Magic Keyboard

Slick new Yamaha speakers blast rapper’s soundtrack [Setups]

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MacBook Pro setup with new Yamaha speakers
This setup replaced big ol' Yamaha speakers with smaller new ones the user said sound just as good.
Photo: jonyoungmusic@Reddit.com

For those who get by with audio from a laptop or display speakers in their computer setup — as good as that can be these days — an upgrade to desktop speakers offer a real treat for the ears. Today’s MacBook Pro setup from a Florida-based rapper just got a nice set of brand new Yamaha speakers and jacked them in to a huge subwoofer under the desk. 

Audio engineer touts Apple’s ‘most stylish computer’ ever [Setups]

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iMac Pro audio recording and mastering setup
An iMac Pro from 2017 is core to this audio recording and mastering setup.
Photo: Wanderedabit@Reddit.com

Before Apple’s powerful but sub-Mac Pro-level desktop Mac Studio even existed, there was iMac Pro. We don’t see the premium all-in-one desktop computer in the wild often compared to regular iMacs, but it clearly still has its fans.

Today’s featured user, who records and masters audio in a home studio, refuses to give up his 7-year-old iMac Pro until absolutely necessary. Because it’s still great. And for some people, it could be a great bargain on the used market (check out a few options in the gear list below).

Find the best affordable, feature-packed keyboard for Mac mini

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Photo of a hand holding a Mac mini with the words
You'll find plenty of options in our guide to the best keyboards for Apple's pint-size Mac.
Photo: Teddy GR/Unsplash License/Cult of Mac

Apple’s smallest desktop computer is a powerhouse in a small package, but it doesn’t come with peripheral devices — so what are the best keyboards for Mac mini?

Whether you use a Mac mini for work or gaming, adding the right keyboard is crucial for maximizing your productivity and comfort.

I’ve always been fascinated with keyboards and have several. I’ll show you 10 of my favorite choices for great keyboards to use with Mac mini below.

Another user pares back to one great external display [Setups]

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Mac Studio setup with 32-inch Dell Dell G3223Q Gaming Monitor
This user chose one 32-inch Dell G3223Q Gaming Monitor over two external displays.
Photo: Sony-boy@Reddit.com

Trend alert: We’re seeing more computer setups cutting down from dual displays — or sometimes a few — to one external display. This is no scientific survey, but today’s setup looks like another example of several we’ve seen popping up on social media lately where a user wants to simplify and focus in that way.

And commenters compared the choice of display that remained — a Dell 4K gaming monitor — favorably to Studio Display.

Day or night, you can’t go wrong with stereo HomePods [Setups]

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Dual HomePod MacBook Pro setup
The daytime photograph shows the treasured HomePods clearly.
Photo: aleksiralda@Reddit.com

Paired for stereo sound, two full-size HomePod smart speakers — the original or second generation — are a thing of auditory beauty. And they don’t just sound great, they look good, too. Yet we don’t see paired HomePods much in computer setups (HomePod minis yes, the big ones, no).

Today’s MacBook Pro setup takes full advantage of Apple audio, however, and the user couldn’t be happier. Well, except with Siri, that is. Check out their setup’s cheerful day version (above) and moody night version (below).

User trades 4K display for a second MacBook Pro [Setups]

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Dual MacBook setup
This setup traded a vertical 32-inch display for an M2 Max MacBook Pro, among other changes.
Photo: MagneticMotion@Reddit.com

For the second time in as many weeks we’ve come across someone ditching a nice external display and keeping just one — and this time it’s to add a second powerful MacBook Pro used as both a computer and a secondary display. In fact, now it’s triple-display setup, but two of them are laptops on stands.

‘Small’ MacBook Pro rig punches well above its weight [Setups]

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MacBook Pro setup
Despite appearances, there's really a lot going on here.
Photo: dartiss@Reddit.com

Isn’t it great when someone on social media humbly displays a well put-together and complete computer setup that makes yours look like random debris? Well, at least it’s a good learning opportunity. And today’s MacBook Pro setup is an exceptional example, as it doesn’t look like “all that” — even though it is.

At a glance you might not guess that it packs about two dozen components, and the user is happy to explain how he uses most of them.

Cozy iMac nook makes picture-perfect workspace [Setups]

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24-inch iMac setup
The pink computer really works here.
Photo: OK-Mulberry6597@Reddit.com

Apple’s sleek and colorful all-in-one desktop computer, the iMac, appears in Cult of Mac‘s setups coverage less often than other Macs, but not for lack of trying. It seems people don’t flaunt iMac setups all over social media all that much. But judging by today’s warm and inviting pink-iMac setup, maybe they should.

