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Silly John Fatty

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Nov 6, 2012
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So I'm ordering a refurbished Mac Mini M2 Pro from Apple, and I'd like to do some test right from the start so that I can find out in which condition it really is.

I know refurbished products by Apple are good, but I am still interested in e.g. how much wear the SSD has witnessed.

In addition, some people have complained about the new Mac Mini's noise levels. So I'd like to push the machine at the start, to see how loud it really is (can you recommend an app for that? Won't install anything to big at the start … I need a simple and easy way to push the machine).

So here's what I'd like to do:

  1. Push CPU/GPU so check noise levels when the machine is under load
  2. Find out data about SSD health/SSD wear like write cycles, total amount of written data until that point, etc. (can you recommend the lightest-weight app for that?)
Can you think of anything else I should do?

I want to make sure I get the best products possible, otherwise I'd return it. Some people claim you can be lucky with Apple refurbished products and get a completely new product sometimes. Other devices on the other hand were already in use and eventually repaired, etc.
 

Silly John Fatty

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I usually make them run continuously for at least a week. Noise level is another matter, though; never an issue for me, so I cannot tell.

Wow, that sounds like a lot! I don’t think I’m going to do this. We have multiple years of compulsory warranty here in the European Union, so if anything was really damaged it would be no problem to return it, even after years.

I’d be interested more in the history of the device. See how much it has been used already, how much wear technical parts have seen.

Then I can eventually return it, order another refurbished one and hope that it’s one of those completely new devices that end up for sale as refurbished.
 

tstafford

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2022
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I usually make them run continuously for at least a week. Noise level is another matter, though; never an issue for me, so I cannot tell.
What do you mean "run continuously for a week"? Do you mean leave it on or some sort of stress test that pushed the processors and drives? My Studio has run continuously since I started it up, but only normal usage not some sort of stress test.
 
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apostolosdt

macrumors 6502
Dec 29, 2021
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What do you mean "run continuously for a week"? Do you mean leave it on or some sort of stress test that pushed the processors and drives? My Studio has run continuously since I started it up, but only normal usage not some sort of stress test.
My latest Mac bought was brand new, but with previous Mac Pros, I used to run something like flight sim automatically nonstop, or similar. The idea floated in the CS dept. in the school I used to teach at: “If nothing wrong happens during a week, the machine is ok.” No theory involved.
 
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MacCheetah3

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Nov 14, 2003
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DriveDx is definitely a good choice for checking SMART data, especially with the allowed trial period.


TechTool Pro has memory, fan, and many more tests/checks, although, I am not aware of a trial/demo period/version.


Otherwise, you can run apps such as Geekbench:


Geekbench-6_M1.png
(Results)

...and Unigine Valley (which is not Apple Silicon native/optimized):


Valley did cause a slight warmth (exhaust and center of casing).
 
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Silly John Fatty

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DriveDx is definitely a good choice for checking SMART data, especially with the allowed trial period.


TechTool Pro has memory, fan, and many more tests/checks, although, I am not aware of a trial/demo period/version.


Otherwise, you can run apps such as Geekbench:


View attachment 2220385
(Results)

...and Unigine Valley (which is not Apple Silicon native/optimized):


Valley did cause a slight warmth (exhaust and center of casing).

Thanks, I'll check these out!

Is there by the way a native way to check some of the infos you get with those apps? The thing is, if I keep the Mac, all these apps will have been installed on it – and I don't really like the idea of it.

So if I decide I'd keep it, I'd probably like to make a clean install of the OS. But that's unnecessary SSD wear I suppose?

Especially those infos like how much data has been written to the SSD, that you find in Drive Dx is I believe really useful, as I can quickly see if the Mac is really a used Mac, or if it's brand new.

