SSD Storage Can Be Upgraded, but Software Blocks It, Says Mac Studio Teardown

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Photo: Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo – Although dual SSD connectors may be accessed with relative ease, upgrading the system’s storage is more difficult. While Apple’s Mac Studio is a powerful, compact desktop, its lack of upgradeability is a drawback in comparison to PC systems that are far more flexible.

Apple, on the other hand, claims that the device cannot be upgraded. To find out if the Mac Studio’s components are genuinely permanent or if Apple merely doesn’t want you tampering with their goods, an inquisitive YouTuber chose to disassemble the machine.

In an almost 20-minute-long video, YouTuber Max Tech dismantled his $4,000 Mac Studio with the M1 Ultra processor. However, he discovered that removing the silicone ring at the bottom of the desktop with a basic plastic tool revealed several levels of screws that were previously hidden.

It wasn’t long before Max Yuryev noticed something hopeful when he entered the little machine’s inside. Once the bottom panel was removed, he discovered that the Mac Studio’s two SSD connectors were quite accessible. He believes the system may be expanded without further disassembly by just swapping the drives.

Although Apple officially said, “Note: Mac storage is not user accessible,” this implies that the capacity may be increased. Think about upgrading your configuration if you anticipate the need for additional storage space in the future. Aside from that, finding the correct SSD is the only stumbling hurdle. Because the SSD from Apple’s previous system was too huge, Yuryev assumed the Mac Studio would work with the 2019 Mac Pro’s connectors.

The current Mac Pro, in contrast to the Studio, may be upgraded by the end user using a DIY SSD installation kit. So yet, no such kit has been released for the Mac Studio, and Apple hasn’t mentioned anything about bringing one to the market. You never know, Apple could provide DIY SSD kits for the Mac Studio at some point, but I doubt it.

Consider putting the breaks on your search for a workaround. When Luke Miani wanted to improve the storage capacity of a MacBook, he wiped an SSD and tried to install it into another Mac Studio, but it didn’t work. The second device, however, was unable to accept the drive. Although the freshly inserted storage was detected by the PC, the machine was unable to boot, suggesting that Apple is preventing software upgrades.

That’s a pity, as Apple charges a hefty premium for additional storage. With a 512GB SSD, the Mac Studio starts at $2,000 and goes up from there. It costs $200 to upgrade to 1TB storage, and an additional $400 to upgrade to 2TB storage. The 8TB model is $2,400 more expensive than the standard model.

Since the Mac Studio’s M1-series SoCs combine the CPU and GPU, there is no way to replace the other components. Interested in seeing what the Mac Studio looks like from the inside? You can do so in the video shown above, which also shows the M1 Ultra’s massive chip.