Mac Setup: Dual Screen Mac Pro with Analog System Activity Meters(!)

Jun 23, 2012 - 13 Comments

Dual screen Mac Pro desk setup with analog CPU meters

Rather than watching system activity in Activity Monitor, have you ever wished you had physical analog meters on your desk that showed you what was going on with your computer? You know, maybe having a gauge that showed you what your CPU cores were doing, another to show network activity, and another for RAM usage. If that sounds like a loose pipedream it’s not at all, and this awesome Mac Pro setup proves it. Sounds awesom? We agree, here’s the full hardware shown in this setup, and read on to learn how to configure such a desk yourself:

  • Dual Dell 2408 24″ Displays for a total of workspace resolution of 3840×2400
  • Mac Pro 1,1 Quad-Core Xeon with 7GB of RAM, Radeon 5770 GPU, 128GB SSD for the OS, dual 2TB HDD’s for data
  • Apple wireless keyboard and Magic Trackpad
  • Analog dials measuring the Mac Pro’s CPU load, network activity, and RAM usage, all via an Arduino connected via USB
  • Hidden in the ventilated(!) cabinets are: Drobo with 4 1TB drives for Time Machine backups, Wii, PS3, printer, UPS, iPad and iPhone chargers, routers, adapters, switches, etc

If you were wondering how this awesome desk setup was put together, including all the necessary Ikea parts for the desk, don’t miss Matthew’s blog where he lays out the entire project and provides the source code for the meter reading.

Check out some more pictures to really appreciate this workstation:

Analog CPU meters

Mac Pro desk setup with cabinets open

Mac Pro setup in the dark

We get a lot of submissions to our weekly Mac setups but this one is one of the more creative desks we’ve seen in a while. If you have a sweet Mac setup, send a good picture with some hardware details and what you use it for to

Thanks for sending this in Matthew!


Related articles:

Posted by: William Pearson in Mac Setups


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  1. Andrew says:

    Awesome set up. Amazing what you can do with IKEA stuff sometimes. That deserves to be on

  2. John says:

    The image is stuff to tell but for me it feels that you are so far away from the monitors. But otherwise, very nice

  3. icebreaker says:

    Looks good but I bet he gets a stiff neck from that monitor height.

  4. Shawny says:

    Very well thought out. The analog dials brings a cockpit like feel to the setup. Not my style, but I respect the craftsmanship.

  5. Greg Sargent says:

    Love the clean desk and the awesome lighting. While I can appreciate the amazing work that went into setting up the gauges, it doesn’t seem like a very comfortable setup. It seems like one would have to be leaning all the way on the desk to see the displays clearly. Maybe install an extending mount for the monitors pulling them out and down from the wall to create a closer viewing angle.

    I just wrote an article featuring some of the best workstations I’ve found:

  6. Theo Vosse says:

    Very stylish.

  7. al says:

    The Dual Dells don’t give “Dual Dell 2408 24″ Displays for a total of workspace resolution of 3840×2400.”

    They only give 3840×1200.

    You’d need 4 of them to get 3840×2400.

  8. Jason says:

    Those horrible monitors ruin it. Steve Jobs would vomit all over that room and then yell at it (the room, not the vomit…well he MIGHT yell at the vomit, too)

  9. Will says:

    Ah now this puts the desk I’m building for my partner to shame! Although mine has a water feed for the coffee machine ;)

  10. BT says:

    Wow that is really fantastic I am impressed. Very clean desk too, very smart solution.

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