Kitze

My Mac setup for development, video editing, and making music

I was using a docked MacBook until I realized that docking a laptop when you spend 95% of your time at home is a dumb idea. Also, fuck having not enough ports, too many dongles, listening to the sound of fans going crazy because you're running Slack, the monitors not waking up etc. Fuck. All. Of. That.

 

I wanted a desktop computer that can run macOS.

 
  • I didn't want to build a Hackintosh for the same reason I don't want to mess with Android phones and install ROMs: I'm not 14 anymore
  • I didn't get an iMac because ... bezels. Hey, everyone? Have you noticed the ginormous ugly bezels on this thing? Why would you stare at that ugly thing every day? I really don't get people.
  • I didn't get a Mac Pro because it didn't exist a few years ago. If it did, I would 100% go with it.

I settled on a Mac Mini 2018.

 

Mac Mini Peripherals

Magic Trackpad 2

Magic Keyboard

eXpress (Keyboard Platform)

This is totally not worth the $129 price because it's just a piece of plastic. It didn't even fit the keyboard well so I had to add some small plastic bits to the sides so it fits snuggly. But, keeping the trackpad next to the keyboard was so annoying because I had to move my hands, so I wanted the keyboard and trackpad to be in a laptop-like layout.

 

Logitech C920

CrazyFire Cordless Vacuum

The white keyboard and trackpad attract so much dust and debris that I couldn't stand looking down at my desk. I keep this handy gadget always charged so I can vacuum everything on my desk every once in a while.

 

Anker Ultra Slim Extra Light 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub

SOWTECH USB 3.0 Hub

Zedela USB 3.0 Hub

I used a 3M sticker to stick this hub under my desk, so I can easily insert a USB or an SD card, instead of reaching to the back of the Mac Mini.

 

Anker 2.4 G Vertical Wireless Ergonomic Mouse

Deprecated

I'll be honest: I got this mouse after I started having wrist pain, and I immediately stopped using it when the wrist pain stopped. Now it's gathering dust in my closet, until I get wrist pain again.

 

Peripherals (Shared between PC & Mac)

Razer DeathAdder Elite Wired Optical Mouse

Elgato Stream Deck

LG UltraGear 27GL850-B

27.0" 2560x1440 144 Hz Monitor

 

I got this mostly for gaming, but once you get used to the 144 Hz refresh rate, it's very hard to go back to a normal monitor. Even though I have a 4K monitor, I started using this monitor as the main one for work, and the 4K is sitting on the side.

 

Razer Firefly Chroma

Mouse Pad

 

LG 38" UltraWide Monitor

This was my main monitor for a long time until I realized that widescreen monitors are mostly useless. Most of the time I didn't need that much space, and having a bunch of empty space around a centered window is pretty annoying.

 
  • On macOS, I'm using it for video editing and making music because it's super useful to see a wide timeline, so you don't have to zoom in/out all the time.
  • On Windows, I'm using it only for racing in Forza Horizon 4 because the widescreen makes the game way more immersive. However, I miss the 120hz refresh rate of my other gaming monitor, so I guess that's the next upgrade.

AmazonBasics Premium Single Monitor Stand

UGREEN 4 ports USB 3.0 Sharing Switch

I use 2 of these switches to easily share peripherals between my PC and Mac.

 
  • The first one has the Audio Interface and the Stream Deck plugged in
  • The second one has the Keyboard and Mouse plugged in, so I can easily switch them if I need to do something on the PC in the middle of the stream

I'll explain my streaming setup in a separate post.

 

LG 4K 27" Display

AmazonBasics Desk Monitor Mount

SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless

MX Master

Deprecated

I loved using this mouse until the thumb(?!) key started glitching out and it was getting stuck all the time. I'm not the most patient person so I tried to open it with a screwdriver like a savage and I totally:

 
  • Didn't fix the issue
  • Completely ruined the mouse, yay!

Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma V2 RGB Wired Gaming Keyboard

External GPU

I'm gonna repeat this mistake so many times in my life until I learn my lesson. One device is not meant to do everything, Kitze. Learn the lesson already. Get different devices for different purposes.

 
  • When I got my first MacBook I installed Windows via Bootcamp on it and I tried to pair it with a controller for some gaming on my TV. It was such a frustrating experience that it made me buy my first console: PlayStation 4. Made for gaming in front of a TV, you know?
  • When I got an iPad 2 back in the day, I was so frustrated by all the limitations that I jailbroke it and tried to tweak the shit out of it. Until I realized that I want a customizable tablet, so I got a Nexus 7.
  • When I got the Mac Mini I got excited by the idea of also using it a gaming machine, so I bought an eGPU and a 500GB external SSD drive so I can have enough space for games. What an absolute moron. JUST GET A PC, PAST-KITZE.

First of all, for the price that I paid for the eGPU setup I could've built a solid PC. Second, even though the Vega 64 is on the list of supported GPUs for macOS, setting this up with Windows 10 and Bootcamp was a nightmare.

 

But Kitze, why Windows? What about gaming on macOS?

 

HAHAHA I love your sense of humor, you're funny!

 

Anyway. I tried so many combinations of cables, drivers, and ways of running it that it drove me crazy. I also had to downgrade Windows and block some updates until I finally found the version that works. When I got it to work, it was mostly fine, but I was expecting the setup to break every time there was a driver or a Windows update. Sometimes the Mac Mini wouldn't wake up, or it would randomly glitch out. Eventually, I got rid of Windows and Bootcamp, decided to build a separate PC, and nowadays I only use the eGPU setup for video editing.

 

Apple Laptops

I had 3 Apple laptops so far, and all of them had their fair share of issues. When everyone was jumping on the TouchBar + Butterfly Keyboard hype (kill me if I know why) I was still being stubborn and wanted to keep my 2015 as long as possible. Until Apple said the battery could explode (nice). The Air was a dumb mistake. Hopefully, I'll keep the 2019 Pro for at least 5 years.

 

Apple Laptops

MacBook Pro 2019"

After giving up on the MacBook Air, and after Apple finally decided to bring back the Esc key, I decided to get it. I was traveling a lot, doing workshops, etc. so I justified getting a maxed-out version of it. Then COVID-19 slapped me in the face and now this poor beast of a laptop is just gathering dust in a drawer. The specs are way better than the Mac Mini, so I tried to dock it and use it as my main machine, but I gave up after a few weeks. A docked MacBook is just a painful experience. Also, I immediately disabled the dynamic TouchBar and put 5 fixed icons for controlling volume and brightness. What an idiotic idea by the stubborn people at Apple.

 

MacBook 2015 15"

Deprecated

I loved this laptop. It had all the ports and physical keys for everything. I was using a maxed-out version of it until they banned it from flights because the battery might expand and explode (?!). My exact model didn't have the issue , but I didn't want to argue with airport security about it and decided to move on.

 

MacBook Air 13" 2019

Deprecated

This is the worst laptop I've ever used in my life. Period. I had to move on from the MacBook Pro 2015" because of the travel ban, but I hated the TouchBar and no-esc laptops so much that I decided to get a maxed-out Air. Worst mistake ever. I like that it's light, small, and all of that, but it's absolutely useless for serious work. Even for browsing, you can notice that it's super sluggish compared to a Pro. I gifted it to my girlfriend, she's super happy with it and says that it's smooth af. That's because she's haven't felt the pain of installing node modules while running Slack on it.

 

Making Music

I'm using the Mac Mini for playing guitar, piano, and recording some music, but I'm also using the same audio setup for listening to music, having a meeting, etc.