The M1 Macs may have received a ton of praise for their performance and power-efficiency thanks to Apple’s latest 5nm chip, but there were some drawbacks not talked about. For one thing, Apple doesn’t offer user-replaceable components as everything is soldered to the motherboard. Secondly, all M1 Mac models are limited to 16GB RAM, and if you use all that memory, programs will start using the SSD as the page file. Unfortunately, some owners are complaining of excessive wear on that SSD, which may lead to reduced lifespan of the machine.
The Smaller the Capacity of the SSD on Any M1 Mac Model, the Smaller the Total Amount of Writes It Can Handle
A Twitter thread started by Hector Martin and Longhorn mention that the total write count on their SSDs have reached an unusually high value in a few months. Martin claims that his M1 Mac reports a total of 600GBs of data written on the SSD, and he doesn’t use the machine excessively. Longhorn claims that in just two months, his M1 Mac with 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD has written one percent of total warrantable bytes written.
One M1 Mac owner with 16GB RAM and a 2TB SSD reports three percent total warrantable bytes written, and he speculates that if it was a 256GB SSD, it might have used up to 30 percent of that value. According to these calculations, the SSD would have been completely worn out after two years, requiring the customer to either get this Mac serviced or purchase a brand new one.
People with an M1 mac, please run `brew install smartmontools && sudo smartctl --all /dev/disk0` and report back (and what kind of usage you make of the machine, especially RAM).
I'm at <600GBW on my MBP, but I don't use it heavily. https://t.co/LbhE9p7FiK
— Hector Martin (@marcan42) February 15, 2021
While PCIe SSDs are lightning-fast, they can only handle a finite amount of data writes before the machine starts to exhibits issues. The higher the capacity, the higher the total data that can be written on your Mac. Apple’s macOS platform also ensures that the data written is spread evenly across flash memory chips to extend longevity, but at this rate, customers may need to get their machines serviced sooner rather than later.
It’s not confirmed if there’s an error in the software reporting the total amount of bytes written, or if macOS is unintentionally causing this issue. Hopefully, Apple would have caught wind of the situation and would likely be investigating the problem. Is your M1 Mac reporting lots of bytes written to the SSD even when you don’t use these machines often or aggressively? Tell us down in the comments.
Image Credits - iFixit
News Source: Hector Martin