Mac OS X 10.6.8 Adds TRIM Support for Apple SSDs Leaves Third-Party SSDs Hanging

Mac OS X 10.6.8 Adds TRIM Support for Apple SSDs Leaves Third-Party SSDs Hanging

Apple released Mac OS X 10.6.8 last week while I was traveling and I managed to find a nice Wi-Fi connection to use to update my 13-inch MacBook Air. I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with the new OS release until today. I found something nice while looking through the System Profiler for any changes. Mac OS X 10.6.8 had added TRIM support to all Macs that have SSD drives installed — a feature that will benefit my MacBook Air.

Apple has effectively activated TRIM support for all Apple systems that contain solid state hard drives (SSDs). TRIM allows SSDs to automatically handle garbage collection which prevents slowdowns by cleaning  up unused data blocks and prepping them for rewriting. Systems that don’t support TRIM can experience slowdowns due to the accumulation of garbage data that occurs over time.

This is a positive and surprising move since many Mac OS X Lion beta testers noted that the new OS supported TRIM and therefore it was unexpected for Apple to include it in what will probably be Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopards last update before the release of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion next month. Prior to this support for TRIM was only available to MacBook Pro owners who purchased their notebooks this last February along with a special build of Mac OS X.

Now everyone can enjoy TRIM on their Apple branded SSDs, but the joy of having TRIM support doesn’t extend to users with third-party SSDs according to a colleague of mine. Non-Apple drives are left hanging — no TRIM support for you in Mac OS X 10.6.8.

This is a good news for all MacBook Air owners as well as others with Apple branded SSDs. However, I’m wondering if Lion’s support for TRIM will be expanded to third-party drives? If you are testing a Mac running Lion with a third-party SSD installed please let us know whether or not TRIM works with that configuration by leaving a comment.

  • Chris Brunner

    Yes, this is pretty messed up. However, we need to remember that Apple is a hardware company whereas MS is not. Like the article states near the end, we can probably expect TRIM support in Lion. (if not upon launch, then soon thereafter).

    I’m seriously considering buying the next-gen Air when it’s released but don’t want to pay the “Apple Tax” for a bigger SSD.

    -Chris
    http://friendsofmac.net

  • David Pembelton

    What’s the big deal about it when anyone can enable it on any third-party SSD that has TRIM support? It’s just a click away using TRIM Support Enabler utility. It works great and it’s a free download.

  • Paul Acciavatti

    OCZ-VERTEX, no joy.

  • Mike Rathjen

    Many SSDs have their own internal methods for garbage collection, so TRIM isn’t necessary.

    However, TRIM can be enabled in Snow Leopard for any SSD that supports TRIM:

    For 10.6.8:
    http://www.groths.org/?p=387

    For more information (and a link to the version for 10.6.7):
    http://lifehacker.com/5803331/

  • Mike Rathjen

    Vertex 2 and newer have their own garbage collection anyway. I don’t know about the original Vertex, if that’s what you have. But in that case you can use the TRIM Enabler (see my post with links).

  • DavidWMartin

    My MacBook Air is the first computer that I’ve owned that has a built-in SSD drive. The 13-inch MacBook Air with 256GB SSD was the first time I’ve ever thought I was purchasing a computer with an SSD with reasonable space at an affordable price. I don’t regret the purchase and hopefully TRIM support will make the experience even better. 

    Thanks for the great comments.

  • ssumer

    Trim is not supported by Lion DP4, Intel 320 PVR G3 300GB SSD,  

  • ErinsDad

    I have not seen any trim for years, so this is pretty exciting.   (Are we talking about the same thing?)

  • Justin Holst

    There is a free aftermarket utility that switched TRIM on for any brand SSD. I noticed the support dropped from 10.6.8 due to new drivers in the package, but after running the utility again, TRIM support is back on. Check out the utility yourself at http://www.groths.org/?p=387

    Justin http://www.pc-computer-repairs… 

  • codeslubber

    I have a 17″ mbp w/an Apple-installed 256GB SSD, just installed Lion today. It’s stupid fast.

  • Mohammad Khalifeh

    I have Toshiba 512 GB SSD HD. the TRIM support enabler utility didn’t work on my HD. Any suggestions

    M. Khalifeh
    Macbook pro 2011 latest model

  • Steven Chaffer

    Thanks david. Just looked and found both my apple SSD’s in my Mac Pro are now covered with TRIM. Awesome looken-out!

  • Steven Chaffer

    Awesome looking out David!! Both my Apple ssd’s in my Mac Pro are now sitten all TRIMED up and ready for summer!!

  • Boris Meyer

    No Trim on my 15″ MBP with Lion beta and my Intel 250GB SSD 510 series.

  • theonest

    no Trim on my 13.3 macbook pro

  • Pete Biggs

    And this little beauty adds TRIM support for 3rd Party SSD Drives. Tested working with my G.Skill Falcon 128GB.

    http://www.groths.org/?p=308

  • An Solas

    typical apple… Same with the new iMacs where the HDDs need to have an Apple Firmware.

  • staffspk

    Hey, I actually have one of those MacBook Pro (13 inch) with SSD and TRIM support since OS 10.6.7, I bought it last month, and it works amazingly fast, I wonder if not having that TRIM support will had a noticeable effect. 

  • Martin Sermak

    These instructions actually work on 10.6.8 and 10.7
    http://www.sendspace.com/file/

  • Reggie

    Just another reason when my Macbook Pro goes I am going back to Ubuntu.

  • Asia-wanderer

    I am sorry but Groths does not have a decent understanding of kexts – you are not doing a good job by either replacing it with an older version or patched a fixed address.
    see: http://digitaldj.net/2011/07/2

    Information given by Martin Sermak is the correct approach.

About the author

David W. MartinDavid W. Martin has more than 20 years of experience in the industry as a programmer, systems and business analyst, author, and consultant. David has written for CNET's iPhoneatlas.com, MacLife.com, CultofMac.com, BYTE.com and recently for aNewDoman.net. He comes to Cult of Mac's website with deep knowledge and passion for the all things Apple. Follow David on Twitter @david_w_martin or see what he's up to now at davidwmartin.com.

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