Mac Studio Teardown Indicates That SSD Storage May Be Upgradeable

The Mac Studio's SSD storage is not soldered in place and could be upgradeable, according to a teardown performed by YouTube channel Max Tech.

mac studio ssdImage via Max Tech

In a detailed teardown video of the new ‌Mac Studio‌, Max Tech revealed that the ‌Mac Studio‌'s SSD storage is located in two slots, and is relatively easy to remove or replace since it is not soldered down. The individual SSDs can be swapped between the two slots and appear to be modular.

On its website, Apple claims that the ‌Mac Studio‌'s SSD storage is "not user accessible" and encourages users to configure the device with enough storage at the point of purchase. This is likely because the internals of the ‌Mac Studio‌ remain difficult to access from the outside. The rubber ring on the base of the machine has to be removed to reveal four screws that provide a way to open the device, but once inside, the SSD storage is fairly easy to access and remove.

Max Tech suggested that Apple could offer SSD storage upgrades at a later date, similar to how it introduced a kit to upgrade the Mac Pro's storage in mid-2020, but the easy access could be intended for use in repairs only, enabling repair technicians to remove and replace SSDs more conveniently.

The SSD storage in Apple's other custom silicon-based Macs, such as the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini, is soldered in place and cannot be easily upgraded, but some skilled technicians have attempted to do so.

Related Roundup: Mac Studio
Buyer's Guide: Mac Studio (Neutral)
Related Forum: Mac Studio

Top Rated Comments

HappyDude20 Avatar
9 months ago
I find it funny when I first read this that I considered it to be Good News,

But really
It’s just the way it should have always been.
Score: 56 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alpi123 Avatar
9 months ago

Great news.

But in general, I don't quite understand the fuss around user-upgradability. Why do storage and memory need to be upgradable? Just buy as much as you need right away. Think you will need 32 GB memory in the future instead of 16 GB? Then just get 32 GB memory now. Think you will eventually need 4 TB storage instead of 2 TB. Then just get 4 TB now.
The thing is, people usually don't know how much storage they would need, especially considering the Mac Studio will last them 3-4 years and more. There's a 95% chance you'll find yourself needing more space in the future, and although cloud and external drives exist, nothing beats the ease of use and speed of internal storage.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ilikewhey Avatar
9 months ago

Great news.

But in general, I don't quite understand the fuss around user-upgradability. Why do storage and memory need to be upgradable? Just buy as much as you need over the machine's lifetime right away. Think you will need 32 GB memory in the future instead of 16 GB? Then just get 32 GB memory now. Think you will eventually need 4 TB storage instead of 2 TB. Then just get 4 TB now.

A machine that is good enough at the time when you buy it will also be good enough five years later.

Eventually after some years, the CPU becomes the bottle neck, and since that is not really replaceable anyway, whenever that point comes, you will need an entirely new machine anyway, not just a memory or storage upgrade.
because storage and ram gets cheaper as time goes on, 32gb today is the same price as 16gb a year or two ago. also it gives users options to just add more ram when they realized whatever new tasks they wanted to do requires it, instead of going out there to buy a new computer. the same is even more true for storage.

cpu is not much of a bottleneck unless you are running high intensive tasks all the time, a base i3 4 core from years ago is still relevant today for mundane task, this isn't the same as previous core 2 duo or bulldozer generation.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
greenbreadmmm Avatar
9 months ago

Great news.

But in general, I don't quite understand the fuss around user-upgradability. Why do storage and memory need to be upgradable? Just buy as much as you need over the machine's lifetime right away. Think you will need 32 GB memory in the future instead of 16 GB? Then just get 32 GB memory now. Think you will eventually need 4 TB storage instead of 2 TB? Then just get 4 TB now.

A machine that is good enough at the time when you buy it will also be good enough five years later.

Eventually after some years, the CPU becomes the bottle neck, and since that is not really replaceable anyway, whenever that point comes, you will need an entirely new machine anyway, not just a memory or storage upgrade.
Apple charges $400 for 32 go ram upgraded (when it was user upgradeable) vs $150 out of pocket from bestbuy.

Apple charges $400 for 1tb SSD vs $150 out of pocket.

If you can afford the apple tax, great! But I reckon cost is why a lot of people prefer to upgrade their machines themselves.

Saying “just get 4tb now” for the insane cost apple asks, is quite the statement.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kennerpl Avatar
9 months ago

Great news.

But in general, I don't quite understand the fuss around user-upgradability. Why do storage and memory need to be upgradable? Just buy as much as you need over the machine's lifetime right away. Think you will need 32 GB memory in the future instead of 16 GB? Then just get 32 GB memory now. Think you will eventually need 4 TB storage instead of 2 TB? Then just get 4 TB now.

A machine that is good enough at the time when you buy it will also be good enough five years later.

Eventually after some years, the CPU becomes the bottle neck, and since that is not really replaceable anyway, whenever that point comes, you will need an entirely new machine anyway, not just a memory or storage upgrade.
Yeah, but when your computer runs out of warranty and your SSD or RAM dies, just buy a new computer, right?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bokito Avatar
9 months ago

[...] I don't quite understand the fuss around user-upgradability. Why do storage and memory need to be upgradable? Just buy as much as you need over the machine's lifetime right away. Think you will need 32 GB memory in the future instead of 16 GB? Then just get 32 GB memory now. Think you will eventually need 4 TB storage instead of 2 TB. Then just get 4 TB now.
3th-party SSDs and memory and just as good and sometimes even better than the ones Apple delivers for 50% of the price. Apple doesn't deliver something special though. Besides that those requirements change quicker than CPU, GPU and especially connections ports. By the time you need 128 GB RAM or 8 TB storage other vendors have it for 1/10th the price Apple is selling it now and the SSD might even be faster.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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