Is there was a way to get these infos through terminal or at another, even less invasive place in Mac OS, that would be amazing.
 

chabig

macrumors G4
Sep 6, 2002
11,320
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So if I decide I'd keep it, I'd probably like to make a clean install of the OS. But that's unnecessary SSD wear I suppose?
I wouldn't worry about SSD wear. It'll last much longer than you will own the machine. Aside from that, the OS came clean from the factory, and isn't modified during use. Reinstalling it would be an unnecessary waste of time and in the end you would have the exact same bits as before.
 
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MacCheetah3

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Is there by the way a native way to check some of the infos you get with those apps?
Not out of the box that I am aware of. Even the Terminal (CLI) methods require other installations:



The thing is, if I keep the Mac, all these apps will have been installed on it – and I don't really like the idea of it.
I totally get it. Fortunately, apps such as DriveDx are quite low profile/footprint, apparently, only leaving behind the typical preference file (although, there is the optional SAT SMART driver but that’s only for external drives). Geekbench doesn’t appear too bad but is a little messier — I did find a separate support files folder. I also didn’t find much put aside by Unigine. Programs such as TechTool Pro definitely have some reach (i.e., use installers, have multiple extensions) and are much more tedious to clean up.

As a one more thing...

I’ve had nothing but great experiences with Apple refurb (and, recently, Best Buy open box “excellent"). Nonetheless, I purchased my Mac mini secondhand two years ago -- via this very Marketplace in fact.


Here’s the current SSD report from DriveDx:

Code:
### SYSTEM INFORMATION ###
Report Timestamp                     : June 19, 2023 3:35:05 PM CDT
Report Timestamp (ISO 8601 format)   : 2023-06-19T15:35:05

Application Name                     : DriveDx
Application Version                  : 1.12.0.750
Application SubBuild                 : 0
Application Edition                  : Standalone
Application Website                  : https://binaryfruit.com/drivedx
DriveDx Knowledge Base Revision      : 102/102

Computer Name                        : Mac mini M1
Host Name                            : Mac-mini-M1
Computer Model                       : Macmini9,1

OS Name                              : macOS
OS Version                           : 13.4.0
OS Build                             : 22F66

### DRIVE 1 OF 1 ###
Last Checked                         : June 19, 2023 3:22:50 PM CDT
Last Checked (ISO 8601 format)       : 2023-06-19T15:22:50

Advanced SMART Status                : OK
Overall Health Rating                : GOOD 100%
SSD Lifetime Left Indicator          : GOOD 99.0%
Issues found                         : 0

Serial Number                        : (redacted)
WWN Id                               :
Volumes                              : Mac SSD
Device Path                          : /dev/disk0
Total Capacity                       : 500.3 GB (500,277,792,768 Bytes)
Model Family                         : Apple NVMe Q-series SSD
Model                                : APPLE SSD AP0512Q
Firmware Version                     : 874.120.
Drive Type                           : SSD

Power On Time                        : 520 hours (21 days 16 hours)
Power Cycles Count                   : 617

=== PROBLEMS SUMMARY ===
Failed Indicators (life-span / pre-fail)  : 0 (0 / 0)
Failing Indicators (life-span / pre-fail) : 0 (0 / 0)
Warnings (life-span / pre-fail)           : 0 (0 / 0)
I/O Error Count                           : 0 (0 / 0)

=== IMPORTANT HEALTH INDICATORS ===
ID  NAME                                         RAW VALUE                  STATUS
  7 Data Units Written                           27,613,798 (14.1 TB)       100% OK
 14 Media and Data Integrity Errors              0                          100% OK

=== TEMPERATURE INFORMATION (CELSIUS) ===
Current Temperature                  : 32
Power Cycle Min Temperature          : 32
Power Cycle Max Temperature          : 33
Lifetime Min Temperature             : 23
Lifetime Max Temperature             : 36
Recommended Min Temperature          : 5
Recommended Max Temperature          : 65
Temperature Min Limit                : 5
Temperature Max Limit                : 70

