I had to replace it. Moral of the story? Although you CAN use a MacBook/Pro closed, don't do so for extended periods of time.



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Use laptop Macs in lid closed mode for quieter operation
Authored by: dx5dad on Sep 27, '07 09:15:50AM

I have been using this method for years. It works great. But as someone said, with the lid closed it sometimes gets noisy with the fan seeming to work overtime to cool down the system.

Here is what I do to help this situation:
1. Start up the MacBook with the lid open
2. As soon as it begins to start, close the lid. The MacBook monitor will be inactive but the external monitor will be active.
3. Once the MacBook is up and running, open the lid. The MacBook monitor will be inactive but the external will be active. However, this allows air to circulate over the machine to help it stay cool.

Keep in mind that if you put the MacBook to sleep and then wake it, the MacBook monitor will be active again, as will the external monitor. Close the lid, which will put the MacBook to sleep again, then wake up the MacBook with your mouse or other way. Then, open the lid again to allow air to flow. Again, the MacBook monitor will be inactive but your external will be active.



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run MacBookX open with external display only
Authored by: Michael.Massing on Sep 29, '07 08:07:12PM

step 1/ Press the "mirror display" key (F7)
step 2/ press and hold the "dim onboard display" (F2) key till the screen goes black
step 3/
Oops, there is no step 3.

Best to all,
M.

---
If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. - Thomas Jefferson to Col. C. Yancey, 1816



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