iFixit Tears Down Mac Studio and Studio Display

iFixit today disassembled Apple's new M1 Max Mac Studio, giving us a first glimpse at the components inside the machine. This is not iFixit's traditional, more detailed teardown, which has not yet been published, but it does provide a few interesting details about the ‌Mac Studio‌.

"If Apple squeezed a Mac Pro into a Mac mini, you'd get something that looks a lot like the new [‌Mac Studio‌]," iFixit said, describing the internals of the machine.

An earlier teardown found that the ‌Mac Studio‌'s SSD is not soldered and can be removed, which iFixit confirmed, but it's still not clear if upgrades are possible. iFixit found a spare slot on the logic board and attempted to put the SSD from a second ‌Mac Studio‌ into the empty slot, but couldn't get it working. Swapping drives of the same capacity between machines did, however, work.

Time to find out if this modular storage is actually upgradeable. After a lot of testing, some of it interrupted by Apple's server issues, we actually have some definitive answers. We popped this stick into another base model Mac Studio's empty slot, but Configurator kept giving us DFU restore errors. No matter the configuration, we haven't gotten two base model drives to boot in a single machine.

However, when we swapped the spare Studio's drive for the one in the teardown unit and used Configurator to do a DFU restore, it worked. Storage swaps are possible, at least between two drives of the same size, but jury's still out on upgrades.

Unlike storage, RAM is built-in, which means memory upgrades to the ‌Mac Studio‌ won't be possible after purchase.

The ‌M1 Max‌ ‌Mac Studio‌ features a massive heatsink with a dual-fan assembly, and the fans are "so much more massive than other Mac fans," according to iFixit. The site also said the heatsink "positively dwarfs the M1" with more than six times the weight.

The internals of the ‌Mac Studio‌ are complicated with brackets, connectors, and torx screws, which impacts repairability and user accessibility. iFixit praised the modular ports and the heat management system, but wasn't pleased with the buried fans, potentially non-upgradeable storage, and baked-in RAM. The ‌Mac Studio‌ earned an iFixit repairability score of 6 out of 10. It's a "worthy successor to the ‌Mac mini‌, but isn't quite ready for the pros," said the site.

iFixit also took a quick look inside the Studio Display, and it turns out the internals look a whole lot like an iMac. The webcam in the Studio Display is similar to the camera in the iPhone 11, but iFixit didn't have much more to say about the Studio Display at this time as a more in-depth teardown is coming in the near future.

Related Roundup: Mac Studio
Tag: iFixit
Buyer's Guide: Mac Studio (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

Abazigal Avatar
9 weeks ago
M1 chips have never been upgradable, and people buy into them knowing that this is the price for the superior performance they receive as a result of its integrated design.

Till now, I still fail to see what all the uproar is about. It’s more like a “Okay, duly noted” and I feel it’s going to have absolutely zero impact on one’s purchasing decision.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GMShadow Avatar
9 weeks ago

but isn't quite ready for the pros
Pros don't work on their own machines. They use them, and replace when the time comes. Any issues are handled under warranty.

iFixit needs to adjust their definitions.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Crowbot Avatar
9 weeks ago
It looks to me that the entire chassis has to be removed to get to the fans for cleaning. This could be a serious maintenance issue.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jiminycricket Avatar
9 weeks ago

Pros don't work on their own machines. They use them, and replace when the time comes. Any issues are handled under warranty.

iFixit needs to adjust their definitions.
Most of the audio engineers I know don't replace their equipment until they absolutely have to, and they do upgrade them before they are likely to buy replacements. That's mainly because the majority of audio engineering work is no longer done in major studios, and instead is done in smaller 1-4 person operations where they are very cost conscious.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Danfango Avatar
9 weeks ago

The more I think about the Studio Display, the more I am disappointed in Apple. Typical Apple crappy software quality aside, it's a cheap move to capitalize on their years of ignored customer demand.

Is this the device Apple employees would want to buy in 2022 for $1,600, or would they want something different? Once upon a time, Apple made the products they wanted to use, not the ones the MBA product marketing people think they can get away with.
Um I bought one. I’d probably buy another one if I had enough room on my desk. It’s a really nice monitor.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BWhaler Avatar
9 weeks ago
The more I think about the Studio Display, the more I am disappointed in Apple. Typical Apple crappy software quality aside, it's a cheap move to capitalize on their years of ignored customer demand by offering dated technology.

