Mac Studio stacked on Mac mini looks like a Pixar robot [Setups] | Cult of Mac

Mac Studio stacked on Mac mini looks like a Pixar robot [Setups]

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One commenter thought the Mac Studio stacked on the old Mac mini looked like a Pixar robot character.
One commenter thought the Mac Studio stacked on the old Mac mini looked like a Pixar robot character.
Photo: Stefansangreal@Reddit.com

This just in from the Things That Look Like Other Things Department: a Mac Studio desktop computer sitting on top of a Mac mini “looks like a small robot from Wall-E or one of the [other] Pixar films.”

Today’s featured setup sports the unintentional character in the form of an old Mac mini acting as a server and a stand for the much-newer Mac Studio. It’s pretty cute. You can imagine it rolling around, beeping and maybe firing off a laser blast.

Mac-mini server stacked with Mac Studio looks like a funny little robot

Redditor Stefansangreal (“Stef”)  showcased the setup in a post entitled, “Mac Studio (2023) and Mac Mini (2013) as a server :) love how clean it looks.”

The brawny new Mac Studio sits squarely on top of an old Mac mini storing music recordings and Ableton projects, Stef said.

“Looks like a small robot from Wall-E or one of the [other] Pixar films,” noted one commenter.

Other, less-easily-amused folks offered practical advice.

Advice on safely stacking machines — or not

“I might put the Mac mini on top so it doesn’t heat soak the Mac Studio,” one person advised.

“Good point!” Stef replied. “I’ll have to use one of those Apple stickers on the glass logo on the Mac Studio just to keep the Mac mini from scratching it up.”

Another person went a bit further, suggesting a way to add more space between the two machines for the best heat-dissipation.

“I’m not sure if it would fit, or even fit the aesthetic, but if you do flip them, you might want to space them out with rubber feet,” they said. “I really like audiophile rubber feet for speakers, they stick with a mild pre applied glue and add a good inch, inch and a half. I’d Check temps first of course, but as we all know heat is the enemy.”

And at least one person suggested dismantling the “robot” altogether and stashing the server away.

“I would just attach a small mount and have the mini under the desk, especially as it is just a server so you are unlikely to need to access the I/O,” they said.

Capable USB-C hub

Others showed curiosity about the USB-C hub bristling with ports in the photograph. It’s an Acasis Powered USB Hub with 16 ports.

“Well that’s getting added to the list,” a commenter said. “You can never have too many USB ports lmao.”

“It’s 100% worth it,” Stef replied. “I’m running MIDI, thumb drives, hard drives, and even a Focusrite Clarett+ 8pre audio interface through it.”

The commenter had a hard time believing a $30 port could be that useful, since it would probably “have crap internals and not be able to handle all of that power/data.”

” To be honest, I simply found this as my best option since it provides USB 3 and had switchable connections,” Stef replied. “Plus you can’t beat 16 ports! And I’m mostly running MIDI thru devices that already have their own power supply, but this thing itself does come with its own PSU for devices that may need it.”

BenQ monitor and Ergotron stand

Others wanted to know how the computers and monitor connect. Stef said they use a 32-inch BenQ EW3270U 4K UHD (3840 x 2160 pixel resolution) display with a standard HDMI connection to the Mac Studio.

The display, which features integrated speakers, sits on a somewhat-pricey Ergotron arm ($189).

“Are those ErgoTron stands worth the money?” a commenter asked. “I know people seem to love them but they’re pricey. I figure once I get a monitor set where I want it, I’m not going to mess with it again. But with that said, I do hate wobble. Have you tried a cheaper stand in the past to compare it to?”

Here’s Stef’s response:

Wobble is inevitable if you rest your wrists while you type, and even then if your typing is pretty intense there will be some wobble. I only got this stand because my screen is pretty heavy and I didn’t want to risk it so I went with the best option that exceeded my weight limits.

That being said, if you adjust the tension correctly, the screen will stay put without slowly sagging as time goes on and will remain in that position effortlessly. I will say that it does take some getting used to.

Do you think the stack of computers looks like a Pixar robot, or more like a pile of hardware? Feel free to comment below.

Shop these items now:

Computers and hub:

Display and mount:

Audio:

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, challenges and plans for new additions.

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