My mac nini i7 2011 no TRIM support on ssd drive what do I do?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Sossity, May 28, 2012.

  1. Sossity macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I just read about how people have had problems with their ssd hard drives that are non apple 3rd party that lack trim supoort about the computers getting slow.

    I have a 2011 i7 mac mini with lion 10.7.4, with dual hard drives, a 500 gb mechanical drive and a 240gb solid state Mushkin drive.

    I just found where to look for TRIM support on my system in system profiler, & for the Muskin ssd there is no TRIM support.

    what should I do? so far my mac has been ok, I got it in mid April 2012.
     
  2. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #3
    Also sand force drives do a pretty good job of garbage collection so you don't necessarily need trim . I don't have it enabled for any of my ssd's and they do just fine.
     
  3. Sossity, May 28, 2012
    Last edited: May 28, 2012

    Sossity thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4

    how do i know if my mushkin ssd drive is a sandforce based drive?

    is there a list somewhere that shows which brands of ssd drives are sandforced?

    & could it cause problems with my ssd drive if I do install TRIM enabler? if it is sandforced, would it be best that i just leave it?
     
  4. Oderus macrumors newbie

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    May 29, 2012
    #5
    I've been using an SSD in my PowerPC for the last 3 years with no measurable loss in performance with age or capacity. In fact my benchmarks were HIGHER after one year than when it was new.
    You don't need TRIM.
     
  5. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #6
    I'm fairly certain that all Mushkin drives are Sandforce, but the easiest way to use that fancy webpage called google. Simply put in your make and model (i.e. Mushkin Chronos) and search for reviews.....
     
  6. mdgm macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Apple's TRIM is incompatible with SandForce drives. Don't use it if you have a SandForce drives.
     
  7. KScottMyers macrumors regular

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    #8
    Check for your model here.
    http://www.mushkin.com/Digital-Storage/SSDs.aspx
     
  8. Chippy99, May 29, 2012
    Last edited: May 29, 2012

    Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Sorry but this is complete nonsense. Some idiot somewhere posted this myth (someone from OWC, I think) and its spread around the web as if it were true. It is not.

    It smacks of someone (and I think there are many people) who does not understand what garbage collection is and what TRIM actually does and why you need it. Garbage collection and TRIM are completely different things and you need both.

    Sandforce drives do their own garbage collection, as does every other SSD drive in existence. And the SF-2281 controller does a better job of it than most.

    However, unless the OS tells the drive which data can be deleted, it has no way of knowing whether bytes on the disk are current data or old data that can be discarded. So the SSD controller goes off busily tidying up all sorts of data, whether it be valid or not. This reduces free space, increases write amplification and drive wear.

    What TRIM does is to tell the drive when data is no longer needed, so that it does not need to do unnecessary garbage collection.

    If you don't have TRIM, you may not notice it but your drive is not running efficiently and will degrade faster than if you have it enabled. This may or may not matter, depending on how much writing you do to the disk and the size of the files. Also, how full your disk is. But the bottom line is, you should run TRIM if you can, irrespective of what controller your SSD has.
     
  9. borostef macrumors 6502

    borostef

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    #10
  10. lixuelai macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    No offense but you have no clue what you are talking about. Sandforce drives are known to cause beachballs on OSX with OSX Trim enabled. I have 3 Sandforce SSDs and all 3 beachball in OSX frequently with Trim enabled. Not even super bad luck on my part a simple google search will show plenty of people having the same issue. Does it mean every Sandforce will have issue with OSX Trim? No (likely dependent on how old the drive is, which OP never specified). Is it a legit cause of concern? Yes.
     
  11. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Offense taken.

    What I object to is the "sandforce drives don't need Trim" lie. Even Sandforce recommend use of Trim with their controllers for goodness sake.

    Just because a few people have beach ball issues - which it is far from certain is specifically down to Sandforce and Trim - doesn't mean (a) everyone with a Sandforce-based SSD should not enable Trim, nor (b) that Trim is somehow, rather magically not required all of a sudden. It's an important part of the architecture. Don't enable it by all means, but your SSD will not be working efficiently. Suck it up.

    FWIW I am running Trim on OSX and a Sandforce SSD and it is working perfectly.
     
