Apple’s MacBooks M1s are impressive, but they come with what many PC users would define as an unforgivable caveat: They can’t be upgraded with more RAM or storage capacity. That was the belief, but it might actually stop being the case if you’re willing to void the warranty.
As reported by MacRumors, a group of technicians from Guangzhou, China, have found a way to do it without destroying the machine. They were able to separate the RAM and SSD chips and replace them with higher capacity parts and the computer really (currently) recognizes them as official and compatible.
You will only have to void your warranty to do so.
Chinese maintenance engineers can now expand the capacity of the Apple M1. The 8GB memory has been expanded to 16GB and the 256GB hard drive has been expanded to 1TB. pic.twitter.com/2Fyf8AZfJR
– DuanRui (@ duanrui1205) April 4, 2021
In the tweet above, the multiple attached images show the process.
As expected with something like this, the process is not straightforward and full of pitfalls. Not only will you have to get parts that are compatible with the system, but you will also have to remove the RAM and SSD chips that are soldered in, something that most people would not recommend. That being said, if the parts are successfully sourced, the old parts are removed correctly and the new ones are added correctly, the technicians demonstrated that they successfully expanded the computer from 8GM of memory to 16GB, and the 256GB storage unit expanded to 1TB.
This isn’t the first example of experts toying with Apple’s very specific, non-upgradeable design. At the beginning of this year, Linus Tech Tips proved that the M1 MacBook Air can actually match, or even exceed, the performance of the M1 MacBook Pro with a heating pad upgrade. In that case, the modification would also void the MacBook’s warranty, and for non-experts, even making small adjustments like that are beyond the comfort levels of the average MacBook owner.
What Engadget he says, it’s good to see that a MacBook M1 is technically more upgradeable than Apple wants you to believe, but given how restrictive the company has been on repair, this seems like a situation that I would consider an exploit and if it becomes sufficiently popular, something could be patched through software or made unfeasible due to restricted parts availability. In reality, however, this method is unlikely to become popular due to the level of skill required to achieve it successfully combined with the risk. It is very easy to destroy the MacBook in this process, and that is a financial currency that most of those who enjoy MacBooks do not accept.