Extremely many writes to the status
The service life of an SSD is specified in the form of write processes, which the device should at least complete before it possibly ceases to service. The unit of measurement is the bytes written on the data carrier, the technical term is “Terabytes Written” (TBW). Mac users can display this value and other information, for example with an open-source software called Smartmontools, which is available for free SourceForge is available. Reports from a number of owners of an M1 Mac now show that the computers are reporting an alarming number of write operations for their SSDs.
159 terabytes after just two months
A Twitter user named David Rysk, for example, has the status of his MacBook Pro M1 with 16 gigabytes of RAM and 2 terabytes of storage released. According to the SMART status, the SSD has a total of 150 TBW after two months. Based on the manufacturer’s information on commercially available storage units, which have a minimum service life of around 600 TBW, the device would have already achieved a quarter of that. The SSD could therefore fail a little more than half a year after purchasing the MacBook Pro. In the forum of Linus Tech Tips there are other entries that also show very high values. After a short time, these are already well over ten percent of the expected TBW maximum.
Developer collects messages on Twitter
The developer Hector Martin, which Linux on Apple Silicon Macs port is currently collecting such status reports on his Twitter account. Since the values supplied by Smartmontools appear very unrealistic, he firmly assumes a bug. According to him, it is only unclear whether the reason for this can be found in the M1 Macs themselves or in macOS. The latter is supported by the fact that such high figures can occasionally also occur with Intel Macs. It cannot be completely ruled out that Smartmontools cannot correctly evaluate the information supplied by M1-Macs or interpreted by macOS in one way or another. It is to be expected that Apple will address this bug in the not too distant future.