HDD, or hard disk drive, is one of the most important components. The performance of a computer or notebook computer depends on its speed. In addition to this the disk carries the operating system /files as well as user local /files.
Factors affecting the hard disk performance are:
- Hard disk boot speed;
- File copying speed;
- Program launch speed.
HDD vs SSD: the speed difference
Today computer hardware offers two types of storage devices:
- HDD (hard disk drive): A normal hard disk drive;
- SSD (solid state drive): A solid state drive.
The performance of these storage types varies very much. For instance, when I installed an SSD in my laptop, my operating system started up in 9 seconds instead of 45 seconds. To check the speed of your hard drive, you can choose from a variety of programs, the best of them I will tell you about in this review.
Best software to check your SSD's speed
What tests are available in the applications
Besides speed checks, there are programs with other functions to check your drives:
- checking the drive for firmware errors;
- testing the "health state" of HDD or SSD;
- surface scanning to detect dead sectors;
- disk temperature monitoring;
- random block test;
- combined diagnostics (checking several indicators simultaneously);
But we are interested in hard disk speed testing in read and write mode. Therefore we refer in details to the utilities that help us to display these indicators:
- AS SSD Benchmark
- HD Tune Pro
- ATTO Disk Benchmark
D HDD Speed Analyzer
I will explain the paid and free functionality of the utilities, their settings, costs and other main indicators. The programs have been optimally chosen based on the consideration of the best ratio of functionality and easy to understand settings.
The free version of the program (see link below) allows the user to test, by different techniques, several disks simultaneously and to allocate:
- The size of the test file used. The larger the size, the smaller the impact of the cached /files.
- The size of the data block used for read or write. Bigger blocks improve the performance.
- Serial or random access (search, read and write).
- Asynchronous and synchronous access.
- The separation between read and write.
- Disk communication speed.
All test results can be displayed through the graphical interface of Performancetest.
Buy Performancetest license for one more acquisition:
- Offer unlimited technical support via Internet (e-mail);
- updates and bug fixes when available;
- Export results in graphic images, text and web;
- Custom scripting and command line;
- Printing results;
- Limits the thirty day limit for advanced tests.
The HDD speed test is carried out as follows:
- Select the number of read and write cycles consecutively (the optimal number for the software is 4);
- Select the optimal file size to test (1GB);
- Select the disk to test;
- Start the test in Performancet.
The purchase price for the paid version is US$29.
AS SSD Benchmark
The test determines the performance of SSDs. The ssd speed test is done without using OS cache. The program can be downloaded for free, but voluntary donations are welcome.
The AS SSD Benchmark test looks like this:
- The test takes a 1GB file;
- The drive access time is determined;
- The test results are recorded;
- Test is repeated 3 times;
- The read and write speed are checked;
- The average results are derived.
In addition to the general benchmarks, the AS SSD Benchmark also offers data copy and compression tests.
Download AS SSD Benchmark
A comprehensive speed test tool for HDD. It can be downloaded free of charge from the official website (see the link below). It works using the same principles as the benchmark tools described above. The paid versions of CrystalDiskInfo include extended technical support and additional test options.
Disk speed test in CrystalDiskInfo:
- Choose the number of test cycles (5 is optimal);
- Choose the test file size (preferably 1 GB);
- Choose the disk to test;
- Click the "All" button.
CrystalDiskInfo can be downloaded in Russian, is very easy to use and works with all modern versions of Windows (7, 8, 10).
HD Tune Pro
A great utility for checking hard disk speed, as good as the above mentioned. The free version can be used for 15 days, but after that you will need to buy a code that allows you to keep testing your hard drive. The license costs US$34.95.
Features of HD Tune Pro utility:
- Read/write speed test;
- Display detailed information about drive through SMART;
- Logging of scan errors;
- Safe removal of any data;
- File Benchmark;
- Cache test;
- Monitor HDD performance;
- Support of external HDD (condition and temperature check).
Download HD Tune Pro
ATTO Disk Benchmark
An easy to use utility. Its user-friendly interface offers a one-stop help menu and a detailed description of each function, allowing the setup process to be completed in a few seconds. The test results are shown in the main window of the program.
The ATTO Disk Benchmark software provides the following results:
- Select the disk;
- Choose the transfer size and duration;
- Choose the access conditions;
- Click "Start".
Download ATTO Disk Benchmark
To complete the review it is worth mentioning that each of the software is good. Some are easy to use and some can be downloaded for free. In any case, it is up to you to choose the benchmark tool for your HDD.