Some M1 Mac users have reported their Macs appear to be writing an excessive amount of data to their SSD drives.
iMore reports that there are numerous reports from M1 Mac users that macOS is giving out worrying hard drive health reports which could indicate severe life span problems.
Users on Twitter and other forums are reporting that their M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In some severe cases, the M1 Macs have apparently consumed as much as 10 to 13% of the maximum warrantable total bytes written (TBW) value of its SSD.
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
Solid-state drives, such as those used in Macs, can only be written to a certain number of times before they become unstable and unreliable. While the software is designed to spread the writing evenly across a drive’s memory cells, they do eventually reach a point where they can no longer reliably hold data. The indication of these reports is that the drives are exhausting their ability to hold data quicker than they should.
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.
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.
The TBW issue may not be restricted to M1 Macs, as reports of odd SSD behavior are now coming in from users with Intel-based Macs.
The apparent extreme behavior on some M1 Macs suggests the problem is due to a bug, but it isn’t clear if the problem is related to erroneous readings or if macOS is actually writing vast amounts of data to the drive.