Enjoying the benefits of your solid state drive? The faster read/write times, better battery life, and improved durability can certainly justify the upgrade to an SSD but are you getting the most out of it? Many of the top manufacturers of solid state drives have a software “toolbox” to go along with the hardware to configure the best performance. Sometimes a manufacturer only provides firmware updates, which are warned to be done at your own risk.
The SSD software provided can allow you to read S.M.A.R.T. values from the drive, perform a benchmark on the drive, optimize it for performance with your operating system, update the firmware, and securely erase the drive.
- The Corsair SSD Toolbox
- Crucial SSD Firmware
- Intel Solid-State Drive Toolbox
- Kingston SandForce SSD Toolbox 2.0
- OCZ Toolbox
- Samsung Magician Software
- SanDisk SSD Dashboard
The Intel SSD Toolbox and Samsung Magician software are the best documented. Both were nicely designed applications that gave you information about your drives and allowed you to configure them or update them. Here is Intel’s description of what you can do with an Intel drive using the Intel SSD Toolbox:
The Intel® Solid-State Drive Toolbox (Intel® SSD Toolbox) is drive management software that allows you to:
* View current drive information for Intel® Solid-State Drives (Intel® SSDs), including:
– Model number, capacity, and firmware version
– Drive health
– Estimated drive life remaining
– SMART attributes (also available for hard disk drives and non-Intel SSDs)
– IDENTIFY DEVICE information (also available for hard disk drives and non-Intel SSDs)
* Optimize the performance of an Intel SSD using Trim functionality
* Optimize the performance of an Intel SSD in RAID 0 using Trim functionality Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (Intel® RST) 11.0 or greater.
NOTE: Trim on RAID 0 is not supported on Windows 8* or Windows Server 2012
* Obtain proactive notifications of new Intel SSD Toolbox software versions for Windows 7 and Windows 8 systems
* Update the firmware on a supported Intel SSD
* Run quick and full diagnostic scans to test the read and write functionality of an Intel SSD
* Check and tune your system settings for optimal Intel SSD performance, power efficiency, and endurance
* View your system information and hardware configuration, such as central processing unit (CPU),
chipset, controller name, and driver versions
* Run Secure Erase on a secondary Intel SSD
I have a Samsung SSD 840 Pro SSD, so I was able to use that utilize to look at my drive. The software is particularly useful for operating systems older than Windows 8 that do not have built-in TRIM support.
The Magician SSD management utility is designed to work with all Samsung SSD products, including 470 Series, 830 Series, and 840 Series Family SSDs. This software is not compatible with other manufacturer’s SSDs.