Some power users have reported excessive use of the SSD for writing and reading data on the newly released Macs with M1, Apple’s first computer chip based on the ARM architecture. The problem could eventually affect the lifespan of the internal SSD used in the Mac M1s, not to mention the machine itself.
As noted by users on Twitter and also on the Linus Tech Tips Forums, macOS indicates that the internal SSD of the Mac M1 has registered “extremely high disk writes in a relatively short time”. One user notes that in some extreme cases the SSD has already consumed around 13% of the maximum guaranteed total bytes written (TBW).
Some more professional users of the new M1 Macbooks are experiencing extremely high disk writes in a relatively short time. The most severe cases have “consumed” around 10-13% of the SSD’s guaranteed maximum TBW value (given their capacity and usage values for equivalent NVMe drives available on the market).
Since SSDs are based on chips rather than mechanical parts, they all have a predetermined lifespan based on how much they are used to write and read data. The more you write data to an SSD, the faster it will show bad behavior such as slowness or even data corruption. Since the internal storage of the Mac M1 is soldered to the logic board, users will need to replace the entire computer if it is affected by an SSD defect.
With regular use this can take up to 10 years to take effect, but today’s reports suggest that the life span of the Mac M1’s internal SSD can be shortened to as little as 2 years due to the behavior of macOS. Another user says that a MacBook Pro M1 with 2TB of storage and 16GB of RAM has already recorded 3% total internal SSD usage after just 2 months.
Unfortunately, the reasons for this problem are still unknown. This could be the M1 chip constantly using Mac’s internal storage for memory swapping (which basically uses the SSD as virtual RAM) or just another bug found in macOS Big Sur.
Apple has yet to comment on this issue, but hopefully the company will fix it with a future macOS update.
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