Here come the Mac Studio-powered workstations [Setups]


A new Mac Studio desktop and Studio Display anchor this setup.
A new Mac Studio desktop and Studio Display anchor this setup.

With Apple’s big “Peek Performance” event only just past and deliveries of newly release products in progress, we see computer setups with new Mac Studio desktops and Studio Display monitors cropping up on social media sites.

Checking in with real people and their first impressions about the gear — and their answers to others’ questions about it — can be a pretty good early look at how things are going with Apple’s latest products.

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Mac Studio-based setup with Studio Display

Redditor Onionpicklecake posted about a brand-spanking-new Mac Studio-based setup in a post titled, “Yet another Mac Studio Setup.

The title’s language may be a tad premature — let’s call it anticipatory — because there are few Mac Studio setups on Reddit. In fact, Onion’s was the first (and only) we found as of midday Sunday. You can readily find a bunch of Studio Display setups, though, where people pair them with a Mac mini or MacBook Pro.

“Hey all, here’s my recently set-up desk; loving the Studio for Lightroom and Final Cut, it feels way quicker than my old base spec iMac Pro,” said Onion, right away praising their new rig’s performance.

Even the base model has ‘wow’ factor

Onion is running a base model of the Mac Studio. That sounds modest, but this machine has such high specs the base model is a stunner. It packs an M1 Max chip, like the top MacBook Pro. The Studio’s has a 10-Core CPU, a 24-Core GPU and a 16-Core Neural Engine (the M1 Ultra version, with two fused M1 Max chips, doubles those numbers as well as the price, from $2,000 to $4,000).

The base model features 32GB of unified memory, 512GB of SSD storage and a fine port lineup. On the front, you two USB-C ports and one SDXC card slot. On the back there are four Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB-A ports, one HDMI port, one 10Gb Ethernet port and one 3.5 mm headphone jack.

Another brand-new Mac Studio-based setup.
Another brand-new Mac Studio-based setup.
Photo: Davi Rezende@Facebook Workspace Setup Addicts

Quieter than an iMac Pro

“How quiet is that machine?” asked a commenter. “Can you hear the fan?”

“I definitely can’t hear it over my ducted air conditioning,” Onion replied. “Running Cinebench for a couple of passes resulted in no change in noise even with my ear 30CM or so away. Way way way quieter than the iMac Pro, which tended to ramp within 1 minute of max CPU on all cores.”

Another commenter had heard M1 Macs struggle with the Logitech MX Master 3 wireless mouse and asked how Onion’s is working.

“Nothing major yet,” they replied. Overall I like it and the tracking is better than the Magic Mouse, but there are definitely positives to the Magic Mouse.

But they cited three issues they found with the Logi device:

Logitech options needs access for two separate apps/daemons in Accessibility, or your scroll wheel doesn’t work! The window redraws when scrolling are not as nice compared to Magic Mouse — scrolling in the ‘clicky’ mode results in the widow scrolling one or two lines at a time rather than a smooth scroll. I find the side button a little difficult to press for expose.

Studio Display with standard glass

With the Mac Studio, Onion runs a new Studio Display with standard glass (starting at $1,600) rather than nano-texture glass ($1,900). Both are anti-reflective, but the nano glass scatters light to reduce glare and improve viewing even in brightly lit rooms).

Whichever glass you choose, the 27-inch monitor features a 5K Retina display, 12MP Ultra-wide camera with Center Stage, “studio-quality mics” and a six-speaker sound system with Spatial Audio.

Nice speakers, but not nice enough?

Speaking of the built-in speakers, Onion has no need of them. They plan to keep using a pair of IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitors.

“These still destroy the Mac Studio Display speakers,” they said. And that may be true, given the iLoud speakers’ total output of 70W.

But here’s what Apple said about its six-speaker array in the Studio Display (and the specs don’t refer to the speakers’ total power output):

Four force-cancelling woofers produce bold, articulate bass and minimize distortion. And two high-performance tweeters deliver accurate mids and crisp highs. Altogether, this is the highest‑fidelity speaker system ever created for Mac.

The single most-criticized feature of the Studio Display — other than pretty ambitious pricing — is probably the built-in webcam. But Apple recently vowed to improve it with a software update.

And you can choose among three stand options. Two of them add no cost, but the one that’s height-adjustable as well as tilt-adjustable costs an extra $300 (thanks, Apple!).

Here's another example of a new Mac Studio-driven setup.
Here’s another example of a new Mac Studio-driven setup.

Other setups with Mac Studio and/or Studio Display:

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If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches or challenges.


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