It’s technically possible to upgrade the RAM and storage on an Apple M1 Mac mini, but there are several reasons why it’s a terrible idea.
The M1 is Apple’s first Apple Silicon chip for the Mac. While it has significant speed and performance advantages, it is also much less user-upgradeable with built-in memory and storage.
Although newer Mac devices are less upgradeable, it is theoretically possible to change some of the components on the chip. That’s proven by Chinese maintenance engineers who successfully expanded RAM and SSD capabilities on an Apple M1 chip.
Engineers reportedly completed the feat using a soldering station to install DRAM memory chips and NAND flash memory chips. While the process involved desoldering the existing chips and adding the new components, it apparently didn’t require any firmware modifications.
Exact details on the update are scant, but roughly translated Chinese text in the post touts the apparent success, stating that “victory belongs to those who adapt.”
Of course, just because some engineers have done it doesn’t mean you should try it at home.
On the one hand, it is almost impossible to buy the DRAM and NAND chips that you would need for this procedure at the consumer level. You will also need to fork out money for a soldering station. And all of this assumes that you or someone you know has the skill to do it.
Most importantly, any modification of this nature will instantly void your warranty. That becomes a bigger problem when you consider that desoldering and soldering DRAM and NAND chips requires a fair amount of skill, precision, and patience.
If you make any mistakes here, you will end up with a dead Mac and no way to fix it. That’s why we warn against any kind of modification like this, unless you’re willing to waste your money.
Due to the speed and performance benefits of the M1, it is highly recommended to upgrade the RAM and SSD space at the time of purchase. It is an investment, and probably a wise one.