In case you missed it, we released a new firmware update for our SSD line yesterday. At the same time, we’ve been running tests to determine if there was any impact on performance.
Well, there is a bit of an effect in that this latest revision seems to smooth out the performance of the drive, lessening the variance in write performance considerably.
It’s probably just easier to show you.
We tested a 240GB OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G SSD using the DiskTester diglloyd Tools both before and after the firmware update, and got these results.
As you can see, read rates stay right around the same speed and variance, but take a look at how much less varied the write rates have become after the update. You’ll also notice that while the variance has narrowed, it has narrowed toward the faster range. Now the minimum speed is right around the level that used to be considered the middle-0f-the road for this drive; it’s now slightly faster.
Granted, this increase in speed isn’t likely to be perceptible to most users – you’d have to be writing files in the multi-gigabyte range just to see a couple of seconds shaved off. However, the stabilization of and increase of write speeds may be an additional benefit if you choose to upgrade your firmware.
Update: OWC Releases Firmware Update For Industry-Leading SSD Line
Other World Computing announced today it has released a new firmware version—MP5.0.1—to deliver optimum performance and stability from its industry-leading, SandForce Driven Mercury Solid State Drive line when installed in the latest Macs and PCs. The GUI driven, Mac experience friendly and bootable updater for Solid State Drives is freely available from OWC for use exclusively with OWC Mercury Extreme Pro, Mercury Electra, and Mercury Aura Pro SSD models.
The Only Mac Friendly Update Experience
OWC’s proprietary firmware updater, now available with support for all of Apple’s latest Mac models, as well as nearly all prior machines, eliminates the need for a PC, ownership of Windows or other operating system, or the creation of a specially designated drive partition that many SSD updaters have required. Mac users only need to download the updater from OWC’s site, obtain and burn a DVD, and then boot from that DVD to launch an easy to use, point and click GUI for installing the latest firmware revision to their OWC Mercury SSD. OWC’s Mac-friendly firmware updater continues OWC’s unmatched firmware update support for Mac users of SandForce-based SSDs. OWC also provides update support for PCs running the Windows or Linux OS.
“We recognized SSDs would be an ever-evolving product, so we made it our priority to ensure users of OWC Mercury brand SSDs would immediately be able to utilize the benefit from any hardware and/or firmware updates,” said Larry O’Connor, Founder and CEO, Other World Computing. “As such, this latest firmware update is quick, easy and performed with no guesswork or doubt via the only point and click Mac-friendly updater; as well as standard upgrade packages for Windows and Linux Operating System users.”
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OWC Radio is a monthly, forum-based podcast focused on the events and happenings in the Mac community. This week’s hosts are: OWC Grant, OWC Chris S., and OWC Mike H. Article Continues…
We’ve had a number of questions here on the blog and elsewhere regarding our updater. We figured it would be best to simply put it all in one post, to address their concerns, as well as provide a resource for those looking for this information in the future.
First things first, we’d like to note that only customers who purchased their OWC SSD before March 18th, 2011 have any reason to download the current update application. Drives purchased after that date already have the most recent firmware and there is no benefit of an update at this time. Having said that, it is important to know that if/when a firmware update is needed in future, we now have this Mac friendly updater application in addition to the Windows update application we also provide.
This just so happens to be the first Mac-compatible updater for SandForce Powered SSDs, namely OWC’s series of SandForce Powered drives. The bootable disc runs a Linux-based interface that has been customized for our application. It starts up automatically, you point, click, and done.
We truly wanted an updater for our SSDs that would be application specific, Mac friendly, and extremely stable and simple to use. As the screenshots below illustrate, we’ve managed to accomplish that quite well. Article Continues…
We know you’ve been asking for it and we’ve been hard at work on it. Now, we can proudly say that OWC has the industry’s first (and only)Mac-compatible firmware updater for SandForce Driven Solid State Drives. It’s available for download from our site for use with select OWC Mercury SSDs manufactured after January 2010.
While we’ve offered firmware updates since Spring 2010 to recently, they’ve only been offered via a Windows-based uploader and required a Boot Camp installation to work properly with your Mac. Now, though, that dependency is gone. All you need to do is download the updater from our site, burn it to a DVD, and boot from that DVD to launch the point-and-click interface. Right now, this utility is only for our 3G SSDs which utilize the SF1200 series processor. We should have an updater for our Mercury 6G series (SF 2200 series processor) in a few weeks. Article Continues…