Setups

Satechi’s great USB-C hub and stand isn’t just for Mac mini [Setups]

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Satechi USB-C hub Mac Studio
Satechi's USB-C hub is also an ideal stand (for either Mac mini or Mac Studio).
Photo: Satechi

Satechi makes an awfully cool USB-C hub and stand for Mac mini that also suits Mac Studio perfectly. We’re surprised we don’t see that particular Satechi hub and stand more often in computer setups online.

But today’s Mac Studio rig with three big 4K displays makes perfect use of it. It greatly expands the machine’s capability and it blends right in like it’s not even there.

Triple 4K displays: Too many or just right? [Setups]

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Triple 4K displays in Mac Studio setup
That is an awful lot of screen real estate.
Photo: Imtog@Reddit.com

How many external displays would you consider ideal in your computer setup? Surprisingly, a lot of folks who assume it’s at least two end up regretting the idea. Today’s Mac Studio rig with triple 4K displays — three 32-inchers — sparked some debate on the matter.

That’s an awful lot of screen real estate that calls for a lot of head turning.

M3 MacBook Pro supercharges trader’s rig [Setups]

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M3 MacBook Pro setup
The 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro with 36GB of unified memory handles powerful software.
Photo: Diesel_Formula@Reddit.com

What kind of performance boost do you get when you go from an M1 MacBook Air to an M3 Pro MacBook Pro? A pretty big one, if today’s MacBook Pro setup from an investor is any indication. They made sure to purchase a model with plenty of unified memory — 36GB — to ensure no number of open tabs would slow them down too much.

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. 

Custom mechanical gaming keyboard ups ‘cool’ factor [Setups]

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NuPhy mechanical gaming keyboard
The user describes the key caps on his NuPhy Halo75 mechanical gaming keyboard as "fire."
Photo: mcaputo023@reddit.com

Mechanical keyboards are all the rage for folks who love their nuanced typing feel, customizability and all that clickety-clackety noise.

Today’s featured Mac Studio and dual-Studio Display setup boasts a great mechanical gaming keyboard, the NuPhy Halo75, with custom keycaps.

Don’t sleep on perfect ambient lighting [Setups]

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Philips Hue ambient lighting with Play Gradient Light Strip in setup
It's amazing what an atmospheric effect a light strip can have on a setup.
Photo: Philips Hue

As we’ve seen so often in our endless tour of computer setups on social media, ambient lighting matters. Sure, you want proper lighting so you can see what you’re doing, but extra-mile work like setting Philips Hue ambient lighting — as in today’s Mac Studio setup — can make a big difference cosmetically and in more practical ways.

Syncing audio and brightness with dual Studio Displays [Setups]

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dual Studio Displays setup
The bezels joining in the middle where these side-by-side Studio Displays meet doesn't much bother the user.
Photo: mcaputo023@reddit.com

Dual Studio Displays are a popular-if-pricey choice among Mac users. In addition to making a case for going with the configuration in the first place, today’s Mac Studio setup offers some helpful tips for creating synced dual Studio Displays.

It suggests third-party tools to help sync audio and brightness levels across the two monitors.

These French studio-monitor speakers never surrender [Setups]

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Focal Shape 65 speakers
These intriguing studio monitors from France -- plus a massive subwoofer to match -- have never appeared in our Setups coverage before.
Photo: Focal

We love it when an interesting computer setup on social media — something real and well-used, not staged — shows us a brand-new thing (new to us, that is). And this week that comes in an audio engineer’s iMac Pro setup featuring brilliant Focal studio-monitor speakers on stands above a massive Focal subwoofer under the custom-made desk.

We’re pretty sure Focal speakers have never appeared in setups featured on Cult of Mac. For one thing, they’re from France. That country comes to mind less for premium audio than the United States, UK, Germany, Japan and Denmark, to name a few leaders. 

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).

What Loupedeck can do for your photo and video editing [Setups]

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Loupedeck
Today's user relies on Loupedeck Live for photo and video editing tasks.
Photo: Loupedeck

The other day we featured an M1 Ultra Mac Studio setup. We wanted to loop back to call out a couple of cool components in it — namely, a Loupedeck streaming media console and a Keychron Q1 Pro Mechanical Keyboard. It turns out Loupedeck Live is great for video editing (photos, too!).

