| Cult of Mac

85-inch screen towers over 3 Cinema Displays under glass [Setups]

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This custom-made desk and screen setup is mind-boggling.
This custom-made desk and screen setup is mind-boggling.
Photo: ZombiePhysicist@forum.macrumors.com

Occasionally a computer setup crops up that just makes you say, “WTF?” That’s what a colleague said about a DIY extravaganza he came across in which three 30-inch Cinema Displays were mounted under glass inside a desk.

The Cinema Display imagery shows up on a mammoth 85-inch screen above — all in a huge, homemade desk assembly. WTF, indeed.

Developer’s M1 MacBook Pro rig is all there in black and white [Setups]

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The M1 MacBook Pro is hidden in a drawer.
The M1 MacBook Pro is hidden in a drawer.
Photo: alexandersandberg@Reddit.com

Some computer setups go for splashy color while others like to be monochromatic — often black and white, or one or the other. In today’s featured setup, an iOS and macOS software developer sets a Studio Display in a black-and-white scheme that hides an M1 MacBook Pro.

And they go for quality sound in the mix, too, with one of the world’s most popular USB microphones and an exceptional pair of open-back headphones.

Cable management doesn’t have to be a horrible chore [Setups]

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"Cables? What cables?" asked one commenter.
Photo: junger128@Reddit.com

Sometimes you see a pristine computer setup flaunted on social media and you think, how is that even real? Is it staged? Is it a render? At the very least, it looks like they left out all the cables for the photograph. But that’s not necessarily the case.

A lot of us live with messy setups, in part due to cable clutter. But neatening things up doesn’t have to be next-to impossible, as today’s featured Mac mini setup demonstrates.

Mounts make the most of a home videoconferencing center [Setups]

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Everything is mounted just so.
Everything is mounted just so.
Photo: jamesslock@Reddit.com

Mounts can make the most of a computer setup. They can mobilize so much of your gear — computers, displays, microphones — so you can use them when you need them and push them out of the way when you don’t, opening up desk space. And you can minutely adjust their positioning, too.

Today’s featured MacBook Pro and Mac Studio computer setup takes advantage of mounts for the computers, display, video camera and microphone.

Wildly expansive USB-C hub jacks up new Mac Studio [Setups]

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With the dock it sits on, that Mac Studio is even more formidable.
With the dock it sits on, that Mac Studio is even more formidable.
Photo: Affectionate-Degree3@Reddit.com

A cool aspect of both Mac minis and the newer Mac Studio are the platform-like USB-C hubs festooned with ports and added storage capacity that third parties have designed for them to sit on. Satechi was quick out of the gate with one for the mini, but there are other such cleverly designed, space-saving hubs on the market. And many of them also fit the Studio.

Today’s featured setup boasts a powerful new Mac Studio perched on a Qwiizlab hub as it drives an LG UltraWide display, among other gear.

Seriously, how big is too big for desktop speakers? [Setups]

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Side by side images show the computer setup's front and back sides.
Side by side images show the computer setup's front and back sides. Can you spot the speakers? Squint if you must.
Photo: Kulimeya@Reddit.com

We love serious audio here at Setups Central. But is it possible for the audio gear in your computer setup to be too serious? For example, can your desktop speakers be too comically oversized, as if you’re making some sort of visual joke about your life being all about the music?

In today’s featured setup, a magnificent 32-inch Pro Display XDR actually manages to look puny in between two monstrously huge Yamaha powered studio monitors. And yet, believe it or not, they may not actually be too big.

Is it OK to use a Mac mini as a stand for your display? [Setups]

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Is it OK to rest your display on top of your Mac mini?
Is it OK to rest your display on top of your Mac mini?
Photo: techsteveo@Reddit.com

We’ve written about storing a Mac mini in an upright rather than a flat position to save space. It’s OK to do if the machine’s intake and exhaust vents are not blocked. But what about using your Mac mini as a stand for a display, as in today’s featured computer setup?

It’s not necessarily quite as cut-and-dried as the upright mini question. Whether it’s totally fine or a little risky depends a little more on the specific Mac mini and the kind of monitor you use.

Clean M1 Mac mini station is an audio-visual beast [Setups]

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This clean, M1 Mac mini-based setup packs a lot of audio-visual firepower.
This clean, M1 Mac mini-based setup packs a lot of audio-visual firepower.
Photo: Halzen@Reddit.com

Some computer setups are remarkably cool for their awesome computing power. Others wow you with incredible displays, with several high-def monitors. And still others blow you away with premium sound. Or, in the case of today’s featured setup, premium audio-visual gear many people would be psyched to get their hands on.

Part 2: From PC pigsty to prim M1 Pro MacBook workstation [Setups]

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In round 2, I experiment with an open laptop stand, a mechanical keyboard with a wrist rest, a Magic Trackpad 2, an ergonomic mouse with a trackball and a monitor light bar.
In round 2, I experiment with an open laptop stand, a mechanical keyboard with a wrist rest, a Magic Trackpad 2, an ergonomic mouse with a trackball and a monitor light bar.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

I wrote recently about the shameful squalor of my previous “setup” — basically a borrowed PC laptop perched on a pile of junk — and my effort to build something worthwhile around a gleaming new 14-inch M1 Pro MacBook. Well, like a lot of people in the throes of building a computer setup, I found that second-guessing haunted me into buying a whole lot of alternative gear.

You know, for testing purposes. Trial and error. Not because of my apparent shopping addiction. Or not much, anyway.

Blow your ears clean off with perfectly mounted desktop speakers [Setups]

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Ready, aim, fire! Get the perfect sound with mounted desktop speakers.
Ready, aim, fire! Get the perfect sound with mounted desktop speakers.
Photo: rovervogue@reddit.com

These days, you can find computers and monitors with pretty good speakers. Or you can set up a pair HomePod minis or some other nice little Bluetooth speakers for solid computer setup sound.

But some people aren’t happy unless they have massive audio power on the desktop, complete with perfectly positioned speaker stands for maximum balance and clarity — and all of their speakers’ impressive wattage pointed right at their face.