Major workstation makeover covers all bases [Setups] | Cult of Mac

Major workstation makeover covers all bases [Setups]


The nearly maxed-out M1 MacBook Pro is on a shelf out of frame.
The nearly maxed-out M1 MacBook Pro is on a shelf out of frame.

We often see big upgrades to setups we’ve covered here in the past. But they’re not usually comprehensive, where everything from the daily-driver Mac to the input devices to the audio gear gets made over (and in some cases greatly expanded).

Let’s just say today’s featured MacBook Pro setup looked a lot different 2 years ago. It’s more evidence that a setup is never, ever “done.”

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Major Mac setup makeover: New computer, display, input devices and audio gear

Commercial editor and Redditor nicknotes showcased the setup in a post entitled, “Nearing its final form!”

“Silly rabbit. There’s never a final form,” one commenter said, responding to the post’s headline with some Truth.

“I mean, you’re not wrong, haha,” Nick admitted. “I thought the Studio Display would be the final piece, but now that I have it I’m like, ‘Hmmmmm… a standing desk might be nice.'”

Mac Pro with LG 4K display was so 2021

We last covered nicknotes’ setup work almost exactly 2 years ago, March 29, 2021: New display makes WFH and gaming rig pop.

Back then, he’d just replaced a 27-inch 4K display with a 32-inch LG UltraFine Ergo Monitor. And now, that screen gives way to a Studio Display as Nick climbs from 4K resolution to 5K.

But that’s not all. The Mac Pro in the previous setup got its walking papers from a 16-inch M1 Max MacBook Pro that Nick described as maxed-out except for the storage. But you can’t see it in the photograph.

“It’s off-camera on a shelf, connected to the OWC dock on my desk with a long Thunderbolt 4 cable,” he said.

Setup: Then and now

Here's the setup in spring 2021. The second monitor is a 24-inch LG UltraGear gaming display.
Here’s the setup in spring 2021. The second monitor is a 24-inch LG UltraGear gaming display.

In 2021, Nick had just finalized a setup … or so he thought.

“This is pretty close to endgame for me,” Nick said back then. “I have a Grovemade felt desk pad coming next week. I’d like to upgrade the speakers to the larger iLoud MTMs at some point. And I’m planning on getting a Shure MV7 mic and Blue Compass boom arm to upgrade the audio quality on Zoom and Google Meet calls.”

Big audio changes

He did end up getting the fuzzy Grovemade desk mat and the Blue Compass boom arm for a mic (just not the Shure mic he pictured), as well as the bigger iLoud speakers. At 100 watts, they probably blow his ears off compared to the old ones.

And he went a lot further with audio gear, as you can see below. He added a Rode PodMic, Beyerdynamic open-back cans and a Mackie audio interface. All-in-all, that’s a serious audio upgrade.

Going mechanical on the keyboard

Nick went from a well-regarded membrane keyboard to an "underrated" mechanical one.
Nick went from a well-regarded membrane keyboard to an “underrated” mechanical one.
Photo: Nuphy

Another notable change is his move from a Logitech MX Keys membrane keyboard to a Nuphy Halo65 mechanical keyboard. One commenter called Nuphy’s keyboards “underrated.”

“It’s my first mechanical keyboard! Can’t complain,” Nick said in response. “Feels and sounds great. I bought mine with the G Pro Red [switches], but [I] am considering swapping them for Oil Kings or Milky Yellows. Something a little thockier. The Reds sound surprisingly good though.”

Here’s how Nuphy describes its design choices for the keeb:

NuPhy has taken a radical approach to Halo65’s design language. A band of light, the ‘Halo’, forms the central piece that unites the solid unibody aluminum frame, first seen on a fully assembled keyboard, with the laser-polished ABS base. Enhancing both the grip and the sense of height, the base’s wavy, Ionic column inspired side brings vibrancy to the minimalist, achromatic aluminum frame, available in wear-resistant anodized matte black and elctrophoresis-coated ionic white.

Here are the main gear changes: 

  • 2019 Mac Pro  >>>  16-inch 2021 M1 Max MacBook Pro
  • 32-inch LG UltraFine Ergo Monitor (4K)  >>>  27-inch Studio Display (5K)
  • Logitech MX Keys Keyboard  >>> Nuphy Halo65 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
  • Logitech MX Master 2S wireless mouse  >>> Logitech MX Master 3S wireless mouse
  • IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Speakers  >>> IK Multimedia iLoud 100W powered desktop monitors
  • HyperX CloudX Flight Headset  >>> Beyerdynamic DT900 Pro X open-back headphones

Plus other audio additions:

  • Rode PodMic Cardioid Dynamic Broadcast Microphone
  • Beyerdynamic DT900 Pro X open-back headphones
  • Mackie Big Knob Studio audio interface

And if you like gradations-of-color desktop wallpaper showing on the display in the new version of the setup, “It’s from YouTuber Jon Imperial’s ‘Sunrise to Sunset’ wallpaper pack,” nicknotes said.

Shop these items now:

Computer and dock:

Display and webcam:

Input devices:



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, challenges and plans for new additions.


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