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Optimise your SSD speeds with Intel's Solid-State Drive Toolbox

10 September 2010, Mike Williams

Solid-state drives are fast, reliable, quiet, cool, and only minimally affected by file fragmentation, making them an excellent upgrade for just about any PC.

But SSDs also introduce some new problems. In particular, they’re not able to simply overwrite one block of data with another. The old cells must be erased, first, slowing down write performance – unless you take action beforehand.

Sending the ATA Trim command to an SSD will allow it to erase unnecessary blocks of data at any convenient moment, before this is actually necessary. This means write operation are much less likely to require a block erase beforehand, and your SSD should just a little faster.

Windows 7 supports Trim natively, so if your SSD does as well then you’ll already be seeing the benefits.

If you’ve an Intel SSD, though – the X18-M, X25-E, X25-M and X25-V, for instance – then you can enhance its performance further by optimising it with the Intel Solid-State Toolbox, which uses the Trim command and other techniques to deliver the best possible speeds.

The Solid-State Toolbox also includes useful options to display drive information (model, firmware version and so on), SMART attributes, and analyze your drive for read or write errors, making it a valuable part of any Intel SSD owner’s troubleshooting toolkit.

Download the Intel Solid-State Drive Toolbox.

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