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Intel Releases SSD Toolbox 3.0 Software

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 14 comments

Intel has released an updated version to the Intel SSD Toolbox (Version 3.0) for use by Intel SSD users.

The new Intel SSD Toolbox offers a new visual interface, with pie-charts and all. With the new interface, you see your drives as tabs across the top, with the Intel drives listed first. You are able to see vital information for your Intel SSD, including: Model Number, Capacity, Firmware version, Drive Health, and Estimated Drive Life Remaining (useful for those worried about drive life). The toolbox provides SMART attributes and IDENTIFY DEVICE information for Intel SSDs and non-Intel SSDs.

Going down the tabs on the side of the toolbox, you see tools for:

  1. Optimizing the performance of an Intel SSD using Trim functionality
  2. Updating the firmware on a supported Intel SSD (see below for more details)
  3. Running either a quick or full diagnostic scans to test the read and write functionality of an Intel SSD
  4. Checking and tuning your system settings for optimal Intel SSD performance, power efficiency, and endurance
  5. Viewing your system information and hardware configuration, such as central processing unit (CPU), chipset, controller name, and driver versions
  6. Running Secure Erase on a secondary Intel SSD
Intel SSD Toolbox 3.0

Intel SSD Toolbox 2.0

     

The Intel SSD Toolbox supports firmware updates on the following Intel SSDs: 

Intel® Solid-State DriveLatest Firmware Version
Intel® Solid-State Drive 710 Series6PB10362
Intel® Solid-State Drive 320 Series4PC10362
Intel® Solid-State Drive 311 Series2CV102M5
Intel® Solid-State Drive 310 Series
2CV102M3
Intel® X18-M / X25-M SATA SSDs (34nm)2CV102M3
Intel® X25-V SATA SSD
2CV102M3

     

The Intel SSD Toolbox does not support firmware updates on the following Intel SSDs. To update the firmware on these SSDs, use the Intel® SATA Solid-State Drive Firmware Update Tool.

Intel® Solid-State DriveLatest Firmware Version
Intel® Solid-State Drive 510 SeriesPPG2 or PPG4  (120GB SSD)
PWG2 or PWG4 (250GB SSD)
Intel® X18-M/X25-M SATA SSDs (50nm)045C8820
Intel® X25-E SATA SSD (50nm)045C8850

        

The SSD Toolbox 3.0 can be downloaded for free at Intel's website.

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  • 1 Hide
    joe nate , November 1, 2011 3:38 AM
    Very nice. After updating my firmware I installed Intel SSD Toolbox 3.0. Still says my drive is at 100% estimated life remaining. I rarely ever think to check for updates, so thanks to tom's hardware, I did!
  • 1 Hide
    alyoshka , November 1, 2011 4:26 AM
    Yeah, I updated mine 2 days ago...... works like a wonder and looks better, even feels better. The Firmware Update tabs cool.Nice...
    Overall a very nice updated tool.
  • -2 Hide
    Lutfij , November 1, 2011 4:39 AM
    hmmm - after reading this i'm definitely going to wait out for lower priced SSD's that have a good life expectancy.
  • Display all 14 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    jimmysmitty , November 1, 2011 4:53 AM
    Nice. Glad to see this.
  • 0 Hide
    mrkdilkington , November 1, 2011 4:56 AM
    This is why I only buy Intel SSD's. Secure Erase is so easy with the toolbox; on other brands it's a lengthier process involving Linux distributions or HDDErase that never seems to work with your chipset.
  • 2 Hide
    joe nate , November 1, 2011 5:25 AM
    Lutfijhmmm - after reading this i'm definitely going to wait out for lower priced SSD's that have a good life expectancy.


    I have had my Intel SSDs for 2 years now. I do everything you're supposed to (disable superfetch, don't defrag, etc) and the tool reports still 100% Estimated life remaining (and 100% drive health). I turn on and use my computer for 3-5 hours and turn off my computer daily.

    Just fyi. Just because the tool has the ability to measure it, doesn't mean the expected life is low. In fact Intel was the first brand to make an SSD that did everything right when it comes to SSDs. From power consumption, to read/write speeds, to life expectancy to supporting TRIM. They did it right from the start. Other brands had to deal with the faulty/buggy jmicron controller that ruined products that could have otherwise succeeded.
  • 1 Hide
    nikorr , November 1, 2011 7:56 AM
    Intel does a good job for their SSD's.
  • 0 Hide
    spazoid , November 1, 2011 8:05 AM
    Lutfijhmmm - after reading this i'm definitely going to wait out for lower priced SSD's that have a good life expectancy.


    What? You make no sense whatsoever. After reading about an updated piece of software for monitoring and performing maintenance on an SSD, you're going to wait for cheaper SSD's? How are those two related?
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , November 1, 2011 10:01 AM
    mrkdilkington: If the others are a lengthier process, that would tend to indicate that Intel isn't really erasing anything, at least not securely. There are 1,000,000+ tools out there that do a truly hardcore erasing, and most of them take time.

    nikorr: Yeah, they do a fine job when they're not bricking their expensive SSDs, or showing 8MB of capacity on a reboot.
  • -2 Hide
    drwho1 , November 1, 2011 1:34 PM
    I just wait until the SSD manufactures "release" Lower Prices.
  • 1 Hide
    proxy711 , November 1, 2011 1:49 PM
    drwho1I just wait until the SSD manufactures "release" Lower Prices.

    While they aren't as cheap as HDDs. You can quite commonly fine close to $1 to 1GB ratios on 64GB and 120GB SSDs, which is plenty for an OS and the ladder a gaming drive.

    With an added TB+ HDD or two storage isn't a problem. I think the added price, but greater performance is worth the extra cost.

    However I do agree the price needs to continue to drop for 250+GB SSDs to become "affordable".
  • 0 Hide
    mrkdilkington , November 1, 2011 2:30 PM
    solid_shat_dudemrkdilkington: If the others are a lengthier process, that would tend to indicate that Intel isn't really erasing anything, at least not securely. There are 1,000,000+ tools out there that do a truly hardcore erasing, and most of them take time.
    What I mean is the amount of time to set up the Secure Erase. The Secure Erase function itself on a SSD should go very quickly, only a few seconds, or you're doing it wrong. A longer, different erase method on a SSD will waste write cycles.
  • 0 Hide
    drwho1 , November 1, 2011 4:58 PM
    Proxy711While they aren't as cheap as HDDs. You can quite commonly fine close to $1 to 1GB ratios on 64GB and 120GB SSDs, which is plenty for an OS and the ladder a gaming drive.With an added TB+ HDD or two storage isn't a problem. I think the added price, but greater performance is worth the extra cost. However I do agree the price needs to continue to drop for 250+GB SSDs to become "affordable".


    Agreed.

    SSD's need to get to the .70 to .90 per Gigabyte price range before they start "flying off the shelves". This were SSD's will start truly becoming mainstream.

    A 250GB - 320GB SSD would be a perfect size for most users for a boot drive that can hold most "needed" software and even a few games.

    I'm using my notebook's 320GB hard drive as a guideline....
    My tower uses a 500GB boot hard drive (with far more games and programs than my notebook) But even a $1 per GB that would still be way too expensive for a 500GB SSD.

    A simple math: at .80 cents per GB for a 500GB SSD would still be $400 dollars, but although to me (and many) would still be too high, that IMO would be a great start for SSD's to start "flying off the shelves".
  • 0 Hide
    prakalejas , November 2, 2011 4:03 PM
    Useless, does not work on HP server RAID controller, even with simple raid-0 (not really raided). Once again - drawing nice GUI is useless without actual functionality upgrade.