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Posted (edited)

 

 

Summary

Chinese engineers have upgraded the DRAM and NAND flash on a M1 Mac.

 

Quotes

Quote

 Using their soldering station, the engineers removed 8GB of GDDR4X memory and installed chips with a 16GB capacity. Removing the NAND chips from the motherboard using the same method was not a problem. The chips were then replaced with higher-capacity devices.

 

My thoughts

I don’t think anyone should actually do this but it is cool so maybe a ltt video seems really interesting but hard to do.

Sources

https://www.tomshardware.com/amp/news/mac-m1-mod

 

https://www.macrumors.com/2021/04/06/m1-mac-ram-and-ssd-upgrades-possible/

(not used in post just for extra info)

Edited by Frugivore8894
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12 minutes ago, Frugivore8894 said:

I don’t think anyone should actually do this but it is cool so maybe a ltt video seems really interesting but hard to do.

I don't think they have a BGA rework station.

You'll need that to do this.

Cool tech tip inside:

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elephants
#MuricaParrotGang

 

NO REFUNDS ON LOST TIME

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I had received the impression the memory was actually part of the SOC so an 8 and 16gb m1 would actually have different CPUs. Seems this isnt the case though. 

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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2 minutes ago, Bombastinator said:

I had received the impression the memory was actually part of the SOC so an 8 and 16gb m1 would actually have different CPUs. Seems this isnt the case though. 

Nope, just sits next to it, but on the same sub-straight 

 

Apple M1 System-on-Chip - System Plus Consulting

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6 minutes ago, leadeater said:

Nope, just sits next to it, but on the same sub-straight 

 

Apple M1 System-on-Chip - System Plus Consulting

Ah.  Looking at that pic I can see how it might be done. Kind of a hairy job to deball and reball those things though.  Lots of really tiny stuff nearby.  I can’t see this hack being done too often.

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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3 hours ago, leadeater said:

Why did they only do 16GB? If you're going through this much effort at least try 32GB

Probably because the M1 is setup to use 4200MHz chips and it’s difficult to find compatible ones, except the 16GB chips that Apple already uses for the 16GB M1 variant.

 

4 hours ago, imreloadin said:

If it requires physically swapping the individual flash chips then it's not really "upgradeable".

Not if you have a flux capacitor. Then it’s definitely upgradable.

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13 minutes ago, Jet_ski said:

Probably because the M1 is setup to use 4200MHz chips and it’s difficult to find compatible ones, except the 16GB chips that Apple already uses for the 16GB M1 variant.

True, just seems entirely pointless, so might as well YOLO and do something you can't do for actually cheaper directly from Apple.

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23 minutes ago, Jet_ski said:

Not if you have a flux capacitor. 

what about a fluxed capacitor?

 

So I'm very new to soldering so can someone tell me what is this paste louis  rossmann uses in this picture? : soldering

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Judge the product by its own merits, not by the Company that created it.

 

Don't dilute <good thing> by always trying to focus on, and drag conversation back to, <bad thing>.

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5 hours ago, leadeater said:

Why did they only do 16GB? If you're going through this much effort at least try 32GB

Apple is famous for only allowing stuff to be used that they use.  It’s one of the the big limitations with hackintosh.  You can only use parts that Apple has already used in something else.  This was actually one of the reasons the eee was such a great hackintosh laptop.  It was made entirely of stuff that had already been used in various Apple devices. All they had to do was Frankenstein them together to make a thing that worked.  If Apple did a 32 VG version one might be possible but since they haven’t it isn’t. 

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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30 minutes ago, Bombastinator said:

If Apple did a 32 VG version one might be possible but since they haven’t it isn’t. 

Not really no, I highly doubt there is a hardware limitation in place on the IMC to restrict it to being only able to address 16GB ram, Apple would never do this. I also highly doubt there is any limitation in the OS specifically for M1 hardware to only allow 16GB ram. Now there might be a microcode limitation in place but I also doubt that, the reason is pretty obvious, there is no need to. Since you can only purchase M1 hardware from Apple and it comes packaged on a single BGA package that very few people could even possible contemplate trying to alter the hardware of there is actually no requirement to put any limitations in place.

 

Future device refreshes that may still use the same M1 SoC might have a 32GB option, and while that will likely also come with a microcode update it's unlikely one that would allow more than 16GB ram.

 

You don't go designing CPUs and SoC's and put limitations like this in place, nobody does that without inviting pain and suffering on themselves. Not even Intel does that. You can go look at spec sheets of old model Xeons and they will specify a maximum amount of ram supported, thing is this is based on the current point in time maximum DIMM capacity, the CPUs support more ram than that and I have installed more than the maximum on the spec sheet with newer larger DIMMs that did not exist before.

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13 minutes ago, leadeater said:

Not really no, I highly doubt there is a hardware limitation in place on the IMC to restrict it to being only able to address 16GB ram, Apple would never do this. I also highly doubt there is any limitation in the OS specifically for M1 hardware to only allow 16GB ram. Now there might be a microcode limitation in place but I also doubt that, the reason is pretty obvious, there is no need to. Since you can only purchase M1 hardware from Apple and it comes packaged on a single BGA package that very few people could even possible contemplate trying to alter the hardware of there is actually no requirement to put any limitations in place.

 

Future device refreshes that may still use the same M1 SoC might have a 32GB option, and while that will likely also come with a microcode update it's unlikely one that would allow more than 16GB ram.

 

You don't go designing CPUs and SoC's and put limitations like this in place, nobody does that without inviting pain and suffering on themselves. Not even Intel does that. You can go look at spec sheets of old model Xeons and they will specify a maximum amount of ram supported, thing is this is based on the current point in time maximum DIMM capacity, the CPUs support more ram than that and I have installed more than the maximum on the spec sheet with newer larger DIMMs that did not exist before.

