Elderly Mac mini hangs with hot new MacBook Pro in web developer’s rig [Setups]


The Mac mini keeps on ticking but the web dev relies most heavily on a 16-inch M1 MacBook Pro.
The Mac mini keeps on ticking but the web dev relies most heavily on a 16-inch M1 MacBook Pro.
Photo: crispyking@Reddit.com

In today’s featured computer setup, owned by a web developer, a 2012 Mac mini shares the spotlight with a new 16-inch M1 MacBook Pro.

Before you think, “Wow, the Mac mini must be amazing, competing with that sleek new laptop,” nah, this is more like take-your-great-grandfather-to-work day for the elderly little desktop machine.

It’s around because it still works for light lifting. And it does indeed show impressive longevity.

This post contains affiliate links. Cult of Mac may earn a commission when you use our links to buy items.

16-inch M1 MacBook Pro leaves 2012 Mac mini with little to do in setup

Web developer and Redditor crispyking showcased the 16-inch MacBook Pro and Mac mini setup in a post entitled, “My work in progress WFH setup.”

Immediately lookers-on suspected the Mac mini wasn’t the star of the show, especially considering King is a web developer, not just a web surfer.

“May I ask what the Mac mini is used for?” a commenter asked. “I’m guessing you work on the newer MacBook, right?”

“Yeah, the MacBook is from work,” King replied, adding that the new MacBook recently replaced a 2015 model. “The mini is mine. Had it years now. It’s had a RAM and SSD upgrade so still works well, but barely use it.”

Others could relate. “I still have my 2011 Mac mini too, the thing refuses to die,” a commenter said.

Any display issues?

Another person asked if King had any issues with his ultra-wide 35-inch LG 4K IPS display working well with the Mac mini. They said they’d only been able to achieve a 30Hz refresh rate at native resolution in their setup.

“I had the same. I don’t use the mini much so I’ve got it set as 2560 x 1440 at 50hz over DisplayPort,” King replied.

Then a commenter asked: “How is the scaling in macOS with this monitor compared to the built-in screen? Any issues with fonts or anything like that?”

King said it looks great with the MacBook Pro but not so great with the old Mac mini.

“Still getting used to it, but my last monitor was 1440p so I’m used to it not being Retina quality,” he noted. “The Mac mini on the other hand does not like it. After a lot of messing about I managed to get it to 2560 x 1440. It can only do full size at 30Hz. New Macs are fine. Old Macs not so much.”

Then came the question of how often King switches back and forth between his mini and the work MBP, and whether he uses a dock.

“Maybe once or twice a week. That’s why I went with the keyboard and mouse, because you can attach it to 3 different devices and switch between them quickly,” he replied.

Yes, Logitech’s popular MX Master 3 wireless mouse and MX Keys wireless keyboard are known for that.

Rare shade for a popular wireless mouse

In fact, Logitech’s MX Master 3 wireless mouse is probably the mouse we see most in Setups besides Apple’s Magic Mouse. So a commenter’s complaints about it surprised us, given its sterling reputation and prominence in Apple-centric setups.

“I love my MX Master 3 but dear god does it suck on Mac,” they said. “It is stuttery, laggy, and not precise at all. I have tried so many different things to fix it and nothing has worked. It’s apparently very common as well. Oh well.”

But others disagreed. One said their MX Master 3S mouse, a newer model, “works flawlessly.” And another said his MX Master 3 “works perfectly fine with M1 MacBook Air.”

As for King, his response noted no such problems. “Although occasionally it reverts to default setting until I open Options+,” he added.

Govee smart lights behind the desk

Someone asked which lights King uses behind his desk to project colored light on the wall. He said they’re Govee H6125 LED strips.

“I’ve got a strip along the back edge of the desk, then extended up the monitor arm and looped around the back of the monitor twice,” he added.

Another commenter offered high praise for the affordable Creative Pebble USB speakers on the desk, most likely the V2 model. Creative recently unveiled Creative Pebble Pro with beefed up audio quality and RGB lighting for $59 a set.

And if you like the desktop wallpaper showing on the external display, you can find it here.

Also, did you notice the Lego Delorean set from Back to the Future on the shelf above the setup in the photograph above? That and all the gear in the workstation are in the list below, should you be interested.

Shop these items now:


Display and mount:

Input devices:


Furniture, lighting, accessories:

If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to info+setups@cultofmac.com. 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.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.