YouTuber Luke Miani created a DIY Studio Display. The main motivation for the project came from the inflated price of the Studio Display. Apple charges a hefty $1,600 for a brand-new Studio display, but Luke created a nearly identical display by salvaging an old iMac.
He wanted to see if he could create a 5K Studio Display and beat the jaw-dropping price of the Studio Display. He succeeded in repurposing a 2014 iMac with a 5K display into a studio display while keeping the costs way down than the original one.
Luke Miani’s Pet Project
Luke Miani wanted to create a cheaper yet competent version of the latest Studio Display by Apple. He began by scouting eBay for iMacs and finally settled for a 2014 iMac. The iMac specs were good when it was in its prime, but the hardware didn’t stand a chance compared to the current-gen.
Luke’s original intent was to strip down the iMac to the last screw and detach the display. While doing so, he observed an excessive amount of dust buildup inside the iMac. He removed every component but the display, and then cleaned the chassis. Then, he removed the power supply, motherboard, and other components because he needed a new conversion board to control the display.
Luke Miani hopped onto eBay and other marketplaces to look for a conversion board supported by the display. After spending a few hours, he finally found one compatible with the iMac display. But that didn’t complete the final look he was aiming for. He also added a webcam into the mix and assembled his version of a cheaper Studio display.
Original vs DIY Studio Display
The original Apple Studio Display is nothing short of an engineering marvel. Trying to achieve the same aesthetics and performance proved a painstaking task for Luke Miani. Thankfully, he didn’t have to cut or reshape to fit the conversion board and the iMac display together.
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Comparing them side by side revealed that the new Studio Display produced better colors and sharpness than the DIY one. It was expected because of the older panel, but still, it wasn’t a deal-breaker. The DIY Studio Display has thicker screen bezels, which makes it look outdated.
Luke’s version of Studio Display doesn’t support the P3 color gamut but supports Night Shift. Color production is nearly indistinguishable in bright scenes, which is great at 5K resolution. The overall intention was to recreate a Studio Display experience for a cheaper price.
Luke spent $871 in total on this project and could easily recover $275 by selling the salvaged parts from the iMac.
It turned out to be a pretty gorgeous makeover of a 2014 iMac by Luke Miani. But he suggests going for a 2015 or later version of iMac for the best possible experience. What are your thoughts on this DIY project? Will you ever buy a Studio Display knowing that you can build it for cheaper? Share your thoughts in the comments.