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).
512GB MZ-V6P512BW SSD Read Results
As shown above, average read performance was over 2.5 gigabytes per second, with one odd blip near 3GB/s.
AIDA64 linear write-to tests were next…
512GB Samsung 960 PRO SSD Write Results
Write performance was very even: often, with SSDs, you’ll see initial very high performance followed by a sudden, dramatic drop as the data written overflows an SLC cache or other buffer. Here, the drop from a maximum of 1.9GB/s to an average of about 1.8GB/s is pretty small.
Comparing the average linear read and write speeds of recently-tested SSDs, we see that the 960 PRO handily beats its 950 PRO forebear, but loses out to the 950 PRO RAID.
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…