SSD TRIM Enabling: OWC sandforce vs Others

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Korican100, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. Korican100 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 9, 2012
    I have an OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6g 480gb via Velocity Solo X2 PCIe
    Also, I have a Samsung 840 EVO PRO via Velocity Solo X2 (Separate cards)

    Per this article it states "If you have an OWC SSD, though, you don’t need TRIM. The SandForce controller in our SSDs takes care of this “garbage collection”...enabling TRIM could actually hurt the performance and reliability of your OWC SSD, rather than help it"

    However, I understand I must enable TRIM for my 840 Evo Pro.

    The thing is, I can't enable TRIM for certain drives. It's either on for ALL or no TRIM whatsoever.

    How do I keep TRIM for my 840pro, but not for my OWC ssd? Is this even possible?
  2. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    The Samsung 840 line has garbage collection as well.
  3. Korican100, Jul 15, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014

    Korican100 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Oct 9, 2012
    So does TRIM being enable on SSD's with their own garbage collection hinder the performance, or cause unnecessary wear?
  4. flowrider macrumors 603


    Nov 23, 2012
    IMHO, OWC is wrong in their recommendation not to enable TRIM on their SSDs. I had an OWC SSD in my MBA for a couple of days, and it was a garbage drive. I returned it and it's been replaced with a Transend JetDrive. Anyway TRIM and Garbage collection are different, and you need both. See attached:

    My Mac Pro has an Aprocorn Velocity x2 with a Samsung 840 and I utilize TRIM with Trim Enabler on both my MBA and Mac Pro.

  5. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula

    The OWC comment is the epitome of marketing over intelligence. How could any company claim that giving the garbage collector hints about which blocks are garbage is a bad thing?
  6. AxoNeuron, Jul 15, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014

    AxoNeuron macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2012
    The Left Coast
    SSD's have very unique limitations when it comes to writing data. This is why TRIM is necessary except in very specific implementations.

    On an SSD, data is stored in "blocks". When some data in a block is marked as being no longer needed by the OS, the best thing the SSD can do is to copy the "good" data out of the block and in to a new sector. The reason for this is because an SSD cannot choose to only delete part of a block, it is an all-or-nothing process. So if you have some good data in that block, it needs to be copied to a new location before the entire block can be erased.

    And that is where the problem is, and why TRIM is so vital with SSD's. When the SSD goes to consolidate it's "good" data to free up space, if the OS has not told the SSD which data has been marked as no longer needed by the OS, the SSD will write this "unneeded" data to new blocks during garbage collection. This is a huge waste of time and greatly increases the number of writes that the SSD performs over its lifetime. With TRIM, the OS tells the SSD which data is no longer needed, and the SSD will know that it doesn't need to save this data to new blocks during garbage collection. This reduces the average number of writes to cells in the SSD and can greatly prolong the lifespan of the SSD as well.

    I have never heard of Sandforce SSD controllers being file-system aware, and thus able to handle TRIM without the need of OS TRIM support. And even if it did, it's not a very good solution either. The problem is, filesystems change and there are a lot of them out there. Most SSD manufacturers that make filesystem-aware SSD's that don't need OS TRIM support only bother to work with the NTFS filesystem anyways, so you would still need to enable TRIM with OS X regardless.

    Who knows, maybe OWC did some serious firmware kung-fu and they really are right that the SSD can handle TRIM without support from OS X. They do make SSD's meant to be used in Macs anyways, so mayhaps they are actually correct.
  7. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    You can't. It is either on or off for all drives.

    All SSDs should have TRIM enabled and OWC is full of it. There was an incompatibility with earlier versions of the Sandforce firmware used in all OWC SSDs and rather than acknowledge that, OWC told users not to enable TRIM. Later versions of Sandforce firmware fixed this issue.

    Even Sandforce themselves recommend using TRIM.
  8. Cindori, Jul 16, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014

    Cindori macrumors 68040


    Jan 17, 2008
    I'm the developer of Trim Enabler and from time to time I get emails from anxious users, pointing to that statement. So let's settle this once and for all.

    Trim Enabler 1.0 (released back in 2011) enabled Trim by installing a pre-patched Trim driver. Although the app had a label stating "Only for use on Snow Leopard", there were concerns of driver conflicts when Apple eventually released OS X Lion. I'm pretty sure that this is what OWC refers to when talking about "Trim can hurt your drive".

    Ever since Trim Enabler 2.0 (released back in 2012), Trim Enabler unlocks the Trim driver directly, leaving your OS otherwise unaltered. So since 2 years back, this method of Trim Enabler is not an issue.

    As for OWC drives and Trim in general, their drives support Trim, and use Trim in Windows, so saying it's bad for the drive is quite... contradicting. In fact, by the design of Trim, it's not forced by the OS (or by Trim Enabler), but rather, it's a request that is sent to the drive controller, which then can decide for itself if it should perform the Trim. And to the best of my knowledge, OWC SSD's accepts and performs the Trim command.

    So if Trim is hurting the drive, why doesn't OWC disable it by firmware? Well, simply because it's not Trim that OWC has a problem with, but that the method of enabling it (Trim Enabler). My theory is simply that the OWC statement is a policy decision, to not encourage use of third party software that messes with these features. If I were a disk manufacturer, I would not do that either.

