The primary goal of most businesses is to reduce costs and maintain productivity by keeping the heart of their operation, their computer systems, running smoothly, efficiently, and at peak levels. Because of this, it is essential to gauge Hard Drive’s Performance and take the necessary steps to maintain it.
Since the function of a computer’s hard drive is to permanently store data, it should be carefully monitored and maintained for best results. If hard disk speeds begin to slow down, causing operations and applications on your computer to perform sluggishly, there is a good possibility it needs to be repaired, restored, or even replaced. Always test your hard drive performance at regular intervals to ensure the proper functioning of your computer.
There are various means of maintaining a hard drive and assessing its performance, each of which has its own unique features and capabilities. While there is a wide range of options, some of the more popular solutions to consider include:
Image Source : CrystalDiskMark
This is a popular SDD or HDD benchmark test because it can be used to test many devices: hard disk drives, external hard drives, USB drives, and much more. It also has an incredibly simple and easy to use interface. To run the test, a user must simply select the drive they wish to benchmark from the box at the top right of the screen, leave the settings at default, and run the test for “all.”
When benchmark results return, the important numbers for most people are the ones under the “Seq” heading and the “4k” heading. “Seq” refers to sequential speed, or the speed at which your hard drive can transfer large documents and load large programs. “4k” refers to the random speed, the speed at which the hard drive can open and load random files scattered in different locations throughout the hard drive.
Drives used for mass storage should have high sequential read and write speeds. Conversely, drives in which versatile operating systems will be used to perform multiple tasks at the same time should have higher 4k read and write speeds. A typical computer, used for a variety of tasks and with constantly running background programs like antivirus, will require a higher 4k read speed than anything else.
ATTO Disk Benchmark
Image Source : ATTO Disc Benchmark
ATTO is one of the leading manufacturers of storage and network connectivity products in the computer industry. Well-known for its high performance tests, software, and products, ATTO has created the Disk Benchmark as a portable tool for measuring storage system performance. It is used mainly for testing the speed of hard disk drives and solid state drives.
Many hardware review websites use ATTO Disk Benchmark, and it is recommended by manufacturers such as Corsair. The measurement tool allows computer users to test the performance of their storage system in a variety of situations. Various transfer sizes and test lengths can be used to determine read/write speeds. Customization options include adding queue depth and overlapping I/O to further gauge performance of the storage system. A comparison mode allows users to compare SSD or HDD performance under specific circumstances.
Image Source : HDTune
This may be one of the most well-known benchmarking and diagnostic tests for hard disk drives. This tool includes a benchmark test to measure the performance, which is displayed in a graph, as well as other features such as Info and Health.
The benchmark measures transfer rate, burst rate, access time, and CPU usage. The minimum, maximum, and average rates of transfer are listed on the right hand side of the program screen. A graph taking up most of the screen shows the spectrum of read performance across the disk as a blue line, and the access time as a series of yellow dots. The burst rate and CPU usage are listed below the transfer rates and the average access time to the right of the graph.
Benchmark tool comparison (Table-1)
Measures 1) Sequential reads/writes speed 2) Random 512KB, 4KB, 4KB (Queue Depth=32) reads/writes speed 3) Theme support 4) Multi-Language support 5) Free of cost
Latest OS are not supported
Atto Benchmarking tool
1) Measure performance in HDD, SSD, RAID arrays and storage connections. 2) Measure performance with various transfer sizes and test lengths for reads and writes. 3) Customize performance measurement including queue depth, overlapped I/O. 4) Tests any RAID controllers, storage controllers, host bus adapters (HBAs).
1) Recommended by manufacturers such as Corsair to run speed tests on SSD 2) Manufacturers, like Hitachi, build and test every drive using the ATTO Disk Benchmark. 3) Used by many hardware review websites such as tomshardware.com and anandtech.com
1) The most well known HDD benchmarking and diagnostic utility. 2) HD Tune Pro is a HDD/ SSD utility with many functions. 3) Measure the drive’s performance, scan for errors, check the health status (S.M.A.R.T.), securely erase all data and much more. 4) Temperature statistics 5) Support for more SSD drives Improved support for +4TB disks
1) Lightweight 2) Tests performance 3) Scans for errors 4) Retrieves S.M.A.R.T. Info 5) Pro version also available
No write tests in the free version
1) Windows disk utility to measure disk performance. 2) HDD selection with amount of space to measure, 1 GB is standard amount.