The cozy little office space also benefits from smart lights we don’t see all that often, either.

Good monitor arms ‘go a long way’ [Setups]

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Mac Studio setup with three mounted displays
This user swears by the arms his 4 displays are mounted on.
Photo: TheJTizzle@Reddit.com

Sure, you can buy a computer monitor and set it up on the stand that came in the box. But what if you want to easily move the external display around? And what if you want to have multiple screens and move them around?

Keeping monitors up off the desk and mobile can really improve your setup. And the best way to do that is to mount your screens on arms. It takes some effort, but as today’s user points out below, it’s worth it.

Can removing a 4K external display count as an upgrade? [Setups]

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MacBook Pro setup with LG UltraFine monitor on stand
Once again, a monitor riser (and other updates) elevates a computer setup.
Photo: jonyoungmusic@Reddit.com

Multiple-display computer setups are all the rage, but can a workstation benefit from losing one of its external monitors, even one with 4K resolution?

If today’s featured MacBook Pro rig is any indication, yes, it can — especially if the outfit sees a bunch of other cool upgrades at the same time, like a cool new monitor riser, an open stand for the MacBook Pro and a great new office chair.

16-year-old Mac Pro drives even more-ancient Cinema Display [Setups]

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2008 Mac Pro and 2005 30-inch Cinema Display
Wait, what year is it again? 2024. Right.
Photo: 128Megabytes@Reddit.com

Say what you will about old Apple hardware, it’s cool and it’s got staying power — sometimes to an amazing degree. Today’s featured setup, for example, sports a 16-year-old Mac Pro with some modifications driving a 19-year old Cinema Display (the big one — 30 inches — first released in 2004, a mere 20 years ago).

The user’s just happy she’s getting the venerable desktop machine to run as fast as her spritely young MacBook Pro … from 2012.

Multiple Macs drive phalanx of Dell displays [Setups]

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Mac Studio setup with 3 external displays
Windows on water everywhere in this triple-screened Mac Studio and MacBook Pro setup.
Photo: kribyl@Reddit.com

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.

If you have dual displays, try this neat wallpaper trick [Setups]

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Dual-Studio Display MacBook Pro setup
This flat side-by-side look brought up debate, plus the question of getting wallpaper to work that way across two screens.
Photo: Z4YN389@Reddit.com

Few people would dispute that the extra screen real estate of a second display can be a huge help in a computer setup. But let’s say you have two Studio Displays in landcape (horizontal) mode. Do you place them side by side perfectly straight or do you angle them in some way?

Today’s MacBook Pro workstation brought up the debate and surfaced a cool tip for getting wallpaper to appear half on one display and half on the other.

Stunning view comes with top display and killer KEF sound [Setups]

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David David Heinemeier Hansson's Mac mini setup with Pro Display XDR and KEF speakers.
Hansson's setup in Malibu, CA, features a Mac mini mounted behind a Pro Display XDR and a phenomenal set of KEF speakers.
Photo: DHH@X.com

Developer David Heinemeier Hansson, known for creating the Ruby on Rails web development framework, showcased his rather stunning Mac mini computer setup this week on X (formerly Twitter).

The extraordinary 6K graphics of his Studio Display XDR and the articulate sound of his highly recommended KEF speakers complement the ocean views through the glass walls of his California office.

Get festive with holiday desktop wallpaper [Setups]

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Desktop wallpaper with holiday themes in iMac setup
You can almost hear Santa landing on the roof.
Photo: PartyPrice5927@Reddit.com

This time of year folks are getting in the holiday spirit and setting up Christmas trees, Hanukkah menorahs or Kwanzaa kinaras. But don’t forget to light up your Mac, iPad and iPhone screens with festive holiday wallpapers, too.

Today’s featured setup iMac and MacBook Air setup is so festive they could maybe skip all the other decorations!

Super-cool vertical Mac mini stand does it all [Setups]

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M1 Mac mini setup features vertical stand with SSD enclosure and 5-in-1 USB-C hub.
The unobtrusive vertical stand holding up the Mac mini at right does a lot.
Photo: eljelipe@Reddit.com

Mac mini, Apple’s small-but-mighty desktop machine, does a lot of things well — especially the M1 and newer models. They make bigger desktop computers unnecessary for people who don’t need truly massive computing power.

And today’s featured M2 Mac mini user found a way to greatly expand his computer’s capabilities with a vertical stand that also saves space on the desk.

