I just watched your series on Mac Integration. You clearly recommend turning FileVault on, and I was just about to do it on my Macbook Air, but then I Googled it and saw people concerned about FV (or any FDE) messing up/preventing wear leveling from working correctly on SSD drives. Do you have any information, or even opinion on the subject? I don't want to shorten my drive's lifespan, but I don't want to be vulnerable either
FileVault 2, SSD and Wear Leveling/TRIM
Sorry to take so long to respond to your question. I overlooked it somehow. Yes, I certainly recommend FileVault. The SSD in your Mac is actually manufactured by Samsung (because Apple and Samsung are such good friends). Samsung advertises the drive as being able to handle over 200TB of writes before data degradation. However, independent tests have shown them to handle over 600TB of writes. For most users, that level of write capacity is well beyond what they will undergo through normal usage. Most of the fear of drive failure stems from the earlier versions of SSD which had poor write resiliency coupled with operating systems that didn't utilize trim to reduce their disk writes.
All that being said, you can still use an external SATA disk for Time Machine backups and you will be in good shape.
Hope that helps,
Thanks for the reply!
So is the answer: "FDE may interfere with TRIM/wear leveling, but it doesn't matter because the SSD is sturdy enough to be ok even without the wear leveling."?
That's pretty much it. If you replace your drive every three years like the manufacturers expect you to, then it is an issue not worth worrying about.