While the three M1 Macs released in late 2020 have been hailed for many advances, one criticism has been that the hardware cannot be upgraded or repaired after purchase with the main components soldered to the board. In an interesting development, an engineer in China has reportedly discovered how to successfully upgrade both SSD and RAM on M1 Macs – but of course it is a very risky and difficult move.
With older Macs, if users did not want to pay for more RAM or more storage space up front, it was possible with a number of models to upgrade these components later. Over the years, it has become less of an option, and for M1
However, just as we have seen with aftermarket upgrades for iPhone and iPad on hardware, some have reportedly cracked how to replace memory and storage with M1 Macs that correctly recognize the upgrades.
The discovery, attributed to engineer Yang Changshun from Guangzhou, China, has been shared across Chinese social media and was detailed by chongdiantou.com with photos (via MacRumors).
The images show the RAM and SSD modules removed with screenshots showing the upgraded storage space displayed in macOS. However, it is important to keep in mind that this process is very risky and will of course invalidate Apple’s warranty.
There is also the question of how durable / reliable the upgrades would be after removing the original soldered hardware and installing new components. And while it’s successful, there’s a possibility that Apple may prevent the unofficial hardware from working on a future MacOS software update.
While this is not something that is likely to become a common option for upgrades, it is still an impressive technical feat. It will be interesting to see if companies like iFixit and more will dig deeper into the opportunities and concerns.
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