Surprise! iFixit teardown confirms Mac Studio storage can't be upgraded.

Dual Mac Studios
Dual Mac Studios (Image credit: Rene Ritchie)

What you need to know

  • iFixit has shared a video of its Mac Studio teardown.
  • Tests confirm that Mac Studio storage can't be upgraded.
  • Swapping an identical SSD from one machine to another does work.

While some looked at the SSD slots in the new Mac Studio and thought that meant its storage could be upgraded, iFixit has confirmed that isn't the case — just as Apple said — via its own teardown video.

The new Mac Studio is Apple's latest, non-user-upgradable Mac and that goes for storage as much as anything. There had been a flicker of hope when one YouTuber opened a machine to find SSD slots, but we now know for sure that upgrading Mac Studio storage is a no-go. But that doesn't mean that you cant swap storage from one machine to another, it seems.

While it's true that others had tried and failed at swapping SSD storage from one Mac Studio to another, what we didn't know at the time was that they were using two different capacities. iFixit tried swapping the same capacity SSD module from one machine to another and hey presto, Apple Configurator let them being macOS installation onto it.

It's true that such a swap isn't something end users are unlikely to do, but it's good to know exactly how these things work. It could also make it easier for Apple itself to repair these machines should an SSD fail.

If Apple squeezed a Mac Pro into a Mac Mini, you'd get something that looks a lot like the new Studio Mac, I mean Max Studio, I mean, M1 Max Mac Studio. No trash can, no cheese grater, just a single block of extruded aluminum with plenty of room for fans. And ports! They've even included ports on the front. This feels like the Macs we used to love, in all the best ways. We're hoping to find even more user-friendly treasures on the inside, but there's only one way to find out…Let's tear it down!

In terms of the teardown itself, we get our best look yet at what's going on inside what is the best Mac Apple has ever made by some measures. The giant heatsink and fan assembly are just as impressive as we thought it would be and the power supply isn't any less of a monster, either.

Apple's Mac Studio is available to buy now with prices beginning at $1,999 for the M1 Max model.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.