• Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

Engineers Upgrade Soldered Components on Apple M1 Mac Mini

Uskompuf

Staff member
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Messages
741 (1.97/day)
The Apple M1 processor features integrated memory directly on the chip to reduce latency, power, and size. While this design may be good for the overall user experience it does not bode well for upgradability requiring users to pay up for a more expensive model. Some Chinese engineers have recently shown how it is possible to upgrade the soldered memory and storage components given you have the time, skills, and money. The DRAM and NAND chips are soldered to the M1 chip and motherboard but can be removed and replaced with higher capacity chips using a specialty soldering station. The engineers upgraded the base model M1 Mac Mini with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage to 16 GB RAM and 1 TB storage. The upgrade didn't require firmware modifications according to the source which is very impressive if true.



View at TechPowerUp Main Site
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2015
Messages
464 (0.23/day)
Location
Earth's Troposphere
System Name cvasi-rocket
Processor AMD Ryzen R3 3300X & R7 5800X
Motherboard Asus ROG Crosshair VI Extreme & ROG Strix B550-F Gaming
Cooling stock am2 & wraith spire cooler
Memory SK Hynix PC4-17000 4x8GB
Video Card(s) AMD Radeon RX 5700XT 50th Anniversary Edition | Sapphire R9 Fury Nano
Storage 480 GB Corsair MP510 | Kingston A400 480 GB SSD | Intel mempek1w016ga
Display(s) Dell UltraSharp U2410 | HP 24x
Case Silverstone Raven RV05 white
Audio Device(s) onboard
Power Supply Seasonic Focus PX-550 | Fractal Design ion+ 760p
Mouse Trust
Keyboard wireless , Logitech
Software W102004
Just like any internal combustion engine that has fitted to it an improper gearbox. Maybe the M1 is not up to it either way.
 
Joined
May 30, 2015
Messages
1,013 (0.47/day)
Location
Los Altos, CA
I saw this earlier today and it looks sus. The images show they mutilated at least one board, and the original chinese article doesn't actually state they upgraded the DRAM or show an proof that anything was actually upgraded. Lots of fluff statements about how amazing their work was though...
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2010
Messages
1,699 (0.45/day)
Location
Right where I want to be
System Name Miami
Processor Ryzen 3800X
Motherboard Asus Crosshair VII Formula
Cooling Ek Velocity/ 2x 280mm Radiators/ Alphacool fullcover
Memory F4-3600C16Q-32GTZNC
Video Card(s) SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX 5700 XT
Storage 1TB WD M.2 SSD/ 2TB WD SN750/ 4TB WD Black HDD
Display(s) DELL AW3420DW / HP ZR24w
Case Lian Li O11 Dynamic XL
Audio Device(s) EVGA Nu Audio
Power Supply Seasonic Prime Gold 1000W
Mouse Corsair Scimitar/Glorious Model O-
Keyboard Corsair K95 Platinum
Software Windows 10 Pro
I saw this earlier today and it looks sus. The images show they mutilated at least one board, and the original chinese article doesn't actually state they upgraded the DRAM or show an proof that anything was actually upgraded. Lots of fluff statements about how amazing their work was though...

Those solder pads can be fixed.
 
Joined
May 30, 2015
Messages
1,013 (0.47/day)
Location
Los Altos, CA
Those solder pads can be fixed.

If they were as experienced as the article claimed they wouldn't have damaged them to begin with. Not to mention the nearly exposed copper layer on the substrate...
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2010
Messages
1,699 (0.45/day)
Location
Right where I want to be
System Name Miami
Processor Ryzen 3800X
Motherboard Asus Crosshair VII Formula
Cooling Ek Velocity/ 2x 280mm Radiators/ Alphacool fullcover
Memory F4-3600C16Q-32GTZNC
Video Card(s) SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX 5700 XT
Storage 1TB WD M.2 SSD/ 2TB WD SN750/ 4TB WD Black HDD
Display(s) DELL AW3420DW / HP ZR24w
Case Lian Li O11 Dynamic XL
Audio Device(s) EVGA Nu Audio
Power Supply Seasonic Prime Gold 1000W
Mouse Corsair Scimitar/Glorious Model O-
Keyboard Corsair K95 Platinum
Software Windows 10 Pro
If they were as experienced as the article claimed they wouldn't have damaged them to begin with. Not to mention the nearly exposed copper layer on the substrate...

