What is your computer setup?


macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 29, 2007
My boss gave me around $1300 budget to upgrade my computer so that I'd enjoy more when I develop his website at home. I already have a 13" MacBook Air and I already bought MAMP Pro and TextMate/Expresso for myself, so I am quite satisfy with my current working environment. But since this $1300 belongs to my boss and I love to waste his money, I'm wondering what your computer setup is.

I have been browsing the web and I notice that I can buy an Apple Cinema Display plus a dock and some cables, but if you have a better suggestion to me, please advise. My primary usage is web development (primary writing plugins and hard coding/not so much about styling the front end). Thanks


macrumors newbie
Apr 19, 2012
Try with sublime text 2 instead

i got textmate and expresso as well, but recently i start to try out sublimetext2 since textmate development is too slow. Boom, i stick with sublime text and never look back :)

For computer setup, get an external monitor, at least a 25" , a good mouse and a good external keyboard and perhaps a laptop stand


macrumors 65816
Oct 5, 2007
Stockholm, Sweden
I second the above poster. Another monitor. You will be wondering how you ever used a 13" in the past. You don't need to shell out almost a thousand on the Apple monitor though :)


macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2011
I second the above poster. Another monitor. You will be wondering how you ever used a 13" in the past. You don't need to shell out almost a thousand on the Apple monitor though :)
But but... the 27" Apple Cinema Display is sooo BEAUTIFUL!!!! :)

(not that I have one) but I can still dream....


macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2007
You can get a very nice 24in monitor for less than 200 bucks. I got mine for 190, a 24in ViewSonic with HDMI, DVI and VGA output and sound, 1080p and it has been running without problems for nearly two years.

My current setup is thus:

- 15" MacBook Pro 2.53 i5 / 8GB of RAM / 500GB
- 24in ViewSonic Display connected via a DVI to MiniDisplay Port Adapter
- Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mouse
- 1TB External Hard Drive working as a TimeMachine Backup

- Espresso 2 (for all my HTML/CSS/JS editing)
- CodeKit (CSS Preprocessor for SASS/LESS)
- Google Chrome (for live preview via Espresso and CodeKit while developing)
- Transmit (for FTP)
- Sketch 2 (for Web Design and Mockups. It is fantastic, switched to it from Fireworks)
- Pixelmator (for photo manipulation and editing)
- xCode (for the iOS Simulator, in order to test sites on iPhone and iPad)
- Android SDK (for the same reason as xCode, to test on Android devices)
- VMware Fusion (for testing sites on IE)

You can get quite a lot with the 1300 bucks you have to spend. The monitor, a backup hard drive and plenty of good and native mac apps for web design and development.


macrumors 6502
Apr 6, 2007
Admittedly I don't currently use Mac OS, although I would definitely recommend getting a second monitor. I currently have 2 x 21.5" monitors and they've honestly made me a lot more productive - you'll wonder how you ever got on without one.

Not sure I'd want 2 x 27" though - too big and the amount of desk space required would be prohibitive - not to mention the cost of 2 of those monitors.


macrumors 68000
Jul 30, 2012
Get a 30 inch monitor. It is the only fallus remaining! It is the original Hummer in a country with H3's (the 27 inch cheap-ass medium high pixel screens and boring 27 inch iMacs).
They are IPS, they are wide-gamut (CCFL rocks!), they are 1600 pixels vertical. The only screen you can develop iPad Retina websites on, and see all pixels! Especially if you have it with pivot foot (NEC does pivot on the 30 inch).

I run a MacMini with NEC PA301W. Gorgeous screen. The last you need. Excellent sRGB and AdobeRGB presets that are only messed up when doing hobby-calibration at home. Just perfect out of the box!

Or if you want Retro, get the ultimate display pron from Ebay: The IBM T221 monitor. I don't know how you can hook it up to a Mac, but that thing is out of this world. 3840x2400 pixels (retina was invented by IBM in 2005!, no Apple thing about it), and it does 24p 4K video natively! Damn that screen looks sexy too! It is the best Apple-grandaddy design quality ever (NEXT station) combined with awesome tech. Totally Star Trek.
Last edited:


macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2012
Austin, TX
Another option would be to invest in a 21.5" iMac, not something you necessarily need but it'll be faster overall than the MBA and you've got the redundancy of a second machine.

I've got an older iMac that I'm getting ready to replace along a 13" MBP at home, if something fails I don't have to worry about downtime to get that fixed as I have another machine I can work on in the meantime. I've thought about consolidating to one machine but the idea of having no machine to work on in the event of catastrophic failure terrifies me :)


macrumors regular
Nov 15, 2006
I use a rMBP with an old 22" cinema display - always with the MBP screen open as a second display. Works great for me. I can just grab the MBP and go when I need to take it to a meeting or presentation, or just to sit on the sofa and do some work. I used to have an iMac and sync it with the MBP, but found it too much hassle in the end. Better to stick with one main machine for me, but that's a personal choice. I'm considering getting another display too, as the more screens the better with web design.

As I'm self-employed I also have an older 17" MBP as backup, should my main machine fail. An old Mac Mini is used as my file server, for backups and as an internal web server and SVN repository.

TextMate and Espresso are both great applications that I've used. Indeed I swore by TM for many years. But I've now switched to Sublime Text 2 as my main editor and Coda 2 for more casual web work. Would recommend them both, especially Sublime Text which is as close to the perfect HTML editor as I could imagine. Using the right applications makes life so much easier.
Last edited:


macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 29, 2007
Thanks for all of the suggestions! I went to buy myself an older model of the Apple Cinema Display, some cables and an adapter, plus I also went and buy the Sublime Text and Transmit, so my life is now complete :), except that I need to use my own money to buy another desk because my monitor doesn't fit into my desk. LOL

BTW, I didn't know that having a Hugh monitor will make such a great difference. I can have both of the website and an editor opened side-by-side. This is very nice. Love it!

Laird Knox

macrumors 68000
Jun 18, 2010
Screen real estate is addictive. I have three Dell 1600x1200 monitors running in portrait mode. I find it to be an excellent setup for coding. :)