IT engineer’s MacBook Pro and Studio Display quietly get the job done [Setups]


One in landscape, one in portrait. It's what the cool kids do with displays.
One in landscape, one in portrait. It's what the cool kids do with displays.

Aspects of Apple silicon chips replacing Intel processors in Macs that you don’t always hear about are how quiet and cool the M1 and M2 machines are by comparison. In today’s featured computer setup, an IT engineer sings his M1 Pro MacBook Pro’s praises in that regard, not to mention its habit of sipping battery power rather than gulping it.

And he’s also got a popular dual-display configuration going. In this case it’s a Studio Display in landscape mode and a Dell 4K display in portrait mode.

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IT engineer loves his quiet M1 Pro MacBook Pro and Studio Display in dual-display setup

IT engineer and Redditor endispie (“Pie”) showcased the spare but effective setup in a post entitled, “MBP 14 + ASD + Portrait Secondary = 👍” “ASD” in the post’s title is short for Apple Studio Display and “MBP” is, of course, MacBook Pro.

Pie’s 14-inch M1 Pro MacBook Pro runs a 27-inch 5K Studio Display (5120 x 2880 pixel resolution) in landscape (horizontal) mode along with a 27-inch Dell U2722D UltraSharp 4K display (3120 x 2160 pixel resolution) in portrait (vertical) mode. Both displays sport Mac-friendly 60Hz refresh rates.

It’s fairly typical to see the side display standing tall on its edge to provide ample room for code to flow down the screen for certain users, like Pie. But others use it as a spot for communications, like stacked texting, email and collaboration tools, while their core works appears on the primary external landscape display.

Any trouble with two different display resolutions?

Regarding the two displays’ different resolutions — 5K and 4K —  a commenter had questions.

“What are your thoughts and feelings about having these two monitors side by side?” they asked. “Is the sharpness difference jarring from where you sit, and to your eyes? Do you use the Dell for text or just video and side apps (like Music)?”

Pie noted no particular troubles, though he didn’t quite address the question of differing “sharpness,” which could come into play when reading text and in other circumstances.

“Being an UltraSharp, the Dell monitor is pretty good,” he said. “I don’t need to have super-accurate colors for any reason so it’s more than adequate for what I use it for; VS Code, browsing, text files.”

What about heat and fan noise?

Another commenter asked about heat and fan noise, say they’re “aiming for a similar setup but I still have an old Intel 16-inch that of course is super loud all the time.”

And here Pie had high praise for Apple silicon, saying that even though he must do some tasks on his work laptop, he won’t miss his old Intel-powered MacBook Pro, which used to “scream”:

The M1 and M1 Pro chips are just … magnificent. My MPB 14 never makes any noise and it sips battery. I had the original Intel 16-inch MBP before selling it for the 14-inch, the only thing I miss is being able to run x86 VMs in Parallels. I use the work laptop for that need, most things are ESXi hosted anyway so I just remote via vsphere. I don’t miss the 16-inch model at all, that thing used to scream when I used an external monitor, sitting idle.

Techie book recommendation

Eagle-eyed commenters also noted the books at upper right on a little mounted shelf  in the setup and wondered about the technical titles. That led to a book recommendation from Pie:

Only technical book on the shelf is the PowerShell one. The PowerShell book is Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches by Don Jones and Jeffery Hicks. I recommend it if you have any interest in PowerShell, it is very well written and presented. Reason for the book is that I do a lot of PowerShell scripting for my job (IT Engineer).

In response to commenter confusion, Pie pointed out that PowerShell is a scripting language that works with macOS, Linux and Windows. He also noted “the other books are The Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien, the best ever), Not of This World (Sterling Jaquith), Marian Consecration for Children (Carrie Gress, wife’s book) and a journal.”

And if you like the desktop wallpaper on the displays, you can find it here, but it’s not free, unfortunately.

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In this shot you see live windows on three screens.
In this shot you see live windows on three screens.



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