Crucial has issued a firmware update for its m4 series of SSDs and promises a range of performance improvements beyond your normal firmware fixes. The company is claiming up to a 20 percent performance increase in sequential read speeds. It is like "having your cake and eating it too" - You get those little firmware bugs fixed and you get a nice performance increase for free.
SSDs rely heavily on their firmware for their performance, along with controller-related features such as Garbage Collection, Wear-leveling, to name a couple. Other improvements in the firmware upgrade includes; increased throughput performance, lower write latency, improved chipset compatibility, improvement for cold boot failures, and faster boot up time. The firmware comes through an ISO image that is installed through a CD or DVD. (This is one area I would've like to see Crucial take a page from OCZ and provide its firmware updates from a "Crucial Toolbox".)
Crucial's Official Release Notes:
“Release Date: 08/25/2011
- Changes made in version 0002 (m4 can be updated to revision 0009 directly from either revision 0001 or 0002)
- Improved throughput performance.
- Increase in PCMark Vantage benchmark score, resulting in improved user experience in most operating systems.
- Improved write latency for better performance under heavy write workloads.
- Faster boot up times.
- Improved compatibility with latest chipsets.
- Compensation for SATA speed negotiation issues between some SATA-II chipsets and the SATA-III device.
- Improvement for intermittent failures in cold boot up related to some specific host systems.”
Firmware Download: Crucial