Technicians in China have reportedly succeeded in upgrading the memory and storage of the M1 chip, suggesting that Apple’s integrated custom silicon for Mac may be more flexible than previously thought.
Reports of maintenance technicians who could expand the memory and storage of M1 Macs began circulating on Chinese social media over the weekend, but now international reports have begun to clarify the situation.
Technicians in Guangzhou, China have discovered that it is possible to disconnect RAM from the M1 chip and its nearby SSD module and replace them with larger capacity components, which are properly recognized by macOS, without damaging the device.
As proof, a large number of images showing the process of a base model M1Book MacBook Air with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage have been upgraded to 16 GB RAM and 1 TB storage, and this change is displayed correctly in macOS Big Sur. shared online.
The RAM and SSD components on Apple’s M1 Macs are soldered in place, making the procedure extremely challenging, and there is reportedly a high chance of failure. This invasive unofficial upgrade undoubtedly also violates Apple’s warranty.
Apple has made it increasingly challenging for users to upgrade their own Macs over the years, and it was believed that the M1 Mac represented a definitive solidification of this feature, with all of the M1 Macs computer components being heavily physically integrated. The possibility of upgrading the memory and storage of M1 Macs, albeit in an invasive and risky procedure, therefore seems to be a significant discovery.
Due to the difficulty of upgrading RAM or SSD, almost all M1 owners will probably still have to rely on the memory and storage configuration they chose at the point of purchase, with upgrades limited to a minority of enthusiasts, although it has been suggested that M1 Mac Memory and storage upgrades in Asia will be available through unofficial channels.
M1 Mac owners may be interested in seeing if the process behind these upgrades is refined over time and becomes a more viable option.