    This is just my personal opinion/theory, which you of course can argue is biased. I'm not going to tell you to enable Trim or not. I'm not an expert on OWC drives. But I can tell you that:

    • There are quite a number of OWC disk owners that are using Trim Enabler without any complications
    • That OWC statement is outdated and not backed up with technical facts
    • And if you should you have any problems with Trim active, it's just as easy to flip the switch back to off
  9. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2012
    Googling brought me here. Cindori, your comments are very generous regarding OWC.

    It seems very plain to me that they are simply spouting nonsense in order to promote sales of their SSDs - which by the way, are no different from anyone else's.

    Trim is a good idea, period, and OWC suggesting they are in some way special and don't need it is just downright dishonest imho.
  10. coaxion33 macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2015
    I've had 3 pcie SSD OWC drives fail on me in 2 years. I've not used trim support on their recommendation, but could that be a reason it's failing over, and over, and over?
  11. Demigod Mac macrumors 6502a

    Apr 25, 2008
    Enable TRIM on an OWC Accelsior E2 PCIe (RAID0) - bad or good idea?
  12. flowrider macrumors 603


    Nov 23, 2012
    Read this thread:

    As I stated above in Post #4, IMHO, OWC SSDs are garbage. And their recommendation not to enable Trim, IMHO, is garbage advice, as I stated above.

  13. blake2 macrumors member


    Jan 15, 2013
    Pittsburgh PA
    Does RAID 0's support TRIM yet?

    I agree that OWC SSD's have plenty of problems; I have had about 10 SSD's including Sandisk Sandforce, Samsung 840 EVO, Crucials and Intels, but OWC's was the only one to show serious slowing over the years even WITH TRIM.

    That being said, the Crucial m4 and Intel 520 over USB and shouldn't have TRIM are functioning fine for several years, too. I wouldn't worry too much if your Accelsior didn't support it.

  14. MMcCraryNJ macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2012
    Simply put, OWC wants to sell you their drives, which are Mac-focused, and since up until now, there wasn't a "legit" way to enable TRIM on non-Apple SSDs, they were saying what users wanted to hear. TRIM is a separate thing from "garbage collection", and their explanation tries to muddy the distinction between them.
  15. OG_Macintosh macrumors newbie


    Jun 11, 2015
    I have to agree with everyone so far. I had an OWC Accelsior drive and over the course of about one year saw a dramatic drop in performance. I enabled TRIM using Cindori's Trim Enabler and after about two days, the performance of the SSD was much improved. I have no clue as to why OWC would say what they about TRIM and their drives other than to speculate that they would want to push you to purchase another SSD from them once the performance drops...
  16. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2012
    Yes, it could be a contributing factor.

    Without Trim, the drive will do much more garbage collection since it will have to garbage collect deleted data as well as live data. So there will be more wear on the drive. Whether that's lots of additional wear, or only slightly more will depend on what you've used the drive for. It's possible it's had to do a LOT more reading and writing as a result of OWC's duff advice.
  17. IowaLynn macrumors 65816


    Feb 22, 2015
    The controllers (and firmware) that OWC has chosen to use have to be a factor too. Odd, so much promise and early glowing reviews from the likes of StorageReview years past. Yet there really has been almost an onslout of criticism about their position on TRIM (this forum and "Storage: SSD MacIntouch Readers Report" have made excellent points.

    I put some blame on Apple, too, years of ... not trusting their own OS to deal with "off the shelf" retail SSD devices. And maybe OWC didn't want to take a position that might put them that opposed Apple??
  18. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
  19. Xenomorph macrumors 65816


    Aug 6, 2008
    St. Louis
    Wow. Lots of good info in this thread.

    Yes, if you can use TRIM, then use it. It works with a drive's internal garbage collection. It doesn't replace it, and it certainly cannot hurt things.

    The OWC article is garbage. It has terrible misinformation from a time long ago.

    My 2010 MacBook Pro has an OWC Mercury Extreme SSD and I now have TRIM enabled with 10.10.4. Back with previous builds of OS X I would use Trim Enabler.

    OWC SSDs work with TRIM the same as any other modern SSD. OWC sells standard SandForce SSDs. Nothing special about them.
  20. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2012
    Correct on every point.
  21. Demigod Mac macrumors 6502a

    Apr 25, 2008
    They're claiming the Accelsior PCIe SSD doesn't support TRIM, but I'm taking that with a grain of salt.
    Anyone tried it yet?
  22. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    I don't believe TRIM works on any drives in a RAID array. And I believe the Accelsior utilizes two blades in RAID0, so they are likely correct in stating that it doesn't support TRIM.
  23. crjackson2134 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2013
    Charlotte, NC
    It's supposed to work in OS X's software Raid, but not any hardware Raid AFAIK.
  24. lclev macrumors regular


    Jul 29, 2013
    I have an OWC Pro 6G SSD and a Samsung 840 EVO SSD in my Mac Pro 5,1. I enabled TRIM after I updated to 10.10.4 with no issues. According to OWC it is safe to do and as the link referenced above states. I do not have a RAID set up.

    I then completed a 90 minute video project using Premiere Pro. The performance was as always - fast and flawless.

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