Intel's 80GB X25-M drive was among the top performers in our first SSD roundup six months ago, and their newer 34nm variants have been selling very well despite an initial setback caused by a firmware defect. Now the company is looking to make their MLC-based offerings an even sweeter buy, with an update that not only adds support for the TRIM feature, but boosts sequential write performance of the 160GB model as well.
PC Perspective and Legit Reviews recently benchmarked the drives using the 02HA firmware and saw nothing but positive results. The introduction of TRIM support for the 34nm based X25-M series means that the drives will always perform as close to their optimal, clean state as possible under Windows 7 by scheduling the Intel SSD Optimizer (part of the Intel SSD Toolbox) to run daily.
What's more, Intel is releasing this optimization tool for Windows Vista and XP users as well, so they can benefit from TRIM even though it's not natively supported by either operating system. Owners of the second generation 160GB X25-M will also see a 40% performance boost to sequential write speeds (up to 100 MB/s).
The firmware upgrade can be found here and the Intel SSD Toolbox and Optimizer here. Although no data should be erased in the process, it's recommended that users back up their data before upgrading their drives.