Mac Studio Storage Upgrade – Possible or Not? The information is divided

Ever since Max Tech’s disassembly of Mac Studio showed that the ssd is on a daughter card, there has been wild speculation as to whether it means a future opportunity to upgrade.

Another Youtubare, Luke Miani, has made blows in the case and tried adding an ssd module from one Mac Studio in the blank slot to another, and also moving the built-in module to the blank slot. Neither worked, and in the first case, the computer’s LED flashed orange to indicate that something was wrong.

But developer Hector Martin, one of the people behind Asahi Linux and the development of an alternative bootloader for Apple Silicon, believes it depends on how Luke Miani went about it.

In a Twitter thread he writes how storage works in M1 Macs (including Mac Studio). The detachable modules in Mac Studio are not “ssds” in the ordinary sense, but pure flash memory circuits (nand) together with a very basic control circuit that translates raw data to the pci-express interface.

An ssd control circuit in M1 Max / Ultra then takes care of these storage chips and handles everything from formatting to controlling write optimization and other things that are normally handled by a control chip on an nvme stick or another ssd. Each flash chip on these modules has its own small processor (Arm-based just like M1) with firmware software.

Hector Martin writes that he thinks it should work to install modules other than the included ones as long as you follow a configuration Apple actually sells (6 terabytes, for example, will not work) and perform a complete erasure of storage via DFU mode.