You’ll never guess what this user thinks sets Mac Studio apart [Setups]

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Mac Studio
Mac Studio has one of the nicest accessories of its kind a user has ever seen.
Photo: orglickman@reddit.com

The M1 Ultra Mac Studio set a new benchmark for computing power in a package smaller than Mac Pro when it came out in spring 2022. Today’s setup sparked discussion about the relative merits of the powerful desktop machine, with one user citing a surprising point of praise — the Mac Pro braided power cord!

YouTuber loves his Elgato Stream Deck [Setups]

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Elgato Stream Deck setup
This setup produces many YouTube videos and occasional conference calls.
Photo: MentalOriental@Reddit.com

One of the interesting gadgets we see more and more of in computer setups is the Elgato Stream Deck and its various interations. Today’s MacBook Pro user relies on one to make YouTube videos, and the company’s key light helps with pro-level lighting, too.

MacBook Pro rig rocks Sonos sound system [Setups]

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Sonos One SL speakers in MacBook Pro setup
The Sonos sound system consist of Sonos One SL speakers on the desk and a Sonos Beam soundbar behind the user's seat (not shown).
Photo: MentalOriental@Reddit.com

Sonos audio products are popular for a reason — they sound great and they’re not too far from affordable. Today’s MacBook Pro and Studio Display user thinks the monitor’s built-in speakers are good for many uses, but when they really want the big sound — for gaming, it turns out — they’re all about their Sonos One SL speakers and Sonos Beam soundbar.

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.

How gamer avoids neck pain looking up at stacked Studio Displays [Setups]

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Mac Studio setup with dual Studio Displays
You don't see two Studio Displays stacked on a desk shelf every day. But the user says neck pain isn't an issue.
Photo: sound214@Reddit.com

With all the computer setups out there with two, three and even five displays, sometimes you’ll see them stacked. But a dual-Studio Display setup that stacks one on top of the other is a rarity.

Today’s Mac Studio user, who is also an avid PlayStation 5 and Ninendo Switch gamer, said the stacked displays work well and don’t cause any neck pain from looking up all the time.

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.

No regrets on move from monster PC to M3 MacBook Pro [Setups]

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M3 Max MacBook Pro setup
The M3 Max MacBook Pro in clamshell mode offers plenty of power in a small, mobile footprint.
Photo: juicemaistro@Reddit.com

If you have a powerful custom desktop PC, why would you switch to a MacBook Pro? We’ve seen plenty of setups that opt to include both, but today’s setup made the swap and its user feels zero regrets.

The Mac laptop is just that powerful, and the option for mobile use proved irresistible.

‘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.

His sister works for Apple. Brace for jealousy. [Setups]

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Mac Studio setup with 5K Studio Display and 4K Samsung monitor
What do you do if one display is 5K resolution and one is 4K resolution?
Photo: scribblesandthoughts@Reddit.com

When someone asked a marketing director in the United Kingdom how much money he makes, the man laughed and said, “Not enough to justify the contents of this picture” of his computer setup.

Hey, we get it. But then we suffered immediate pangs of envy when he went on to say, “My sister works for Apple so got a sick deal on a refurbed [Mac] Studio and new Studio Display.”

Yeah, good for you, pal. No, really. We mean 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.

Dual 5K displays and giant DIY desk distinguish this rig [Setups]

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MacBook Pro setup
Cleaned, reorganized and beautifully underlit, this MacBook Pro and Studio Display rig is ready for work in the new year.
Photo: dominicmannphoto@Reddit.com

People often compare LG’s UltraFine 5K display to Apple’s Studio Display because they’re directly comparable, with the same size and resolution. But rarely do you find the two in the same setup. That makes today’s dual MacBook Pro and dual 5K display setup something of a rarity.

That, along with the rarely seen Wacom drawing tablet and the truly massive DIY desk, fashioned from a kitchen countertop and mechanized legs.