How to Measure Disk Performance [Help]

  • Linkedin
  • Reddit

Quick Navigation :

About Disk Benchmark

Benchmarking has been a popular way to test disk speed for years. It is the process of running software to measure the transfer speeds under various disk access scenarios like sequential and random, and showing the results in MBps that summarize the speed characteristics of a disk.

What are sequential and random read/write?

Sequential read/write is a disk access pattern whereby large contiguous blocks of data are read from OR written to adjacent locations on the surface of a storage device. Conversely, random read/write is another disk access pattern whereby data are read from OR written to nonadjacent locations on the surface of a storage device.

There are multiple SSD benchmark tools available which can be easily obtained to run hard drive benchmark. And today, MiniTool Partition Wizard is the very choice as it allows users to quickly take the most common measurements on HDD/SSD with little configuration. 

How to Perform SSD Benchmark Using MiniTool Partition Wizard

Disk benchmark feature of MiniTool Partition Wizard is designed to measure storage performance using variable transfer sizes and test lengths for both sequential and random read/write speeds. Several options are available for users to customize the hard drive performance test:

  • Transfer sizes from 1KB to 2048KB
  • Transfer lengths from 100MB to 4096MB
  • Supports a variety of queue depths (queue number) from 1 to 512
  • Supports a variety of thread numbers from 1 to 64
  • Allows continuous sequential & random read/write testing
  • Non-destructive performance measurement on formatted drives
  • Shows results with clear and intuitive graphics

With this hard drive benchmark tool, users can test any manufacturer’ RAID controllers, storage controllers, hard drives and SSD drives.

Tip: Tests are likely to take a long time to complete especially when the transfer size has a large span. MiniTool Partition Wizard will create a temporary file during the testing process which will get deleted when finished.

Step 1. Run MiniTool Partition Wizard to get the main interface. Then from the toolbar, select Disk Benchmark.  

select Disk Benchmark feature from the toolbar

Step 2. Now in the Disk Benchmark window, configure the following parameters before hitting the Start button. 

  • Select a Drive: select a partition to start the benchmarking. While Disk Benchmark is able to measure the performance of both basic disks and dynamic disks, users need to know that a drive letter is essential (click here to view the best way to add drive letter).
  • Physical Disk: show users the disk module of the selected drive.
  • Transfer Size: the size of data transmitted at one time which ranges from 1KB to 2048KB.
  • Total Length: the total amount of data to be transferred which ranges from 100MB to 4096MB.
  • Queue Number: queue up a bunch of asynchronous read/writes in the drive, and the drive does them as quickly as it can.
  • Tread Number: set up how many threads to be used to finish the disk speed test.
  • Test Mode: choose a mode to test, which can be Sequential, Random, and Sequential & Random.
  • Cool Down Time: set up the cool down time to reduce the hard drive temperature before it continues with the next test.
Tip: For 4KiB read/write test (the speed at reading/writing small files of 4 KB in size), choose two 4KB in the Transfer Size interval.

select a drive and specify the benchmarking parameters to start

Step 3. Wait patiently until Disk Benchmark finishes the hard drive speed test and shows users a complete graphical result.

test results (4K Q32T1) of Samsung SSD 840 EVO

What Kind of Performance Should Users Expect?

While it is easy to obtain the hard drive performance numbers, users may find it hard to learn more. For instance, what is the standard read/write speed for today’s SSD? Does the drive tested hit the score? With those in mind, MiniTool goes one step further to help users understand their drive performance better.

Average Read/Write Speed for SATA Solid State Drive (SSD)

As users know, SSD enjoys fast read/write speed. But how fast indeed can it go? Usually, SSD connected with SATA interface brings 500MB/s around read speed. What’s more, if the SSD is equipped with PCIe, the transferring speed is more outstanding. 

Here MiniTool shows the performance of the most popular (SATA) SSDs on the market. These data are for reference only. Since test environment can vary, users may expect different benchmarking results even testing with the same storage device.

Explanations for the following entries:

  • Seq Q32T1: Sequential (Block Size=128KiB) Read/Write with 32 Queues & 1 Thread
  • 4K Q8T8: Random 4KiB Read/Write with 8 Queues & Threads
  • 4K Q32T1: Random 4KiB Read/Write with 32 Queues & 1 Thread
  • 4K: Random 4KiB Read Write with single Queue & Thread
  • Total Length: 1GB for all devices
Samsung 860 Evo Read (MB/S) Write (MB/S)
Seq
Q32T1
563.501 495.867
4KB
Q8T8
405.233 362.609
4KB
Q32T1
390.353 362.32
4KB 47.7528 139.121

Toshiba TR200      Read (MB/S) Write (MB/S)
Seq
Q32T1
560.268 504.617
4KB
Q8T8
275.237 229.539
4KB
Q32T1
342.833 366.976
4KB 26.641 88.713

Crucial MX500       Read (MB/S) Write (MB/S)
Seq
Q32T1
555.658 507.542
4KB
Q8T8
404.746 365.86
4KB
Q32T1
176.128 163.233
4KB 25.917 62.285

WD Blue 3D NAND Read (MB/S) Write (MB/S)
Seq
Q32T1
564.233 533.038
4KB
Q8T8
393.42 347.369
4KB
Q32T1
221.17 203.644
4KB 36.5327 144.971

SanDisk Ultra 3D   Read (MB/S) Write (MB/S)
Seq
Q32T1
556.011 534.322
4KB
Q8T8
399.526 349.126
4KB
Q32T1
290.034 271.837
4KB 41.125 100.424

Kingston A400       Read (MB/S) Write (MB/S)
Seq
Q32T1
428.238 506.563
4KB
Q8T8
337.743 352.52
4KB
Q32T1
287.268 277.044
4KB 30.453 96.652

Gigabyte UD Pro    Read (MB/S) Write (MB/S)
Seq
Q32T1
564.651 525.247
4KB
Q8T8
329.906 306.728
4KB
Q32T1
287.66 265.448
4KB 35.022 116.946
Tip: For overall responsiveness and most gaming applications, 4K is more user-focused in disk performance test.

Possible Causes for Abnormal Testing Result

If the hard disk speed test shows much different results from the above data, here are 2 possible causes:

  • The Solid State Disk (SSD) is connected via USB interface which definitely affect the SSD speed test. If this is true, users are likely to see a 50 MB/s around speed.
  • The Hard Disk Drive (HDD) is badly fragmented. Fragmentation causes the hard drive to perform extra work that affects disk performance. Defragmenting hard drive should help improve performance.
  • Linkedin
  • Reddit