=== DRIVE HEALTH INDICATORS ===
ID   | NAME                                        | TYPE      | UPDATE | RAW VALUE                  | VALUE | THRESHOLD | WORST | LAST MODIFIED        | STATUS         
   2   Composite Temperature                         Life-span   online            32 (32 °C)             68          30     68         6/19/23 3:22 PM   54.3%  OK         
   3   Available Spare                               Pre-fail    online               100                100           1    100                       -    100%  OK         
   5   Life Percentage Used                          Life-span   online                1                  99           0     99       12/12/22 11:02 PM   99.0%  OK         
   6   Data Units Read                               Life-span   online       53,360,584 (27.3 TB)       100           0    100         6/19/23 3:22 PM    100%  OK         
   7   Data Units Written                            Life-span   online       27,613,798 (14.1 TB)       100           0    100         6/19/23 3:22 PM    100%  OK         
   8   Host Read Commands                            Life-span   online          1,214,610,970           100           0    100         6/19/23 3:22 PM    100%  OK         
   9   Host Write Commands                           Life-span   online           589,528,795            100           0    100         6/19/23 3:22 PM    100%  OK         
  10   Controller Busy Time                          Life-span   online          0 (0 minutes)           100           0    100                       -    100%  OK         
  11   Power Cycles                                  Life-span   online               617                100           0    100         6/19/23 3:22 PM    100%  OK         
  12   Power On Hours                                Life-span   online         520 (520 hours)          100           0    100         6/19/23 3:22 PM    100%  OK         
  13   Unsafe Shutdowns                              Life-span   online                29                100           0    100         6/19/23 3:22 PM    100%  OK         
  14   Media and Data Integrity Errors               Pre-fail    online                0                 100           0    100                       -    100%  OK         
  15   Error Information Log Entries                 Pre-fail    online                0                 100           0    100                       -    100%  OK         
  16   Warning Composite Temperature Time            Life-span   online          0 (0 minutes)           100           0    100                       -    100%  OK         
  17   Critical Composite Temperature Time           Life-span   online          0 (0 minutes)           100           0    100                       -    100%  OK
 
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Silly John Fatty

macrumors 68000
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Nov 6, 2012
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I wouldn't worry about SSD wear. It'll last much longer than you will own the machine.

I know it will, but you know how it is, always trying to do better … :p

Not out of the box that I am aware of. Even the Terminal (CLI) methods require other installations:




I totally get it. Fortunately, apps such as DriveDx are quite low profile/footprint, apparently, only leaving behind the typical preference file (although, there is the optional SAT SMART driver but that’s only for external drives). Geekbench doesn’t appear too bad but is a little messier — I did find a separate support files folder. I also didn’t find much put aside by Unigine. Programs such as TechTool Pro definitely have some reach (i.e., use installers, have multiple extensions) and are much more tedious to clean up.

As a one more thing...

I’ve had nothing but great experiences with Apple refurb (and, recently, Best Buy open box “excellent"). Nonetheless, I purchased my Mac mini secondhand two years ago -- via this very Marketplace in fact.


Here’s the current SSD report from DriveDx:

Code:
### SYSTEM INFORMATION ###
Report Timestamp                     : June 19, 2023 3:35:05 PM CDT
Report Timestamp (ISO 8601 format)   : 2023-06-19T15:35:05

Application Name                     : DriveDx
Application Version                  : 1.12.0.750
Application SubBuild                 : 0
Application Edition                  : Standalone
Application Website                  : https://binaryfruit.com/drivedx
DriveDx Knowledge Base Revision      : 102/102

Computer Name                        : Mac mini M1
Host Name                            : Mac-mini-M1
Computer Model                       : Macmini9,1

OS Name                              : macOS
OS Version                           : 13.4.0
OS Build                             : 22F66

### DRIVE 1 OF 1 ###
Last Checked                         : June 19, 2023 3:22:50 PM CDT
Last Checked (ISO 8601 format)       : 2023-06-19T15:22:50

Advanced SMART Status                : OK
Overall Health Rating                : GOOD 100%
SSD Lifetime Left Indicator          : GOOD 99.0%
Issues found                         : 0

