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Apple M1: Mac users complain about fast wear of the SSD

At the recent release of the new Macs with the in-house M1 processor, users and experts outdid each other with positive reviews. After all, the new processor not only provided more performance, but also extended the battery life of the devices immensely. However, the new generation also seems to have its drawbacks. Negative statements about the soldered SSD of the devices have increased in the meantime. Especially the lifespan of the flash memory is said to be very limited. The reason for this is probably the heavy wear that is caused by the new system. Sometimes there are users whose SSD will probably not survive a lifespan of 18 months.

Every SSD has a lifetime

Unfortunately, solid state drives (SSD) do not have an eternal life. Quite the contrary. Cheap flash memories can already be defective a considerable time after purchase as a result of heavy use. The value “TBW” is decisive here. This indicates how many data volumes can be transported by the SSD before a failure is imminent. However, you have to treat this value similar to a warranty period. Thus, SSDs can also function without problems for much longer than the TBW value would suggest. The rule of thumb says that the amount of data that can be written increases with the storage size of the SSD.

Mac users annoyed about SSD

The first reports about the rapid wear and tear of SSDs in the latest Mac generation appeared on Twitter as well as on the MacRumors forum. This seems to be a glaring error. After all, the wear is much faster than in comparable SSDs. A basic problem seems to be the fixed soldering of the SSD. Since Apple soldered the storage cells tightly to the motherboard, a mere SSD defect quickly turns into a defect of the entire device. After all, the SSD alone cannot be replaced. And you sometimes already have to think about a corresponding replacement. Some users report that up to 13 percent of the SSD’s maximum lifespan has already been reached. Considering that the devices with the new CPU architecture have only been on the market for a few months, this is frightening.

Lifetime of maximum 18 months?!

In the most extreme case, one user reported that he was blindsided after only 21 days of using his new Mac. When he checked how the SSD was doing, he not only noticed that 61.5 terabytes had already been written to the flash memory. On top of that, he had to register that almost 4 percent of the maximum lifespan had already been reached. If you now extrapolate this, you get a total SSD life of a paltry 18 months. If you take a closer look at the problem, you will notice that not all Macs are equally affected. Devices with the lowest RAM of 8 GB seem to suffer from the problem. One reason could be that demanding applications often swap data to the SSD. However, since not every owner of a new Mac is affected by the problem, it does not seem to be a general design flaw. Whether the software or hardware of the affected devices is the cause cannot be estimated yet. This would probably require broader investigations. After all, not every Mac owner regularly tests his SSD. We are curious whether it is only a matter of isolated cases or whether the latest Mac generation has a serious problem.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Berlin.

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