updated 04:15 pm EDT, Mon October 26, 2009
Intel updates 34nm firmware with TRIM
Intel today posted a crucial firmware update for its current-generation 34 nanometer solid-state drives that promises a major lift to their performance. The X25-M series now supports the Trim, or ATA Data Set Management Command, to more efficiently write to the drive. By better recognizing and shuffling which data blocks aren't used, Trim avoids unnecessarily rewriting to the disk and speeds up its overall transfer speed.
Actual improvements can vary by the capacity of the drive, but a 160GB unit's write speeds can jump from about 70MB per second to 100MB per second solely using the firmware update.
The Trim command is currently used best in Windows 7, which recognizes the Trim command natively, but through a new SSD Optimizer and Toolbox set should also see a benefit in Windows XP and Vista by periodically refreshing the drive.
Mac OS X and other operating systems don't yet recognize the Trim command but isn't precluded from recognizing it through a future software update.