Intel X25-M solid-state drive firmware update
Review Intel has updated the firmware for its four models of mainstream solid-state drives, the 80GB and 160GB 1.8in X18-M and 2.5in X25-M.
Intel's X-25M and X-18M: upgraded
You may recall that during our review of the 80GB X25-M we were faced with the task of updating the firmware from version 8510 to 8610 and it was bloody hard work. For one thing, our Intel Skulltrail motherboard detected the new firmware as malware and tried to protect the system from the drive. For another, the process was horribly similar to the old school method of updating the Bios on a motherboard.
We had to boot into Dos, run the update, run a utility called HDDErase, and then format the drive before we could reinstall the operating system. When we finished the new firmware had no appreciable effect.
The latest firmware update from Intel is version 8820 - you can download it here - and it breaks new ground in a couple of ways.
The new firmware is supposed to "enable your SSD to deliver the best performance in your PC", a statement that has been taken by some commentators as a tacit admission that the X18-M and X25-M shipped with a fragmentation problem that leads to the drive becoming cluttered with junk.
Inside Intel's X25-M
The other change is that the method of updating the firmware is now very simple and doesn’t involve any formatting of your drive. Download the 3MB ISO image, burn it to CD and use it to boot your PC or Mac. The utility automatically checks for Intel SSDs that require updating, and the process is complete in a matter of seconds. Restart the system with the CD in the drive and the software will check the firmware version and should hopefully declare that the drive has been updated.
Who drew that final graph? Because it completely misrepresents the facts.
It makes it appear as if the OCZ drive is more than twice as fast where as the truth is, in that particular test it's more like 5%
No no no no
I have awarded the 90 percent for the firmware update not for the X25-M i.e. if you have an X25-M I strongly recommend you update it
May this be the first of many
Product and product review aside, top marks to Intel for the firmware design - I'd be happy to install all firmware this way (bootable downloadable .iso). Firmware flashes can be hit and miss, either through finding the right app, finding the right supported OS (linux is quite often overlooked for example) and binary file, or worse still, needing to boot DOS from a floppy.
Firmware updates can be rather nerve-wracking processes - the simplest "plug in, forget" approach works for me!
You've handed that one a 90% rating. The OCZ Vertex comparison unit is either within spit of the performance or honking all over it in most of the benchmarks and all without any tedious poncing around with firmware updates too. A quick not-trying-very-hard search reveals that the 120Gb Vertex comes in at a similar price to that you've got quoted as "from" for the 80Gb Intel.
So, 110% for the Vertex would be fair then? I know where my money would be going.......