Microsoft Surface Studio Teardown Reveals Upgrade Woes With Soldered CPU, RAM, and GPU

Microsoft Surface Studio Teardown Reveals Upgrade Woes With Soldered CPU, RAM, and GPU
  • The 1TB storage can be upgraded easily
  • RAM, CPU and GPU are soldered to the logic board
  • Some display components are also difficult to replace

Microsoft has begun shipping the all-in-one Surface Studio, and iFixit soon had a unit for performing a teardown. The teardown of the AIO desktop is now live and reveals that the SSD and HDD drives are easily replaceable. However, the GPU, RAM, and CPU are all soldered to the logic board rendering them non-upgradeable.

Just to recap, the Surface Studio desktop was launched in October and it comes with a tilt-friendly 28-inch display that lets you adjust the screen, so much so that it sits parallel to the table-top for ease in writing and drawing purposes. It also comes with Pen support for precision in artwork, and is priced starting at $2,999 (roughly Rs. 2,00,450 before taxes and duties) with base configurations of Intel Core i5 processor, NVIDIA graphics, 8GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage.

(Also see: Everything You Need to Know About the Microsoft Surface Studio Desktop)

The iFixit teardown, as mentioned above, reveals that Microsoft does not let you upgrade the RAM, CPU, or graphics processor if you wish to do so in the future. So it's either best to save up for the 16GB or 32GB RAM models, or forever hold your peace with the base 8GB model. The 16GB model with Core i7 chipset is priced at $3,499 (roughly Rs. 2,39,500 before taxes and duties), while the 32GB RAM model with Core i7 CPU is priced at $4,199 (roughly Rs. 287,500 before taxes and duties).

The teardown reveals that the 2.5-inch hard drive/SSD and M.2 SSD slots for storage are both situated at the base of the motherboard. They can easily be changed without disintegrating the display. This means that the 1TB storage can be upgraded whenever the user prefers to do so, without any hiccups.

Interestingly, there is also an ARM chip housed behind the display of this Intel-powered PC. The chip is present to power Microsoft's PixelSense display, notes The Verge's Tom Warren. iFixit has given the Surface Studio a repairability score of 5 out of 10 because a few components like the buttons, front sensors, and speakers that are embedded in the display are difficult to replace if they happen to fail.


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Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to More
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