Serial Number                        : (redacted)
WWN Id                               :
Volumes                              : Mac SSD
Device Path                          : /dev/disk0
Total Capacity                       : 500.3 GB (500,277,792,768 Bytes)
Model Family                         : Apple NVMe Q-series SSD
Model                                : APPLE SSD AP0512Q
Firmware Version                     : 874.120.
Drive Type                           : SSD

Power On Time                        : 520 hours (21 days 16 hours)
Power Cycles Count                   : 617

=== PROBLEMS SUMMARY ===
Failed Indicators (life-span / pre-fail)  : 0 (0 / 0)
Failing Indicators (life-span / pre-fail) : 0 (0 / 0)
Warnings (life-span / pre-fail)           : 0 (0 / 0)
I/O Error Count                           : 0 (0 / 0)

=== IMPORTANT HEALTH INDICATORS ===
ID  NAME                                         RAW VALUE                  STATUS
  7 Data Units Written                           27,613,798 (14.1 TB)       100% OK
 14 Media and Data Integrity Errors              0                          100% OK

=== TEMPERATURE INFORMATION (CELSIUS) ===
Current Temperature                  : 32
Power Cycle Min Temperature          : 32
Power Cycle Max Temperature          : 33
Lifetime Min Temperature             : 23
Lifetime Max Temperature             : 36
Recommended Min Temperature          : 5
Recommended Max Temperature          : 65
Temperature Min Limit                : 5
Temperature Max Limit                : 70

=== DRIVE HEALTH INDICATORS ===
ID   | NAME                                        | TYPE      | UPDATE | RAW VALUE                  | VALUE | THRESHOLD | WORST | LAST MODIFIED        | STATUS       
   2   Composite Temperature                         Life-span   online            32 (32 °C)             68          30     68         6/19/23 3:22 PM   54.3%  OK       
   3   Available Spare                               Pre-fail    online               100                100           1    100                       -    100%  OK       
   5   Life Percentage Used                          Life-span   online                1                  99           0     99       12/12/22 11:02 PM   99.0%  OK       
   6   Data Units Read                               Life-span   online       53,360,584 (27.3 TB)       100           0    100         6/19/23 3:22 PM    100%  OK       
   7   Data Units Written                            Life-span   online       27,613,798 (14.1 TB)       100           0    100         6/19/23 3:22 PM    100%  OK       
   8   Host Read Commands                            Life-span   online          1,214,610,970           100           0    100         6/19/23 3:22 PM    100%  OK       
   9   Host Write Commands                           Life-span   online           589,528,795            100           0    100         6/19/23 3:22 PM    100%  OK       
  10   Controller Busy Time                          Life-span   online          0 (0 minutes)           100           0    100                       -    100%  OK       
  11   Power Cycles                                  Life-span   online               617                100           0    100         6/19/23 3:22 PM    100%  OK       
  12   Power On Hours                                Life-span   online         520 (520 hours)          100           0    100         6/19/23 3:22 PM    100%  OK       
  13   Unsafe Shutdowns                              Life-span   online                29                100           0    100         6/19/23 3:22 PM    100%  OK       
  14   Media and Data Integrity Errors               Pre-fail    online                0                 100           0    100                       -    100%  OK       
  15   Error Information Log Entries                 Pre-fail    online                0                 100           0    100                       -    100%  OK       
  16   Warning Composite Temperature Time            Life-span   online          0 (0 minutes)           100           0    100                       -    100%  OK       
  17   Critical Composite Temperature Time           Life-span   online          0 (0 minutes)           100           0    100                       -    100%  OK

The way it looks I think I won't do any tests because I don't want to install anything at all. Kind of annoying though, I would really have liked to know how much the SSD was used. It's not even really about the SSD, but more about how used the Mac is. It would allow some deductions about Apple refurbished products.

Your Mac looks good and there hasn't been much written to it in that time, even though the previous owner said he used it for some projects.

My hope was that if my ordered Mini isn't 100% new I could still give it back and order another refurbished one again. But if I end up keeping it, it kind of bothers me having installed those apps on it. And doing a fresh install of the OS is kind of stupid too.

