Update - Hardware specification updated to reflect a new Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (JAN-2023) and Framework Laptop 13 DIY Edition 13th Generation Intel Core.

Final Update - Please refer to the article “My Setup (Q3 2023)” for a summary of my latest setup.

I switch between four devices (two desktops and two notebooks), which are primarily used for productivity, collaboration, software development, photo editing, video editing, virtual labs, gaming and game development.

My daily driver is a custom-built desktop PC. The full specification can be found below:

  • MSI MAG X570 Tomahawk WiFi
  • AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 3.5GHz Base / 4.7GHz Boost (16C/32T)
  • Noctua NH-D15 CPU Cooler
  • 64GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 PC4-28800C18 3600MHz RAM
  • 1TB Samsung 980 Pro M.2 PCI-e 4.0 NVM-e SSD
  • 1TB Samsung PM981 M.2 PCI-e 3.0 NVM-e SSD
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 FE 24GB GDDR6X
  • EVGA SuperNova P2 1000W ‘80 Plus Platinum’ PSU
  • Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX Mid Tower Case

The AMD Ryzen 3950X, Samsung 980 Pro and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 are several years old, but still considered premium components, delivering high-performance across a range of workloads (e.g., multi-threading, ray-tracing gaming, machine learning, video editing, etc.)

I also have an Apple Mac Studio (MAR-2022), which has two user profiles, one for me and the other for my wife. She is Head of Marketing at Winchester Science Centre, therefore is a frequent user of Serif Affinity Photo, Apple Final Cut Pro, etc.

  • Apple Mac Studio (MAR-2022)
  • Apple M1 Max (10-core - 8 Performance / 2 Efficiency)
  • 32-core GPU (10.4 Teraflops)
  • 16-core Neural Engine
  • 64GB Unified Memory (400GB/s Memory Bandwidth)
  • 1TB SSD (7.4GB/s Read)
  • 4x Thunderbolt 4 (40Gb/s), 2x USB-C (10Gb/s), 2x USB-A (5Gb/s), 10Gb Ethernet, HDMI, 3.5mm Headphone, SDXC Card Reader

When remote or travelling, my daily driver is an Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (JAN-2023). The full specification can be found below:

  • Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (JAN-2023)
  • Apple M2 Max (12-core - 8 Performance / 4 Efficiency)
  • 38-core GPU (13.6 Teraflops)
  • 16-core Neural Engine
  • 96GB Unified Memory (400GB/s Memory Bandwidth)
  • 2TB SSD (7.4GB/s Read)
  • 3x Thunderbolt 4, HDMI 2.1, 3.5mm Headphone, SDXC Card Reader, MagSafe 3
  • 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR Display (3456x2234 @ 120Hz, 1600nits)

Finally, I use a Framework Laptop running (Fedora) for Linux-specific workloads (e.g., Docker, Ethical Hacking, etc.) I am a believer in the “right to repair”, therefore eager to support companies promoting this cause.

The full specification can be found below:

  • Framework Laptop DIY Edition
  • Intel i7-1370P 5,2GHz (14C/20T)
  • 64GB Crucial DDR4 PC4-25600C22 3200MHz RAM
  • 1TB Western Digital Black SN850X NVMe (7.3GB/s Read)
  • Intel Iris Xe Graphics
  • 13.5-inch IPS LCD Display (2256x1504 @ 60Hz)
  • 2x USB4 (USB-C), 1x USB 3.2 G2 (USB-A), 1x HDMI 2.0b

At home, the desktop PC and Apple Mac Studio connect to a 49-inch Super Ultra-Wide monitor, specifically the Samsung C49RG90.

The full specification of the monitor can be found below.

  • Model: Samsung C49RG90
  • Panel Size: 49-inch
  • Panel Type: VA
  • Panel Curvature: 1800R
  • Aspect Ratio: 32:9
  • Resolution: 5120x1440
  • Refresh Rate: 120Hz
  • Variable Refresh Rate: AMD FreeSync 2 (48-120Hz Range)
  • Response Time: 4ms (GTG)
  • Colour Accuracy: 125% sRGB, 92% Adobe RGB, 95% DCI-P3
  • High Dynamic Range: HDR1000
  • Brightness: 600cd/m2 (Typical), 1000cd/m2 (Peak)

My workspace is kept fairly minimal, thanks to the exceptional Secret Lab Magnus Pro XL sit-to-stand desk.

My Setup

As you can see, for peripherals, I primarily use the Logitech MX Mechanical Mini, Logitech MX Master 3S and Insta360 Link. The keyboard and mouse were selected as they include “easy switch”, which makes it simple to toggle between multiple devices.

The photo also highlights my microphone setup, which is a Blue Yeti connected to the Blue Yeticaster that includes the Compass Boom Arm and Radius III Custom Shockmount. The microphone is primarily used for video conferencing, screencasting, webinars and podcasts.

The photo below provides a closer look at the Samsung C49RG90 monitor.

My Setup

Additional peripherals include speakers (AudioEngine A1), headphones (Razer BlackShark V2 and Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H8), controller (Microsoft Xbox Elite Series 2), flight controller (Saitek X-55), steering wheel (Logitech G29) and virtual reality headset (Meta Quest Pro).

As highlighted in the photo below, my desktop PC and Apple Mac Studio sit under the desk, with the PC case door exposed providing easy access to the components.

My Setup

Accompanying the desktop PC and monitor is an Original Prusa MINI+, which is an open-source 3D printer.

Finally, I use a Herman Miller Mirra 2 chair, which balances comfort and personalised ergonomics.

Home Server

Alongside my desktops and notebooks, I have a small home server, which is connected to my Samsung S95B OLED TV (65-inch). The server manages local and cloud backups, media streaming, and collaboration (video conferencing).

I selected an Apple Mac mini (NOV-2018) for the server, thanks to its excellent power efficiency (150W max), high-performance I/O (4x Thunderbolt 3, 2x USB-A 3.0) and small form factor. The Mac mini also offers versatile video conferencing capabilities covering Apple FaceTime, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, WhatsApp Video, etc.

The full specification of the Mac mini can be found below:

  • Apple Mac mini (NOV-2018)
  • Intel Core i5-8500B 3.0GHz Base / 4.1GHz Boost (6C/6T)
  • 64GB Corsair Vengeance Series 2666MHz DDR4 RAM
  • 256GB PCI-e SSD
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • 2x 500GB Samsung Portable T5 SSD (USB 3.1 Gen2)

The 1256GB of local SSD storage is split across multiple drives for resilience, with automated backups being completed by Carbon Copy Cloner and Cloud Storage via Microsoft OneDrive.

The only peripheral connected directly to the Mac mini is a Logitech Brio Ultra HD Pro webcam, which delivers phenomenal video quality (4K/30fps - HDR), a wide viewing angle (90-degree dFoV) and a surprisingly good stereo, dual omnidirectional integrated microphone.

To support my minimal (hidden-wire) entertainment setup, all of my AV equipment (Sony STR-DN1050 AV Receiver, Sony PlayStation 5, Apple Mac mini, Logitech Harmony Hub) is located in a cupboard under the stairs, with the required cables fed through the wall to the TV. This can be a little inconvenient when looking to insert/change physical media, but thankfully the cupboard offers plenty of room for ventilation.