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13-inch MacBook Pro shows signs of early TRIM SSD support

updated 07:05 pm EDT, Sun June 13, 2010

Apple may handle TRIM drives in Mac OS X

The current-run 13-inch MacBook Pro may have given away the first signs that Apple is implementing TRIM support for solid-state drives in Mac OS X. Attaching an SSD to the 2010 system will show an entry for "TRIM support" that doesn't exist on the Core i5 or i7 MacBook Pros or earlier models. The support appears very rough and incorrectly flags TRIM-capable drives as lacking support.

TRIM is considered important to the future of SSDs, as it will keep them running at peak speed for most of their useful lifespan. Older SSDs often slow down over time as more of the drive space is used and the system has to erase more and more junk data, such as deleted but not missing files, before it can write new information. TRIM aggressively erases these areas so that they're truly empty in advance of when new content needs to be written.

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 currently support TRIM, but Apple so far hasn't had native support and has seen less benefit from faster SSDs as a result. Adding the feature would let Macs use the full features of modern SSDs and could lead to significant storage updates for the MacBook line and other Macs that have SSDs as build-to-order options. [via AnandTech]



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. inspectorgadget

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2002

    +1

    So do others

    This shows up on a nehalem MacPro with SSD's as well, running 10.6.4 developer OS

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2004

    0

    it's nice, but I wouldn't wait for "TRIM" support

    Both traditional hard drives and SSD's can slow down as they fill up - but for entirely different reasons.
    A traditional hard drive is faster near the outer edge of the drive, which is simply geometry - if you imagine a drive as as series of rings, the outer rings are larger than the inner rings, with a fixed rotational speed, you are reading data off the outer rings faster. So if you fill the drive up from outer rings -> towards the inner -- slow down as it fills up.

    SSD's on the other hand, have trouble with writes, they have to rewrite a whole block, to even change one bit on that block. To make up for that slowness, they write to completely empty blocks and the controller is responsible for shuffling a lot around.

    Making a long story short as you have less free space, it's more work for the controller, more likely that you'll run into a slow down - but TRIM support helps keep the drive performing its best even as it fills up.

    It's great that Apple is working on it...but even a 'degraded' intel SSD is superfast, and the slowdown is all in theory - it will never seem slow, and will never be as slow as the fastest regular hard drive.

    Just buy any intel or sandforce based SSD that is compatible with your Mac, and you won't regret it....and while TRIM support will be nice, I'm not waiting on it - my machines is flying FLYING I TELL YOU.


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