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Performance also affected by unnecessary writes (no TRIM in Mac OSX)
Authored by: Makosuke on Jan 07, '11 04:50:31PM

"Still, it keeps puzzling me why there are a lot of users experiencing measurable slow down (on Mac OSX without TRIM support). Is this caused by the wear leveling algorithm for which it gets tougher and tougher to find unused cells??"

Sort of--the key word here is "without TRIM support"--to my knowledge all the reports of modern drives experiencing slowdowns over time have nothing to do with wear leveling or failed cells, but with the lack of TRIM support meaning that the drive is having to re-write large blocks of data even for small amounts of data transfer. The reason that this problem exists (and the reason for TRIM support) area heavily documented if you read around.

So while slowdown is most certainly an issue, and it's even possible that web cache would exacerbate it, the lack of TRIM has more to do with it than any kind of wear issues. And it's important to note that just because cells in the SSD wearing out aren't likely to be a problem, that doesn't mean the drive isn't going to fail--just that it's not likely to be failed data cells that cause the drive to die. It might only last a year, or it might last ten, but it's going to be controller of full-chip failure that kills it, not data wear.

Note, also, that SandForce drives have better firmware to deal with the data slowdown issues than older (or, to my knowledge, Intel) drives. In particular OWC's drives have firmware that deals VERY well with the MacOS's lack of TRIM support--every real-world test I've seen of their drives show consistent read/write performance no matter how hard the drive is stressed.

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