Multiple Macs drive phalanx of Dell displays [Setups]


Mac Studio setup with 3 external displays
Windows on water everywhere in this triple-screened Mac Studio and MacBook Pro setup.

After a recent debate over whether dual external displays should be lined up straight across or angled for better ergonomics, a Mac Studio and dual-MacBook setup addresses the question in a different way. It uses three identical displays in landscape mode, placing the center one one straight and one on either side of it at an angle.

And the setup also offers connecitivity tips, running the two MacBooks into two of the displays via a CalDigit dock while the Mac Studio drives one directly.

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Mac Studio and dual MacBooks Pro drives 3 Dell displays in powerful setup

Redditor kribyl (“Byl”) showcased the imposing three-panel workstation in a post entitled “Home office.”

“Dual computer setup with triple monitors,” Byl noted at the top of the post. “Left monitor permanently connected to Mac Studio. Middle and right connected to [MacBook pros] via CalDigit [Thunderbolt 4] dock. Mostly controlled from main keyboard/mouse via Universal Control.”

The three-display workstation gets around the sticking point talked about in recent post about dual-monitor alignment — straight across or angled — by having a straight middle screen with an angled screen on either side of it.

All three displays are 32-inch Dell 4K LCD monitors, though the one on the left is a P3223QE and the other two are P3222QEs — “not ordered at the same time, but they have the same specs and size so they line up great next to each other,” Byl said.

“The settings are the same on all monitors, although the computer connected to left one did not have Night Shift activated so that’s what caused the difference,” he added, when someone noted the yellower hue on the left-hand screen. “Haven’t really bothered me until it was pointed out in the thread, but now it’s activated for consistency.”

Would one super-ultrawide work as well for peripheral view?

They're all 32-inch Dell displays, but two different models.
They’re all 32-inch Dell displays, but two different models. They sort of mimic a super-ultrawide display in their angled positioning.

“How’s the peripheral view on this?” a commenter asked. “Looks massively wide but glorious at the same time. It’s all about the triple screens. I regret going to a single ultra wide for productivity but cable cleanness and single USB-C is great.”

Here’s Byl’s response:

I tried 49-inch ultra wide before this, and there’s pros and cons with each. What I did like with the ultra wide was the clean setup with only one USB-C and the ability to use the entire screen for one app in some (rare) instances as needed (hey Excel — I’m looking at you :P). However, the one I used (Dell U4919DW) had a relatively low resolution and didn’t feel as crisp as the current 4K monitors. Also, using the same screen with the desktop Mac as well as the laptops was a bit tedious and rendered the desktop Mac basically unused.

With the current setup, I am able to keep the desktop Mac permanently on with things like Spotify, Youtube, look at my security cameras, etc, regardless of which laptop I’m using (personal or work) on the other two screens. It also gives me the ability to run things in full screen at either of the monitors, which wasn’t doable with the single ultra wide. For most work (dev/sysadmin stuff), I use the center monitor as my main display and use the left one for async side tasks (Spotify, YT, etc.) and the right one for additional terminal windows, mail, chats, etc.

Depending on what I do at the moment, I can also use the left monitor for primary tasks even though the apps are running on a different computer. Apple Universal Control works like a breeze for situations like this. It works well, but the outermost 30-40 or something percent of each side screen is outside of the normal view and requires turning the head slightly.

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Mac Studio, MacBook Pro and 3-display setup
Two different Magic Keyboards and a Logitech mouse appear in the setup.



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Apple Mac Studio (mid 2023)

This version of Apple's powerful desktop computer comes with an M2 Max chip and 32GB of unified memory.

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