Do you not see how much underfill that was there from the previous pic, I'm not going to knock them for that it.
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2006
Messages
304 (0.06/day)
Location
TX
Processor Threadripper 2920x
Motherboard Asrock X399 Professional Gaming
Cooling EVGA CLC280 w/ 4x Corsair Maglev 140
Memory 32gb (4x8) G.Skill RGB DDR4 3600 CL17 @ DDR4 3600
Video Card(s) EVGA RTX 2080 XC Hybrid water cooling (2 GHz core/15 GHz memory)
Storage 1x Optane 900p 280gb, 3x Mushkin Pilot 1tb NVME, 2x 2tb Samsung 860 EVO
Display(s) 1x Acer Predator X34, 2x Acer V206HQL in portrait
Case Corsair Carbide 540
Audio Device(s) EVGA Nu Audio
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA P2 1200w
Software Windows 10 for Workstation 64-bit
There's a rather large industry around this sort of thing already in china. Ebay is full of "x99" and "x79" motherboards using chipsets salvaged from ewaste. And its not an uncommon thing to have the flash storage on a phone upgraded for you by a booth at a mall or a storefront similar to a cell phone repair store that swaps glass all day.

I'm all for it and think this sort of thing is what we need from Nvidia and AMD right now. I'm sure they could have some kind of buy back/salvage deal with big crypto miners to take back cards once they are no longer in that perfect efficiency curve to be profitable, and salvage the gpu and memory (after validation) for new boards they can sell with a warranty. All those old p106 mining cards with no video outputs could become gtx 1060s.
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
Messages
11,613 (4.91/day)
Location
Sunshine Coast
System Name Black Box
Processor Intel i5-9600KF
Motherboard NZXT N7 Z370 Black
Cooling Cooler Master 240 RGB AIO / Stock
Memory Thermaltake Toughram 16GB 4400MHz DDR4 or Gigabyte 16GB 3600MHz DDR4 or Adata 8GB 2133Mhz DDR4
Video Card(s) Asus Dual 1060 6GB
Storage Kingston A2000 512Gb NVME
Display(s) AOC 24" Freesync 1m.s. 75Hz
Case Corsair 450D High Air Flow.
Audio Device(s) No need.
Power Supply FSP Aurum 650W
Mouse Yes
Keyboard Of course
Software W10 Pro 64 bit
There's a rather large industry around this sort of thing already in china. Ebay is full of "x99" and "x79" motherboards using chipsets salvaged from ewaste. And its not an uncommon thing to have the flash storage on a phone upgraded for you by a booth at a mall or a storefront similar to a cell phone repair store that swaps glass all day.

I'm all for it and think this sort of thing is what we need from Nvidia and AMD right now. I'm sure they could have some kind of buy back/salvage deal with big crypto miners to take back cards once they are no longer in that perfect efficiency curve to be profitable, and salvage the gpu and memory (after validation) for new boards they can sell with a warranty. All those old p106 mining cards with no video outputs could become gtx 1060s.
And the P104 could be converted back to a 1080 8GB.
those cards are still value today.
 
Joined
May 30, 2015
Messages
1,013 (0.47/day)
Location
Los Altos, CA
Come on we all knew it is 10% cost saving and 90% locking user upgradability so they can mark up the prices on higher tier options.

It's actually more expensive to do DRAM on package. The savings is in DRAM access latency and fewer wasted cycles allowing a bit more performance. It is entirely about squeezing more performance than anything else.

Do you not see how much underfill that was there from the previous pic, I'm not going to knock them for that it.

I am going to knock them for it. Especially when they claim to be some superior engineering team with no evidence of actually making the upgrade work. Anyone can hack off some chips with a razor.
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2006
Messages
304 (0.06/day)
Location
TX
Processor Threadripper 2920x
Motherboard Asrock X399 Professional Gaming
Cooling EVGA CLC280 w/ 4x Corsair Maglev 140
Memory 32gb (4x8) G.Skill RGB DDR4 3600 CL17 @ DDR4 3600
Video Card(s) EVGA RTX 2080 XC Hybrid water cooling (2 GHz core/15 GHz memory)
Storage 1x Optane 900p 280gb, 3x Mushkin Pilot 1tb NVME, 2x 2tb Samsung 860 EVO
Display(s) 1x Acer Predator X34, 2x Acer V206HQL in portrait
Case Corsair Carbide 540
Audio Device(s) EVGA Nu Audio
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA P2 1200w
Software Windows 10 for Workstation 64-bit
And the P104 could be converted back to a 1080 8GB.
those cards are still value today.

