The toolbox provides 2 primary functions: run management/diagnostic utilities on the SSD, allowing you to view information about your drive and secondly, to initiate a manual TRIM for the second generation ('G2') SSDs when the OS doesn't support it natively. If you were running Vista, you would want to do this. If you were running 7, you wouldn't need to bother.
I have a Vista PC here and I do not need to run the toolbox very often. You will not experience performance issues if you run an OS that doesn't support TRIM natively. You just suffer the inconvenience of having to either manually run TRIM via toolbox, or schedule it, neither of which is painful.
Garbage collection is the first iteration of an attempt to keep a drive speedy after it has been written to. With G1 drives, this is important. With G2 drives, TRIM takes over. In short, if you're buying an SSD new, it will be a G2, so you don't need to worry about it.
PS. i've found 7 to run quite nicely on older systems. You may be surprise..
Awesome, thank you so much! I guess I can disable the Sunday maintenance on my Windows 7 machine then. Had no idea I didn't need to do that. I'm assuming that I don't need to actually uninstall the software but just disable the scheduled maintenance since the Toolbox does provide other functionality.
Very good to know that 7 also works on older systems - I might just give that a try. I have been very happy with Win 7 since I started using it. I think the computer I'm talking about has a P4 Prescott 2.18 GHz with currently 1 GB of DDR2-667. I plan on increasing that to at least 2 GB, possibly 4GB which is of course where the 64-bit OS comes into play. I have to check on our software though... we have a lot of specialty software that may not play nicely with a 64-bit OS.
Anyway, thanks for the SSD 101 - very much appreciated!