Developer’s M1 Max MacBook Pro cranks out the work [Setups]


M1 Max MacBook Pro setup
A 16-inch M1 Max MacBook Pro drives this developer's setup.

Our setups coverage often reveals clues to Apple hardware’s functional longevity. An iOS and macOS developer uses today’s setup. Even though two new generations of powerful Apple silicon chips have supercharged more recent MacBooks, he’s still cranking away on an M1 Max MacBook Pro run through an OWC Thunderbolt 4 dock.

In fact, he just updated his setup. But that turned out to have nothing to do with the computer. It was all about adding decorative toy figures, an LED light strip and a new wooden countertop as a desk.

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Developer’s setup cranks out work on M1 Max MacBook Pro through OWC Thunderbolt 4 dock

iOS and macOS developer and Redditor EpicSyntax (“Syn”) showcased the beautiful setup in a post entitled, “Updated MacBook Pro setup for Software Engineering and Music Production.”

“I’ve recently replaced my terrible desk top with the Ikea Karlby and I absolutely love it!” he said of his updates. “Also added Pain and Madara Pop dolls and LED strip behind the desk for that cool orangey effect. Not the best cable management, but ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat.”

So true about cable management being a pain to get to. His doesn’t look all that bad. But of course, the main photo is dark enough to obscure many sins and the photo below doesn’t show enough real estate to see any cables.

M1 Max MacBook Pro

Syn’s main machine is a 16-inch M1 Max MacBook Pro — first released in October 2021. It runs through an OWC Thunderbolt 4 dock to drive a 34-inch Alienware Curved Gaming Display with a 120Hz refresh rate.

It’s good to know the Mac laptop apparently still gets the software engineering work done despite being a couple of generations behind the current blockbusting crop (M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pro). It must help that Syn’s laptop packs solid specs. In addition to the powerful M1 Max chip with a 10-core CPU and a 32-core GPU, it sports 32GB of unified memory and a 1TB SSD for storage.

And you can get it for $2,857 at Amazon right now. See below. It’s probably good for a while yet.

OWC Thunderbolt 4 dock

The OWC Thunderbolt 4 dock also looks like a keeper.

Here are its main features and specs:

  • Thunderbolt 4 host port provides up to 96W of power to the host computer; Thunderbolt 4 device ports (for external drives and other devices) provide 15W of power; USB port provides up to 1.5A of power for bus-powered drives and device charging.
  • Supports up to one 8K display @ 60Hz, two 4K displays @ 60Hz, one 4K display @ 120Hz, one 4K display @ 60Hz, or two 5K displays @ 60Hz; Display Support by Port: Thunderbolt 4: Up to 8K @ 60Hz or 4K @ 120Hz via a native Thunderbolt 4 display or other display that supports USB-C connections and DisplayPort 1.4. Supported Intel-based Apple Mac models and Thunderbolt 4 PCs support two displays.
  • Ports: (1) host port – Thunderbolt 4 up to 40 Gb/s (5000 MB/s); (3) Thunderbolt 4 Ports;(3) USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A Ports up to 10Gb/s (1250MB/s) – USB 2.0/3.0 backwards compatible; (1) USB 2.0 Port; (1) Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) RJ-45 Port; (1) 3.5mm Stereo Audio Input/Output Combo Port; (1) Secure Digital (SD) SD 4.0 UHS-II.
  • Host port support: Thunderbolt or USB (USB-C or USB-A) port; Works with Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 3, USB4, and USB host computers and mobile devices; Thunderbolt/Thunderbolt 2 Mac models are supported via USB-A host connection; Thunderbolt/Thunderbolt 2 host connection is not supported; USB connection may limit some functionality; certified OWC Thunderbolt 4 cable included.
  • Compatible with Macs with an available Thunderbolt 3 or later port running macOS 11.1 Big Sur or later, Windows PC with an available Thunderbolt 4 port and non-Thunderbolt USB-C machines like Chromebooks and iPads, USB-C equipped MacBook, iPad, Chromebook, Android device.
  • 2-year OWC limited warranty

Shop these items now:

M1 Max MacBook Pro and OWC Thunderbolt 4 dock setup
A Funko Pop Pain figure stands between the Thunderbolt 4 dock (left) and audio interface.
Photo: Setups

Computer and dock:


Input devices:


Furniture, lighting and decor:

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.

2021 M1 Max MacBook Pro

This powerful Apple laptop features a 16-inch Retina display, M1 Max chip with 10‑core CPU and 32‑core GPU, 32GB RAM, and a 1TB SSD, in space gray.

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