Apple’s M1, the first Apple Silicon to power a Mac, offers significant performance improvements over the Intel chips the company formerly used, but it uses integrated memory and storage, meaning it was believed that it was impossible to upgrade the memory or storage on M1-powered Macs.
However, Chinese maintenance engineers have reportedly successfully expanded the RAM and SSD capacities on M1 chips. (We double-checked the date of the tweet, it isn’t April 1.)
Chinese maintenance engineers can already 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
Engineers reportedly pulled off the upgrade by using a soldering station to install DRAM memory chips and NAND flash memory chips. Although the process involved de-soldering the existing chips and adding the new components, no firmware modifications were required.
Few details of the upgrade are available, and just because Chinese engineers pulled it off doesn’t mean you should start taking apart your M1 Mac mini on the dining room table.
First of all, the DRAM and NAND chips required for the process are nearly unavailable at the consumer level, a soldering station is required, and it requires some powerful skills.
Last but certainly not least, making a modification like this makes your Mac mini’s warranty null and void. You’re better off just springing the extra bucks when you purchase the Mac to get more memory and storage.