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I have a 15 inch mid 2012 macbook pro and a 3rd party Intel SSD (INTEL SSDSC2CT240A) that reports: TRIM Support: No. I have scoured the internet all returning varying statements from:

  • Trim support is not necessary on new drives as they have their own garbage collection built into the firmware
  • You should enable trim immediately or else the drive will suffer in both longevity and performance

I have stumbled across a command (that apparently made its way into the new versions of Mac OS X) called trimforce which allows for enabling of trim on 3rd party ssds. However there is a quite discouraging message warning against it

Last login: Mon Aug 10 01:19:49 on ttys000
michaelxu-mbp:~ michaelxu$ sudo trimforce enable
IMPORTANT NOTICE:  This tool force-enables TRIM for all relevant attached
devices, even though such devices may not have been validated for data
integrity while using TRIM.  Use of this tool to enable TRIM may result in
unintended data loss or data corruption.  It should not be used in a commercial
operating environment or with important data. Before using this tool, you
should back up all of your data and regularly back up data while TRIM is
enabled.  This tool is provided on an “as is” basis. APPLE MAKES NO WARRANTIES,
EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF
NON-INFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE,
REGARDING THIS TOOL OR ITS USE ALONE OR IN COMBINATION WITH YOUR DEVICES,
SYSTEMS, OR SERVICES. BY USING THIS TOOL TO ENABLE TRIM, YOU AGREE THAT, TO THE
EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, USE OF THE TOOL IS AT YOUR SOLE RISK AND
THAT THE ENTIRE RISK AS TO SATISFACTORY QUALITY, PERFORMANCE, ACCURACY AND
EFFORT IS WITH YOU.
Are you sure you wish to proceed (y/N)? n
Canceling operation.
michaelxu-mbp:~ michaelxu$ 

What makes it so hard for OSX to enable trim on 3rd party SSDs without having such a dangerous possibility of corruption when Windows has been doing this for a while now? Will not enabling TRIM actually reduce my SSD lifespan significantly?

  • "What makes it so hard for OSX to enable trim on 3rd party SSDs (...)" - because Apple is Apple and Apple wants you to use Apple's stuff. Maybe this is an option for you: cindori.org/software/trimenabler – ap0 Aug 10 '15 at 9:14
  • anything the warning says is that apple can't be responsible for providing the tool. I think it is safe to use it. – Schwertspize Aug 10 '15 at 9:17
  • BTW, the cindori app now just uses Apple's own TRIM enabler, so long as you're on 10.10.4 or later; the earlier hoop-jumping is gone. – Tetsujin Aug 11 '15 at 8:20
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What makes it so hard for OSX to enable trim on 3rd party SSDs without having such a dangerous possibility of corruption when Windows has been doing this for a while now? Will not enabling TRIM actually reduce my SSD lifespan significantly?

Simply put, Apple makes an issue of explicitly validating every single hardware combination in their devices, and only allow trim for things they have specifically tested and approved. They get a lot of criticism for this but funny enough the same thing happens in any mission-critical PC environment - high-end servers are also locked down in the same way in order to ensure reliability. High end server also come with similar warnings, that using any hardware not approved by the manufacturer may cause your entire datacentre blow up, etc. etc. Mobile phones and laptops have similar warnings not to use batteries or chargers not approved by the manufacturer, and so forth.

Windows, being built for PCs, runs in an ecosystem that has so many different hardware combinations controlled by different people that it is simply impossible to test every single one of them, so it just has to allow everything. The upshot of this is most hardware manufacturers treat testing compatibility with Windows as their #1 priority so the job is really delegated to the OEMs instead of the OS.

As has been demonstrated by the recent Samsung TRIM debacle, many devices are not tested by the manufacturer to work on anything other than Windows, hence Apple will only approve device that they themselves have tested.

tl;dr:

Windows is so widespread that everyone that makes hardware designs it to work with Windows so Microsoft doesn't have to do anything unless they're paid to.

Mac OS is rare enough that not everyone ensures their hardware works on Mac OS so Apple takes responsibility for testing and approving devices to work with their OS.

As for your SSD's longevity

Short answer: No. It will not reduce your SSD lifespan significantly. In typical consumer settings SSD lifespan will far outlast that of the host machine in any case, and even if you halved it, you're halving your lifespan from 20 years to 10 years. Meh.

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  • I don't think the lifespan isn't an issue here but the performance suffers a lot from ssd's whos trim is not enabled. Within weeks there is an feelable decrease in performance. – ap0 Aug 10 '15 at 13:28

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