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How necessary is Trim on after-market SSDs?

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xWhiplash    351

I have a Crucial M4 128GB WITHOUT trim at the moment. I have been running them for over a year with no issues.

 

However, I do have Bootcamp going on a DIFFERENT SSD, is Windows taking care of the OS X drive whenever I boot to my Windows? I am not sure how trim works. Does trim only work when you write to the disk? Or does just having the drive recognized in Windows 8 running trim in the background?

 

I have purchased the Samsung 840 Pro 256GB for a replacement. Do I need to enable trim for my new SSD?

 

I have not noticed any performance issues on my Crucial M4 since when I purchased it and trim has never been enabled.

 

I am running Mavericks.

 

I upgrade components regularly, so I will probably upgrade my SSD again in a year or two.

 

 

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Astra.Xtreme    2,089

You could run this:

http://www.cindori.org/software/trimenabler/

 

Newer SSDs have built-in garbage collection algorithms making TRIM less critical, but it doesn't hurt to enable it.

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ToneKnee    279

Why hasn't TRIM ever been enabled?

 

Also, the TRIM command is sent after a file has been deleted.  All SSD's have built in Garbage Collection that will check the drive every so often when there is no activity and check for any cells that need clearing.

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xWhiplash    351

How necessary is that though?  Like I said, I am using my Crucial M4 without trim and there have been no performance drops for over a year since I purchased it.  I do not like doing tweaks and things like that when it is not necessary.  I heard a few people have had issues with Trim Enabler also.

 

 

Why hasn't TRIM ever been enabled?

 

Also, the TRIM command is sent after a file has been deleted.  All SSD's have built in Garbage Collection that will check the drive every so often when there is no activity and check for any cells that need clearing.

 
Because OS X does not enable Trim on third party SSDs, and I do not like running utilities that do that.  Therefore, it was never enabled on my Crucial M4.  And it has been running fine for over a year.

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ToneKnee    279

You could run this:

http://www.cindori.org/software/trimenabler/

 

Newer SSDs have built-in garbage collection algorithms making TRIM less critical, but it doesn't hurt to enable it.

 

 

GC from my knowledge has always been around for SSDs, I have 2 OCZ Vertex (the originals) have GC before they even got TRIM support via a firmware update.  

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ToneKnee    279

How necessary is that though?  Like I said, I am using my Crucial M4 without trim and there have been no performance drops for over a year since I purchased it.  I do not like doing tweaks and things like that when it is not necessary.  I heard a few people have had issues with Trim Enabler also.

 

 

It's not 'critical', but it's recommended to have it on. 

 

 

What happens is when you delete a file, a command is sent to the controller to 'TRIM' i.e. 'Clear' the cells that have data removed so when data is to be written to the same cells later on, the controller doesn't need to clear the cells.

 

The process is like this:

 

Without TRIM: File deleted  but data remains > New file/data about to be written > Controller sees the Cell hasn't been cleared and will clear it before writing

With TRIM: File is deleted and the controller deletes the data so the cell is cleared to be written when next needed to.

 

It's not critical but you should have it on otherwise you get microstutter issues because the system/controller needs wait for the cell to be cleared before data can be written to it again.

 

If there has been cases of data corruption issues with SSD's then chances are it would have been the older first/second generation SSDs when TRIM was introduced later in firmware updates.

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xWhiplash    351

Now, Windows 8 has Trim enabled by default.

 

I have Windows 8 on one SSD

I have OS X Mavericks on ANOTHER SSD.

 

When I boot into Windows, it obviously has trim.  Does Windows perform trim on the OS X drive?  Does trim only get performed when a file is deleted?

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Ambroos    803

Now, Windows 8 has Trim enabled by default.

 

I have Windows 8 on one SSD

I have OS X Mavericks on ANOTHER SSD.

 

When I boot into Windows, it obviously has trim.  Does Windows perform trim on the OS X drive?  Does trim only get performed when a file is deleted?

 

Does Windows trim the OSX drive? No.

Does TRIM only happen when a file gets deleted? More or less, yeah. Whenever blocks that contained data don't contain data any more. Certain moves/replaces might also trigger TRIM.

 

Is TRIM really needed? Probably not. A drive with good garbage collection covers most of the difference and it's small anyway. Although on OSX the enablers are hardly dangerous or unstable so you might as well use them. I've ran without TRIM for years (on Windows) and even though I regularly do a secure erase I don't notice any performance decreases over time.

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xWhiplash    351

Does the Samsung 840 Pro have good garbage collection where trim is not needed?

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Lord Method Man    1,613

I've noticed that "Optimization is not available" in Windows 8 for my Crucial M500, though it indicates it has been ran.

 

300625i.png

 

I'm guessing this means its being handled internally via the SSD's firmware or something of the sort. I have TRIM enabled as well.

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Shadrack    601

Here is the explanation snaphat gave that I found insightful in another thread:

 

http://www.neowin.net/forum/topic/1198639-mac-or-hack/page-4#entry596246559

 

I haven't had issues with my non-trim-enabled SSDs (on Windows 7 for 1.5 years, and Mac OS X for about 3 years).  It could be that I do not have a workflow that has adequate write/re-write cycles on the SSD for it to make any difference.  I'm not sure.  My understanding is limited and I do not necessarily disagree with the folks who say it is essential to enable.

 

What I think is this:

 

Apple has products on the market with end user replaceable parts such as my 2009 MacBook Pro.  If enabling trim on any SSD is such a no-brainer, why does Mac OS X not automatically enable it when any SSD is detected?  This is still unclear to me.  If it is like NTFS write support, and can potentially really mess up data then I'm not sure enabling it haphazardly is such a good idea.

