DIY blog

Personal tech blog focused on cars, 3D printing, and DIY electronics.

My new desk setup

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I just recently left my job of 11 years in tech and was left without a computer for personal use. After 11 some years at a company, you just kind of live, eat, and breath work so a personal computer gets left behind. So, after finally deciding to leave (which was a tough decision in itself), I was able to procure reuse some old items, and procure some used items to tide me over until I figure out what I really want.

Computer - Mac Pro (Late 2013)

I know, this one is a weird one because it’s old, and coincidentally yesterday Apple announced a new Mac Pro. lol. In any case, I was abele to get one for pretty cheap. Here are the specs:

  • Processor: 3.7 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5

  • Memory: 12 GB

  • Graphics: AMD FirePro D300 2 GB

Not very powerful. But, I bought some upgrades that hopefully help tide me over for a bit. I thought I wouldn’t be able to upgrade this Mac Pro, but you can actually upgrade most everything except the video card. So, I purchased

  • New CPU - $500 - 12-Core 2.7GHz E5-2697 v2 Processor - This is amazing in itself because it’s a $2000, but you can get one from OWC for $500. Contrary to what they say, the installation looks easy for anyone that’s built their own PC.

  • 64 GB Memory Upgrade - $200 - Got this on eBay. Pretty straight forward.

I wish I could upgrade the video, that’s the weakest link in this system. There are some external GPU (eGPU) options, but they are kind of volatile due to how old this Mac Pro is and Apple seems to not really care about this feature much. has a ton of info on this.

Here are some benchmarks I did before any of the upgrade:

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A comparison score that uses the same CPU i’m going to upgrade to. It has a multi core score of 27483, so almost 2x perf. This puts it up to 2017 performance levels, so yay?

Monitor - LG 27” Ultrafine 5k Display

I love this monitor. It uses a one cable for data and audio, so you get everything you need with just one wire. I had this from before and would use my work laptop on it, and it was so convenient.

The 5K display is amazing and the clarity is unmatched (Apple’s new 6K monitor says otherwise!). Here’s a comparison to the old apple cthunderbolt display when zoomed in. Notice that the LG on the right has less jaggies.


Desk - Autonomous

I have an Autonomous Smart Desk. It works pretty well, but honestly I never use the stand feature anymore. I wanted the option, but could probably have saved $100 or so. The components are nicely made.

Misc items

Monitor stand

I use an Amazon basics dual monitor stand. One arm for the LG 5K display, the other was for my work laptop. I may mount a second monitor, but not 100% sure yet.


I’m an Apple Fanboy, and so I have the Apple Magic Keyboard 2 and Magic Mouse. They just work.

That’s about it!