I never win anything.

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Or at least that’s what I used to say prior to a couple of weeks ago when I received an email informing me that I had won a Mac Studio from 9to5Mac.

This was an exceptionally well-timed change in my luck, I had been waffling on a new computer purchase. On one hand, I’m mostly just doing web development, I really don’t need a ton of Horsepower, but at the same time, replacing my M1 Macbook Air with an M2 Macbook air seemed like a lot of money for something that was faster in ways I was unlikely to notice.

So my choice was basically spend a lot of money on a pretty specced up M1 Macbook Pro that was expensive, but capable of anything I throw at it, or buy a refurb Mac Studio and keep my M1 Air for a while and just replace it periodically when the Macbook Air gets an update that motivates me to buy a new one.

Well, that choice was made very easy for me when I got the email that I had won a Mac Studio from 9to5Mac. Guess I’m going with the Studio and keeping an Air around for travel, neat! I was informed that I won on a Friday afternoon, it shipped out the following Monday, and on Thursday I came home from work and had a package waiting on me.

I presumed it would be the base model Mac Studio with a 10 core M1 Max, 24 core GPU, 32gb of RAM, and a 512 SSD, and that’s exactly what I received. That’s pretty much exactly what I would have purchased for myself if I were buying. I might consider jumping up to the 1TB storage model, but to be completely honest, I don’t really care because it’s a desktop. On a laptop, lots of storage space is nice, but on a desktop, you can use an external drive without it being a huge pain in the ass. I actually already have a 6TB external hard drive that I use for basically archiving things, so it’s a non-issue to me.

I was also totally agnostic between laptop and desktop because I actually kinda hate using laptops. I know that makes no sense, but let me explain.

Since I hate using laptops, I already have 27” Dell Monitor, and a Keychron Keyboard, and an MX Master 3. So what I plug into it doesn’t really matter much.

I did have a pretty interesting thing happen while I was setting it up. Since I don’t own any Apple keyboards or mice, none of my bluetooth stuff would connect to a new computer. This hasn’t been a problem in the past because with a laptop you can use the built-in keyboard and trackpad for setup and then pair your bluetooth stuff. I ended up digging up a unifying receiver to make my MX Master basically function as a USB device, and I found an ancient flexible USB keyboard. Was a pretty cool looking setup for a minute there.

I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and the performance is phenomenal. It’s honestly insane overkill for what I use a computer for, which is mostly writing articles like this one, writing javascript, and occasionally making videos for this website. The only thing that really measures the Studio’s performance in any way is the video editing, but even then it’s usually just footage from my immediately beloved Hero 11 Black. The Mac studio absolutely laughs at GoPro footage. This thing was made to handle high bitrate footage from real cameras, the GoPro doesn’t even make it turn the fans on. As a matter of fact I’ve still literally never heard the fans come up.

Obviously, I’m thrilled with this computer. I’ll likely keep it for five years or more, and I’ll probably replace it with another Mac Studio when I do get rid of it. I’m super happy things worked out how they did. Thanks again to 9to5Mac!