M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore).

m1 mac mini
Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that ‌M1‌ Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, ‌M1‌ Macs are said to be consuming as much as 10 to 13 percent of the maximum warrantable total bytes written (TBW) value of its SSD.

Flash memory on solid-state drives, such as those used in Macs, can only be written to a certain number of times before they become unstable. Software ensures that load is spread evenly across the drive's memory cells, but there is a point when the drive has been written to so many times that it can no longer reliably hold data. So while SSD wear is normal, expected behavior, drives should not be exhausting their ability to hold data as quickly as some ‌M1‌ Macs seem to be.

One user showed that their ‌M1‌ Mac had already consumed one percent of its SSD after just two months, while another ‌M1‌ Mac with a 2TB SSD had already consumed three percent. The total data units written for these machines is running into many terabytes, when they would normally be expected to be considerably lower.

The user with three percent usage speculated that, were his machine a 256GB model, it could have used as much as 30 percent to date, and have reached maximum TBW in around two years. An SSD can continue to function once its TBW limit has been reached, but there is no knowing how long it will last past this point.

It is not known how widespread the TBW issue is, but reports of strange SSD behavior are also now emerging from users with Intel-based Macs, suggesting that the TBW issue may not be exclusive to ‌M1‌ Macs.

The reported wear is so extreme on some ‌M1‌ Macs that it suggests the problem is due to a bug rather than the expected behavior of the ‌M1‌ chip, but it is unclear if the problem pertains to erroneous readings or macOS genuinely writing vast amounts of data to the drive. Drive monitoring tools are sometimes unreliable and it is likely that the issue can be fixed via an update to macOS Big Sur.

Related Forums: Mac mini, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

JPack Avatar
18 months ago
Not to worry. Apple will have determined that only a small percentage of units are affected.
Score: 102 Votes (Like | Disagree)
javanate Avatar
18 months ago
Isn't this exactly what was predicted with inadequate RAM they put in stock models?
Score: 59 Votes (Like | Disagree)
averagenerd81 Avatar
18 months ago
Let's wait to see what comes out about this. I can't count the number of times people here (including myself) have jumped to conclusions with literally a tweet as "evidence".
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ZipZilla Avatar
18 months ago
This is exactly why I never buy the first version of an Apple product. People wind up being guinea pigs and beta testers. Expensive!
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Populus Avatar
18 months ago
“M1 macs use less RAM, they are more efficient”
“On M1 macs, 8GB seem like 16 on Intel machines”


Yeah, sure. I never bought this statement. M1 memory management isn’t magic, it just have an awesome performance when using the swap file. It uses a huge amount of SSD to swap, I experience it with my M1 MacBook Air, specially when connected to an external monitor.

It trades the need of RAM memory for SSD wear on the long run.
I’d like to be mistaken on this assumption, because I appreciate the lifespan of my machine, but...

EDIT: Maybe it is not so closely related to the amount of RAM, as 16GB models are experiencing this issue as well. We’ll have to wait and see.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AndiG Avatar
18 months ago
For gods sake Apple doesn't solder its flash drives! It does? Damn!!!
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

new m1 chip

M1 Mac RAM and SSD Upgrades Found to Be Possible After Purchase

Tuesday April 6, 2021 5:34 am PDT by
Technicians in China have reportedly succeeded in upgrading the memory and storage of the M1 chip, suggesting that Apple's integrated custom silicon for the Mac may be more flexible than previously thought. Reports of maintenance technicians being able to expand the memory and storage of M1 Macs began circulating on Chinese social media over the weekend, but now international reports have...
mac mini intel gray

Mac Mini and Mac Pro are Apple's Last Two Remaining Intel Macs With Launch of Mac Studio

Tuesday March 8, 2022 11:31 am PST by
With the launch of the new Mac Studio that replaces the higher-end 27-inch Intel iMac, Apple has just two Intel Macs left in its lineup - the Mac Pro and the Mac mini. Though the Mac Studio appears to be something of a Mac mini and Mac Pro hybrid, Apple has not discontinued the high-end Intel Mac mini and it remains in the lineup. This suggests a new version of the high-end Mac mini is...
maxresdefault

iFixit Tears Down Mac Studio and Studio Display

Wednesday March 23, 2022 2:55 pm PDT by
iFixit today disassembled Apple's new M1 Max Mac Studio, giving us a first glimpse at the components inside the machine. This is not iFixit's traditional, more detailed teardown, which has not yet been published, but it does provide a few interesting details about the Mac Studio. "If Apple squeezed a Mac Pro into a Mac mini, you'd get something that looks a lot like the new [Mac Studio],"...
iOS 15

Here's When You Can Download iOS 15.4, iPadOS 15.4, and macOS Monterey 12.3 With Universal Control

Monday March 14, 2022 7:28 am PDT by
As announced at Apple's "Peek Performance" media event on March 8, the public release of iOS 15.4, iPadOS 15.4, and macOS 12.3 is set to take place this week. Keep reading to learn when they are likely to become available to download in your time zone. Many users have been eagerly awaiting iOS 15.4, which adds several new features, such as an option to use Face ID while wearing a mask...
maxresdefault

