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I'm looking for a way to determine the read/write speed of a disk drive, either by looking up some system information or running a simple benchmark test utility.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Xbench: Comprehensive Macintosh Benchmarking

Freeware benchmarking solution for Mac OS X.

EDIT: The download link is in the right-hand corner.

Main Window
Xbench startup
Graphics Test
Graphical Test

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It actually took me several minutes to find the download link on that page (top right). – benzado Aug 2 '11 at 1:02
I'm sorry. I'll fix it. – daviesgeek Aug 2 '11 at 1:19
Oh, not your fault, I was just commenting on the page design. – benzado Aug 2 '11 at 1:36
Ok, It'll make it easier to find though... – daviesgeek Aug 2 '11 at 17:29

Blackmagic Disk Speed Test performs various tests and tells you how fast your disk is performing.

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Phoronix Test Suite

I have not used it, but I plan to.

Discovered through the following article:

Related — an open, collaborative testing platform for benchmarking and performance analysis

… an open, collaborative testing platform designed by Phoronix Media and the developers behind the Phoronix Test Suite, the most comprehensive benchmarking platform for Linux and other operating systems. …

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I'm a realist and like to see how finder does in duplicating some folders that I have data in. Documents and Music seem to give me a decent mix and you can subscribe to the apple keynote podcast to get some nice large files to test sustained reads and writes.

You can get a nice graph of the speed using Activity Monitor.

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