Apple’s M1 MacBooks are impressive, but they come with what many PC users will define as an forgivable warning: they can not be upgraded with more RAM or storage capacity. That was the belief, but in fact it can no longer be the case if you are willing to cancel the warranty.
As reported by MacRumors, a set of technicians from Guangzhou, China has actually found a way to do it without destroying the machine. They were able to loosen the RAM and SSD chips and replace them with higher capacity parts, and the computer actually recognizes them (for the time being) as official and compatible.
You just have to cancel the warranty to do so.
Chinese maintenance engineers can already expand the capacity of the Apple M1. 8 GB of memory is expanded to 16 GB, and 256 GB hard disk is expanded to 1 TB. pic.twitter.com/2Fyf8AZfJR
– DuanRui (@ duanrui1205) April 4, 2021
In the tweet above, the several attached photos show the process.
As expected with something like this, the process is not straightforward and full of pitfalls. Not only do you need to get parts that are compatible with the system, but you also need to remove the RAM and the SSD chips that are soldered on – not something most people would recommend. That said, if the parts were successfully retrieved, the previous parts were removed correctly, and the new ones were added correctly, the technicians showed that they successfully expanded the computer from 8 GB of memory to 16 GB, and the 256 GB storage drive was expanded to 1 TB.
This is not the first example of experts tiling Apple’s very specific and non-upgradeable designs. Earlier this year, Linus Tech Tips showed that the M1 MacBook Air can actually match – or even beat – the M1 MacBook Pro performance with a thermal pad upgrade. In that case, the modification will also void the MacBook warranty and for non-experts, and even make small adjustments that are outside the comfort level of the average MacBook owner.
As Engadget says, it’s nice to see that an M1 MacBook is technically more upgradeable than Apple would you think, but given how limiting the company has been around repair, this seems like a situation it will consider taking advantage of, and if it gets popular enough , something that can be patched out via software or made impossible by limiting the availability of parts. In reality, however, it is unlikely that this method will become popular due to the skill level needed to successfully pull mixed with the risk. Destroying your MacBook is very easy in this process, and it’s a financial coin toss that most people who like MacBooks just do not want to take.