Lion is really shaping up to be a major upgrade to the Mac operating system. A new tidbit of information has been discovered that points to Lion having TRIM support for solid-state drives. This is good news for people who use SSD’s, as performance of this type of drive can start to degrade over time. When TRIM support is fully integrated into Lion, the speed and performance of SSD’s should increase dramatically. Windows 7 includes support for TRIM already.
Solid-state drives are faster, smaller and extremely light compared to traditional hard drives, but they do suffer from one significant problem. Because SSD’s write data differently than standard hard drives, they start to slow down with normal use. This has to do with the way data is written to these drives. Over time, write speeds of this type of drive decreases significantly.
Currently when you delete information on an SSD, the drive first has to erase the data before it can overwrite it. This takes one cycle and increases the time it takes before new data can be written to that sector. Using TRIM, when a file is deleted, it is overwritten right away, without having to pause and erase the previous data. This significantly increases the speed and performance of an SSD drive.
Over time, as solid-state drives become standard equipment in the PC industry, prices will come down and performance levels will increase. The traditional hard drive may one day be relegated to the history books (or blogs), but until solid-state drives come down in price, I don’t think we’ll be saying goodbye to well-proven technology. Before too long, a terabyte SSD will fit in your pocket and we’ll never know how we lived without them.