SSDs & no TRIM support?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Yumunum, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. Yumunum macrumors 65816

    Yumunum

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    #1
    I'm not very knowledgable when it comes to computer hardware, so please excuse my lack of smarts.

    So far, OS X lacks TRIM support, correct? And I heard it was supposed to come in Lion?

    I've been told the lack of TRIM support could cause things to slow down and possibly die after around 8 months. But I don't see a ton of threads about stuff like that... Am I missing something here? Are all the MacBook Air owners doing fine? I ask because I have various options for what Mac to buy this summer, and I need to make sure I make a smart decision... I want an SSD in my next computer, but the lifespan could change my mind. Again, sorry to sound like a noob. I obviously need to gain more knowledge in this area!
     
  2. Peteman100 macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Lack of TRIM will effect performance more than lifetime. However, you can partially offset the problem by getting an SSD that has a controller with good "garbage collection" capabilities.
     
  3. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #3
    Lack of TRIM isn't under any realistic circumstance going to kill an SSD unless it's a piece of junk that was going to fail prematurely anyway. It could, however, impact performance a lot after a while if the drive is in heavy use.

    As Peteman100 said, though, if the drive has good garbage collection (which is, in effect, doing the work that TRIM would be doing without explicit instructions from the OS), it will be fine.

    So far as I know the only guaranteed bet is the SSDs from OWC--they are ground-up designed for the Mac, and in real-world testing by a photo guru showed no slowdown whatsoever even under heavy use, which is more than can be said for other high-end SSDs. OWC's drives are relatively expensive (though again, no higher than other high-end drives, which they are), but you get what you pay for--that's what I bought, and so far I've been happy with it.
     
  4. Yumunum thread starter macrumors 65816

    Yumunum

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    #4
    Interesting.. So what about the SSDs Apple ships with their computers? Are those some of the ones that are doomed to get slower due to lack of garbage collection? I'm looking to possibly buy a MacBook Air.
     
  5. SlugBlanket, Jun 2, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011

    SlugBlanket macrumors regular

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    #5
    Anandtech did a full review of the latest 2011 Imac 27" here . You can wiki Anandtech to be sure of their standing in the IT community. At the end of the review they make clear their feelings on the cost and quality of SSD's that Apple ship in their non-air desktop machines. Please read the whole review to get it in context.

    A previous post in this thread mentioned OWC SSD's and I would tend to agree that you won't go wrong with their products. There is a third option which is that you can enable TRIM support for non-apple SSD's by way of a free app written by a MacRumours forum member which has proved to be very capable. Search these forums and the thread is called TRIM Support enabler. A link is provided here.

    You can use an OWC SSD and the TRIM enabler app together but you probably wont need to.

    Hope this helps.

    EDIT...
    Be aware that current MacBook Airs do NOT have trim enabled and they DO slow down noticeably over time. I don't know if the TRIM enabler will help you in that instance, but a read through the thread will probably answer that question. The OWC SSD's and the TRIM enabler app are however to be considered if you are thinking of purchasing a non-air product i.e. MacbookPro, Imac or Mac Pro
     
  6. Peteman100 macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I'd be careful with the TRIM enabler, as I've heard that it can lead to problems. Apple's SSDs have very good garbage collection, but aren't very fast to begin with. Especially for the money. I would recommend getting an SSD with a Sandforce controller (like OWCs) now or waiting for Lion and going with an Intel drive.
     
  7. Yumunum thread starter macrumors 65816

    Yumunum

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    #7
    Are these contradicting statements? Btw, when I get my next computer, I'm pretty sure I'll be going with an SSD shipped from Apple, not third-party SSDs. I'm a pretty busy person and I don't have too much time to fix my tech problems anymore, therefore I'll pay the price to have a drive backed up by Apple's support & trust. Not that other SSDs couldn't be just as reliable, I know some are, but I've read a lot of threads with people having problems with 3rd party SSDs and I'd prefer to minimize my possible problems and go with Apple's.

    Anyways, about the two statements... What should I believe? :/ One of you say Apple's SSDs have good garbage collection (therefore it WON'T slow down?) and the other says that they will slow down due to a lack of TRIM support? But if I understand right, all of the Apple SSDs lack "TRIM" support, but maybe they have another form of garbage collection (like the OWC SSDs)?
     
  8. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #8
    Incorrect; the newer ones are, in fact, the ONLY drives to show as having TRIM support in the System Profiler app. Whether 10.6 actually uses this without a hack or not, I'm not sure, but 10.7 is pretty much guaranteed to.

    Since my SSD is an OWC, I don't know about the garbage collection on Apple's SSDs, but it's worth noting that they recently switched suppliers (or at least models), so it's quite possible that a feature not previously present is on newer models.
     
  9. SlugBlanket macrumors regular

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    #9
    They're not really conflicting statements. As with any software/hardware combinations, some people will have issues where others don't. The TRIM enabler has worked well for many and assuming there are no issues will show up in the system profiler as having TRIM enabled on your disk. It will either work first time with your drive or it won't but it won't mess up your system in either instance. If it's something that interests you then read the thread and form your own opinion.

    Given your circumstances then going with Apple's ssd is a good decision. The differences in performance to the human senses may not be all that different than using an SSD such as OWC's. I'm sure you will still enjoy fast boot times and app launches compared to not having an SSD :)
     

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