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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

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).


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.

Article Link: M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear


macrumors 68030
Aug 24, 2012
Spain, Europe
“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.
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macrumors 65816
May 31, 2020
That discussion is a nothing. It is based on old SSD spec knowledge. They are using tools based on old SSD specs. Nobody knows how durable the new Apple SSDs are.

Also the way people use computers changed so much. People streaming videos and music and getting notifications and downloading/uploading much bigger files than ever.

This is not 2011 anymore. It’s 2021. Of course you writing much more data. Many people don’t keep track how much data they are writing or streaming.

Also, who of those people have not enough system memory compared to how much their apps want to use. We saw so many people stupidly saying 8GB enough man UMA changes the game man UMA uses less memory man. ???

Internet people ???


macrumors 6502a
Mar 6, 2008
Unless this is properly -scientifically- compared to Intel Macs and found to be exclusive to the M1 chips, this cannot be attributed to the M1 design but perhaps a macOS issue (its RAM/disk cache distribution), alas, sounds some tweaking can be done on the software side to depend less on disk cache.

If you read the posts, people with 16GB of RAM have been experienced apparent heavy wear as well, so, it might just happen than even 64GB of RAM might not suffice if macOS decides to allocate to disk anyways.
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