M1 Mac SSD lifespan concerns might not be a clear-cut case

JC Torres - Feb 23, 2021, 6:51pm CST
M1 Mac SSD lifespan concerns might not be a clear-cut case

The new Macs based on the Apple M1 Silicon have brought a lot of new and exciting things to Apple’s computing platform. As with any new thing, there are also questions and concerns about the changes that these bring. It’s no surprise, then, that users, developers, and tech pundits are a bit worried about reports surrounding the longevity of the new M1 Macs’ SSDs but the numbers might not actually be giving the whole picture.

All data storage devices have limited lifetimes, some longer than others. Normally, an SSD could last for years before the wear and tear finally prevent its cells from holding any charge to store data. Some users, however, are reporting that their one or two-month old M1 MacBooks are already reporting 1% usage, suggesting that the SSD might reach its end of life in as little as two years or so.

The slight problem with those figures, as AppleInsider points out, is that they use a third-party SMART (short for Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Tool) program since Apple doesn’t itself provide any way to look into the health of a hard drive or SSD. Although this tool does work reliably on other computers, there is a chance that Apple has changed things under the hood of the M1 Macs and it is getting incorrect data. That possibility was by an anonymous insider source but left things at that.

Unfortunately, Apple has so far remained silent despite the growing number of reports and concerns since mid-February. This, of course, is only adding to the suspense at a time when the company should be inspiring confidence in its new products.

Perhaps Apple is just hoping the issue will just die out eventually. After all, the company does have a track record of putting out quality hardware and lots of quality assurances so it’s almost unthinkable that it would put SSDs that will reach the end of their life in just a few years.


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