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

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TrimSupport

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.