Intel 34nm X25-M Gen 2 SSD Performance Update

The Update and Optimizer Utility

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Owners thinking about updating the firmware on their 34nm Gen 2 X25-M drives can rest assured that the update process is very easy and straight forward.

Once the update had been downloaded from Intel's support site, users are required to either burn an .ISO image to CD or copy the necessary files to some other bootable device. We chose the CD method. With the .ISO burned to a CD, a bootable disc is created which will automatically run through the update process.

We should note that the SATA controller cannot be configured for RAID mode when performing this update, and the controller must be set to ATA or compatibility mode. With that done, however, simply boot the update CD and follow the on-screen prompts. First, users are asked if they want to perform the update.

Then after a system scan is complete, the utility will update whichever compatible Intel SSDs it finds within the system. The entire process takes no more than a couple of minutes.

Intel warns that there is a chance of data loss when performing the firmware update, but to date, we have not lost a single bit of data when updating an Intel SSD's firmware. Of course, your mileage may vary, so please, record a backup before following through with the update procedure.

As we've mentioned, Intel's new firmware update for their 34nm Gen 2 X25-M SSD also adds support for TRIM. The TRIM attribute of the ATA data set management command synchronizes the operating system’s view of deleted files with those that are deleted, but not erased from 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.

TRIM will be available natively to users of Windows 7, but not to users of Vista or XP. The new optimizer toolbox also being released today, however, gives users the ability to execute the commands manually to optimize their drives The Toolbox also makes it possible to schedule and run the Optimizer automatically, which Intel recommends be run once a day to ensure maximum performance.

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