Those keeping track of the SSD evolution know that Intel’s SSD product have set a high standard for others to follow and try to keep up with. Their X25-M series features 10 controllers and has ruled the performance charts for everything but sequential read/write operations.
Intel released a new firmware for their second generation X25 drives (found in shops with “G2” in the product name), these drives feature smaller 34nm memory modules, which allowed Intel to fit more of them into a small package at a better price point. The entry level X25-M G2 is now 80Gb in size. Doing a firmware flash on this drive will allow TRIM support in Windows 7. For more info about TRIM we refer to Anand’s excellent write-up here
The higher end Intel SSDSA2M160G2GC 160Gb drive or X25-M G2 160Gb can also be flashed from the older “2CV102G9” firmware to the new version “2CV102HD”. Next to adding TRIM support, the firmware boosts the write speed on the 160gb drive. By how much? Let us find out.The new firmware
The new firmware can be found at the Intel site here
This firmware update tool provides the latest firmware for the following Intel SSDs in all capacities:
- Intel® X25-M/X18-M SATA SSD on 50nm (black case) - updates to FW version 8820
- Intel® X25-E SATA SSD on 50nm (black case) - updates to FW version 8850
- Intel® X25-M/X18-M SATA SSD on 34nm (silver case) - updates to FW version 02HD
Yes the other models are also listed, you can
upgrade them… but the release notes list “No changes” for these models; only for the X25-M/X18-M on 34nm we see:2CV102HD : This firmware revision has several continuous improvement optimizations intended to provide the best possible user experience with the Intel SSD.
2CV102HA : This firmware revision supports the ATA Data Set Management Command “Trim”. Also, this firmware revision includes several continuous improvement optimizations that provide for increased write performance on 160GB drives.
The 2CV102HD is a tweaked version of the previous one, no clear sign of what has changed; there were reports of SSDs flashed to 2CV102HA no longer working; so this latest revision should hopefully fix them.
We installed the X25-M 160Gb G2 in a Dell E6400 Laptop. Windows 7 64-bit was installed. CrystalDiskMark test and HDD info tool used to see what changed.