When we first tested the RunCore Pro IV solid state drives we had no idea that the Indilinx Barefoot firmware would be updated more often than your typical motherboards BIOS. Some people may be a little disheartened by this since it can be a pain to update firmware every couple of months, but for the most part enthusiasts welcome the additional features and with them performance advantages that come from the latest in technological achievements.
When it comes to firmware updates for solid state drives, the company that manufactured your drive DOES MATTER! While going back through my collection of drives to update them to the latest firmware, I found several manufacturers that either do not list publically new firmware updates or are so outdated that it isn't even worth the hassle. TweakTown has looked at more SSDs over the past year than any other hardware review site, so we have quite a few to play around with on any given day. The list of offenders is too numerous to publish without backlash from the industry, so before making your purchase do your homework and check out the manufacturers websites and forums for the latest news. In the future we will start adding manufacturer history to new drive reviews and make judgments on new products based on a manufacturers previous firmware performance.
Today we are going to take a RunCore Pro IV 256GB solid state drive that uses the Indilinx Barefoot controller. The RunCore Pro IV wasn't the first Barefoot controlled drive we looked at but it did arrive very early in the Barefoot's lifecycle. To this day I still feel that the Barefoot drives offer a tremendous performance to value ratio and with next generation drives hitting the market, the value portion of that statement is going to get even better. In the very near future we are going to see manufacturers start moving the Barefoot into the value product category and that is good news for those that have been holding out on a SSD purchase based on price. You are going to be able to get these drives for a very good price, good enough to even consider running RAID 0 on a pair of them. But to run RAID you are going to want an updated firmware that will allow the drive to run clean up operations on its own, a term commonly referred to as garbage collection or self imposed garbage collection.