AIDA64 Disk Benchmark
Many enthusiasts are familiar with the Finalwire AIDA64 benchmark suite, 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. One of the advantages SSDs have over traditional spinning-platter hard disks is much more consistent bandwidth: hard disk bandwidth drops off 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 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).
1TB MyDigitalDiscount Portable SSD Read Results (5Gb/s)
At 10Gb/s, we see the massive increase we’re expecting to see in this sequential data transfer benchmark: the average read speed has increased from 400.7MB/s to 628.8MB/s:
1TB MyDigitalDiscount Portable SSD Read Results (10Gb/s)
We run the AIDA64 linear read and write tests with a 1M block size. Charted above, read performance on the BOOST 1RB external SSD returned average speeds of 400.7MB/s.
AIDA64 linear write-to tests were next…
MyDigitalSSD BOOST 1TB Write Results
Plugging the drive into a 10Gb/s port increased average write performance only a little on this test, from 364.8MB/s to 393.1MB/s. However, note that the maximum speed increased by more than 50%, to 630.7MB/s, which was maintained for the 50-60 gigabytes of writes.
Samsung’s T3 drive showed a similar drop in sustained write performance, although the drop was much smoother, without the wild swings we see in the BOOST.
500GB Samsung Portable SSD Write Results
At 5Gb/s, the MyDigitalSSD BOOST edges our the Samsung T3 in writes, but falls slightly behind in reads. At 10Gb/s, the 629MB/s reads are the fastest we’ve ever seen for a non-PCIE SSD. The 393MB/s writes are exceeded only by a few internal SATA drives.
Linear tests are an important tool for comparing bandwidth speed between storage products, serve to highlight the consistent-bandwidth advantages of SSDs, which don’t suffer the performance drop-off that HDDs do as the test proceeds away from the fast outer edge of the disk.
In the next section we use PCMark Vantage to test real-world performance…