M1 Mac mini and gaming PC share massive screen real estate [Setups]

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Who says a Mac mini and a gaming PC can't get along just fine?
Who says a Mac mini and a gaming PC can't get along just fine?
Photo: ghostintheshell@Reddit.com

Who says an M1 Mac mini and a revved-up gaming PC can’t get along? Macs aren’t known to excel at gaming, so it’s natural for many folks to keep a Mac alongside a tricked-out gaming rig. These days, it’s easy to switch back and forth, as we’ll see in today computer setup featuring a massive TV screen and a slightly more modest monitor.

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Professional marketer and Redditor ghostintheshell recently put up a post called “Mac Mini M1 + PC Setup.” In it, they list a formidable Mac mini with 16GB of integrated RAM and a rather spacious 2 TB solid state drive (SSD).

M1 Mac mini gets along with a monster gaming PC

Hey, you’d think a powerful M1 Mac mini like that could surely be used for gaming. But Ghost has bigger gaming ambitions. So they took a Corsair 5000D Airflow Tempered Glass ATX Mid Tower Case and filled it with game-worthy goodies.

Inside the Corsair gaming PC case is a 5900X 12-core processor, 64GB of RAM, a 2TB NVMe SSD and an XFX Speedster MERC319 AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Black Gaming Graphics Card. 

That’s a lot of gaming PC. Could be PCs like that give Macs a bad gaming rep. Not that Macs need much help in that department.

Massive screen real estate

Ghost uses his machines with two displays, a big LG Smart TV and an LG Ultrafine monitor in portrait (vertical) mode. They said they recently used a 49-inch curved monitor, but all the “swiveling back and forth” took a toll on the neck. And now they feel like they command even more screen real estate.

As you can see in the photo, the 48-inch LG 48CX Smart OLED TV is quite a beast to keep on the desktop. Built for gaming, the AI-powered 4K machine features Nvidia G-Sync, FreeSync and a native 120Hz refresh rate for smooth motion and minimal lag.

No slouch either, the 32-inch LG 4K HDR Ultrafine Display sits to the left in portrait mode on an LG Ergo Stand. It features HDR 10 compatibility and 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution running at 60Hz.

Easy connectivity, plus system and screen switching

When asked if they have any problems with USB-C connectivity from the Mac mini to the 32-inch LG monitor, Ghost said no, it works well. And they use the Mac mini with the big LG Smart TV via HDMI cable.

Because they use both machines for work and the PC for gaming as well, they said they run a “dual instance of Windows on the PC to keep things separate.”

To manage using one set of input devices with two computers, Ghost uses Synergy software. To switch between screens, they use the LG TV’s remote.

“The LG has a remote like a TV,” Ghost said. “I just switch the inputs that way. It’s a little annoying but I don’t switch that often. I’m usually monitoring on my left and working on the main.”

Cool audio and input devices

Ghost has an impressive array of audio gear. They sport a Blue Yeti microphone and stand, a Schiit headphone amplifier and digital-to-analog converter (DAC), and Sennheiser HD650 over-the-ear headphones.

There’s also a NovelKeys NK65 mechanical keyboard with Silent Alpaca switches and Drop Laser keycaps.

Alongside the well-appointed keeb is a white Corsair M65 RGB Elite FPS Gaming Mouse, all lit up. It features an advanced optical gaming sensor. It’s tunable weight system lets you adjust the mouse’s center of gravity to suit your grip and even reduce its weight. There’s even a “Precision Sniper Button” for, you know, killing stuff.

Two more screens, mostly for fun

And you may notice a couple of interesting items that multiple commenters asked about — the two smaller screens in the photo, one above and one below the vertical monitor on the left.

Up top is a Divoom Pixoo-Max Pixel Display for adjustable decorative purposes. You can control the image. Here it appears to display the time. Down below is a LaMetric Time Wi-Fi Clock, which Ghost calls a “very cool gadget.” For reasons of their own, they display “$295.21” on it.

The “Spaceman” wallpaper on the monitor in portrait mode is from Unsplash. The main monitor wallpaper that matches the mousepad is from Kuiper, like the big mousepad itself.

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