M1 Ultra Mac Studio vs. M1 Max MacBook Pro

Friday March 25, 2022 2:28 pm PDT by
If you've been wondering how the top-end Mac Studio compares to the highest-end MacBook Pro, look no further, because we have a real-world usage comparison that doesn't rely solely on benchmarks. Over on YouTube, MacRumors videographer Dan tested both machines with his real world workflow. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Dan has been using the M1 Max MacBook Pro to ...
24 inch imac and macbook monterey

Users Report External Monitor Issues After Updating to macOS Monterey 12.3

Thursday March 24, 2022 3:43 am PDT by
Following the latest macOS Monterey 12.3 update, users are reporting several problems when using external monitors, ranging from Macs not detecting displays at all to inaccurate screen output, according to posts on the Apple Support and MacRumors forums. In the ten days since the update became available to the public, users have already reported issues with the update bricking Macs that...
f1646764298

Apple Announces 'M1 Ultra' Chip With 20-Core CPU, Up to 64-Core GPU, and Support for 128GB of Memory

Tuesday March 8, 2022 10:28 am PST by
Apple today announced the M1 Ultra chip, the third iteration to the M1 family, and it represents the next "breakthrough" for Apple Silicon. M1 Ultra consists of two M1 Max chips connected with die-to-die technology called "UltraFusion." The new highest-end chip of Apple Silicon features 114 billion transistors, with higher support for bandwidth memory at 800GB/s. "M1 Ultra is another...
aws ec2 m1 mac mini

Amazon's EC2 Service to Offer M1 Mac Mini Instances for Faster Build Times

Thursday December 2, 2021 9:43 am PST by
Amazon today announced that its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service is now offering a "preview" of M1 Mac mini instances in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) regions of U.S. East and U.S. West, with other regions to be available when the instances are fully released. An "instance" is a virtual server available for rent through Amazon's EC2 service for running apps on AWS infrastructure....

Popular Stories

2022 back to school apple

Apple Launches 2022 Back to School Offer: Up to $150 Gift Card With Mac or iPad

Friday June 24, 2022 5:08 am PDT by
Apple today launched its annual "Back to School" promotion for college/university students in the United States and Canada. This year's promotion offers a free Apple gift card with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad, rather than free AirPods like last year. Apple is also offering students 20% off AppleCare+ plans during the promotion. Apple is offering a $150 gift card with the purchase ...
widgets ios 16 feature

Gurman: iPhone 14 Pro to Feature Always-On Display Showing iOS 16's New Lock Screen Widgets

Sunday June 26, 2022 7:36 am PDT by
iPhone 14 Pro models are widely expected to feature always-on displays that allow users to view glanceable information without having to tap to wake the screen. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman said the feature will include support for iOS 16's new Lock screen widgets for weather, fitness, and more. "Like the Apple Watch, the iPhone 14 Pro will be...
m2 mac mini screen feature

Gurman: Apple Planning M2 Pro Mac Mini, New Apple TV With A14 Chip, Revamped HomePod With S8 Chip, and More

Sunday June 26, 2022 6:31 am PDT by
In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman outlined additional M2 Macs on Apple's product roadmap, including new Mac mini models with M2 and M2 Pro chips, new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, and a new Mac Pro tower with M2 Ultra and "M2 Extreme" chips. Following the M2 series of Macs, Gurman said the first M3 series of...
13 inch macbook pro m2 mock feature 2

Base 13-Inch MacBook Pro With M2 Chip Has Significantly Slower SSD Speeds

Sunday June 26, 2022 2:52 pm PDT by
Following the launch of Apple's new 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 chip, it has been discovered that the $1,299 base model with 256GB of storage has significantly slower SSD read/write speeds compared to the equivalent previous-generation model. YouTube channels such as Max Tech and Created Tech tested the 256GB model with Blackmagic's Disk Speed Test app and found that the SSD's read and...
M2 Pro and Max Feature

Apple's Upcoming M2 Pro Chip for High-End MacBook Pro and Mac Mini Will Reportedly Be 3nm

Monday June 27, 2022 7:31 am PDT by
TSMC will manufacture Apple's upcoming "M2 Pro" and "M3" chips based on its 3nm process, according to Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes. "Apple reportedly has booked TSMC capacity for its upcoming 3nm M3 and M2 Pro processors," said DigiTimes, in a report focused on competition between chipmakers like TSMC and Samsung to secure 3nm chip orders. As expected, the report said TSMC will...
airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 Said to Feature Upgraded H1 Chip, Find My, Heart Rate Detection, USB-C and More

Friday June 24, 2022 9:48 am PDT by
The next-generation AirPods Pro could come with a long list of new features that include heart rate detection, the ability to function as a hearing aid, and a USB-C port according to a report from 52Audio. The site claims that it has received new information on the AirPods Pro 2, and it has used that information to provide some renders on what the earbuds might look like. Design wise, there...
tesla carplay hack

Tesla Apple CarPlay Hack Updated to Work With Any Tesla Model

Monday June 27, 2022 3:38 am PDT by
Polish developer Michał Gapiński has released a new and improved version of his "Tesla Android Project" which brings Apple's CarPlay experience to more Tesla vehicles than ever before. According to Gapiński, version 2022.25.1 provides "100% functional CarPlay integration for any Tesla," and comes with several new features and bug fixes. The project now supports DRM video playback so that...