College freshman sees upside of hunkering down in his parents’ house [Setups]

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Shad Ahmad's straightforward setup centers on a MacBook Pro and 32-inch monitor.
Shad Ahmad's straightforward setup centers on a MacBook Pro and 32-inch monitor.
Photo: Shahid Ahmad

Shad Ahmad was a hard-studying freshman majoring in biology and minoring in history at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

Going home to continue classes for a semester remotely from his parents’ house in Wisconsin may not have been ideal, but Ahmad found a comforting upside. Integrated smart technology makes his life easier, he told Cult of Mac.

Working from home means building his setup on his terms [Setups]

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Wilcox's setup centers on a 27-inch 5K iMac with 28-inch Samsung monitors on either side of it.
David Wilcox's setup centers on a 27-inch 5K iMac with 28-inch Samsung monitors on either side of it.
Photo: David Wilcox

David Wilcox is an IT consultant working from home in Bristol, England. His remote work situation means he gets to tweak his setup just as he likes, he told Cult of Mac.

Wilcox’s central command is a 27-inch 5K iMac from 2019. Humming along with it are two 28-inch U2HE850 monitors paired and run together via a Startech Thunderbolt 3 to Dual DisplayPort Adapter.

With that much screen real estate and a plethora of networking gear, he gets a lot done.

“My first computer was a Sinclair [Research] ZX81,” he said, referring to a machine made by Timex Corp. in the United Kingdom starting in 1981. “So this setup is just about a home-computing Nirvana!”

Desk space and a monster monitor are keys to this magician’s productivity [Setups]

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MacBook Pro Setup
A big desk, an enormous screen, and a minimalist philosophy make for a productive setup.
Photo: Allan Hagen

Allan Hagen is a New York-based professional magician and amateur photographer with a serious setup. His favorite part of the setup is the big, stunning Antoccino Desk by RH Modern, which helps him concentrate.

“A big desk with a fairly minimalist setup really lends itself to focusing on the tasks at hand,” he said.

This setup will make Luddites want to scream [Setups]

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Mac Pro Setup
Anthony Ivanovsky's setup features a Mac Pro for work and a gaming PC under the desk.
Photo: Anthony Ivanovsky

Anthony Ivanovsky is a Toronto-based marketing expert and IT manager who has a knack for gadgets, both big and small. In his setup, an MSI Optix MAG341CQ 34-inch UltraWide Curved Gaming Monitor immediately draws the eye. And at $500, it costs considerably less than other ultrawides on the market.

On the left-hand side of his desk, standing like a monument, is the commanding Mac Pro. He uses this beast of a machine for video editing, photo editing and for his day job working for a tech startup. Aside from the base Radeon 580X, he also has two additional Radeon VII graphic cards, which may seem like overkill until you learn that he also runs three different YouTube channels.

When you want a desk done well, build it yourself [Setups]

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MacBook Pro Setup
That's how you build a desk on a budget.
Photo: @alexknollphoto

Alex Knoll is a professional photographer with some serious carpentry skills. When he couldn’t find a desk he liked that matched his budget, he decided to just build one himself. He sketched a plan on his iPad with the Procreate app and bought himself a few long slabs of pine and got to work. With a set of $100 table legs he bought from TableLegs.com, the total cost of the materials came out to roughly $300.

A Renaissance setup for a Renaissance man [Setups]

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MacBook Pro Setup
This setup can handle any task you throw at it.
Photo: Mark Davis

Mark Davis is somewhat of a Renaissance man. He is an author of four novels, an entrepreneur, an engineer and a scientist. He is between startups right now but recently sold a data analytics platform to Dell. In order to perform all of his duties, he needs a setup that can match his tempo. Naturally, he has a dual-monitor setup.

His main monitor is a Samsung U28E590D 28-inch 4k UHD which has a one-millisecond response time that obliterates latency. He pairs it up with a LG 27-inch IPS Monitor which he mainly runs off of his 2018 iPad Pro. A 13-inch MacBook Pro is the backbone of the setup. It is covertly hidden on a Twelve South BookArc behind the monitors. His MacBook is specced out with 16GB of RAM storage, which is important to him “so I can run multiple virtual machines in parallel when needed,” he said.

A desk suited for a modern day Man Ray [Setups]

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iMac Pro Setup
This setup is out of orbit.
Photo: @rsebastyan

Ryan Sebastyan is a video editor who until recently was on tour shooting Def Leppard gigs, back when we still had concerts. The tour seems to be on hold now, but he has a nice selection of shots on his Instagram page.

Back at home, he built himself a killer setup. The headliner of this tech festival is the impeccable 27-inch iMac Pro, a beast of a machine. The Grovemade Walnut Monitor Stand makes the iMac its own computer upon a hill. Naturally, he pairs the iMac with the Apple Magic Mouse and Keyboard (with Numeric Trackpad!). The matte black color stands out nicely against the walnut desk and stand.

When an interior designer builds her dream setup [Setups]

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MacBook Pro Setup
Clear desk, clear mind
Photo: @jessiefinds

Jessie Ruane is a New York-based professional actor and interior home decorator so when it came to her home office setup she came to play. Since she last redid her setup, Ruane wanted to go with something cleaner and more minimalist. She said the favorite part of her setup is that it “is super functional to record great audio, hook up hard drives and accessories efficiently, and just perform everything speedy.”

The mainstay of the dual-monitor, MacBook Pro-run rig is an outstanding 27-inch LG UltraFine monitor. The LG UltraFine has a whopping 8 million pixels, more than four times as many as most conventional 1080p HD monitors and works seamlessly with her MacBook.

All work and no play makes a dull setup [Setups]

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MacBook Pro Setup
Audiophiles will be drooling at the mouth when they see this setup.
Photo: @connellmccarthy

Connell McCarthy is a senior designer for Shopify by day and moonlights as a musician. His setup was built to handle both of these activities.

He works at a Strucktube table, by Tokyo Desk, which gives him a ton of space to work with. His monitor is the LG 32-inch FreeStyle IPS Monitor which gives him good screen quality without breaking the bank. The nerve center of his rig is a MacBook Pro.