Do you want to know if your PC’s SSD or hard drive is delivering the performance promised by its manufacturer? Test it with free tools that will accurately measure the speeds it can actually achieve in writing and reading.
Like any computer, your PC is equipped with a permanent storage device containing its operating system – in this case Windows –, your applications and your files. Depending on its age, it is a “classic” hard drive or an SSD, with some models being equipped with both technologies. Regardless of its nature, its read and write speeds – when you open or when you save data and files – directly affect the performance of your computer. The higher they are, the smoother the use of your PC and your software.
If the knowledge of this rather technical information seems unimportant, it counts a lot in the daily use and in the balance of the machine: it is useless to have a high-end processor (CPU) and a lot of RAM (Ram) if exchanges with the storage system are slow… This is particularly true if you use applications that constantly read and write to the SSD or hard drive, especially in a professional or creative setting, by manipulating large files on a regular basis, for processing or copies. In these situations, deviations in throughput quickly translate into minutes of waiting…
Hence the interest of knowing precisely the real performance of your storage system, whether to check that the speed of your brand new SSD is in line with what its manufacturer announces or to check that your computer is up to it. what you ask him. Fortunately, there are several free tools for this such as Atto Disk Benchmark, AS SSD Benchmark, JDiskMarkor even CrystalDisMark which allow you to measure the speeds of disks in reading and writing data and to see what workload they can support.
For the exercise, we have selected two of these tools. The first, CrystalDiskMark, is well known to PC testers and adopts a very readable graphical interface. The second, AS SSD Benchmark allows you to focus on SSD drives and analyze the behavior of the medium. Both are free. Be careful, however, not to repeat the performance tests on an SSD disk too often. The operation that requires writing and reading and erasing data from memory cells causes a wear effect that can reduce the life of the disk under test.
CrystalDiskMark, not to be confused with CrystalDiskInfo, another utility that only displays the health status of the hard disk or SSD, makes it possible to test disk performance quite easily.
► Install CrystalDiskMark on your SSD or hard drive and launch the version that suits your system (32 or 64 bits or Arm 64).
Download CrystalDiskMark for Windows
► In the window that appears, choose the disk to test if several disks are installed on the PC from the central drop-down menu. By default, the analyzed disk is C:.
► Then click on the button All to start the battery of tests. CrystalDiskMark will then perform read and write tests in sequential and random mode with 1 MB, 128 KB packets. The most picky can adjust these analysis parameters by clicking on the menu Settings > Settings. It is then possible to modify the size of the blocks to be read and written as well as the time measured.
► Once the test has started, wait a few minutes. After analysis, CrystalDiskmark reveals the performance observed. Data is expressed in Mb/s (or megabytes per second). You can compare them with the manufacturer’s indications and assess whether they correspond to your needs.
AS SSD Benchmark also adopts a fairly clear interface, although only available in English or German.
► Download and launch AS SSD Benchmark which does not require installation.
Download AS SSD Benchmark for Windows
► In the window that is displayed, select the disk to analyze from the first drop-down menu if the PC to be used has several.
► Then choose which types of tests you want to perform by keeping the corresponding boxes checked. 4K represents how fast the SSD can respond to a request for a 4k block of data. The 4K 64-Thrd test corresponds to the 4K procedure, except that here the read and write operations are distributed over 64 threads (son in French) simultaneously. A measurement that is suitable, for example, for testing disks on servers. Then click on the button Start at the bottom of the window to start the analysis.
► After a few minutes, the results are displayed. Data is expressed in Mb/s (or megabytes per second). You can compare them with the manufacturer’s indications and assess whether they correspond to your needs.