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TRIM Support Enabler 1.2 adds support for non-Apple SSDs in OS X 10.6.8

28 June 2011, Nick Peers

TRIM Support Enabler, a tool for enabling TRIM support on non-Apple manufactured Solid State Drives, has been updated to version 1.2. The change is a minor one, designed to make the tool more compatible with OS X 10.6.8, which was released last week.

TRIM support is a technology designed to optimise SSD performance, which is affected over time as data is written to and deleted from the drive. TRIM Support Enabler successfully allows OS X Snow Leopard to recognise – and utilise – TRIM support on SSD drives that aren’t manufactured by Apple.

In theory then, enabling TRIM support will speed up every SSD drive out there, but the reality is less clearcut. A number of drives now ship with their own built-in “garbage collector” technology, which performs a similar function to that of TRIM without requiring any additional support from the OS.

In other cases, users report that performance actually drops with TRIM support enabled – some Crucial drives start freezing for a second when TRIM is in action, while others simply run more slowly. In the case of Crucial, a firmware update can resolve this problem on affected drives (specifically the C300 series), but how can you tell if TRIM support will have an effect on your SSD drive or not?

The best thing to do is benchmark your drive before and after applying TRIM Support Enabler – use a tool like xBench to do so. If you discover your drive’s performance drops after enabling TRIM support, using TRIM Support Enabler to disable it again: launch the app, click Restore and either restore your backup or choose the default option to restore the original driver.

Worried about rendering your drive unbootable? Take a backup first, using a program like the free Carbon Copy Cloner drive-imaging tool.

If you do end up reverting, we’d recommend running xBench every few weeks or so to see if your drive starts to suffer a drop in performance; if it does, enabling TRIM support might suddenly be a viable option.

TRIM Support Enabler 1.2 is available as a free download for Macs with SSD drives running OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard). xBench requires a Mac running OS X 10.3.9 or later.

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