Mac Setup: Arm Mounted 27″ iMac with a Beautifully Tidy Desk

Jun 20, 2015 - 39 Comments

Arm mounted iMac desk setup

This weeks featured Mac workstation is the snazzy custom setup of Axel D., who has a swivel-arm mounted iMac and some great audio gear to round out a beautiful and clean desk. Let’s jump right in to learn more:

What hardware makes up your Mac setup?

Under the desk:

  • Fujitsu ScanSnap ix500 
  • Synology 213j server
  • TP Link TP508 Switch
  • APC UPS ES 550

Great Mac setup with iMac mounted on adjustable arm

Why did you choose this particular setup?

I wanted the big monitor, and I like all in one computers, they help keep things neat. I like that this computer is virtually silent as well. 

What do you use your Apple gear for?

  • Photography 
  • Video editing
  • internet browsing, posting, email, banking, shopping, etc 
  • Skype and Facetime 
  • Music
  • Document Scanning
  • Updating various devices

iMac 27" on adjustable arm mount, custom speaker mounts

What apps do you use most often? Is there a particular app you can’t do without?

  • Safari and Mail
  • Skype and Facetime
  • Photos
  • iTunes
  • Scansnap
  • Maps
  • Automator
  • Hazel
  • Dropbox

I could not live without Skype, I use it to communicate with friends and family around the world. I depend on it on my mac, iPhone, and even my TV has a Skype app. 

iMac 27" mounted on an adjustable arm and some great audio gear

Do you have any tips to share with OSXDaily readers?

If you are buying an iMac, the fusion drive is good, but I suggest maxing out the RAM right away, I waited a year, and when I did it was only then that I saw how responsive the iMac is with the full amount of RAM. Another tip is a Blue Lounge USB port extender to make a USB port available on the front without having to turn around the entire computer. 

More pictures of the setup and the adjustable arm can be found here on flickr

Let’s see your Mac setup! Take a few high quality pictures and answer some questions about how you use your Apple gear, and send it on in – go here to get started. If you’re not ready to share your workstation yet, you can always browse through our prior featured Mac setups too, there are a lot of great desks to be inspired by out there!

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Posted by: OSXDaily in Mac Setups

39 Comments

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  1. christoph says:

    What brand is the arm mount? Do they install on any iMac or do you have to get a VESA kit to hold it onto the back?

    Great desk by the way, really like the audio gear too I bet it sounds fantastic.

  2. Donatello says:

    Nice, but I think you can unscrew the stand on the iMac right

  3. Donald Eckhardt says:

    Show me a clean desk, and I’ll show you an empty mind.

  4. axeld says:

    Thank you, I would love to take the stand off but it is not possible on the 2013 without opening up the entire computer and even then, there is nothing to connect the monitor arm to. At least the stand gives me a place to put my dvd drive. the monitor arm is made by ErgoTech, and I used a Vesa mount adaptor kit.

    Thanks again

  5. axeld says:

    Well Mr Eckhardt, I wanted to look nice for the photo, I can assure you it does not look that way most of the time. ;-)

  6. Joshua guttman says:

    Apple sells a VESA conversion kit for all iMacs. I’d like to know which arm you bought. I tried and it was a complete disaster.

  7. Joshua Guttman says:

    Get your memory at Crucial.con. Apple memory is crazy expensive

  8. axeld says:

    that vesa kit from apple does not work on 2013 and later models, about 5 weeks after I bought my imac Apple started offering it without the stand, but there is no kit available for mine to change it over. sorry.

    I already maxed out my memory, I think it was from crucial.

    cheers.

  9. Heffa says:

    Looks great, but what model of arm mount are you using?

  10. Wharf Xanadu says:

    I have always wanted a swivel monitor like that

  11. ~R. says:

    ……. and what is that item in lower left of the picture, a Card Index. Ha!

    ~R.

    • axeld says:

      if you are referring to the green item, that is my medicine box, it has a compartment with pills for each day so I can remember to take it.

  12. UglyStuff says:

    Wha-a-at?! No cat?! Get outta here!

  13. Charlie says:

    What brand and model number of speakers are they?

      • Charlie says:

        Thank you. Nice speakers with a 5 star rating but just shy of $300. This guy has some $$$, lol.