Is this the device Apple employees would want to buy in 2022 for $1,600, or would they want something different? Once upon a time, Apple made the products they wanted to use, not the ones the MBA product marketing people think they can get away with.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

mac studio early arrival

Lucky Customer Receives Mac Studio Days Ahead of Schedule

Tuesday March 15, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
The Mac Studio isn't set to launch until Friday, March 18, but a French Apple fan was able to secure his new machine today due to a store error. As relayed to Mac4Ever, an unnamed store gave the customer the Mac Studio early, and he has shared an initial photo of the new device. According to Mac4Ever, the customer, Simon, will be providing additional photos of the Mac Studio later today, but ...
mac studio studio display duo

First Mac Studio and Studio Display Orders Begin Arriving to Customers in Australia and New Zealand

Thursday March 17, 2022 3:02 pm PDT by
It is officially March 18 in Australia and New Zealand, which means that it's Mac Studio and Studio Display launch day. Customers in these countries are always the first to get their hands on new devices, and Apple's new studio devices are being delivered. The Mac Studio and Studio Display are starting to arrive to customers who pre-ordered when the devices went up for sale following the...
Grid 4S

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a New Mac Studio From GRID Studio

Thursday March 10, 2022 10:00 am PST by
To celebrate the upcoming launch of the new Mac Studio from Apple, we've teamed up with GRID Studio to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a new M1 Max Mac Studio or one of GRID Studio's deconstructed Apple device art pieces. GRID Studio is known for creating art from vintage Apple devices that are an important part of Apple's history. Each device is disassembled, and the components are...
mac studio studio display

Mac Studio and Studio Display Orders Now Live

Tuesday March 8, 2022 11:11 am PST by
Apple today introduced the Mac Studio, an all-new Mac that's a hybrid between a Mac Pro and a Mac mini, with the new machine equipped with M1 Max and M1 Ultra chips. Priced starting at $1999 for the M1 Max version and $3999 for the M1 Ultra version, the Mac Studio can now be ordered from Apple's website. Alongside the Mac Studio, Apple introduced the new 5K 27-inch Studio Display, which...
mac studio ssd

Mac Studio Teardown Indicates That SSD Storage May Be Upgradeable

Sunday March 20, 2022 6:05 am PDT by
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. Image 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...
mac studio studio display duo

Delivery Estimates for Mac Studio and Studio Display Slip to April

Tuesday March 8, 2022 2:49 pm PST by
Just hours after becoming available for purchase, delivery dates for both the new Mac Studio and its accompanying Studio Display have begun to slip well into April. The higher-end M1 Ultra Mac Studio now lists delivery estimates of April 13 to April 20, and that delivery timing is likely to get pushed back even further as more people place orders. Interestingly, upgrading to the 64-GPU...
mac studio lifestyle shot

Apple Executives Discuss How Mac Studio Fills the Gap Between iMac and Mac Pro

Thursday March 17, 2022 9:54 am PDT by
Apple's new Mac Studio desktop computer will begin arriving to customers this Friday. Ahead of the launch, TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino spoke with a trio of senior Apple employees about the company's process of designing the Mac Studio. Just like the Mac Pro tower released in late 2019, the Mac Studio was born as a result of Apple's Pro Workflows Team that was created shortly after the...
apple studio display 1

Apple Unveils $1,599 27-Inch 5K 'Studio Display' External Monitor

Tuesday March 8, 2022 10:54 am PST by
Apple today unveiled the 27-inch 5K "Studio Display" external monitor, alongside the new, high-end Mac Studio desktop computer. The Studio Display features an all-screen design with narrow borders in a slim, all-aluminium enclosure like the 24-inch iMac. The display can be tiled up to 30 degrees thanks to its built-in stand. To customize the display, customers can choose a more versatile, ...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
iPad Pro USB C Feature Coral

Deals: Apple's iPad Pro Reaches Up to $449 Off in Amazon's Latest Sales

Wednesday May 25, 2022 10:09 am PDT by
Amazon is marking down a wide variety of 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models this week, with prices starting as low as $749.00 for the 11-inch tablet. You'll find the full list of sales below, all of which can be found on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep...
apple account card

Wallet App Now Supports Apple Account Cards on iOS 15.5

Wednesday May 25, 2022 5:01 pm PDT by
Apple appears to have recently updated the Wallet app to allow users to add an Apple Account Card, which displays the Apple credit balance associated with an Apple ID. If you receive an App Store or Apple Store gift card, for example, it is added to an Apple Account that was previously visible in the App Store and Apple Store apps. As of today, the Apple Account balance can also be added to...
Apple Tap to Pay iPhone

Apple Stores Rolling Out iPhone-to-iPhone Contactless Payments Starting Today

Wednesday May 25, 2022 6:54 am PDT by
Apple in February unveiled a new "Tap to Pay on iPhone" feature that will allow compatible iPhones to accept payments via Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, with no additional hardware required. Apple began testing the feature at its Apple Park Visitor Center earlier this month, and now Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has tweeted that the feature will begin...
apple wwdc 2022

Apple Shares WWDC 2022 Schedule, Keynote to Take Place June 6 at 10:00 a.m PT

Tuesday May 24, 2022 9:06 am PDT by
Apple today confirmed that the keynote event for the Worldwide Developers Conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 6, the first day of WWDC. The keynote will be an online-only event, though a select number of developers have been invited to the Apple Park campus for a viewing event. In addition to confirming the keynote date and time, Apple has shared the full WWDC 2022...