Find the perfect monitor riser for your desk [Setups]

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Mac mini setup Studio Display on monitor riser
Though most monitors come with adjustable stands, adding a monitor riser provides benefits to any computer setup.
Photo: zipzag@Reddit.com

Whether you call them monitor risers, desk shelves or display stands, finding the right one for your desk’s size can be a huge boon to your computer setup. Today’s featured Mac mini workstation benefits from a compact Balolo stand sitting toward the back of a small desk.

You can see that choice desk shelf and several other options below, along with all the setup’s gear, including a Studio Display and marvelous high-end headphones.

Star Wars fan converts old iMacs to Cinema Displays [Setups]

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There's a lot to look at in SE's setup, including 3D-printed
There's a lot to look at in SE's setup, including 3D-printed Star Wars figures like a BB-8 droid on the shelf next to the Xbox.
Photo: Straight_Estimate_76@Reddit.com

If you’ve got an old or damaged iMac lying around, why not make use of it? You can find plenty of guidance online to help you turn that dead weight into a version of Apple’s classic Cinema Display and use it with other Macs.

The owner of today’s setup talked about doing just that, plus using open-source software to make his old Macs run recent macOS versions.

Some workstations are literally a pain in the neck [Setups]

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Could you look from one display to the other like that?
Could you look from one display to the other like that?
Photo: DougDimmadOme@Reddit.com

With computer setups we often talk about placing gear properly for healthy, ergonomically correct usage to avoid problems like neck pain. But some folks viewing today’s featured MacBook Pro workstation said they suffered neck pain just looking at the photo.

That’s because the setup’s dual Studio Displays sit on a mount that spreads them out, leaving a big gap in the middle unless the displays are pulled far forward toward the user.

Meet the amazing disappearing workstation [Setups]

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Where did it go? Hint: The display is hiding in plain sight.
Where did it go? Hint: The display is hiding in plain sight.
Photo: Nick Howard

Cult of Mac reader Nick Howard sent us his clever M1 Mac mini computer setup. It’s clever because it pulls a disappearing act, with very little effort on Howard’s part, whenever it’s not in use. Almost like magic.

“I love this setup as it’s completely unobstrusive when not being used and, in use, it offers the perfect combination of screen size and display of information for me, [while] remaining minimalist,” he said.

Finding the ‘perfect’ dock or KVM switch [Setups]

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This Mac mini user has a Dell laptop and wants to run them both with peripherals.
This Mac mini user has a Dell laptop and wants to run them both with peripherals.
Photo: Chrysothemis@Reddit.com

Anyone looking to run different peripherals with both Mac and PC might take a look at today’s setup advice-fest. The user runs a Mac mini with dual displays and typical Apple input devices, but wants to add a Dell laptop from work into the mix.

They got plenty of advice on doing just that with the right kind of dock or KVM switch, below.

Could this be a top Apple-display alternative for gamers? [Setups]

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This Mac mini setup's user is over the moon about his new Samsung Odyssey G8 series curved gaming display.
This Mac mini setup's user is over the moon about his new Samsung Odyssey G8 series curved gaming display.
Photo: joe13r@Reddit.com

Quite a few excellent alternatives to Apple’s pricey Pro Display XDR and Studio Display exist for those in need a good external monitor to go with their Mac. Today’s featured Mac mini setup brings up another one — the 34-inch Samsung Odyssey G8 series curved gaming display.

If you like curves and especially if you like gaming, read on the see if the display might be a good choice for you.

Two powerhouse MacBooks drive dual Studio Displays [Setups]

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Not everyone can say they have two late model MacBooks Pro and two Studio Displays, but the employer helped out in this case.
Not everyone can say they have two late model MacBooks Pro and two Studio Displays, but the employer helped out in this case.
Photo: Leorivero@Reddit.com

Not many folks get to flaunt two late-model, powerhouse MacBook Pro laptops along with two Studio Displays in their computer setup — but it certainly becomes more likely when an employer contributes gear. Today’s featured setup comes from an art director in just that situation.

His Apple-all-the-way setup won much praise, but some commenters on social media had fits over a backward-facing MacBook Pro — and provided a fix for the flagrant flub.

Try the cheap way to get an Apple display [Setups]

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You won't believe how little the user paid for those monitors.
You won't believe how little the user paid for those monitors.
Photo: Thousand_Hands_4032@Reddit.com

The No. 1 complaint about Apple displays? They’re too expensive. People love them, but not everyone will pony up the cash to grab a $1,600 Studio Display or, heaven help us, a $5,000 Studio Display XDR.

Today’s featured MacBook Pro setup provides a much-cheaper alternative that might work for some people. It uses a pair of old-but-beautiful Cinema Displays that cost a grand total of $74.