Some users need to test the speed of a solid state drive (SSD) or hard disk drive (HDD) to analyze the information received. The overall performance of the computer directly depends on the efficiency of the hard drive.
For example, it’s important to run SSD read and write speed tests to determine how the SSD performs under typical workloads. CrystalDiskMark is a good tool for analyzing the performance of a solid state drive or hard drive.
CrystalDiskMark is a free program that helps you measure the sequential and random read/write speed of your hard drive, solid state drive or USB stick. Information is displayed in megabytes per second (MB/s), gigabytes per second (GB/s), input/output operations per second (IOPS), and milliseconds.
This is a tool to test the speed of SSD and HDD with various methods. The application is mainly designed to give you an idea of the speed of your storage, so that you know what is the copy speed, read speed, concurrent read speed and so on.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to use CrystalDiskMark so you can test the performance of your computer’s hard drive. As part of this article, we will test the speed of an SSD drive in CrystalDiskMark.
The CrystalDiskMark program is designed for Windows and works in Russian. Supported operating systems are Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP.
You can download CrystalDiskMark from the Crystal Dew World official website. Several versions of the application are available for download to your computer. For our purposes, the Standard Edition with a regular installation on a PC or a portable version of the application is suitable. The developer of the program, Noriyuki Miyazaki, also created a special version of the program: Shizuku Edition with more themes.
You can download a version of CrystalDiskMark Portable that does not need to be installed on your computer. Unpack the ZIP archive, and then run the program from the folder from any convenient location. Depending on the bitness of Windows, you will need to run the file “DiskMark64.exe” or “DiskMark32.exe”.
Crystal Disk Mark Setting
Before you learn how to use CrystalDiskMark, you need to familiarize yourself with the basic settings of the utility.
During installation or immediately after launch, the program must select the Russian interface language. If this does not happen, enter the “Language” menu and select the appropriate language.
From the “View” menu, you can change the scale of the program window if the default size is small for you.
In the main window of the program, you will see 5 green buttons on the left, 4 fields for selecting test parameters at the top, and fields with test results in the center.
Before starting the test, you must first set the correct values for the disk performance test parameters:
- “5” is the number of test passes you want to run. You can choose values from “1” to “9”. The more checks, the higher the accuracy. But, keep in mind that in this case, the checks take more time.
- “1GiB” is the size of the test file. Its sizes can be selected from 16 MB to 64 GB. The larger the test file, the longer it will take to create it.
- “C:” is the drive letter for testing. This drive should have approximately 15% free space to allow enough space for operations on the test file.
- “MB/s” – selection of the test unit. Choose from 4 units of measurement: MB/s, GB/s, IOPS (Input/Output Per Second), and Microseconds.
In most cases, it’s best to use the program’s default values, because they will show the most accurate values when you run the disk speed text in CrystalDiskMark. Advanced users can customize the utility’s settings as they see fit, because they understand what they’re doing.
The program has 4 types of tests:
- SEQ1M Q8T1 is a sequential test for data with a block size of 1 megabyte with 8 sequential tasks in 1 thread.
- SEQ1M Q1T1 is a sequential test for data with a block size of 1 megabyte with 1 sequential task in 1 thread.
- RND4K Q32T16 – random test for a block of 4 kilobytes for 32 processes in a queue for 16 threads.
- RND4K Q1T1 – Random test for a block of 4 kilobytes for 1 queued process in 1 thread.
If your computer uses an NVMe SSD drive, then instead of the “SEQ1M Q1T1” test, the “SEQ128K Q32T1” test is performed – a sequential test for data with a block size of 128 kilobytes for 32 queued tasks in 1 thread. To use this option, you must enable the “NVMe SSD” item in the “Settings” menu.
Enter the “Settings” menu, and then click the “Settings” item in the context menu to view detailed information on the tests.
CrystalDiskMark Disk Speed Test
To more accurately measure the read and write performance of an SSD/HDD using CrystalDiskMark, close all running programs so that they do not interfere with the testing process.
Do the following:
- Run the CrystalDiskMark program on your computer.
- Select the number of runs (default value is “5”).
- Specify the file size (in most cases, the default selection is more than enough).
- Select the drive (hard drive or solid state drive) you want to test.
In our case, the CrystalDiskMark SSD speed test is performed. Testing a hard disk drive (HDD) is carried out in a similar way.
- Click on the “All” button to run all available tests.
- After you complete these steps, performance tests will run on the drive for several minutes depending on the drive type, test file size, and total number of tests.
- The SSD CrystalDiskMark test is complete and you will see the test result in the application window, measured in megabytes per second. The Read and Write columns show the results of each test.
You can look at other values, such as IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second) results.
If you need to run a CrystalDiskMark disk speed test for one type of test, click the appropriate button.
How to interpret test results in CrystalDiskMark
The verification is completed, now it is necessary to interpret the test indicators in CrystalDiskMark.
Explanation of test abbreviations used in the application:
- SEQ – sequential (1, 2, 3, 4 …) writing and reading of a test file is used.
- RND – arbitrary, random (random) writing and reading of the control file.
- 1M – Uses 1MB blocks for sequential writing and reading.
- 4K – Uses 4 KB blocks to test the drive using random (2, 5, 7, 1…) reads and writes, which are more resource intensive than a sequential test.
- Q is the queue depth, the number of requests (processes, tasks) executed at one time.
- T is the number of processes (threads) accessing the disk at a given time.
Explanation of what the tests do:
- The “SEQ1M Q8T1” test is a test of the speed of reading and writing large files.
- The “SEQ1M Q1T1” test performs the same as the previous “SEQ1M Q8T1” test. The difference between them is the number of processes in the queue.
- Test “SEQ128K Q32T1” sequential write and read in blocks of 128 kilobytes, used for NVMe SSD drives.
- The “RND4K Q32T16” test reads and writes data from different blocks of 4 kilobytes with 32 parallel or serial processes thanks to multithreading.
- The “RND4K Q1T1” test provides information on how long it takes when you try to read, copy or move small individual files.
After that, you can compare the test results with the performance information provided by the SSD/HDD manufacturer. Keep in mind that CrystalDiskMark (or any other third party software) will only give you a rough estimate of actual performance.
To save the results of the current test to your computer, do the following:
- Enter the “File” menu, and in the context menu, click on the “Save as text” item.
- Select a location on your computer to save the file in “.txt” format.
- Open the text file in Notepad to see the results of the disk check in CrystalDiskMark.
The performance of your computer depends on many components, including the speed of your SSD or hard drive. To find out the capabilities of an SSD / HDD drive, you need to test its operation using a specialized program. You can learn how to test SSD or HDD performance in CrystalDiskMark. The program will perform several tests and show information on the speed of the disk.