  12. dyn, May 29, 2012
    Last edited: May 29, 2012

    dyn macrumors 68030

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    #13
    The need for TRIM is indeed an absolute lie since Garbage Collection does it job as good as TRIM does. Most people seem to be completely obsessed with TRIM, so sad to see. TRIM and GC have the same goals but they have a different way of accomplishing it. In most cases (like 99% of the time) it really doesn't matter which one you use however, in some cases it does. In one case TRIM can be better, in another GC would be the better one. As far as I know Anandtech is the only one who really tested the difference between the two and he saw no difference. My own experiences with ssd's over the past 3 years tell me the exact same thing as well as the benchmarks I've run over time.

    If you want to enable TRIM than by all means do so but don't expect any difference from GC because there most likely won't be any. The experiences from various users in the TRIM Enabler thread confirm this. Do keep in mind this is still a bit of a hack, meaning, it may lead to problems like beachballing. Use it at your own risk.

    Btw, if you read up on how TRIM and GC actually work you'll see that performance with GC is better in some cases because it is more like a defragmentation. TRIM only removes pieces of data which means that stuff is scattered all over the drive leading to slowness. Completely unnoticeable to the user but noticeable if you use it for tasks that are very picky/sensitive to small things like this.
    The reason why TRIM is better is because it knows what to empty exactly thus it has the least amount of writes.
     
  13. Sossity thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    the hard drive is fairly new, it was bought earlier this year.
     
  14. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    You should read up about stuff before posting such complete and utter nonsense as the rubbish above.

    TRIM and garbage collection are completely different things. Garbage collection happens on all SSD's - it's what they do. TRIM enables more efficient garbage collection. TRIM doesn't do any garbage collection. It is not an alternative to garbage collection. It is to be used WITH garbage collection.

    You can't use either TRIM or garbage collection. To suggest they are equivalents as you do demonstrates you do not understand.

    Garbage collection does not work efficiently without TRIM because it will garbage collect invalid data, thereby increasing write amplification, reducing drive life, reducing free space and lowering performance.

    TRIM doesn't empty anything. Garbage collection does that.
     
  15. mdgm macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Considering that TRIM is reported to work fine with SandForce SSDs in Windows 7 the issue clearly is that Apple hasn't bothered to get their implementation of TRIM to work fine with SandForce SSDs as Apple doesn't ship any Macs with SandForce SSDs. It's clearly a problem with Mac OS X.
     
  16. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    To be honest, I am not sure their even IS a problem. Beachballs can be caused by all sorts of things.

    TRIM with Sandforce and OSX works perfectly for me and doubtless countless others as well.
     
  17. dyn macrumors 68030

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    #18
    The only one doing that would be you so do what you preach here and go troll somewhere else.

    This is absolutely not true at all. There have been ssd's that only have TRIM and no GC or vice versa. TRIM and GC in the end do the exact same thing, they only differ in how they accomplish it. It is what it is just like E=MC2. Both mechanisms are meant to clear out NAND cells when they are not in use in order to keep the ssd up to speed. TRIM is a very simple mechanism because it only passes file deletion from the OS on to the ssd so the ssd knows which exact cells to clear out. GC is a far more complex system because it doesn't have this info and uses a special algorithm which is top secret (it is part of company secret, do this properly and you have an edge over your competitors).

    This is completely wrong. TRIM is not to be used with garbage collection it is a complete alternative that resides in the ATA specs. SAS has a similar command btw. It's only purpose is to pass file deletion commands to the drive so it knows what to clear exactly. When an OS deletes a file it won't remove it from disk, it will only delete it's reference and pretend it doesn't exist. TRIM goes further than that and actually delete it from disk. As I said earlier, this is necessary with ssd's so they can retain their speeds better when not filled completely.
    Some ssd's use TRIM and GC as a combination to get a very efficient cleaning system. Most will use either GC or TRIM.

    Simply put GC is an algorithm which calculates what to delete (in reality there is much more to it because it also moves around data just like defragmentation would do).

    Before you correct somebody it is key to understand the basics. You completely fail at this and I strongly suggest you to read up on this topic before trying to compete in this discussion. A good starting point would be the very fine articles Anandtech has written. Although they are a bit old they still are very up to date on ssd technology. What you are doing now is spreading false information. You should be ashamed of yourself.
     
