People are often concerned with the performance of their SSD; is it running as fast as advertised. TRIM is an essential part of keeping your SSD performance up (see this article for details) and it has been very beneficial for Windows 7 users. However, for Mac users, TRIM is only available if you purchase an SSD straight from Apple when buying your Mac. The actual TRIM command is supported by OS X, so with minor kext modifications, it’s possible to enable TRIM on non-Apple SSDs as well. Terminal is needed for this and although it’s simply a matter of copying and pasting the commands, not all users are comfortable with using Terminal at all.

To make enabling TRIM more user friendly, Oskar Groth (also known as Cindori) developed an app called TRIM Enabler. The app has now reached version 2.0 and is finally fully compatible with OS X Lion. The 1.x version worked in Lion but it included an old kext from Snow Leopard that caused worse performance for some users. TRIM Enabler 2.0 patches the kext file for you and also repairs permissions, something you would have to do manually if using the Terminal method. TRIM Enabler also supports S.M.A.R.T. monitoring on some SSDs, allowing the user to see for example the lifetime reads and the amount of retired blocks.

As always, use such utilities at your own risk. Especially SandForce based SSDs have had problems with TRIM in OS X and it’s generally not recommended to enable TRIM with them--plus the built-in garbage collection in SF SSDs is fairly effective. I would recommend force-enabling TRIM in OS X only if you do something disk intensive where performance matters, and only if you have an SSD where idle garbage collection is proving insufficient; otherwise you most likely won’t notice the change in performance and you run the risk of unintended consequences. On the other hand, TRIM Enabler makes disabling TRIM as easy as enabling it, so giving TRIM a try shouldn't hurt anything. Moreover, you can always enable TRIM later on if you experience poor performance, and even disable it right after it has TRIM’ed the empty blocks in case TRIM causes problems with your SSD.  

TRIM Enabler 2.0 can be downloaded here!

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  • blueeyesm - Sunday, January 22, 2012 - link

    "Everything looks super. Thanks for asking!"

  • extremepcs - Sunday, January 22, 2012 - link

    People with Mac's get trim? ;)
  • ananduser - Sunday, January 22, 2012 - link

    Which is why Apple bought that Israeli company that designs flash controllers. Apple "approved" SSDs will be best for your Apple computers. Various SSD optimizations(TRIM among them) included in future OSX builds will only be available on SSD drives for mac, that would feature Apple designed controllers.
  • Kristian Vättö - Sunday, January 22, 2012 - link

    Anobit concentrates on NAND longevity, although they seem to make enterprise level controllers as well. It's definitely not clear that Apple will come up with their own SSD controller, but it's possible. Apple has always more or less relied on third parties for the hardware components so designing their totally own SSD controller would be a big step.
  • ckryan - Sunday, January 22, 2012 - link

    Anobit also makes an embedded flash controller, the MSP3035(? I think that's what it's called). They have several patents concerned Digital Signal Processing and Memory Signal Processing. STEC Inc also uses some kind of DSP as well (or is planning to, based on an article their Technical Marketing Manager wrote for EE Times). Their MSP embedded controller is claimed to have a max speed of 666MBs, though it's unclear whether this is external or what configurations are needed to achieve that. The MSP works with 2xnm SLC/TLC/MLC.
  • name99 - Monday, January 23, 2012 - link

    Yes, Apple is intent on strangling the nascent MBA SSD replacement market in its cradle. I mean, last time I checked, there were at least NINE people in the world who were interested in cracking their MBAs open to dick around with the insides.

    Hell, why don't you really ramp up the crazy. Did you know that you can't rip out the CPUs on MBAs and replace them with an overclocked Intel CPU, let alone an AMD CPU? Did you know that the RAM on MBAs is soldered?
    And you know what --- ALL Ultrabooks are pretty much the same.

    Look, Apple is not perfect. They do plenty of dumb stuff. But this obsession some people have with assuming the entire world wants to mix-and-match their hardware is just stupid beyond belief. It was stupid when people first whined about iPods not having replaceable batteries over ten years ago, and the same crowd that were whining then have apparently learned NOTHING from the trajectory of either Apple as a company, or hardware in general, over the past ten years.
  • ananduser - Monday, January 23, 2012 - link

    Why do you attribute me with malice ? The SSD market is nascent and it's drowned in controllers from different companies. Apple does not want to mess with this mess and would design(IMO) its own controllers for Apple approved SSDs. It will be a requirement that a SSD manufacturer would include Apple's controllers. It is not about strangling the DIY aspect, it is about "quality control" as Apple would put it. Apple does not want to rely on 3rd party firmwares if any issues should arrive. Apple's mo is to provide all drivers/firmwares themselves.
    Anyway who knows if this flash purchase is aimed at SSD controllers for their desktop offerings ? It might be, but we cannot say for sure.

    Now how do you like it if I attribute you with fanboyism ?
  • name99 - Monday, January 23, 2012 - link

    Fair enough. One sees so much stupidity in the comments that it's hard not to attribute malice to even a slightly ambiguous comment.
  • Kristian Vättö - Monday, January 23, 2012 - link

    Apple already uses in-house firmwares.
  • kkwst2 - Monday, January 23, 2012 - link

    Why is whining about not having a replaceable battery stupid? It is one of the reasons that I will not buy an iPhone. Obviously I am in the minority, but it doesn't make it stupid. Just because the device is successful doesn't mean I have to like/agree with their design decisions.

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