Crucial M4 SSD Firmware Update (0009) Boosts PerformanceThu, Sep 15, 2011 - 12:00 AM
Giving the M4 A Boost
When we tested the Crucial M4 drive we found it to be a very capable SSD although we noted that we expected that the sequential scores would be more inline with where we saw the Intel 510 Series drive results. After all, they share the same processor so it’s a reasonable expectation. Apparently, Crucial took this to heart and spent some time quietly working on firmware changes to improve performance – especially in the sequential reads/writes.
So, in the spirit of due diligence we took the very same drive we tested back in April of this year, performed the firmware update and ran several of the same benchmarks to see just how far the firmware had bolstered performance. In addition, firmware changes aren’t always perceptible to the end user so there are other tweaks Crucial made as well which we have referenced below based on what Crucial had communicated to us.
Crucial M4 Firmware 0009 Changes:
Note: Changes made in version 0002 (m4 can be updated to revision 0009 directly from either revision 0001 or 0002)
- sequential read speeds by up to 20%
- PCMark Vantage benchmark scores, which results in an improved user experience in most operating systems
- throughput performance
- write latency for better performance under heavy write workloads
- compatibility with latest chipsets
- intermittent failures in cold boot up related to some specific host systems
- users with faster boot up times
- compensation for SATA speed negotiation issues between some SATA-II chipsets and the SATA-III device
We lauded the M4 for having very good scores on the benchmarks which use incompressible data as this is where the SandForce drives invariably lose their dominance because of the nature of their processor which depends on compressing the data to realize optimal performance. So if Crucial has made significant improvements, it could very well be one of the fastest all-around drives.
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