  18. borostef macrumors 6502

    borostef

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    #19
    To tell you the truth, I do not know enough about the subject of TRIM and Garbage collection to participate in this discussion fully...
    I am an ex Windows user and what I do know is that Windows 7 comes with TRIM support enabled, which is good, while Windows XP for example does not (You can still enable it, but you have to do some tweaking)

    Having said that, one thing I do know, it really is not that important if you enable it or not... I have seen this in various reports from many manufacturers, your SSD will not degrade so fast as some people seem to think it will...
    What I want to say, with normal, everyday usage your SSD will last for years and the likelihood of you replacing it with a newer, faster model, as they appear, is far more greater then the likelihood of it failing due to TRIM being or not being enabled.

    Just enjoy the speed that modern SSD's deliver and don't worry so much:)
     
  19. Chippy99, May 30, 2012
    Last edited: May 30, 2012

    Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    My friend, you are making a complete and utter fool of yourself. Not only are you making statement after statement that is completely wrong, you accuse me of trolling. Someone once told me, "never argue with an idiot, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience". Never a truer word.

    You know what, I was going to try to explain it all to you again, but I can't be bothered.

    Take a look at the presentation from Sandforce, "Garbage Collection - Understanding Foreground vs. Background GC and Other Related Elements". Hopefully you might learn something.

    http://www.sandforce.com/index.php?id=171&parentId=4&top=1

    http://www.sandforce.com/userfiles/file/downloads/FMS2011_T1A_Smith.pdf

    "All SSDs will have some form of GC – it is not an optional feature"

    "Trim makes more free space available during garbage collection"

    If you wish, you could now go back and re-read my post and see that everything I said was 100% correct. Goodnight.

    E=MC2 ?

    ROTFLOL.
     
  20. FredT2 macrumors 6502

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    Mar 18, 2009
    #21
    In discussing TRIM Enabler 2.0 for Lion, AnandTech has this to say:

     
  21. Chippy99, May 30, 2012
    Last edited: May 30, 2012

    Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Good advice in that you can try it and disable it if you later decide. But his comment that it's generally not recommended to enable trim with Sandforce drives is questionable at best, and possibly plain wrong.

    Not recommended by whom? Certainly it's not Sandforce saying this. And Apple don't recommend Trim with ANY drives other than their own, Sandforce-based or otherwise. So does he mean not recommended by Anand? If that's his personal opinion then fine, but if so, it's just his opinion.

    I think "the problems" - still not sure if there actually are any - were perhaps related to early firmware and in particular early OCZ firmware. There's countless people running Trim on OSX with Sandforce drives with no problems whatsoever, so "the problem" is clearly not so fundamental that it will not and cannot work properly.

    And as I keep saying, Trim is a good thing in principle and wherever you can, you should enable it. The drive CANNOT know what to garbage collect unless the Trim command tells it, so with only background garbage collection running (and no Trim) your drive is not performing as efficiently as it could.
     
  22. konkrypton macrumors newbie

    konkrypton

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    #23
    Maybe I'm stupid...

    I've had an OCZ Agility 3 in my MM for about a year, and love it. However, OCZ (and possibly other vendors) are downplaying the need for TRIM to Mac owners because they know that Apple won't allow OS X to do TRIM for third-party drives. I know that's the official position of OCZ to Mac users, and it makes sense for them to say so because it helps sell drives.

    I've been a computer geek for 25+ yrs, but SSD's are new tech, and I guess I'm a noob in this matter. I don't understand why GC or TRIM are even needed, since the volume directory and the volume bitmap should reveal what's currently used and what is unused. Why aren't these chunks lopped off when they are deleted? I don't understand why a separate process is needed to do this.

    Can someone explain why it's needed?

    EDIT: And before someone tells me to "use the google," I'm headed over to Wikipedia to try and find my own answer.
     
  23. Chippy99, May 31, 2012
    Last edited: May 31, 2012

    Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    In the early days with hard disks, it was all fairly straightforward. The directory system used by the operating system (e.g. FAT, FAT32 or NTFS) kept a log of what files were held on the disk and where they were. When a file was deleted, to speed things up all the OS did was to remove the entry from the directory and effectively it was gone, even though the data remained on the disk. This didn't matter at all because this space was now free to be written on, even though it held old data. Whether it held 00000000000 or 012A62376F or whatever didn't matter at all, so why bother wiping the disk.