 

For example an E5-2690v1 is not limited to 384GB ram, you can install 768GB using 64GB modules just fine.

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/64596/intel-xeon-processor-e5-2690-20m-cache-2-90-ghz-8-00-gt-s-intel-qpi.html 

Well no, but Apple wouldn’t  help any either, and if it’s not something they use they generally don’t allow it.  Might it would be something that would “just get through”? Perhaps.  Low probability though.  If they wanted to demo something that would probably work they’d have to imitate the systems Apple used.  I suppose they could have risked 32gb.  They might try that next, perhaps, but if it worked it would be dumb luck.  There have been parts that Apple didn’t use that were merely so similar they worked anyway.  There was a lot more stuff that should have worked that just didn’t though.

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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6 hours ago, Bitter said:

Guess what Alex is getting next....

I think this is more Collin's area, but yep.

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6 minutes ago, Bombastinator said:

Well no, but Apple wouldn’t  help any either, and if it’s not something they use they generally don’t allow it.

But that isn't the point, this story is literally about someone doing something Apple does not support, taking a M1 8GB package desoldering it then desoldering the RAM chips then soldering on larger one. So unless there isn't an LPDDR4X modules larger than 8GB (which could very well be the case I did not check) then it seems stupid to me to not use larger ones (if they exist).

 

8 minutes ago, Bombastinator said:

but if it worked it would be dumb luck

No it would not, it would literally work as any other ram would. M1 is not some super special thing that is unique from any of other CPU, x86 or ARM. It has an IMC that can address more ram than is possible to manufacture in a single module, literally Petabytes.

 

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2 hours ago, leadeater said:

True, just seems entirely pointless, so might as well YOLO and do something you can't do for actually cheaper directly from Apple.

I'm thinking proof of concept with the "likely will work" before the "maybe"

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Just now, Video Beagle said:

I'm thinking proof of concept with the "likely will work" before the "maybe"

I don't see the point though, we already know it would work. 

 

And now that I've bothered to look, Samsung has 12GB modules so an M1 with 24GB is possible.

https://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/dram/lpddr4x/

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6 minutes ago, leadeater said:

I don't see the point though, we already know it would work.

I don't think you can say that.  You'd suspect it work.

But what if there was secret code that locked a particular M1 to the ram it comes with?  I mean, that's something apple critics would accuse them of doing. Same as mentioned above, maybe there are secret locks that only allow it for the configs they've done. This is very basic "walk before you can run" experimentation.

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7 minutes ago, Video Beagle said:

But what if there was secret code that locked a particular M1 to the ram it comes with?

That would be idiotic and cause Apple a lot of problems in their own manufacturing process and supply chain.

 

7 minutes ago, Video Beagle said:

I don't think you can say that.  You'd suspect it work.

From all the times I put in non supported ram in to iMacs I'm more than willing to say it will work, way more than willing. In fact I'm more than willing to say you can change the OEM supplier of the modules and it will work, because Apple isn't going to restrict themselves to just Samsung or Micron etc. And for every microcode restriction you put in place that's a code path you have to maintain, document and account for.

 

Secret locks for this is in my opinion nothing but tinfoil hat territory. It's so illogical it doesn't bear consideration for me. I mean people say bigfoot exists, I'll believe it when I see it otherwise it's not a thing.

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1 hour ago, Bombastinator said:

Apple is famous for only allowing stuff to be used that they use.  It’s one of the the big limitations with hackintosh.  You can only use parts that Apple has already used in something else.  This was actually one of the reasons the eee was such a great hackintosh laptop.  It was made entirely of stuff that had already been used in various Apple devices. All they had to do was Frankenstein them together to make a thing that worked.  If Apple did a 32 VG version one might be possible but since they haven’t it isn’t. 

And yet Ryzen hackintosh exists...

One day I will be able to play Monster Hunter Frontier in French/Italian/English on my PC, it's just a matter of time... 4 5 6 7 8 9 years later: It's finally coming!!!

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17 minutes ago, leadeater said:

That would be idiotic and cause Apple a lot of problems in their own manufacturing process and supply chain.

I don't believe you're making me argue the anti-apple side.... Look at all the stuff that the T1 chip prevents or causes havoc with replacing.

 

19 minutes ago, leadeater said:

From all the times I put in non supported ram in to iMacs

ok.. you can see what I got in my imac... what more can I do for cheap? (Can't do more for my macbook for cheap 😞 )

🖥️ Motherboard: MSI A320M PRO-VH PLUS  ** Processor: AMD Ryzen 2600 3.4 GHz ** Video Card: Nvidia GeForce 1070 TI 8GB Zotac 1070ti 🖥️
🖥️ Memory: 32GB DDR4 2400  ** Power Supply: 650 Watts Power Supply Thermaltake +80 Bronze Thermaltake PSU 🖥️

🍎 2012 iMac i7 27";  2007 MBP 2.2 GHZ; Power Mac G5 Dual 2GHZ; B&W G3; Quadra 650; Mac SE 🍎

🍎 iPad Air2; iPhone SE 2020; iPhone 5s; AppleTV 4k 🍎

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2 minutes ago, Video Beagle said:

I don't believe you're making me argue the anti-apple side

🤣

 

2 minutes ago, Video Beagle said:

Look at all the stuff that the T1 chip prevents or causes havoc with replacing

Yep but as yet ram isn't one of them. Also do M1 devices have a T1 chip or is that now integrated in to the M1?

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