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How do I proprly Benchmark my USB Drive's read/write Speeds?

by rammstein42020 / June 1, 2015 3:25 AM PDT

What is the best benchmarking software for a (USB Flash Drive) that I can get to accurately benchmark the read/write speed on my new flash drive? I want to find it's Read/Write capabilities for myself not just what was advertised to me.

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All Answers

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 1, 2015 4:06 AM PDT

Because each benchmark can vary you may have to accept that not one rules them all.

-> There's another issue is that by benchmarking you are eating away at the life span and speed of the stick. My advice is to bench it once (OK, your choice here) and then STOP BENCHMARKING as it's only good for so many write cycles. These will slow the more of the life span is eaten up.

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I know, how do I Benchmark the drive's R/W speeds just once?
by rammstein42020 / June 1, 2015 6:58 AM PDT
In reply to: NONE!

I only plan on doing it one time because, I already know that you're not supposed to benchmark a Solid-State Drive. However, what piece of software would be the best to benchmark my '' USB 3.0_Flash Drive '' with this ONE time?

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There are now some dozens of such apps out there today.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 1, 2015 7:01 AM PDT
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Mint Linux Cinnamon 64 bit version 17

has a benchmarking program called "Disks" on it which works well. I recently used it from a LIVE DVD to check my new USB3 flashdrive. For some reason that program gives an error in the 32 bit Mint systems. You can run it from your DVD drive, or from a LIVE USB install of it. It's free for download from

Some of the hard disk manufacturers have benchtesting programs on their software as I recall.

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If you are more familiar with linux
by James Denison / June 1, 2015 10:35 AM PDT

You can follow this example to check speeds on any disk.

You open Terminal, or Konsole which ever it's called in your version.

First locate the flashdrive using this command, in bold.

/dev/sda1: LABEL="FAT32-1" UUID="CB87-D86F" TYPE="vfat"
/dev/sda2: LABEL="BOOT" UUID="685277b7-4221-4288-91c3-4b2dc1c91d3e" TYPE="ext2"
/dev/sda3: LABEL="Kubuntu" UUID="d37aed55-75aa-4da2-8aae-3ce95aeab43a" TYPE="ext4"
/dev/sda5: LABEL="HOME" UUID="dbe6ff6b-31b6-4788-a1f8-d4a8e6282bdb" TYPE="ext4"
/dev/sda6: UUID="8947bf3d-1005-4664-8749-2500529924c9" TYPE="swap"
/dev/sda7: LABEL="MINT-16" UUID="14f23016-8f05-4bdc-be9f-a2110bfea1da" TYPE="ext4"
/dev/sdb1: LABEL="Win2K-1" UUID="4674C97D74C9706B" TYPE="ntfs"
/dev/sdb5: LABEL="WIN2K-2" UUID="0E62-1E0D" TYPE="vfat"
/dev/sdc1: LABEL="BOOT-2" UUID="f191a90d-fb50-47bc-bc26-5e5c753fd8cf" TYPE="ext2"
/dev/sdc2: LABEL="MINT-2" UUID="f606fa9a-e207-4666-a63c-4421dc499b3e" TYPE="ext4"
/dev/sdc3: UUID="dca1e91c-55fe-4fd2-a875-c440dd253f68" TYPE="swap"
/dev/sdc5: LABEL="Kubuntu-2" UUID="d6a474eb-520a-4335-830c-8dff208c9d22" TYPE="ext4"
/dev/sdc6: LABEL="HOME-2" UUID="6863b2e6-b1e8-493d-a519-cabb69d11d1c" TYPE="ext4"
/dev/sdc7: LABEL="NTFS-W10" UUID="2C9FB13F33A21ED2" TYPE="ntfs"
/dev/sdc8: LABEL="MINT-17" UUID="65942d65-cc89-408a-874b-c4e1f7d15820" TYPE="ext4"
/dev/sdh1: SEC_TYPE="msdos" LABEL="FAT16" UUID="7358-E8FD" TYPE="vfat"

We can see it's /dev/sdh with just a first partition, but we only want the drive tested.

To test it's Read Speed

sudo hdparm -t --direct /dev/sdh
[sudo] password for mint16: /dev/sdh:
Timing O_DIRECT disk reads: 54 MB in 3.11 seconds = 17.34 MB/sec


I issue the command on the first line for that drive. It ask for my password. It then benchmarks this old USB1 flashdrive, showing read speed of 17.34 MB/sec

To test it's Write Speed

This is more complicated, best pasted into terminal, then change the /dev/sd? where needed.
Again, the command is the bolded part, but you'd change the sdh to whatever your disk/flash drive was.

sudo sync;time bash -c "(dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdh bs=8k count=50000; sync)"
50000+0 records in
50000+0 records out
409600000 bytes (410 MB) copied, 79.0448 s, 5.2 MB/s
real 1m31.469s
user 0m0.000s
sys 0m0.280s

It reports the write speed is only 5.2 MB per second

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