AIDA64 Disk Benchmark
Many enthusiasts are familiar with the Finalwire AIDA64 benchmark suite (formerly Lavalys EVEREST), but very few are aware of the Disk Benchmark tool available inside the program. The AIDA64 Disk Benchmark performs linear read and write bandwidth tests on each drive, and can be configured to use file chunk sizes up to 1MB (which speeds up testing and minimizes jitter in the waveform). Because of the full sector-by-sector nature of linear testing, Benchmark Reviews endorses this method for testing SSD products, as detailed in our Solid State Drive Benchmark Performance Testing article. However, Hard Disk Drive products suffer a lower average bandwidth as the capacity draws linear read/write speed down into the inner-portion of the disk platter. AIDA64 Disk Benchmark does not require a partition to be present for testing, so all of our benchmarks are completed prior to drive formatting.
Linear disk benchmarks are superior bandwidth speed tools in my opinion, because they scan from the first physical sector to the last. A side affect of many linear write-performance test tools is that the data is erased as it writes to every sector on the drive. Normally this isn’t an issue, but it has been shown that partition table alignment will occasionally play a role in overall SSD performance (HDDs don’t suffer this problem).
The high-performance storage products tested with Lavalys AIDA64 Disk Benchmark are connected to the Intel P67-Express SATA 6Gb/s controller and use a 1MB block size option. Charted above, read performance on the 512GB Crucial M550 solid state drive measured average speeds of 502.7 MB/s with a relatively close maximum peak speed of 519.1 MB/s. These read results remained very consistent across the full range of capacity. AIDA64 linear write-to tests were next…
The waveform chart below illustrates how well the Crucial M550 manages file transfers, and makes linear write performance appears relatively uneven. The 512GB Crucial M550 solid state drive recorded an average linear write-to speed of 462.1 MB/s, with maximum performance reaching 465.2 MB/s.
While AIDA64 read performance recorded a best-ever speed, write-to results weren’t quite as fast but still surpassed nearly all other SSDs.
The chart below shows the average linear read and write bandwidth speeds for a cross-section of storage devices tested with EVEREST:
Linear tests are an important tool for comparing bandwidth speed between storage products – although HDD products suffer performance degradation over the span of their areal storage capacity. Linear bandwidth certainly benefits the Solid State Drive, since there’s very little fluctuation in transfer speed. This is because Hard Disk Drive products decline in performance as the spindle reaches the inner-most sectors on the magnetic platter, away from the fast outer edge.
In the next section we use PCMark Vantage to test real-world performance…