- An SSD is a good performance upgrade but the OWC Mercury Accelsior_E2 provides incredible performance. Though quite a bit more expensive than a standard SSD, if you want the absolute best performance for a Mac Pro you may want to consider it. At 820MB/s it is over 5 times faster than the SSD I just installed. Hat tip to Eytan for pointing this out to me.
- After adding a 3rd party SSD to your Mac, you need to investigate TRIM support. Derek brought up the issue in the comments and I spent some time investigating it.
What is TRIM?TRIM is effectively a garbage collection model for SSDs. There is some great information on it on Wikipedia’s TRIM entry. The bottom line is that without TRIM enabled the performance of an SSD will suffer over time. This is something you’ll want to address.
I contacted Crucial technical support to ask if the Crucial 512GB M4 SSD I purchased supported TRIM. Crucial told me I had two options: occasionally "clean" the SSD or enable the operating system to send TRIM commands to the drive. The cleaning process sounds... tiresome. You restart your Mac every couple of weeks, holding down the Option key during the reboot, then let it sit at the boot menu for 24 hours as the firmware cleans the SSD.
You can however turn on TRIM support through a series of Terminal commands and script execution or by using a free utility called Trim Enabler.
|Trim Enabler - just turn it on|
|TRIM Support is enabled|
Got a tip for maximizing SSD performance? Drop a note in the comments!
Update: I always get the best comments. In case you don't read them, Hendrik pointed out that not all SSDs are created equal and that Sandforce based SSDs have built in garbage collection baked in. OWC SSDs in particular should not run Trim Enabler. Your mileage may vary. Clearly for the Crucial SSD I installed it's needed but if you install an SSD check with your manufacturer to see if it needs TRIM enabled in the OS.