Regular firmware updates (or the lack thereof) set apart manufacturers of SSDs [Solid State Drives]. Period.
In essence, whether SSD vendors are capable of issuing firmware upgrades at a steady rate all depends on the IC [Integrated Controller] in question, be it Indilinx, Intel, Samsung, SanDisk, etc.
But should the end user really care? That certainly is an open question. What we do know is that most end users do not have this information at hand.
Conversely, what does matter is if the vendor sees itself fit to continuously push through well-functioning firmware upgrades. Among other things, upgrades should improve performance, longevity, and add must-have features such as support for the Windows 7 TRIM command.
TRIM sets out to cut down on the amount of data to be deleted from the fragile memory cells aboard your SSD, thus increasing the lifespan of the device. Additionally, a very important part of the TRIM command is avoidance of time-related performance decrease experienced by many owners of MLC-based Solid State Drives. Therefore, TRIM should help you to experience incremental performance improvements rather than a decrease in performance over time.
As such, it is with great pleasure that memory vendor A-Data informs us about the release of firmware upgrades for the XPG SX95 and S592 2.5? SATA II SSDs. Additionally, new drives will arrive with the firmware pre-installed for your convenience.
Having provided zero firmware upgrades so far, it has really been a struggle for this vendor to remain competitive in the marketplace, especially with companies such as Kingston, OCZ and Super Talent investing heavily in giving their users best possible service.
Most users fall prey to the marketing efforts of Microsoft. Yours truly would not want to purchase any SSD without pre-announced or – at the very least – upcoming support for the TRIM feature. Given that even a giant such as Intel faltered with its TRIM-related update, you should be cautious when setting out to acquire the appropriate SSD model.
If you already own one or more of the units in mention, you can grab the firmware from the A-Data website.
In your opinion, how important is a feature such as TRIM? Which characteristics do you consider crucial when considering the purchase of an SSD? Let us know by filing your comment below.