Exactly a month after OCZ released the Vertex 4 we had the opportunity to test the new V1.4RC firmware which whows the Vertex 4 SSD potential very much, as the overall performance is much faster. This is exciting news and the actual perf differences are so big that we decided to update the original review with results from the upcoming firmware. So this article in its basis is the reference review, yet with updated performance results and a slightly changed introduction an conclusion (based on the new findings).
Two things happened in the past year though -- SandForce series 2200 has had firmware issues (which are 100% resolved), but then something else happened, a month or 5 ago LSI had purchased SandForce. And though LSI is a colleague and sales partner, they now also are competition.
I recently got a new SSD (OCZ Vertex Plus) and after reading the helpful answers for my post Disk Corruption = Failing Drive/Bad sectors? I would like to try updating the firmware but the OCZ Firmware download site ( _tools/) warns me that I may lose data.
I've done firmware updates on OCZ drives without losing all the data(these were on vertex 2s and 3s). I think it is safe to assume you won't. However with SSDs having a backup is always a good thing, as they fail early and fail often!
Regardless of the capacity, the Samsung 830 Series comes in a couple of fancy retail kits: one with mounting hardware for desktops, and the other with a SATA-to-USB adapter meant for notebooks. Each retail package includes a copy of Norton Ghost and a download code for the PC version of Batman: Arkham City. Bundling a hot new game with a solid-state drive is a little bit weird, especially since most notebook users will struggle to run Arkham City at playable frame rates. If your PC is up to snuff, the game is pretty awesome. After spending only a few hours in Arkham City, I can tell you that all the critical acclaim is well deserved. Even those with no desire to play the game should be able to find a grateful recipient for the coupon code.
A third issue I came across sounded like a far fetched possibility but I'll mention it none the less. Perhaps there is firmware on your SSD that is in need of being updated? This is the thread that I came across, titled: SSD Drive Failing? Remount read-only.
Solid-state drives can also fail for other reasons. Electronic damage can prevent the drive from operating properly and damage the firmware, rendering it unusable. Malware attacks, file corruption, and accidental file deletion are other common causes of data loss.
Worse yet, I had a problem with later firmwares and tests with my Samsung 830 256GB SSD. I couldn't enable CacheCade Pro 2.0 for reads and writes. Which defeated the whole purpose of having this card. The exact issue can be seen in this video:
Time will tell if the Samsung 256GB PM830 SSD works out. I'm using the latest firmware, which is still CXM03B1Q Release Date: 2012-01-1 from here:www.samsung.com/us/support/owners/product/MZ-7PC256N/AM
The SanDisk Ultra II 240GB is based on Marvell's 88SS9190 controller with a custom firmware. But before we dig down into the ever so important technical details, let us briefly discuss the physical attributes of the SSD first. The SanDisk Ultra II 240GB has a very simple appearance -- a plain black cover with a sticker in the middle, and this is it. In fact, it looks almost identical to the Ultra Plus, except for the text shown in front. However, once you pick it up, you will notice where the difference is. Rather than the usual aluminum housing in most SSDs, the entire enclosure is made out of plastic. Usually, aluminum is desirable because it is lightweight and dissipates heat well, but I do not see the Ultra II running too hot during operation, haha. On top of the flat plastic finish is a large label across the center to ensure the user will make no mistake that this is a SanDisk Ultra II drive. Measuring in at 100.5 mm x 69.85 mm x 7.0 mm, its thickness -- or lack thereof -- will ensure wide compatibility. If, for some reason, a full 9.5 mm is needed for installation, a rubber spacer will be included out of the box. The SanDisk Ultra II 240GB is also extremely light to behold at 58g.
At the heart of SanDisk's Ultra II is a Marvell 88SS9190 controller. It is a brand new chip. For the 240GB variant we are reviewing today, this is the four channel variant. For higher capacity models, you will find the eight channel version. Paired with SanDisk's custom firmware developed in-house, they can be sure even if someone else has the same hardware under the hood, competitors will not be manufacturing Ultra II clones by any means. This SSD is rated at 0.085W active power and 0.075W in sleep mode. The maximum read and write operation power consumption is rated at 2.7W and 4.5W, respectively, which is reasonably efficient.
You should not upgrade your device's firmware if you do not have any issues with the functionality of your device. The only time you should consider an upgrade is if you are experiencing a problem with the device, and you have confirmed that the firmware addresses this problem. You can confirm this is the case by reviewing the documentation included with the firmware or by consulting with our Technical Support team. Incorrectly upgrading firmware can result in diminished performance so it is best to contact StarTech.com if you would like to perform this operation.
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