Or – can you maybe reset new Macs like you do it with iOS devices? Because when you reset that iPhone, you don't reinstall the OS. But still everything personal gets wiped from it. That would be a solution and I could run those nasty but useful apps.

Edit: Yay, apparently there is! It's good they introduced that. I didn't know new Macs had that because I'm still running High Sierra on mine. I think that will be my solution! Do you think this will be unnecessary wear for the SSD? (yes, I know, I'm exaggerating, but I really want to try keep this machine for the coming 10 years)
 

HDFan

Contributor
Jun 30, 2007
6,777
2,974
I wouldn't worry about SSD wear.

The Mac Studio that I just sold the boot SSD is was at 96% of its estimated lifetime with 1.1 PB written after a bit over a year. It would have to be replaced long before it reaches its TBW limit.

If you are sensitive to noise a stress test could be useful.

Otherwise you coiuld run a suite of tests, such as those provided by Techtool, for your peace of mind but the odds are minuscule that they will find anything. Just unnecessary system wear. If you are really worried about it just get AppleCare. Enjoy your new Mac rather than worrying about how it might fail.
 
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Silly John Fatty

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Nov 6, 2012
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The Mac Studio that I just sold the boot SSD is was at 96% of its estimated lifetime with 1.1 PB written after a bit over a year. It would have to be replaced long before it reaches its TBW limit.

If you are sensitive to noise a stress test could be useful.

Otherwise you coiuld run a suite of tests, such as those provided by Techtool, for your peace of mind but the odds are minuscule that they will find anything. Just unnecessary system wear. If you are really worried about it just get AppleCare. Enjoy your new Mac rather than worrying about how it might fail.

Do you think it will wear the system a lot if I use the new "Reset" feature the newer Mac Os's give you? It keeps the OS but removes your stuff.

I want to run tests, but I don't want to keep these nasty apps, that I need for that, on it. When I find out everything is okay, I want to make a fresh install (or actually, a "Reset" as they call it now. A fresh install was more complex back then I think, now it's comparable to the Reset feature on iPhones or iPads, and I wonder if it does less wear to your system).

The Mini came two days ago but I can't connect it to my display, so I'm waiting for the right cable to arrive. Should get it tomorrow or saturday apparently.
 

HDFan

Contributor
Jun 30, 2007
6,777
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Do you think it will wear the system a lot if I use the new "Reset" feature the newer Mac Os's give you?

No. Not needed on a new system as the reset has already been done. No significant wear at other times either. A reset, among things, clears the SSD then reinstalls/rewrites the OS. SSD writes and "erases" are happening all the time when you use the system so not much of a difference.
 
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Silly John Fatty

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Nov 6, 2012
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No. Not needed on a new system as the reset has already been done. No significant wear at other times either. A reset, among things, clears the SSD then reinstalls/rewrites the OS. SSD writes and "erases" are happening all the time when you use the system so not much of a difference.

It will be needed though because I’ll be installing plenty of apps like Drive Dx that can check your Mac’s condition, but I don’t want to keep any of these in case I keep the Mac.

I know I could just uninstall them, but I want the new Mac to be completely clean. Who knows what these things do in the background.

If a reset erases the entire SSD and reinstalls the OS, that sounds like quite some wear … :confused:
 

Silly John Fatty

macrumors 68000
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Nov 6, 2012
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Nope. It clears the directory so the encrypted data is lost. It takes some effort to overwrite the data with 0's.

If it’s no more than a few apps like DriveDx, it shouldn’t be too much effort, right?

I’ll still have to overwrite in both cases whether I keep the Mac or return it.

I think you're worrying incessantly about nothing. I know that sounds harsh. It's a machine built to be used, yet it sounds like you want to open it and let it sit unused in inside a trophy case.

I mean you’re right haha, but I do want to keep it for a long time and want to avoid unnecessary wear right at the start. I’ll have to use it enough later, so trying to avoid everything unnecessary.
 

