I recently killed my old (2012) Macbook Pro's hard drive by doing something I didn't realize was a problem.
I attend a LOT of training webinars and Zoom video calls with clients: 5 to 10 webinars and 5 to 10 calls every week, most being in the 1 to 2 hour range. I record them using Camtasia (it just happens to be the software I've got installed) and export to MP4, but it creates huge files, so I then use Handbrake to compress them down to either 570p or 480p depending on the content, saved in a different directory, same name as the original Camtasia MP4 output. Once I have the final output, I back that up on to an external hard drive (a few years old Western Digital HDD) - it's an 8TB drive, with just under 7TB of space remaining: I only use that to read back from, it's not used as a read/write device.
Apparently, doing this over and over again (a LOT of online webinars) for 2+ years was sufficient to kill the MacBook's internal hard drive, the original HDD. The steps: write and erase the Camtasia .trec file, write and erase the original Camtasia 1080p file, write the Handbrake file in one diretory, overwrite the original Camtasia 1080p file. Every time the MBP's internal drive got close to full, I'd move stuff to the external backup and erase the files on the internal drive.
I've recently purchased a nice little M1 Macbook Air to replace the old workhorse MBP, and it's only got a tiny 256GB SSD in it. I've already done the same workflow described above a few times in the last few weeks and, being paranoid, am wondering how to ensure this laptop lasts more than 2 years. I've been reading that SSDs wear out faster with frequent writes/rewrites.
What would be your recommended solution? Should I not write anything on that internal SSD, other than plain old text/PDF documents? Should I use an external drive from the very first step of recording the training videos? Record the video on the internal drive and then export the MP4 to an external drive? SSD or HDD external drive? Any help/insights would be appreciated.