Recently after Microsoft’s Windows 7 launch, Intel has announced the availability of their 'SSD Toolbox with Intel SSD Optimizer’ and a firmware update for their 34nm X25-M SSD’s. These new tools were released to help users manage and retain the performance of their Intel SSD’s.
Intel’s firmware update and SSD Optimizer use the Windows 7 ATA Data Set Management Command (known as Trim) to help keep the SSD running at continued high performance. Don’t worry if you don’t use Microsoft’s latest and greatest OS though, as Intel say the SSD Toolbox will allow Windows Vista and XP users to enjoy the full benefits of Trim and the firmware update.
For those of you lucky enough to own one of Intel’s 160GB X25-M’s, the firmware update will also increase sequential write speeds, providing up to 100MB/s.
The Trim attribute of the ATA Data Set Management Command, often referred to as Trim, synchs the operating system's view of deleted files with those that are deleted, but not erased on the drive. Trim tells the SSD which data blocks are no longer in use. This helps stabilize the performance and health of the SSD over time.
Intel began shipping the 34nm version of their award-winning X25-M SSD in July. It’s good that the largest chip manufacturer in the world, Intel, have started releasing software and firmware updates for their SSD’s. Intel aren’t the first to offer this level of aftermarket support for SSD’s, with smaller manufactures like OCZ releasing firmware updates for their Vertex drives.
Hopefully more manufacturers will follow suit soon, supporting their customers with software updates, maybe in a similar way to ATI and NVIDIA releasing regular driver updates, at least while mainstream SSD technology is in its infancy. There are clearly some bugs to be ironed out before SSD’s reach the level of popularity mechanical drives have achieved, but then again mechanical drives have been around much longer than purely electronic drives.
You can download Intel's SSD Toolbox here