Before and after: Out with (some of) the old, in with (the best of) the new [Setups]


In the after photo, a new LG 4K monitor replaces the Cinema Display.
In the after photo, a new LG 4K monitor replaces the Cinema Display, among other key changes.

When you spend a third or more of your waking hours all but chained to a computer setup, you might as well make it a pleasant place to spend time. That’s what most of Cult of Mac‘s Setups coverage is all about, really — glorifying both the high-tech performance and the stylish comfort that ease your enslavement to whatever it is you do with tech.

Today’s 14-inch M1 Pro MacBook Pro-based featured setup shows a “before and after” transition. Musician and Salesforce consultant Jon Young said a revamp of his wife’s “nicer and more spacious” work area inspired his changes. “Mine just has more gadgets lol,” he said.

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Setups: Before and after

Young, aka Redditor jonyoungmusic, showed off his upgrades and changes in a post entitled, “Finally decided to revamp the setup after 2 years of permanent WFH (before & after).”

Oftentimes with these “before and after” efforts, the “after” setup is unquestionably superior. But this time, the “before” image got quite a bit of love. For some it just looks nicer. For others, retro gear will always win, even when modern connectivity is easier to deal with.

Some vintage gear goes, some stays

“I actually love the before more,” said one commenter.

“Same, I actually thought they were reversed,” agreed another. “I think, looks-wise, before is better but seems the after has better functionality?”

“Yeah. Purely functionality,” replied Young. “Just wanted simpler connectivity with USB-C and HDMI ports for game consoles and such. I’ll still keep the iSight for my 12-inch PowerBook. Definitely planning to keep some vintage Apple stuff around.”

People love Cinema Displays

Young mentioned he owned three Cinema Displays at one point and now still has two, the 30-inch model shown in the “before” photo plus a 23-inch model. He switched to the 27-inch LG 4K IPS display for easy connectivity options and because the Cinema Display gave off significant heat.

But people love the old displays in spite of their faults.

“That Cinema Display is so nice,” another Redditor said. “I want to find one but I don’t really have a use for it since I have a higher refresh monitor for gaming. Maybe one day.

“The Cinema Display is really nice. I’d have stuck with that personally,” agreed another commenter.

Young acknowledged the old screen is a great one. Apple first released the 30-incher in 2004.

“I got my first Cinema Display in 2014 and have been using them ever since,” he said. “I just wanted to finally get something modern/current. I always tended to use older machines like the 2012 MBP I was using with the Cinema Display. With the LG I can connect with a single cable, easily plug in game consoles, etc.”

Soothing color scheme

“Hate to be that guy, but the setup with the iSight camera is much prettier,” said another commenter, referring to the old Apple webcam from the early 2000s perched on the Cinema Display. “Ergonomically, looks like you’re better off with the new one.”

“Lol no worries,” replied Young. “Might be the light colors I chose as well.”

Another commenter voted on the old setup, but with the new Realspace Winsley chair from the new setup.

After: Cable management and connectivity

When a Redditor asked what Young used for cable management and as a docking station, Young explained some cable moves but said he’s currently without a dock.

“The desk has a cable bay beneath it. I drop all the cables and power supply into that and then use Velcro tied to bundle the cables into a large power strip on the floor,” Young said. “I plan to install one of those power strip cages/baskets to store it eventually. As far a dock, I still need one.”

Young’s LG 4K display connects to his new MacBook Pro via USB-C. His Behringer audio interface and his Quntis monitor light bar plug into the monitor.  His Logitech C922 webcam, atop the display, connects directly with the MBP.

“Phone plugs into the Nintendo Switch dock lol,” Young added. “Definitely want a thunderbolt dock at some point to route everything into. But this works for now.”

Cult of Mac Setups: The before photo shows a perfectly functional but somewhat outdated setup.
The before photo shows a perfectly functional but somewhat outdated setup, with a Cinema Display, a 2012 MacBook Pro and an iSight webcam.

What’s left to do?

In addition to getting a USB-C hub for broader peripherals connectivity at some point, Young may tweak what’s on his desk for proper ergonomics and better audio.

“Are the monitors in line with your ears? I was thinking to buy some desk stands for mine or some pads,” a commenter asked.

“Not quite,” Young admitted. “They’re probably a good 4 inches below ear level. Definitely want some pads or stands. Just haven’t decided yet. Every time I post my setup someone says to get pads so they must be worth getting lol.”

And pads or stands aren’t just to raise displays to proper eye level.

“Get those monitors on stands, or at least on some isolation pads. Them being straight on the desk is coloring your sound,” admonished another commenter.

Young assured the person he’d get some pads soon to help isolate the sound of his Yamaha HS5 speakers.

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