Are SSD's worthwhile purchases without TRIM Support?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by KarmaPolice, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. KarmaPolice macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2010
    First post so I apologize for any rules I may be breaking. A lot of discussion on this forum has centered around SSD's and their use. From what I have gathered, the price is quite high, but the speed is impressive.

    My situation:

    I am going to university next year and am looking for a new laptop. I have used Windows all my life and don't have anything that really requires OSX (graphics applications, etc). However, I like the design of the MBP and want something high quality that will last me 4 years. The SSD's are looking pretty appealing for the sheer speed, but OSX doesn't support TRIM, which could affect future speeds.

    My Questions:

    1. How large of a hit will most SSD's take without TRIM?
    2. Since I don't really need OSX, am I better off buying a similarly equipped Windows system that can support TRIM and save myself some cash anyway?

    Thanks for any help you can give
  2. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
    What's your uni course? If you're wanting a laptop for next September time so that's >17 months away. Seeing as the MBP update cycle has been 8 months, you're 2-3 cycles away!
    If you can hold off, you might want to. Or at least wait till a refresh thats imminent (if you want a laptop from now to next fall). You'll likely see a MBP refresh this month, so add 8 months, that's another refresh/update in october this year etc.
    All subject to change, but it's been 8 months more or less for a while.
    By that time, TRIM might have gotten sorted, and SSD will be a lot more mainstream in MacBooks, and laptops in general.
  3. KarmaPolice thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2010
    thanks for the reply. I am going to study psychology. By next year I mean this coming September, so not 17 months. I don't really require a laptop until September, but i would enjoy getting it anywhere from April onwards (anytime past the update). So i guess the question still stands...
  4. rkdiddy macrumors 65816


    Mar 19, 2008
    OC Baby!
    I would love to know the answer to this question too.
  5. reebzor macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
    Doesnt answer your question but I thought I'd let you know- Wait until the summer to buy your mac so you can use your student discount and claim your free iPod.
  6. Dan73 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 30, 2009
    The difference between writing on a "dirty" drive and a clean one will be very small. The type of drive you're using will have a much much bigger impact one the speed (Hint: Don't get a Mac with Apple's SSD). Either way the SSD will be MUCH faster than a mechanical HD.I'm sure some time they'll introduce TRIM support anyways.

    Second question I'm not going to answer that is a choice you're going to have to make but I REALLY don't think TRIM support should influence which OS you get that much.
  7. KarmaPolice thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2010
    I've heard the Intel's are quite good. Thanks for the help.
  8. newdeal macrumors 68020

    Oct 21, 2009

    Trim makes a differance in benchmarks but in real world tests you probobly wouldn't notice that much. On the other hand you will notice a huge differance between windows and OSX. Windows is a powerful OS but unfortunately its also the target of many attacks and just simply isn't as reliable. When you get a total system lockup just as you're about to save an essay you were working on for a couple hours and you lose all your work you will know what I mean
  9. KarmaPolice thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2010
    Well, that kind of ties into another dilemma. I will have to decide whether the proclaimed advantages of OSX will make any difference to me, or whether the operating system will in fact be a detriment. I will be using the computer for a fair bit of schoolwork and I'm still kind of shaky on the compatibility issue. I've seen mixed reviews for the mac edition of office and I'm not positive that I want to break free from Word. It would be kind of a pain to have to worry about formatting and similar things when crossing the Mac/PC border. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
  10. tenderidol macrumors regular


    Sep 5, 2009
    I switched about 6 months ago and have been extremely happy. For the last 3-4 months, I've been running Snow Leopard from an Intel 160GB SSD (I have an 80GB Intel in the desktop). It's been only 3-4 months, but I've seen zero performance decrease on the 160GB. 80GB supports TRIM under Win7 of the desktop, and you can run an Intel tool manually to increase performance. If you end up getting one and put an SSD in it, when/if it really slows down (which is not very likely), you can always do a Time Machine back up and follow the instructions here to secure erase the drive which moves it back to factory-fresh state. Then, you just need to restore your programs and files, and you are done! I would guess that if you plan to keep the MBP for 4 years, you would not need to do this more than 4 times (it could even be zero).

    As for MS Office Mac... I still prefer the MS Office 2007, but getting used to Mac version wasn't too bad (it's like going back to Office XP). In my case, there have been no formatting issues when opening office files created in Windows machines and vice versa.

    Good luck with your decision. As someone else already mentioned, if you can wait till the summer, you'll be getting an "updated" MBP with a student discount and a free after rebate iPod touch (sell it to lower your cost if you dont need it).
  11. kasakka macrumors 68020

    Oct 25, 2008
    Honestly, you shouldn't run into any huge problems even if you use iWork. I'm currently writing my Bachelor's thesis using Pages and it has been a lot more pleasant than doing it in MS Word or OpenOffice Writer. When I'm done, I will simply export it to Word format and if needed reformat it on a school computer using Word. So far I haven't seen a case where the file totally breaks or messes up, there may be small formatting issues but that's pretty much it.