Silly John Fatty

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 6, 2012
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Update

I finally was able to connect my new Mac mini to a display, and I've ran DriveDx, and so this is what I got:

DriveDx Mac Health.png


That's interesting, isn't it? Note that this Mac was refurbished (bought from a European Apple Store). So this is what one gets or could get when they'd buy a refurbished Mac from Apple.

Some of it looks really interesting.

  • composite temperature: Could it be better?

  • Data unis read/written: This seems quite a lot.

  • Power cycles: Not sure what to think of this. (info box says: "contains the number of power cycles of the SSD. Power cycles may not include a time that SSD controller was powered and in a non-operational power state (NOPS)." […] etc. "Do not confuse with the number of power cycles of the computer, these numbers are completely unrelated")

  • Power on hours: This is very low.

  • Unsafe shutdowns: 29. Can this be bad? The info box in the apps says "contains the number of unsafe shutdowns of the SSD. This count is incremented when a shutdown notification (CC.SHN) is not received by the SSD controller prior to the loss of power. Important note: Do not confuse with the number of the computer shutdowns, these numbers are completely unrelated."

  • Host read/write commands: Don't understand what this is, even after reading this info box. Can't interpret the given numbers.
And what's even more interesting is combining all this data. I don't know how reliable DriveDx really is. But if the Data tells the truth, then someone had been using this Mac for 15 hours, and in this time, they've shut it down unsafely 29 times and they've also written 2600 GB of data to it and written 1800 GB.

How would you interpret the previous life of this Mac mini? Do you think these numbers are good? Would you return it, hoping that you get a better one?
 
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NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
14,906
21,677
I don’t understand the problem here? You’ve bought a refurbished machine and there’s evidence of usage.

I’ve got my entire Creative team at work on refurb M1 16 MBP’s. They’ll be on them for years, I don’t see a problem with going refurb.
 

Silly John Fatty

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 6, 2012
1,774
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I don’t understand the problem here? You’ve bought a refurbished machine and there’s evidence of usage.

I’ve got my entire Creative team at work on refurb M1 16 MBP’s. They’ll be on them for years, I don’t see a problem with going refurb.

It's not necessarily being a problem. It's just that we so far only suppose what refurbished Macs are, but nobody really knew for sure. Some people say they're Macs that had a problem, that were returned, fixed and sold again. Other people say they're Macs that have been displayed in stores. Some say that some Macs are even brand new and landed in the refurbished program, somehow, maybe because their box was missing or something else.

Either way, I just wanted to run this test and show what the state of things was when I bought this refurbished Mac. It may be different for another Mac.

And then it also depends on the data. 15h of usage is really very little in my opinion. If it was a Mac that had been used by a customer and then returned, I would have expected longer usage. But it's not a necessity of course. Maybe I'll use this Mac for 5 hours and then return it.

2,6 TB of written data on the other hand does sound like a lot. The Mac has 4 TB, so there was 65% of it written once. And 1,8 TB was read. But maybe it's part of some testing, who knows? Maybe this Mac is literally brand new, maybe every new Mac has 15h of tested use and 2,6 TB of written data before it goes to sale (would be interesting for someone to check this on their brand new Mac).

The rest of the data from DriveDx I can't really interpret.
 
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Silly John Fatty

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 6, 2012
1,774
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I ran Geekbench 6 (all tests) and I got far better scores than the average for this model did.

I think I'll keep this Mac, it doesn't look that bad after all.
 

thebart

macrumors 6502
Feb 19, 2023
366
311
The Mac Studio that I just sold the boot SSD is was at 96% of its estimated lifetime with 1.1 PB written after a bit over a year. l.

I'm sorry but that estimated lifetime sounds like complete bulls--- That would mean that drive is good for 27,000 TBW. I've never heard of any consumer level SSD with that kind of TBW. We would hope for the price they charge they're using top of the line stuff, but Apple isn't using some kind of magic SSD that no one else has.
 
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