My MacBook Pro (8,3) often gets fairly hot (see current sensor readings here: http://pastebin.com/2rj7GGAJ) even when it isn't closed. I'm about to purchase a DualHead2Go (or a TripleHead2Go) so I can use my MacBook while closed to push two 1920x1080 displays. I'm worried a bit about the heat generation, however. Is this a recommended and/or safe thing to do?

  • Why not just leverage the free screen space that's there anyway? – Alexander Apr 25 '12 at 23:23
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    I don't think I'll be able to fit my MBP on the shelf that's holding my two 27" monitors. – Naftuli Kay Apr 26 '12 at 18:43
  • If you can work something out, it'll be great, both for the extra screen space and improved cooling – Alexander Apr 26 '12 at 23:34

Yes - they are designed to work when closed. The machine will shut itself off if it ever exceeds the safe operating temperature (unless of course there are multiple failures in the sensors).

You can measure the battery temp - and may reduce the useful life of the battery if the temperature is always higher (and substantially higher on the order of 10 to 30 degrees F) for extended always on periods.

You may never need a new battery with the new 5 year / 1000 cycle batteries - so that might not even be a concern. I'm happy to spend the $99 on a new one if I really need one after the normal 3 year coverage has lapsed with Apple Care. Other than the battery - the rest of the electronics is basically immune to heat. The next thing to go might be a blower bearing - but those are far cheaper to have replaced than even a battery.

  • Thank you, well written answer. Are there any accountable sources for "they are designed to work when closed"? – Pierre Prinetti Jul 10 '15 at 7:54
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    @PierrePrinetti Apple documents this as a feature. I'll edit that link into my post. support.apple.com/en-us/HT201834 – bmike Jul 10 '15 at 14:31

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