Intel offers firmware upgrade for SSD performance problem

SSD fragmentation issue unlikely to affect average user, company says

Intel Corp. has released a firmware upgrade for its consumer solid-state disk drive, the X25-M, which suffers from fragmentation issues resulting in performance degradation over time.

The fragmentation problem was uncovered by reviewers at PC Perspective, where they spent months putting several X25-M SSDs through their paces using multiple PCs and applications in order to test Intel's advanced wear-leveling and write combining algorithms, which are used to improve the longevity of the drive.

The result of the tests showed that write speeds dropped from 80MB/sec to 30MB/sec over time and read speeds dropped from 250MB/sec down to 60MB/sec for some large block writes.

An Intel spokeswoman responding in an e-mail to Computerworld's request for information said: "While the risk of a typical client user experiencing this is very low based on Intel's detailed analysis of the data, [the company] did want to take the issue seriously, root cause it and then have released a firmware upgrade solution."

Intel said synthetic workloads, like those produced by benchmarking software from companies like ATTO Technology Inc. and its ATTO Disk Benchmark product, affects its SSD controller's data management policy when servicing sequential versus random host writes.

All of Intel's SSDs will suffer periods of reduced performance after significant random write fragmentation, which is not something Windows users will typically experience, the company said.

"The 8820 firmware now services both random and sequential write to ensure that fragmentation does not put the drive in a lower-than-expected performance state," Intel wrote.

Firmware version 8820 should solve the problem with previously shipped X25-M SSDs and enable a relatively stable 80MB/sec write speed and 230MB/sec read speed. The company said all drives currently shipping now contain the firmware upgrade.

The 8820 firmware revision is available for field upgrades to end users. Intel said end users with questions can contact its support team.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags SSDstorageintel

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucas Mearian

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?