You can enable TRIM support for third party SSDs in OSX Lion. There's a tech route
and a utility called TRIM Enabler
to do it all for you.
It's not completely without risk though and many SSDs have inbuilt 'garbage collection' regimes to wipe cells clear again (after deletion) so they're free to be written to without being erased first when normal write operations are called up by the OS. Tradtitionally, magnetic storage drives don't actually erase the cells on deletion but flag them for rewriting but that doesn't help SSDs at all.
An SSD is obviously the nicest solution but not exactly the best economically, especially if you consider they are said to not be as long lasting as standard hard disk drives. They have a higher failure rate apparently as the flash cells wear out over time. They are improving but are still somewhat behind traditional hard disk platter based drives.
A good compromise in improving general disk performance without breaking the bank or worrying about TRIM, is to buy a hybrid drive. Seagate appear to be the only manufacturer incorporating SLC NAND flash based storage into standard magnetic based 2.5" laptop sized hard drives. At around £130
for 750GBs of storage, they're much cheaper and give a good boost in everyday performance to the average user.
Compared to the standard 5400 SATA2 HDDs shipped with many Macbook Pros, the Seagate Momentous XT
hybrid drives can read and write in excess of 110MB/s, a good boost over the typical maximum of 70-80MB/s read and significantly lower writes of 5400rpm drives. Of course, nowhere near the 500MB/s+ reads/writes of the SSDs coming to market now. One of the best features of the Momentous drives is they have logic that learns to precache frequently used applications to the 8GB flash so they respond much quicker than normal. Boot times can improve to 20 seconds from power on to desktop from more than a minute with 5400 rpm drives.
Prices are pretty volatile for these Momentous XT drives at the moment, but I think they're well worth it and reckon on getting more in the future. Ideally, an SSD would be better for video editing purposes but you have to think about storage capacity too if you're editing several hundred GBs of footage and don't have tons of cash to spare.
Edited by SPOOKish (Sat 21-Apr-12 16:50:59)