        • swol says:

          Charlie, you know the cheapest Mac costs about $1000 right?

          • Charlie says:

            Yes I do. I own a 2011 iMac 21″ and 5 years before that, I bought my first iMac. Each was about $1,299 and with Apple Care etc. it costs some money. That is what I mean though. For him to spend the money on the iMac 27″ and the other items and then to spend close to $300 just for the speakers, this guy has some $$$.

          • axeld says:

            hey guys, I got the speakers on sale for 174, I am surprised you didn’t mention the sony hap-s1, I thought that was my big extravagance. I had a mac 21 before this one, I sold it and saved my $$ for 18 months before I bought the imac 27″ I have a 2013 macbook pro that I survived on during that period. I wouldn’t say I have money to throw around, but I don’t like to buy cheap things when I know what I want either.

          • Charlie says:

            @axetd $174 for those speakers were a good deal. I didn’t mention the Sony hap-s1 because I did not even know what that was, lol and when I googled it, I see that it goes anywhere from $798-$999.99. That is what I mean when I say you must have some money, lol. When you add up the cost for all the items and the computer itself, that is a nice amount. People complain about buying Macs because they cost more than other computers you can buy for $400-$700 let alone adding the items you added to your iMac. I understand that there are speakers that cost thousands but a lot of people I know don’t even buy speakers and use the speakers that come with the iMac and most people I see who do buy speakers, buy external speakers for around $49-$79. If you are really into music and/or are in music as a career, speakers are very important but if you just surf the web, watch Youtube videos and have some songs in iTunes that you listen to, the speakers that come with the iMac or external ones in the $49-$79 range are just fine. The people who spend thousands on speakers are paying more for the speakers than for the actual computer. Your system is beautiful and I wish you the best of luck with it and may it last you a long time.

  14. Phil says:

    Just wanted to point out that putting the maximum amount of RAM into a system is not alway necessary. You use the machine for video editing so that may require 32Gb of RAM, however for most people it may be a waste of money, unless they are editing very large video or RAW picture files. For the rest 8 – 16Gb that the machine comes with is sufficient.

    • axeld says:

      mine came with 8gb it ran fine, spinning beach ball now and then. after about a year I bumped it to 16gb, wow what a difference, so I went ahead and bumped it to 32gb. it runs great now. I think the fusion drive performance is somehow related to the amount of RAM it has to work with. it was well worth the money I spent. I would say the bare minimum I would run would be 16gb based on my experience.

  15. Inderjeet says:

    Which model of arm mount are you using ?

  16. where says:

    $300 for speakers is cheap, and those KEF speakers are nothing special, just consumer speakers, definitely nothing studio quality which cost thousands.

    • axeld says:

      I started out looking at audio engine passive speakers, I wanted B&W but they didn’t make anything small enough I finally came across these kef’s on Amazon, they had good reviews and the size and price were right so I ordered them and they turned out to be exactly what I was looking for.

    • Charlie says:

      You say $300 is cheap and I understand that there are speakers that cost thousands but a lot of people I know don’t even buy speakers and use the speakers that come with the iMac and most people I see who do buy speakers, buy external speakers for around $49-$79. If you are really into music and/or are in music as a career, speakers are very important but if you just surf the web, watch Youtube videos and have some songs in iTunes that you listen to, the speakers that come with the iMac or external ones in the $49-$79 range are just fine. The people who spend thousands on speakers are paying more for the speakers than for the actual computer.

  17. Eric says:

    Almost everyone is interested in that iMac arm mount. Its the focal point and yet ZERO information on it is shared.

  18. axeld says:

    All, I have recieved quite a bit of interest in the VESA mount, actually I bought my my imac in march 2014, a couple months later, Apple began selling the iMac without the stand. I searched everywhere for a vesa mount that would replace the stand. However due to the design change in 2013??? if I am not mistaken, this was no longer possible. so what I have on mine is aVESA adaptor bracket that clamps to the stand giving a bolt template that any VESA mount can bolt up to. Here is a photo of the back https://flic.kr/s/aHskf77fZ8

  19. Mark says:

    How high can the top edge of iMac be lifted from the desk surface? I’d like to use it for standing.

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