The gadget butchers at iFixit have finally gotten their hands on Mac Studio. After many hours on the operating table, Apple’s newest desktop has been pulled apart to give us a detailed look at its compact yet powerful insides.
You may be surprised to learn that many of Mac Studio’s components — including its SSDs and connectivity ports — are modular, which means they can be replaced if things go wrong. But user upgrades are out of the question.
See inside Mac Studio
Mac Studio is by far the most exciting machine in the Apple silicon lineup. It has the same footprint as Mac mini, though it’s three times as tall, and it’s faster than the most expensive Mac Pro, despite being considerably more affordable.
However, “Mac Studio impresses and disappoints in almost equal measure,” iFixit said. That’s because although the small powerhouse is a “Pro” machine on paper, when its internals start to feel old, there are no upgrade options.
iFixit tears open Mac Studio
Lots of Mac Studio’s components are modular, which means that repairing certain failures will be easier and more affordable than on other Apple machines. However, other components are soldered in place.
That includes Mac Studio’s RAM modules, which rules out memory upgrades in the future. And, as previously reported, Mac Studio’s storage drives can be removed fairly easily, but Apple won’t let you add larger ones.
“Storage swaps are possible, at least between two drives of the same size,” iFixit explained. “But the jury’s still out on upgrades.” It seems that replacing Mac Studio’s original drive with another of a different size completely breaks it.
Check out iFixit’s full teardown video to find out more:
Mac Studio is a beauty inside and out
Like many Apple products, Mac Studio is an incredible feat of engineering. Everything about it is meticulously designed, right down to its beastly heatsink, which uses two powerful fans and is six times as heavy as that of Mac mini’s.
Lots of components are secured in place by brackets and Torx screws, which will make some swaps complicated. But it’s certainly not the worst Apple computer when it comes to repairability. iFixit gives Mac Studio a 6/10.
“We love that Apple had the courage to beef up their desktop, allowing for awesomely modular ports and a hefty heat management system,” it said. “But the Mac Studio falls short thanks to odd choices like buried fans and non-upgradable storage. Not to mention the baked-in RAM.”