Intel has released the latest version of its Solid State Drive Toolbox, which offers users of Intel-branded SSDs a range of utilities to tweak the performance and monitor the health of their devices.

Version 2.0 of the toolkit brings two new features to the free utility: the System Configuration Tuner and a Secure Erase feature. The latter is pretty self-explanatory, in that you run it and it wipes the drive beyond economic recovery for when you really don't want people looking at your private files, but the first offers some interesting new functionality to the software.

Joining the existing Intel SSD Optimizer [sic] menu entry, which uses TRIM to optimise the performance of the SSD, the System Configuration Tuner goes through your Windows-based system configuration and makes recommended changes in order to ensure maximum performance while keeping power efficiency high and tweaking the endurance of the drive.

It achieves these remarkable goals by fiddling with your Superfetch, pre-fetch, and ReadyBoost settings, so users that have already manually tweaked their systems might want to avoid running the System Configuration Tuner for fear of losing their customisations. The Windows defragmenter is also toggled, and power saving maximised by tweaking Windows' use of the DIPM power saving feature of the SATA standard.

Sadly, the toolkit still comes with a long list of caveats and known issues: the Windows-only tool requires an NTFS-formatted drive and won't work at all if your SSD is FAT32; the optimisation functionality doesn't work on RAID or Dynamic Disk configurations with multiple partitions; and certain notebook and PC models from HP, Acer, and Dell refuse to run the tool outright.

Despite these issues, if your system is supported and you want to get the best possible performance out of your Intel-brand SSD, you should probably download the toolkit.

Are you pleased to see that Intel is continuing to add features to its toolkit, or disappointed that much of the functionality is disabled on RAID configurations? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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