The latest version of OS X Snow Leopard was released last week to prepare machines for the impending release of Apple’s next major operating system update, Lion. The release featured a few security patches and bug fixes, but the addition of TRIM support went unnoticed.
TRIM significantly increases the performance and lifespan of solid state drives by clearing blocks of data as they are deleted (like using the insert key while typing, as described in this video). Apple enabled TRIM support in 10.6.6, but only for MacBook Pros that came with SSDs installed from the factory. TRIM on 10.6.8 still requires an official Apple drive, but it allows all Macs which can be preconfigured with SSDs to benefit from the support.
Oskar Groth was able to hack together an application to enable TRIM support on any SSD, but obviously, native support is much preferred. Lion will feature TRIM support at release (and already does in the developer preview), but those with aftermarket SSDs who plan on sticking with Snow Leopard can try the above 3rd party solution. There’s no word on whether Apple will fully support aftermarket SSDs in a future update to OS X.
The update also gives users a noticeable graphics bump, up to a 48% increase in performance in OpenGL benchmarks. 10.6.8 can be downloaded via Software Update.