Writing at MacRumors, Hartley Charlton collects some reports that M1 Macs are registering high SSD use:
Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are said to be consuming as much as 10 to 13 percent of the maximum warrantable total bytes written (TBW) value of its SSD.
Something certainly seems to be going on here, though Charlton reports that some Intel Mac users are reporting similar symptoms.
I ran the command-line tests on my own M1 MacBook Air versus my 2017 iMac, and it certainly did seem as though some of the numbers on the Air were higher than they should be, given the amount of relative use.
The risk here is that the SSDs, which have a finite number of times they can write data, might wear out prematurely. That number is estimated by the TBW cited above, though it’s not set in stone.
That said, drive monitoring tools are not always reliable, either, so it’s possible this is not as dire as the initial reports are making it out to be.