OCZ's Arowana 3.55 update brings performance improvements to Vertex, Agility and Solid2 drives - but isn't compatible with all models.
OCZ has released another update for its 34nm solid-state drives (SSDs) based on the Indilinx Barefoot controller, boosting write speeds significantly.
Designed for Vertex, Agility and Solid2 drives made after December 2009, the update brings the firmware version to 3.55 and adds additional over-provisioning to the drives in order to boost performance and increase longevity. The result is a loss in usable capacity from 119.24GB on firmware 1.7 to 111.79GB with 3.55, but a boost in sequential write speeds from 187.44MB/s to 216MB/s.
Random write speeds are also greatly improved, with 4K write benchmarks jumping from 9.9MB/s to 46.14MB/s. The news isn't all good, however: read speeds drop from 228.28MB/s on the original 1.7 firmware to 219.27MB/s on the new, although this can be boosted to 260.13MB by enabling AHCI in the BIOS.
Sadly, the update isn't compatible with all Vertex, Agility and Solid 2 SSDs. Drives manufactured before December 2009 are not eligible for the upgrade, while only selected NAND flash configurations are supported on drives manufactured after this date. According to OCZ, 'anything made after December 2009 has a chance, but not a 100 per cent chance.
To find out if your drive is eligible for the upgrade, download the OCZ Drive Identity Tool
and check the returned code. If it's 661502, 641502, 661302, 661402, 641402, 661102, 641102, 651102 or 661202, you're in luck. If any other number is returned, the update is incompatible.
To upgrade a compatible drive, follow the instructions in this forum post
. Before doing so, back your data up: the upgrade process is destructive, wiping all data currently stored on the SSD. The update software is also only available for Windows, so users of other operating systems will need to borrow access to a Windows box to perform the upgrade.