Absolutely right, my old 1080 was just gifted to a friend as an upgrade and that card can do modern AAA no problem.

I just think its a reasonable idea to embrace. Nvidia and AMD can take their latest and greatest silicon and put it in the hands of miners first and have the gpu, memory, and vrms designed and tuned for mining efficiency. The only other guys paying mining prices right now are the professional compute guys with Teslas and and Quadros - and they already get silicon tuned for certain targets (Tesla T4 gets RTX 2070 super shader/tensor count but at a third the clock speed and on a half height/single slot card). Just create the eco system where last gens compute silicon becomes this gen's gaming silicon. If miners and big tensor guys want to pay nvidia 10X what gamers will pay for the latest and greatest thats fine. Reality most gamers are going to be happy with a 1080 they could get for $250. It doesnt matter that the silicon itself came out in 2016, as long as the rest of the card still works so will that GP104.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2019
Messages
523 (0.67/day)
It's actually more expensive to do DRAM on package. The savings is in DRAM access latency and fewer wasted cycles allowing a bit more performance. It is entirely about squeezing more performance than anything else.

Maybe it would be more expensive on the package side, but the overall PCB shrink + ram slot + so-dimm costs would balance that back I believe.
And still, 90% of it is to lock user upgradability.
 
Joined
May 30, 2015
Messages
1,013 (0.47/day)
Location
Los Altos, CA
Maybe it would be more expensive on the package side, but the overall PCB shrink + ram slot + so-dimm costs would balance that back I believe.
And still, 90% of it is to lock user upgradability.

Apple's chosen arrangement of package on package reduces yields to nearly single digits though. So no, once you've thrown away a few million 5nm chips for a few hundred thousand working ones it's definitely not cheaper. :)
 
Joined
Sep 9, 2009
Messages
1,158 (0.27/day)
Location
Austria, Europe
System Name Bang4Buck
Processor AMD Ryzen 9 3900x
Motherboard MSI PRESTIGE x570 CREATION
Cooling EKWB Phoenix 360 Push/Pull
Memory 32Gb 4400Mhz Patriot Viper Steel(Samsung B-die) @ 3800Mhz 16-16-16-32-48-1T @ 1.38v
Video Card(s) EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti SC2 Gaming, watercooled with EKWB
Storage Adata SX8200Pro 512Gb/2x Crucial P1 1Tb/Samsung 840 EVO/6Tb Raid -HGST Enterprise/IronWolf 8Tb/
Display(s) Samsung UE49KS8002 4K HDR TV (US - 9 series)
Case Fractal Design Define R6 Black Usb-C
Audio Device(s) HDMI out to Denon X4400H reciever, 2x Dali Zensor 7, Dali Zensor Vokal, 2x Dali Zensor 1, Yamaha Sub
Power Supply Seasonic Prime Ultra 750W
Mouse Logitech G305 Lightspeed
Keyboard Logitech K520
Software Windows 10 Pro x64
Benchmark Scores http://www.3dmark.com/spy/10026304
Knowing Apple, this will get disabled with the next software/firmware update...
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
Messages
11,613 (4.91/day)
Location
Sunshine Coast
System Name Black Box
Processor Intel i5-9600KF
Motherboard NZXT N7 Z370 Black
Cooling Cooler Master 240 RGB AIO / Stock
Memory Thermaltake Toughram 16GB 4400MHz DDR4 or Gigabyte 16GB 3600MHz DDR4 or Adata 8GB 2133Mhz DDR4
Video Card(s) Asus Dual 1060 6GB
Storage Kingston A2000 512Gb NVME
Display(s) AOC 24" Freesync 1m.s. 75Hz
Case Corsair 450D High Air Flow.
Audio Device(s) No need.
Power Supply FSP Aurum 650W
Mouse Yes
Keyboard Of course
Software W10 Pro 64 bit
Knowing Apple, this will get disabled with the next software/firmware update...
And then released by them at twice the price.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2019
Messages
523 (0.67/day)
Apple's chosen arrangement of package on package reduces yields to nearly single digits though. So no, once you've thrown away a few million 5nm chips for a few hundred thousand working ones it's definitely not cheaper. :)
May I ask the source of this ?
Near single digit yield sounds bit odd
 
Top