1) User can customize the amounts of read and write rounds and runs. 2) Very quick, 1 GB test takes less than 5 mins.
AS SSD Benchmark
1) Measures performance of Solid State Drives (SSD). 2) Consists of six synthetic and three copy tests. 3) Determines sequential and random read and write performance of the SSD without using OS cache.
1) Handy tool specially for SSD drives 2) Extremely small download.
1) Measures sustained and burst data transfer rates of HDD, CD/DVD, flash cards/sticks, floppys, etc. 2) Provides Realtime graphical display 3) Multillanguage support
Roadkil’s Disk Speed
1) Performs disk speed test and provide details how fast your disks can transfer data. 2) Measures data transfer rate for linear reads, random read transfer rate and the seek time of the drive. 3) Displays firmware revision, model, size, file system of disks
1) Enhanced for Windows 8.1 / Server 2012/R2 Desktop mode. 2) Full support for Windows 8, 7, Vista and XP* as well as Server 2008/2003/R2.
Supports all the latest Windows platforms
Free versions provide less features
Benchmark tool comparison (Table-2)
Supported Operating systems
Latest version or release
Widely-accepted Based on 1824 reviews and 4.8 Stars
Windows 7/2008/Vista/2003 XP/2000/NT4,x86/x64
CrystalDiskMark 3.0.3b updated on 5 April 2014
Atto Benchmarking tool
Updated on 6/1/2014
Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7
HD Tune Pro 5.50 updated on 20 April 2013
Free and Pro version.Single use license for Pro version cost you $34.9
Windows 7 and Vista
Recommended Stable release 22.214.171.124 Updated in December 2013
AS SSD Benchmark
Latest available version is 1.7.4739.38088
For SSD only
Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT4, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003,Windows Vista
Version: 126.96.36.199 Date : 22 July 2014
Roadkil’s Disk Speed
Windows XP, Vista, Windows 9x, NT4, Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows 7,Windows 8
Latest Version 2, Last updated 14 September 2009 Discontinued
Windows 8.1 / Server 2012/R2, Windows 7, Vista and XP
Latest available version is of 2014
Paid and Licensed
In Following video, you can see the benchmark test and the Error scan test with HD Tune. These tests are useful for finding errors both on the disks surface and problems with the hardware associated with controlling the disk:
The information tab shows a detailed breakdown of each partition on the hard disk and how each performed in the benchmark. The health function measures the health of the hard disk by using Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology and keeps track of the worst, average, and threshold values for partitions of the hard disk. The error scan tests the surface of the disk for defects, highlighting them in red. HD Tune can also monitor the temperature of the hard drive, and can be customized to warn the computer user when the hard drive reaches a predetermined critical temperature.
Roadkil’s Disk Speed:
For a simple and small test that will get the job done efficiently, Roadkil’s test is a great option. In addition to testing disk speed, it provides details about transfer rates for linear reads and random reads. It also displays the average seek time of the hard drive as well as the average, maximum, and minimum transfer rates.
Another useful feature that Roadkil’s test provides is the addition of product information, which is useful in comparing different hard drives. On their website, Roadkil includes a list of hard drive speeds and performance data so you can see how your hard drive matches up with other brands.
Like Roadkil’s test, DiskMark is simple, fast, and efficient. It lays out the information about the average, maximum, and minimum transfer rates in raw data form as well as in a graph tracking performance across the disk. The layout of the results is very user friendly and easy to read, features appreciated by many.
The one difficulty in using DiskMark lies in configuring the program to perform tests on different sizes and times. The default mode conducts the test of 64 KB blocks in an 8MB test file which is run 320 times. Changing settings can be complicated and time consuming, so running the program in default is typically the easiest and most efficient option for users.
To learn more about hard drive testing and keeping your systems at their optimal performance levels, contact AccuwebHosting today for the latest information and solutions for your business.
Rahul is CEO at AccuWebHosting.com. He shares his web hosting insights at AccuWebHosting blog. He mostly writes on the latest web hosting trends, WordPress, storage technologies, Windows and Linux hosting platforms.