Before we get started talking about TRIM and why you should or should not enable it, let’s just grab a little background, so everybody is roughly on the same page.
When you simply “delete” a file on a traditional hard drive, it’s not really “erased.” Instead, its location on the drive is reported to the OS as “empty, even though the ones and zeroes are still there, ready to be overwritten. On SSDs, however, overwriting data can take a considerably longer time than writing to “unused” space. As solid state drives became more affordable, the TRIM command was introduced to facilitate “garbage collection” of deleted data, allowing the SSD to reset those “unused” blocks back to an “empty” state. This allows for better performance for many SSDs.
With OS X Lion right around the corner, there’s been a lot of talk about its potential TRIM support. As of right now, there is some basic TRIM support for Apple-branded SSDs in the OS, but third-party vendors are largely left out of the deal. There have been murmurings of a utility in Lion that will support all SSDs officially, and there have been several hacks to try and enable TRIM for all SSDs.
If you have an OWC SSD, though, you don’t need TRIM. The SandForce controller in our SSDs takes care of this “garbage collection” as well as performs various other tasks that keep your drive running at optimal speed, without the drop-off that you see with other brands. Especially note page two of this performance testing expert’s report where he feels so strongly about TRIM’s inefficiency that he calls call it “half-baked”…and that’s the kid friendly version of the phrase.
In fact, enabling TRIM could actually hurt the performance and reliability of your OWC SSD, rather than help it. As OWC customer Scott Gosling recently said in an email to us,
“I used the trim enabler 1.1 initially, then realized that your self maintenance was far superior to using TRIM so I disabled it. It made a huge difference in terms of reliability.”
Our in-house testing has also shown that the TRIM Enabler hack has proven to be unreliable. So bottom line, we highly recommend not using TRIM when using OWC SSDs; all you need is what’s already inside.