After toiling away in the labs, Intel's engineers have just released a fresh firmware for the drives that addresses those very issues. Firmware version 1.1, dated 04/10/09, weighs in at just over 3MB and applies to the following devices:
- Intel X18-M Solid State Drive, 160GB SATA II 1.8in, MLC, High Performance
- Intel X18-M Solid State Drive, 80GB SATA II 1.8in, MLC, High Performance
- Intel X25-M Solid State Drive, 160GB SATA II 2.5in, MLC, High Performance
- Intel X25-M Solid State Drive, 80GB SATA II 2.5in, MLC, High Performance
Intel still asserts that it's extremely unlikely that an average joe would ever run into any of these long-term, serious fragmentation issues, but given that you're not exactly the average joe if you're reading HotHardware, you'll probably want to give this link a visit for the download and corresponding installation instructions. If you've already been affected, be sure to return and let us know if you see a marked improvement or not.
We did some quick experimenting with an Intel X25-M 80GB drive using HD Tach. We ran a couple of tests before flashing to the latest firmware, and after flashing...
As you can see in the HD Tach graphs above, performance is right in line with the new firmware. Keep in mind, however, this firmware update isn't about increasing performance across the board under every test condition, but rather about eliminating a potential performance degradation issue that could crop up under certain conditions. We're currently working on a SSD round-up which will be posted in the not too distant future. That article will feature a full suite of performance tests on the X25-M using this latest firmware update.
(Updated @ 9:19pm with new performance scores)