Intel releases Windows 7 SSD optimization toolbox

New firmware, 'Trim' tools can increase performance on its X25-M SSDs by 40%

Intel Corp. announced the availability today of a tool kit to optimize the performance of its X25-M consumer-class solid state disk (SSD) drive with Windows 7 operating system.

The Intel SSD Toolbox with Intel SSD Optimizer and firmware update was created for the company's latest 34nm Intel X25-M Mainstream SATA SSDs, which were released in July.

The tools are designed to help better manage and retain the out-of-box performance of Intel SSDs, Intel said in a statement.

The Intel SSD Toolbox allows users to more effectively monitor and manage the SSD's health. The firmware upgrade and Intel SSD Optimizer use the Windows 7 ATA Data Set Management Command (known as Trim) to help keep the Intel SSD running at continued high performance.

In addition, the SSD Toolbox and Optimizer also allow the respective enhancements to work with Windows XP and Vista.

"Not only will Windows 7 users receive the performance enhancements of the Trim command, but so will our Windows XP and Vista users," said Pete Hazen, director of marketing, Intel NAND Solutions Group.

The Trim attribute of Windows 7 synchs the operating system's view of deleted files with those that are deleted, but not erased on the drive. Trim tells the SSD which data blocks are no longer in use. Intel said this helps stabilize the performance and health of the SSD over time.

For X25-M owners with 160GB of capacity on the dive, the firmware update also offers a performance boost to sequential write speeds by delivering up to 100MB per second, a 40% performance improvement over the existing firmware version.

The Intel SSD Toolbox provides SSD management tools and information about the drive, including comparing Self-Monitoring and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T.) drive attributes to manufacturer threshold.

It provides basic and full diagnostics, along with recommended actions. The Toolbox also features a graphical user interface that will allow end users to schedule and run the Trim command independent of the operating system.

Intel recommends users install the firmware update and toolbox, and run the Trim function daily to ensure best performance.

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