hdparmtool is an easy to use tool to quickly asses your hard drive's speed. When performing speed tests
hdparmdisregards files system currently in use as it writes to a raw device. The actual real read/write speed of your hard drive will be slightly slower and dependent on file system in use. In any case the
hdparmshould provide you with a solid overview of your hard drive's speed. In the examples below we will use
/dev/sdaas our testing block device.
First and most basic test is transfer speed test. Please note that all tests should be run multiple times and average time should be calculated to get more accurate result.
# hdparm -t /dev/sda /dev/sda: Timing buffered disk reads: 104 MB in 3.04 seconds = 34.25 MB/sec
The next test you want to perform is data transfer rate but this time bypassing hard drive's buffer cache memory thus reading directly from the disk.
# hdparm -t --direct /dev/sda /dev/sda: Timing O_DIRECT disk reads: 100 MB in 3.00 seconds = 33.31 MB/secIn the next example we will instruct
hdparmto read data from the second half of the disk that is if the hard drive size is 100GB.
hdparm --offset 50 -t /dev/sda /dev/sda: Timing buffered disk reads (offset 50 GB): 72 MB in 3.05 seconds = 23.61 MB/secTo obtain cached reads run the following command:
# hdparm --offset 50 -T /dev/sda /dev/sda: Timing cached reads: 4484 MB in 2.00 seconds = 2246.69 MB/sec