It's well known that SSD performance can be improved drastically through means of superior firmware, which tends to happen in baby steps. OCZ is one such SSD manufacturer that enjoys the idea of being able to fine-tune their drives through the means of firmware updates which make for a free and easy boost in performance to the end-user.
With that said, PC Perspective were lucky enough to have OCZ send them over a test sample Vertex drive with a new beta version of their Indilinx based firmware to play with, which promises better management with regard to fragmentation issues seen on their SSDs in the past.
This new update came with a very short list of what to look for, the most interesting of which being "background garbage collection". This feature is supposed to take advantage of idle time by undoing the fragmentation previously caused by combined writes. Write combining is one of the tricks employed by nearly all current SSDs in order to increase random write performance and therefore prevent the familiar stuttering experienced by earlier generation drives.
While it's not perfect and shows a couple issues yet to be delt with, the firmware is indefinitely a good step forward for the most part.
You can view all the results in a decent array of tests within the full article here.
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