Apple M1 to Apple M2 upgrade ends in failure

A brave YouTuber tried to upgrade his 2020 Apple M1-based MacBook Pro to the latest Apple M2 chip. Given that both are in a 13-inch MacBook Pro, it shouldn’t be impossible to transplant the M2 chip into the older version of the MacBook — at least in theory.

Despite the fact that the logic board of the new MacBook Pro is almost identical to that of its predecessor, the experience did not go as planned. The upgrade attempt was unsuccessful, which speaks to the difficulty of upgrading laptops for several reasons.

It takes a lot of courage to take a device or piece of hardware worth over $1,000 and risk destroying it for testing purposes, but that’s what YouTuber Luke Miani did in his last experience. He attempted to transplant the Apple M2 chip and logic board from the latest 13-inch MacBook Pro into the 2020 MacBook Pro M1. Needless to say, doing this will completely void the warranty for both devices, so if you also feel adventurous mood, be sure to keep that in mind.

The logical first step to perform such an upgrade is to simply replace the old MacBook Pro’s M1 chip with the new M2, but the processor is soldered on and cannot be replaced. Miani had to change the whole logic board to try his experiment, so he removed it from the latest MacBook Pro. Moving it from the newer Mac to the older one wasn’t easy: the YouTuber had to deal with some really tiny cable connectors. After some fiddling, Miani was able to install the new logic board in the 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro.

This brings us to the moment of truth: does the old MacBook Pro survive the upgrade to the new Apple M2 chip? Unfortunately no. Despite several attempts, the YouTuber was unable to get the laptop to start. The screen remained black and the computer was not responding at all. This prompted Miani to replace the Touch ID component, and although he managed to swap it out, he was still unable to start the MacBook Pro. He couldn’t even put it into DFU recovery mode.

A MacBook that has become unusable

According to the YouTuber, the reason for the failure of his experiment could be that the 2022 MacBook Pro 13 has a slightly modified keyboard and touchpad interface. Although Miani didn’t mention it, there could be other reasons for it, like SSD issues.

Even if the experiment failed, the attempt is worth watching, and I recommend watching the video above. It’s a shame that laptops these days often lack expandability. The fact that swapping the entire logic board of a new MacBook for an old one failed isn’t at all surprising, but the ability to support some user upgrades and repairs would certainly be welcome.

Leave a Comment