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Macs with the new M1 chip will likely suffer SSD problems causing them to die early

If accurate, these SSDs will fail early.

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Image: Unsplash

Apple’s M1 Macs have been on sale for only a short while now, but some users have already reported troubling storage drive behavior that could mean the lifespan of those drives will be far less than expected.

That’s a big deal for any computer, but especially so for the Mac range, where the solid-state storage drives aren’t user-replaceable, as they are soldered onto the main circuit board of the Mac. If the drive statistics are to be believed, these drives won’t even last two years before hitting their Total Bytes Written (TBW), or the expected lifespan of the drive.

That’s worrying to me, as my 2015 MacBook Pro is still chugging along, over five years after purchase. If the M1 MacBook Pro I ordered has this drive fault, then it means the possibility of losing valuable data or dealing with expensive repairs.

That’s only if the drive stats are accurate, and perhaps the relative newness of the M1 platform is causing the drive utilities in macOS to misreport data written. It could also be a software bug, as at least one Twitter user has shown their Intel-based, 2016 MacBook Pro with abnormal data write statistics.

If it’s a software glitch, the best-case scenario is that the software is simply miscounting data transfers. A more worrying alternative is that macOS is writing unnecessary data to the drives, which would make the counters accurate and representative of the strain on the drives. No doubt Apple is working on a fix, either way, so we’ll keep you informed if we hear anything.

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