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How to upgrade Mac Studio storage without paying Apple

How to upgrade Mac Studio storage without paying Apple

apples mac studio It’s a pricey, professional-grade Enthusiast desktop, but users can upgrade their machine’s storage space without paying up front thanks to a third-party dock from Satechi. Apple has shipped computers with storage chips attached for years, preventing buyers from expanding their storage in the future. Surprisingly, the Mac Studio came with a removable SSD, but that doesn’t mean it comes with expandable storage. Every SSD has a controller that makes it easy to read and write to the drive, but the Mac Studio controller is built into the M1 Max/M2 Max or M1 Ultra/M2 Ultra SoC, depending on the variant.

Since Mac Studio’s storage controllers are inside the SoC, swapping out or adding SSDs isn’t as easy as it might seem. Tests have shown that even genuine Apple SSDs cannot be used to swap or expand the Mac Studio’s storage unless they are the exact configurations the M-series chip expects. Even then, a full system restore is required to make the drives work properly. However, users can add storage space through external drives. The Satechi Stand and Hub for Mac mini, which adds an M.2 SSD slot and seven additional ports, is also compatible with Mac Studio since both Macs share the same desktop space.

Related: Standard Studio View Vs. Nano Touch Glass: The $300 Difference Explained

The M.2 slot provides storage expansion

Satechi Stand and Hub for Mac mini (with SSD slot)

Satechi’s product page indicates that the stand and hub are only compatible with Mac mini models released in 2018 or later, but the company’s official listing on Amazon confirms that they work with Mac Studio. The stand has an M.2 SATA slot on its bottom and connects to your Mac Studio with a wired USB-C cable. This allows users to add additional storage space to the Mac Studio at a cheaper price than an internal upgrade at the time of purchase, while maintaining the Studio’s sleek form factor.

The base model Mac Studio is equipped with 512 GB of storage space and comes with a starting price of $1,999. Upgrading the internal storage to 1TB will cost buyers an extra $200, and storage upgrades will increase as the tiers go up. But with a Satechi stand and hub, users can add a full terabyte to Mac Studio for less than Apple’s initial upgrade fee.

The stand and shaft have an MSRP of $99.99, but they often drop below that figure with Amazon discount codes and deals. Buyers can get a rack-compatible 1TB M.2 SSD for under $50 – like Samsung’s popular 980 1TB SSD. When paired with the base Mac Studio model, users can access 1.5 TB of storage for less than the 1 TB Mac Studio, with a designated M.2 slot available for future upgrades.

The Satechi Stand and Center solves two of the Mac Studio’s drawbacks—expensive storage upgrades and lack of expandable storage—with a single accessory. For users who want to slide an M.2 SSD into the mount and connect it to their Mac Studio, the mount and hub serve as a simple solution that manages form and function.

Saachi Mac Mini Hub
Saachi Mac Mini Hub

The Satechi Stand & Hub for Mac Mini with SSD Enclosure features one USB-C data port, three USB-A data ports, a micro/SD card reader, a 3.5mm headphone jack port, and an SSD enclosure. It is compatible with Mac Mini (M2/M2 Pro, 2023), Mac Studio (2022), and Mac Mini (M1, 2020), but does not work with Mac Mini models 2018 and earlier.

Can you upgrade RAM in Mac Studio?

Ports Mac Studio M2

While Satechi hubs and hubs offer a convenient way to upgrade Mac Studio storage, RAM is a different story. Unfortunately, there is no way to upgrade the RAM in Mac Studio. Apple doesn’t allow users to upgrade the RAM on Macs, which means they’ll have to choose the correct memory option when purchasing Mac Studio.

The base version of the Mac Studio with the M2 Max chip comes with 32 GB of unified memory. It can be expanded to 64GB for an additional $400. A Mac Studio with a 38-core M2 Max GPU chip can be upgraded to 96GB of RAM for an additional $800, while a Mac Studio configured with an M2 Ultra with 192GB of RAM costs $1,600. 32GB is plenty of RAM for the average Mac Studio buyer, but those who want more RAM will have to choose the right variant at the time of purchase, as there’s no way to upgrade the memory later.

Source: Satechi, Amazon


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