Saturday , 23 August 2014
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Crucial M4 SSD Firmware Update (0009) Posted – Tests Display Definite Performance Increase

Crucial has posted a firmware update (0009)  for its M4 line which can be downloaded at Crucial.Com by M4 owners.

The good news is that the firmware provides significant performance increase for all capacities of the M4 SSD and Crucial has all capacities of their M4 SSD on sale now at great prices.

We initially thought this to be a typical f/w update and subsequently upgraded and tested our  Crucial M4 512GB SSD without thought.

The Vantage HDD Suite score jumped from 63076 to 68543 total points.  This was totally unexpected and great to see!

Our next step was to take a closer look at Crucials description of the update.  With the number of significant improvements, Crucial could have easily raked in the cash with a new M4 premium version SSD.  This is direct from Crucials note to us:

Increases¦

  • sequential read speeds by up to 20%
  • PCMark  Vantage benchmark scores, which results in an improved user experience in most operating systems

Improves¦

  • throughput performance
  • write latency for better performance under heavy write workloads
  • compatibility with latest chipsets
  • intermittent failures in cold boot up related to some specific host systems

Provides¦

  • users with faster boot up timescompensation for SATA speed negotiation issues between some SATA-II chipsets and the SATA-III device

We thought it only fair to show you first hand what we are seeing.  We tested our Crucial M4 128GB SSD before the upgrade (left) and then after we applied their new ver. 0009 firmware (right).  All tests conducted are fresh results and were done within an hour.

CRYSTAL DISKMARK

AS SSD BENCHMARK

PCMARK VANTAGE HDD SUITE

A quick click on the Vantage tests will bring each up full size.  The Vantage HDD Suite Score jumped from 61772 to 66432 total points.

In a nut shell, this is a great firmware update from Crucial as visible improvement is shown in any and all tests conducted.  The only downfall is that Crucial hasn’t discovered a simpler Windows based solution for the update.  The upgrade consists of  creating a bootable disk from the firmware download, changing your computers bios to IDE mode, rebooting into the DVD and following the instructions to upgrade the SSD, changing back to AHCI and rebooting back into your system.

Can it be a bit scary for the novice? 

Sure it can but Crucials instructions will help you right through it.

Is the upgrade worth the trouble?

ABSOLUTELY!!!

If I want to buy new, Where can I go??

Crucial M4 Solid State Drive Prices at Amazon

About Les Tokar

is a technology nut and Founder of The SSD Review. His early work includes the first consumer SSD review along with MS Vista, Win 7 and SSD Optimization Guides. Les is fortunate to, not only evaluate and provide opinion on consumer and enterprise solid state storage but also, travel the world in search of new technologies and great friendships. Google+
  • Steve

    If it’s worth the trouble is highly questionable.
    If you lose a few hours of work time, then it just does not.
    If you run the risk of losing further things; configs and/or data; it definitely does not.

    After all, it’s a nearly unnoticeable increase in overall performance.

    • http://peterhallam.com.au Peter

      I’m not sure how you can say that. I’m still on a Sata 2 bus, and was originally limited to only 140MB/s Read speeds. That was a nasty shock when I first noticed it and not what I was expecting from my first SSD.

      With the upgrade to 009 firmware I am now getting 279MB/s write speeds. That is an incredible improvement for a legacy system running off the M4 64 gig.

      My firmware upgrade went without a hitch. I’m not sure why you would say or imply that that sort of performance improvement not “worth the trouble”. It is undoubtedly worth the trouble. That is almost a 100% increase in performance for me across the Sata 2 interface and all I had to do was burn an iso and boot from it saying YES when prompted.

      Performance is rock solid, no stutter or freezing; no reboots or lags. Everything appears stable.

      It was certainly worth the 10 minutes of time it took me.

      If only all performance improvements of this magnitude were this simple and this quick.

      That is the sort of vendor support that all end users should be getting. Not the nightmare that some OCZ and Corsair users are living through. I take my hat off to Crucial. Congratulation. Well done.

      I am very happy with this firmware release.

      I’ll be buying another Crucial M4 when funds permit.

      Pter

  • DarthDVD_AU

    Oh yes its worth it if your trying to build a fast computer with a massive SSD for programs and games. Now Crucial have a better price/proformance than they did before. I wasnt going to get one… now its pushed the proformance up.. i will.

  • Chris

    It does not delete data off your drive or require a reinstall of windows 7. I just updated my 128gb m4 and it took a massive 4 minutes to update it. Just take your time and follow the instructions on crucials website.

    SITE RESPONSE: Our bad! Fixed although crucial does recommend the backing up of data prior to the update! Tx!

    • J-tiz

      Actually, after updating the firmware on my two 64GB M4′s, my pc would NOT load Windows. It deleted my data or corrupted the data. I do not recommend this firmware update unless one is planning on reinstalling Windows!

  • Elvis

    I just installed an M4-128GB as my primary drive in my 2010 MBP. Upgraded to v9 firmware. 10 second boot, 2 second s/d. I enabled TRIM, disabled hibernate and disk sleep. I’ve read a few other tweaks like disable spotlight, but also read those tweaks might cause problems. I used the Mac OS DU to “restore” to the SSD after partitioning/formatting. I reduced the partition size to 100G before “restoring.” I was planning to use CCC but using DU seemed easier and faster. Awesome firmware update. I’ll be recommending to anyone who asks.

  • lyngvi

    A simpler Windows version of the update? Are you kidding?

    The ISO with the micro-OS is fantastic. Compared to, say, having to come up with an MS-DOS boot disk (for an update I did in 2007, no less), or the software only running on Windows 95/98/ME, or XP SP1 but not SP2/SP3, or it running on only 32-bit versions of Windows when you’ve only got 64-bit; gods forbid you run Linux or any other OS…

    This might be the first hard disk firmware update I’ve ever seen that I could run with less than 10 minutes of prep time. I thank Crucial for releasing it in this form.

    It’s only a problem if you lack a CD drive of any kind, a problem generally limited to a very short list of laptops.

  • J-tiz

    In case others did not see my response to another person’s post, I updated the firmware on four 64GB M4′s (two per Raid0 setup.. I have two PC’s). On one PC, I was already planning on building a Raid0 array and wanted to make a fresh Win7 installation. On my other PC which already had two M4′s in Raid0.. well… after the update, Windows would not boot up. It acts as if there is no OS on the drives. I have double-checked the BIOS to make sure the right disks are being read, and of course these are the only two harddrives in my case. It reads the Raid0 array as it did before in the BIOS, but it doesn’t get to a Windows boot-up logo. OS not found… or whatever the error is. Good thing I save everything on different drives.. whew!

  • Sabandija_333

    the best the best thank you guys

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