    So here's the short answer:

    With SSD's because they move data around in the background for optimisation purposes, the above mechanism no longer works. You need a way to tell the drive what data has been deleted, so it doesn't move junk around unnecessarily. That is what the Trim command does. It simply lets the drive know what data is no longer needed, so the SSD controller can deal with it appropriately.

    The longer answer (if you are interested) is this:

    Memory cells in an SSD don't have as long a life as sectors on a hard disk - they wear out. To get around this, SSD's employ a trick known as wear-leveling. This means that they spread the writing of data out over the disk so that the cells wear evenly. They do this transparently to the OS. The OS might thing it is reading and writing to the same place on the disk all the time, but in reality - in the background - the controller on the SSD is moving the data to different places so as not to wear out the same cells.

    The second issue is that unlike hard disks, where the drive can write data to any part of the disk at any time, with SSD's you can only write to empty cells. So if a page of cells contains data already, that data has to be read in, then the page wiped and then rewritten again with the new and old data. But it gets worse. Although the SSD can write pages, erases have to be done on the whole block - 512Kb of data. Even though the new data you want to write might be quite small, you have to wipe the whole block and rewrite any existing data. Clearly this going to be much slower than if you just write to an empty page in the first place.

    To get around these issues, all SSD drives employ some form of "Garbage Collection". That is, prior to new data being written (either just before, or a long time before) they spend time tidying up the data fragments into nice neat blocks, leaving as many pages as possible empty and ready for new data. Unfortunately, because this is all abstracted away from the OS, the OS cannot see what is in reality going on underneath. It (the OS) has one view of the drive - a logical view - and the SSD controller has underneath the full physical view of what is where and what can be written where. The OS doesn't know.

    This is why it is impossible for the OS to do the physical tidying up of cells, pages and blocks - all it sees is its own logical view, not the reality underneath. The only place these optimisations can be done are on the disk itself by the disk controller. And to have a full view of what needs to be done, the disk controller also needs to be told by the OS what data has been deleted and need not be tidied up. That is what the Trim command is for. It is simply a command issued by the OS to the SSD controller to tell it what data has been deleted.

    To be clear, the SSD controller can do its tidying up without the Trim command. If no Trim command is received, it just doesn't know what data has been deleted already. That may not matter too much if there are not many deletes going on and there's loads of free space.

    But imagine you spend some time working on a powerpoint document, just by way of an example. As you edit it, PowerPoint is constantly doing background saves to disk, each time saving the latest version. Each time, the previous version is erased. This happens every few minutes. But it's not really erased, remember? Each time, the OS just updates the directory system and doesn't tell the disk controller.

    Over the course of an hour or so on your PowerPoint document, you might save a 3MB document 20 times. There is now 60MB of data on the drive, 3MB of which is valid and 57MB of which is rubbish and which can be ignored. But the SSD doesn't know this. So it will spend its time trying to tidy up 60MB of data fragments, when it could be tidying up only 3MB, if only it knew.

    Now imagine that happening with every file on your SSD drive. You can see that quite quickly there is a LOT of data on the drive that is in fact deleted and no longer required, but the SSD cannot know this unless the OS tells it. That is what the Trim command is for.
     
  24. lixuelai macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    You most likely have the Mushkin Chronos which uses the new SF-2281 controller. If your Mini is not mission critical just use the Trim enabler and see how it goes. However if you ever have beachballs etc the SSD is one of the first things you should look at.

    While TRIM is certainly a benefit, whether it is such a big difference as to label it "needed" is debatable. The main benefits are 1) more efficient GC and 2) less drive wear. For 1) Sandforce controllers already have more efficient GC due to the native file compression it does. In fact it is touted to be as good as non-SF drives with Trim. The benefits would be more readily apparent if your drive is near full (which I doubt). For 2) Your drive will likely be obsolete and replaced way before it actually dies to wear even with TRIM disabled. If SSD utilities are to be believed my oldest SSD is expected to live into the 2020s. Not to mention your drive have like a 3yr warranty, in 3yrs chances are you will be onto something else.

    tl,dr: TRIM on SF = Icing on the cake. Your Mac will be perfectly fine with it disabled.
     

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