I just recently bought a MacBook Air 2013 (i7 with 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD drive). I am a programmer, and my daily jobs would involve a lot of testing on that machine, including setting up databases, indexing Solr-based indices, etc. I stopped on the Air primarily because it is lightweight, and the SSD drive gives it a performance boost. Yet after what I learned about the limited write cycles of SSD drives, it gets me concerned if I should really do heavy-duty systems testing on it, or I should outsource it to say, an external hard drive or something. If I set up my projects to run from an external HDD, would that save me from expiring the life of the SSD? And how much is it really?

I'd love to find out some tools to be able to observe the life of the SSD over time.

Any other programmers with MacBook Air out there? What is your experience?

  • Related: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/74497/…
    – Chris A
    Dec 16 '13 at 17:05
  • 2
    I am running a 128GB SSD MBA since two years (december 2011) and I have no problems for now (I develop, process large amounts of data, run VMs). I use it every working day at least 8 hours per day.
    – lauhub
    Dec 16 '13 at 17:35

No. SSD that Apple ships are so much more reliable than the hard drives Apple ships (used to ship) that this is basically a non-issue. You still need a backup, failures still happen, but SSD have spare capacity and degrade gracefully, losing a little storage incrementally as they start to “fail”.

I've not heard of any early failures attributed to over use on 2010 and later SSD. I've also not even heard of documented cases of severe slow downs as explained here:

The controllers are apparently good enough and TRIM is recycling blocks in real-world situations to make SSD last as long as the computers. You might look at AppleCare to have Apple amortize the risk that you will wear your drive out in a 3 year period, but even with database writes, I'm not seeing developer machines fail prematurely. I also have no bad experience with SSD on servers and was surprised how well the Apple SSD are aging in general.

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