 

Is trim one of those things that once enabled if your drive is not compatible you will immediately know?

 

It could be that Apple just does not want to test every drive on the market, or a large enough set of drives to have some statistical confidence that their version of trim support works well.  Just guessing though...

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snaphat (Myles Landwehr)    414

^ I've heard of cases where enabling TRIM in 3rd party drives can cause system instability in some cases (funnily enough, from a guy who now works for Apple). This was probably a year and a half ago.

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Praetor    987

GC is very advanced now to the point most users don't even need TRIM; then again GC does not substitute TRIM. OSX and Windows 8 are TRIM aware and having TRIM enabled only brings the performance of the drive to the max.

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ToneKnee    279

Does the Samsung 840 Pro have good garbage collection where trim is not needed?

 

Whiplash, I know you don't like making tweaks that aren't needed, but TRIM has been a SSD standard for a few years now and is supported fine by OSX and Windows.  Just enable it and be done, you won't need to stress about it.

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xWhiplash    351

Well I know with the Crucial M4 you do not need Trim.  Is it the same way with the Samsung?

 

And like I said, I currently have a Crucial M4 WITHOUT trim and I do NOT notice any difference.  If it comes down to it, I will just keep my Crucial M4 and just use my 2 new Samsung 840s for Windows stuff.  I would rather do that than use unofficial trim enablers

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snaphat (Myles Landwehr)    414

As Praetor said, garbage collection absolutely does not replace TRIM. In practice, whether you need it or not depends strictly on your own use-case. I'd suggest ya'll read the post of mine Shadrack linked and a subsequent post (#57) that I wrote discussing the shortcomings of garbage collection and what TRIM does that GC cannot.

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Brian M.    773

Well I know with the Crucial M4 you do not need Trim.  Is it the same way with the Samsung?

 

And like I said, I currently have a Crucial M4 WITHOUT trim and I do NOT notice any difference.  If it comes down to it, I will just keep my Crucial M4 and just use my 2 new Samsung 840s for Windows stuff.  I would rather do that than use unofficial trim enablers

Enabling trim is perfectly safe.

And you won't notice a difference right now. A while down the line, however.

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xWhiplash    351

I have hears a lot of people having issues using the Trim enabler for OS X.  So just so I don't need to run into similar issues, I will just run without trim.  I upgrade stuff every year or so anyway :P

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+LogicalApex    1,745

I have hears a lot of people having issues using the Trim enabler for OS X.  So just so I don't need to run into similar issues, I will just run without trim.  I upgrade stuff every year or so anyway :p

You are constantly discarding SSDs? How about you post them my way... I'm always eager to recycle SSDs :)

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xWhiplash    351

Haha I already have a line for my SSDs.  My friend is getting my M4 that I will replace in a few days.  I will probably use my other M4 as a scratch disk for Photoshop and other things.  My dad is getting one of my older ones too.  

 

I usually upgrade when I need the extra space.  I don't let my SSD get above 75%.  So a 128GB -> 256GB is a nice upgrade.  Next year I will get 512 :D

 

Besides, if NO TRIM results in performance degradation eventually, would I even notice it?  I am bottleneck'ed by the SATA 2 interface in my Mac Pro workstation.  If I was running SATA 3 I might notice, but would I notice with SATA 2?

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snaphat (Myles Landwehr)    414

Besides, if NO TRIM results in performance degradation eventually, would I even notice it?  I am bottleneck'ed by the SATA 2 interface in my Mac Pro workstation.  If I was running SATA 3 I might notice, but would I notice with SATA 2?

If you often do things like write large or lots of files and then delete them: then most likely yes you'll notice sooner or later. If you don't tend to use much of the drive space and don't accumulate data rapidly (or cyclically) then it would take time to notice.

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xWhiplash    351

If you often do things like write large or lots of files and then delete them: then most likely yes you'll notice sooner or later. If you don't tend to use much of the drive space and don't accumulate data rapidly (or cyclically) then it would take time to notice.

 

Does it cause permanent performance loss?  For example, if I later install it on a windows machine with TRIM enabled, will the performance loss go away?  Or for example, I find that a year later it slows down then I run that Trim enabler?

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Ambroos    803

Does it cause permanent performance loss?  For example, if I later install it on a windows machine with TRIM enabled, will the performance loss go away?  Or for example, I find that a year later it slows down then I run that Trim enabler?

 

No. You can use tools to do a secure erase. I always do it with Parted Magic (a bootable Linux USB with all sorts of disk tools). It basically changes the automatic internal encryption used and marks all cells as empty. As soon as you do that it is basically a full-disk TRIM and whenever your drive finds some idle time it'll keep going until all cells have been emptied. About 10 minutes of idling after a secure erase your drive will perform as new (and be empty, it's still an erase).

 

(Secure erase is a special ATA command, it's extremely useful on SSD's. Especially enhanced secure erase, which makes old data pretty much unrecoverable within seconds.)

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xWhiplash    351

No. You can use tools to do a secure erase. I always do it with Parted Magic (a bootable Linux USB with all sorts of disk tools). It basically changes the automatic internal encryption used and marks all cells as empty. As soon as you do that it is basically a full-disk TRIM and whenever your drive finds some idle time it'll keep going until all cells have been emptied. About 10 minutes of idling after a secure erase your drive will perform as new (and be empty, it's still an erase).

 

(Secure erase is a special ATA command, it's extremely useful on SSD's. Especially enhanced secure erase, which makes old data pretty much unrecoverable within seconds.)

 

I thought secure erase was not possible with SSDs since it does wear leveling.  

 

Can I do that through Windows 8 format tools, or do I need to use a special utility?

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ToneKnee    279

I would definitely use TRIM if your going to use an SSD as a scratch disk.

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