Anton Shilov, Tom’s Hardware:
As spotted via Twitter, if you want to boost the power of your Mac, it may be possible with money, skill, time and some real desire by removing the DRAM and NAND chips and adding more capacious versions.
Here’s the tweet:
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
Back to Anton:
With a soldering station (its consumer variant is not that expensive at $60), DRAM memory chips and NAND flash memory chips, (which are close to impossible to buy on the consumer level), the engineers reportedly upgraded the Apple M1-based Mac Mini with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage to 16GB and 1TB, respectively, by de-soldering the existing components and adding more capacious chips. According to the post, no firmware modifications were necessary.
There has been a lot of discussion about the M1 memory being on the M1 chip itself. As the tweet above shows, this is a bit misleading. The memory is on the M1 SoC package, as opposed to inside the physical M1 chip.
Here’s a pic, via iFixit, that shows this up close.
Note the M1 chip, which is the silver bit with the Apple logo. And next to it are two RAM chips (the black rectangles), each one with 4GB of SK hynix LPDDR4X memory.
I tweeted about all this here. Please do reply there if you’ve got anything to add or any corrections. I find this fascinating.