Intel has released a firmware update for its Intel X18-M and X25-M solid state drives addressing an issue first reported back in February. Specifically, PC Perspective had discovered that the write combining feature in Intel SSDs caused internal fragmentation and in some cases saw write speeds dropping to 25-30 MB/s levels. As a result of this fragmentation, PCPer found that a used X25-M will always perform worse than a new one.
While Intel first downplayed the issue, claiming it was highly unlikely that end users would be affected under real-world conditions, the company has now shipped an update to fix this particular problem on top of implementing several other improvements and optimizations. They also shipped the update in advance to PC Perspective, which has posted a follow up story claiming to be impressed with the renewed performance the 8820 firmware will bring to all M series drive users. Good to see Intel is open to feedback from reviewers.