    Both Microsoft and Apple offer trial versions of Office and iWork so install both and try which one you like best, check how iWork handles opening Word documents and so on. Then buy the one that works for you.

    As for the SSD, I wouldn't worry about TRIM. My Intel X25-M G2 160 GB still runs really fast after about 6 months. Boots my MBP in about 15 seconds, most programs start almost instantly etc. Just get a good drive (meaning something other than the Samsung SSD Apple offers) and use it like normal.
  12. DarthSnuggles macrumors member


    Feb 10, 2010
    You can always even import your documents into Google Docs and then export them back out again! The days of compatibility issues are mostly in the past. Even back when they had them, universities almost always have Mac support.

    But for the original topic, I have an X-25M. No slow down noticed by me. I even do development work on it, which is bad for an SSD. I just ran X-bench, having had my SSD for 6months.

    My uncached random write speed is down from 46.16MB/s(4k) and 72.96MB/s(256k) to 16.98 and 50.07 respectively. It's degraded! But you know what the spinning HD that Apple put in there originally got? 1.6 and 29.31 respectively. FYI, the sequential speed decrease is like 15% and the read speeds are down less than 10%.

    So even though the 4k random write speed is 1/3rd of what it was it's still 10x faster than a 5400RPM drive ;)

    Imagine if/when we have a TRIM solution...
  13. cloudcity macrumors newbie


    Feb 18, 2010
    Question: If OSX supported TRIM tommorow, would you need to reformat your drive and restore your system/files to take advantage of it? I'm still a little cloudy on exactly what TRIM is and how it works.

    When the new MBP's are released, I'm strongly considering replacing the stock HD with a 160GB G2.
  14. DarthSnuggles macrumors member


    Feb 10, 2010
    Yes. TRIM doesn't eliminate the performance hit; it just moves it to delete time instead of write time.
  15. fehhkk macrumors 6502a


    Jun 11, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    To be honest, I barely notice any speed degradation in OS X, which doesn't support TRIM. So it's a non-issue, to me at least.
  16. cube macrumors Pentium

    May 10, 2004
    I'm not getting an SSD until TRIM. They are too expensive anyway.
  17. Cycom macrumors 6502


    Mar 27, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've had a 160GB Intel SSD for about 5 months and have noticed no decrease in performance. None. Frankly, I couldn't go back to HDD's.
  18. gerabbi macrumors regular

    Feb 8, 2009
  19. Sjakostein macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2010
    If you want a SSD from intel, you just buy a macbook pro with the cheapest harddrive and... then what?

    I would really like a good ssd in my future macbook pro too:)
  20. 0eyvind macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2009
    Choose the MBP with the specs you need, purchase the SSD you want, when you receive both items change the stock HDD in the MBP with the SSD. I think that's all. :)
  21. Sjakostein macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2010
    Can you just do that? With the unibody design and all, and will the ssd fit?
  22. emiljan macrumors 6502


    Jan 25, 2010
    The only reason for the trim command is so the OS can tell the SSD which data blocks are free and ready to be written to. Essentially prolonging the life of the SSD.

    Flash chips can only tolerate so many write cycles before they die. Enabling trim on any SSD will make it so the write cycles are spread around the SSD and not confined to any one spot.

    So no trim support means that the SSD will wear out more quickly then a SSD with trim enabled.
  23. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
    This September? Then if MBP come out this month, that's 5 months into the cycle of an 8 month cycle.
    If you wait for another 3 months there'll be likely something updated around that time (no promises!).
    Alternatively - wait till you're enrolled, and get your Student Discount/ HE discount - WELL WORTH it -

    a) Discount on mac
    b) HUGE discount on Apple Care - £50 for 3 years? Absolute bargain.
  24. Tweak3D macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2007
    No it doesn't. No trim support means once the hard drive has been fully utilized there will be a delay in writing of files while the drive deletes the block before writing a new file. This delay causes the slow down. With or without trim your drive will no wear out any quicker.

    Also Trim and Wear leveling have nothing to do with one another. Nearly every SSD ont he market has Wear leaveling since day one, Trim on the other hand not so much.
  25. antskip macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2009
    I used a OCZ SSD for 8 months with Win-Vista and then Win-7 without TRIM, and at no stage noticed a change - nor did standard benchmarks record any. After TRIM was enabled for Win7 via firmware update, benchmarks showed a 20% increase in write speeds. Did I notice? No.

    The same benchmarks did show that speed differences in every category between a 7200rpm HDD and a modern SSD are in the region of 300-1000%. That is a difference I did notice (as well as no vibration, no sound) :)

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