In an excellent video by the folks over at YouTube channel, Max Tech, it appeared that the Mac Studio was in fact upgradable. In their teardown video, Max Tech disassembled the new machine and discovered that the SSD can be easily removed. That sits in stark contrast with many other models of Mac, particularly MacBooks, that have soldered SSD modules. But what was also discovered by Max Tech is that the machine contains a second (and notably empty) SSD slot. Naturally, this created some level of hope and excitement in the Apple community. But it wasn’t to be…
Behind the Wizards curtain
A follow-up video by the brilliant Luke Miani reveals that unfortunately, internal SSD swaps performed by users will not work. And the empty SSD port is also a no go. It turns out that a software level block prevents alternative drives from functioning. The SSD is recognised by macOS but advises users that macOS can not be booted. And that’s really disappointing. At the surface level, it would seem that the readily swappable SSD modules would point to upgradable storage.
Now to be fair to Apple, they explicitly state on their website that the Mac Studio does not contain ‘user-upgradable storage’. And at least right now, that is absolutely true. It doesn’t. But not for the reasons you would think. Instead, this is an artificial barrier created by Apple in software. It isn’t clear why they would do this. The option to upgrade storage would be a boon for the Apple community and be widely appreciated. It would seem at this time, the functionality is explicitly for Apple and authorised service providers when servicing the machine. Presumably with the user of special software tools that aren’t accessible to customers at this time.
While disappointing, this isn’t unexpected. At least at this point in time, Apple has been very clear to say that storage is not user-accessible. Though the choice of language is notable in that it doesn’t rule out the storage being upgradeable. Just that users can’t directly access it. Perhaps the situation will change in the future. But for now, it seems, this is a closed case. No upgrades for you!
Featured image: Max Tech