Final Piece of the M1 Puzzle

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Jan 3, 2007
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Ken St John
Late last year, my lovely wife gifted me one of the first M1 Air's for Christmas. I quickly decided to go all in on this high performance machine, and replace my current computer "kit" entirely. So, I sold off my MacBook Pro and my iMac Retina to new homes. First thing I added was a 4k LG monitor for desktop use. I found an inexpensive "hub" that handled the connections, but from day one I was not really happy with the way it was working. Since I keep my image library on an external drive (at more than 1TB, getting enough internal storage was not in my budget!!) I needed the extra connections. Last week, I saw a TB3 docking station from StarTech on Amazon, and it sounded like the perfect, all in, solution. The way my "desktop" is connected, I have several main requirements: DisplayPort (for the monitor), SD card, Ethernet, a couple of USB ports for several external conventional HDs, and USB-C connections for the computer and for a small enclosure that holds a 2TB M.2 SSD where my images are stored. Turns out, this StarTech has a M.2 drive bay "internally" ... which pushed me over the edge to get one.
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Performance is really impressive. When my LR Classic library resided on the spinners (which were 7,200rpm disks), opening LR would take around 45-60 seconds to go from click to ready to edit. Now, with the same data on the M.2 ... less than 15 seconds!! In fact, everything with LR seems supercharged and fast. And LR is still not "native" for the M1!! Supposedly that update will be coming soon and if performance of PS and the web-centric LR are any indication, the performance gain will be substantial.

My full "desktop".
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And, all I have to do is disconnect the Air and I'm ready to hit the road!!

Happy, I am!!

Ken
 
Joined
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Ken St John
Looks like a nice setup. I have always had a laptop and a desktop but it is a pain to come home from a trip hsving to sync the data bewteen the 2 machines.

I have not yet had a real "trip" to refine the process, but I think it will be easier than having two machines. We're going on a long road trip in late May (basically to Arizona and back), so I'll have a great opportunity to test it out!! :D

Ken
 
Joined
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Ken St John
I'm very interested in this. A new computer is probably in my near future. I have a 2015 iMac that has that beautiful 5K monitor. How does your new monitor compare to your previous iMac monitor?

Interesting question ... I'd put it at about 95% as good as the iMac's Retina display. It's a little difficult to compare directly as it's a non-glare screen vs the Mac, and that makes the overall experience a bit different. There is, of course, the 5k LG display that Apple sells, but it's quite expensive (around $1,300) while this one was around $350 (at Amazon). I guess there may be a little of "you get what you pay for" to consider! :)

I actually like it a lot and, most importantly, really don't miss the Retina display at all. (The Air's built-in display is retina of course!)

Cheers!!

Ken
 
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Sandpoint, Idaho
Like Terri I also have a 2015 Imac that Im going to replace this year, likely with a Mac Mini. What's the model number of that display? I'm finding shopping around for displays is difficult, Im very happy with the display on my Imac.
 
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Interesting question ... I'd put it at about 95% as good as the iMac's Retina display. It's a little difficult to compare directly as it's a non-glare screen vs the Mac, and that makes the overall experience a bit different. There is, of course, the 5k LG display that Apple sells, but it's quite expensive (around $1,300) while this one was around $350 (at Amazon). I guess there may be a little of "you get what you pay for" to consider! :)

I actually like it a lot and, most importantly, really don't miss the Retina display at all. (The Air's built-in display is retina of course!)

Cheers!!

Ken
Thank you so much for your kind reply. The information is helpful.
 
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Potomac Falls, VA
That is a very elegant and efficient looking configuration. Except you need a RED stapler!!!

I too am enjoying the processing power of the M1 MBP I got in Jan. My hub is an Anker version. I've been using a 2.5k Dell 25" monitor that I've had for several years. Check out Dell store for monitors too.
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2007
Messages
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Tacoma, WA
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Ken St John
Like Terri I also have a 2015 Imac that Im going to replace this year, likely with a Mac Mini. What's the model number of that display? I'm finding shopping around for displays is difficult, Im very happy with the display on my Imac.

It's this one ...

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B08FPLLX6Y/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Yes, sometimes we are blessed with too many choices!! But I am very happy with this one!!

That is a very elegant and efficient looking configuration. Except you need a RED stapler!!!

I too am enjoying the processing power of the M1 MBP I got in Jan. My hub is an Anker version. I've been using a 2.5k Dell 25" monitor that I've had for several years. Check out Dell store for monitors too.

Dell has some very good prices on their monitors, especially in their outlet store. I have several IT support clients that have ordered from them with great success.

The red stapler is a good idea!!

I actually considered ordering one of the Space Gray keyboards/track pads from Apple ... until I saw the pricing: ~$300 for the pair!! Yikes!! I'll wait until these die first!! :)

Ken
 
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Very nice setup! I have an M1 MBP but since it is a second machine I don't have it hooked up to an external monitor or any hubs, since I don't really need them. This is entirely a USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 household. I do have external SSDs that I can and do plug into the computer as needed, and that works out fine for my purposes. My 2018 MBP is the one which is hooked up to an LG 4K 24" Thunderbolt 3 monitor that I purchased at the Apple store back in December of 2019 and which works great plugged into the 2018 MBP, powering both of them so that this leaves the other three Thunderbolt 3 ports free. My SD card reader is plugged into the back of the monitor so it's ready to go anytime I have a card full of files to stick into the computer. I use my external SSDs for current backups, current year's files, etc. and older HDDs for archival storage, but have never set up a NAS system which would make life simpler in some ways.

I LOVE the M1 -- so fast, incredibly cool -- never hear the fans! (Then again I haven't really pushed that machine too hard, no need to do so. ). I am already looking forward to when Apple releases the next group of MBPs with Apple Silicon Chips, as those will be the machines which will offer more ports and presumably the ability to have 32 GB RAM or more if the customer needs/wants that. When those new machines come along, my wonderful 2018 MBP workhorse will be going to a new home.....a friend is already lusting for it!
 
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