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Intel X25-M 80GB Does Support TRIM. What are my options?

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July 5, 2011 3:13:30 PM

I currently have a Intel X25-M 80GB of the 50nm flavor which means it doesn't support TRIM. I verified this using the Intel SSD Toolbox program and TRIM is not an option for me.

I've read various articles looking for other solutions (i.e Garbage Collection on Kingston Drives) and basically i've come up with nadda. For the most part every article bluntly states "Be sure to support / enable TRIM" which I can't.

So, what are my options? Is there anything I can do to help prevent the slow down of my SSD over time?

Thanks

a b å Intel
a c 257 G Storage
July 5, 2011 4:16:41 PM

Is that the original model from 2008?
July 5, 2011 4:41:49 PM

Yes, the launch X25-M Series SSDs
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a b å Intel
a c 257 G Storage
July 5, 2011 6:16:04 PM

TRIM is a Windows 7 function. It is not a solid state drive function. TRIM is nothing more than a message sent by Windows 7 letting the ssd know that a user has deleted data. A solid state drive does not need TRIM to work properly. Solid state drives use their own garbage collection. Garbage collection works quite well. Think of Windows 7 Trim as something nice to have but not necessary.

There are quite a few situations where a ssd will not support the Windows 7 TRIM function. For example there is no TRIM function in older versions of Windows or other Operating Systems. Another example is using mutliple ssd's in a RAID array. In the past Windows 7 TRIM was not supported (that is about to change). SSD's that cannot support Windows 7 Trim use their own internal garbage collection. It works! No problem!

There have been several Intel firmware updates since the X25-M (50nm) was released in 2008. Here is a link to the update descriptions:

http://downloadmirror.intel.com/18363/eng/Release%20Not...

Here is a link to the Intel firmware download page:

http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&...

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a b å Intel
a c 415 G Storage
July 5, 2011 6:57:25 PM
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The original poster is correct - the Intel G1 drives don't recognize the TRIM commands that Windows sends to them and so they will never mark freed sectors as being available for garbage collection. Intel has stated that they won't be upgrading the firmware for these drives with TRIM support.

There's nothing you can do about this in normal use other than to try to leave a fair bit of your drive unused. If write performance degrades to the point where it becomes a problem, you can back up the entire drive, perform a secure erase on it to mark all of the sectors as unused, then restore the data to it.
July 5, 2011 8:06:17 PM

sminlal said:
The original poster is correct - the Intel G1 drives don't recognize the TRIM commands that Windows sends to them and so they will never mark freed sectors as being available for garbage collection. Intel has stated that they won't be upgrading the firmware for these drives with TRIM support.

There's nothing you can do about this in normal use other than to try to leave a fair bit of your drive unused. If write performance degrades to the point where it becomes a problem, you can back up the entire drive, perform a secure erase on it to mark all of the sectors as unused, then restore the data to it.



That's a option as well. I went through all the Intel SSD Notes and I found a bunch of optimization tweaks but nothing regarding garbage collection.
July 5, 2011 8:09:50 PM

Best answer selected by 3xch4ng3.
a b å Intel
a c 257 G Storage
July 5, 2011 9:12:18 PM

sminlal - What about garbage collection?

It was my understanding the X25-M (50nm) used garbage collection algorithms and a cache but the cache for it is not as large the ones in newer ssd's that have much more aggressive garbage collection. When the X25-M (34nm) was introduced the size of the cache was doubled to improve the garbage collection process.

Did I get things mixed up?
a b å Intel
a c 415 G Storage
July 5, 2011 10:07:03 PM

The X25-M does do wear leveling, and as part of that process it consolidates used sectors together into single flash memory pages so as to free up and erase other pages. It's the pool of erased pages that's necessary for good write performance.

But an Intel G1 drive has the disadvantage that when a file is deleted at the OS level the blocks that are marked free in the file system are not known to the SSD, so it can't make that space available for re-writing as blank flash pages.

By and large this isn't as huge a deal as it seems, since the file system blocks that are freed are likely to get re-used by another file at some point anyway. But over time and with enough file system activity the net result is inevitably going be that a G1 drive has fewer free flash pages to work with than a drive that can accept TRIM commands.
a b å Intel
a c 257 G Storage
July 5, 2011 10:20:26 PM

sminlal - Thanks. That's was my undertsanding also but I have a hard time with the technical language.
July 6, 2011 2:30:32 PM

I wouldn't worry about it too much. The Intel G1 does quite well even though it doesn't support TRIM.
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