I am using my Early 2013 MacBook Pro (max spec.) connected to an external 4K monitor (as described here: Early 2013 Macbook Pro with 4K).

Everything is good, but it seems a bit slower than before and I notice that it gets hot. Would using a docking station keep it cooler and make it appreciably faster? I'm thinking of one of the vertical Henge ones.

1 Answer 1


Would using a docking station keep it cooler and make it appreciably faster?

No, a docking station has no "compute" power built into it so it can't offload any processing of any kind from the CPU or GPU. This means it won't be cooler nor faster since the CPU and GPU are still handling the workload.

The reason you are seeing a "slowdown" when your 4K monitor is connected is because you are driving an external high resolution display with a integrated graphics chipset - the Intel HD Graphics 4000. Being that it's integrated, it allocates up to 1.5GB of system RAM and uses CPU cycles for GPU processing.

Your MacBook Pro is slower because you are pushing it to (and past) it's limits in terms of capabilities.

  • I wondered if it would be faster as it may cool better vertically rather than being horizontal on my desk and thus would not be throttled. My MacBook also has a discrete graphics processor which it uses when external monitors are connected so that shouldn’t be the reason. Apr 28, 2018 at 15:33
  • Horizontal or vertical has no bearing on cooling or performance. If your MacBook Pro (15" I'm assuming) has a discrete GPU and things are getting hot - it would be normal for it to slow down. My question now would be "why isn't the fan spinning up?"
    – Allan
    Apr 28, 2018 at 15:40
  • The fan is spinning up — but I think it may not be sufficiently effective. Apr 28, 2018 at 15:47

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