[Windows] Measure hard drive performance with Disk Thruput Tester, a portable program

DiskTT Img2A while ago, I was having a problem with slow PC start up times. I had just upgraded to Windows 8 a few weeks ago so in my mind, like other Windows 8 hating consumer, I blamed Microsoft’s latest update. Never mind that I had not been shutting my PC down safely and never mind the power surges and outages that could have been damaging my disk, it’s all Windows 8′s fault. Things went from bad to worse in that week, the slow start up times and my computer just exiting or minimizing applications inexplicably could be ignored but all of a sudden the Metro start screen was discoloured. Then I fixed both problems.

Problem one was caused by a few errors on my hard drive. Problem two was caused by some new graphics card drivers I installed. I managed to fix problem one by doing a full scan disk on my hard drive which took over 8 hours. I could not really blame Windows 8 for any of my problems but its in-system check disk tool is not enough to detect problems while the OS is running and Microsoft removed the option to actually do a full check disk without opening a command prompt. Let’s not digress too much. What’s also missing is a simple way to test your hard drive’s read/write speed or throughput. That’s basically how fast your hard-drive copies and pastes files and folders. That’s where DiskTT (Disk Thruput Tester) comes in.

WHAT IS IT AND WHAT DOES IT DO

Main Functionality

DiskTT measures a hard drive through put by testing read and write functions. It will create a phantom file and test how fast it can write it and read it from a location on your hard drive plus also test the speed it can do these things through the computers RAM. It’s a pretty simple and straight forward application but it does contain a few intrinsic concepts that the casual user may need to know. I will try to describe and discuss some of these concepts as clearly as I can because it’s really hard to find help resources with this application.

Pros

  • Simple and straight forward user interface
  • Intuitive and easy to use
  • Small and lightweight
  • Portable
  • You can abort a process

Cons

  • No help resources to be found
  • Does not minimize to the system tray
  • No restore or minimize button to speak of — doesn’t minimize at all

Discussion

It’s a very small application both in the size it takes up on the disk and in size of the user interface. It’s user interface can be pieced into five separate sections.  Mainly info, path of testfile, windows file cache settings, the results text area along with the button and the test results section.

The info section displays the size of the temporary test file and the block size. From here you can also manipulate the size of the test file
DiskTT and the Block size. The Block size is basically the amount of space allocated to a test file or a piece of the test file. On a grander scale, you can almost consider the amount of space you have on your disk as a Block. The way file size correlates to block size is it will basically split the writing into those sets of blocks. If you choose 10 MB(10240 KB) as your file size and 2kb as your block size, it will create  5120 blocks and split that 10Mb into 5120 2kb sets and attempt to write each set into those blocks. A little confusing but as soon as you play around with the application, you start to understand.

From the ‘path of file’ section you can select where the application lays down the test file. It gives you three options. ‘Temp directory’ which usually points to the default temp folder in your windows system where cached files are stored,  ‘Application path’ where the application is running from and ‘User defined path’ which prompts the user with a browser where the user can basically select a path.

Windows cache settings are disabled by default. In other words, the file is not created and cached first before it is written to its final destination. This can be changed however. You can choose to enable it, flush your cache when its done and optimize your memory for sequential reading and writing while testing. You can also cache as a temp file.

It has a big run button, that changes to abort when there’s an operation running. Next to the button is a little results test screen that basically displays the current test file path, progress and results when the application is performing an operation. Underneath this is a test results section that displays the progress (while the application) is running and the results of the three main test operations of the application – sequential write, sequential read and random access.

Conclusion and Download Link

Disk Thruput Tester is a simple small portable application. It’s as simple as hammer, especially when you know where to click. If you’re looking for a tool to measure the write speed of your hard disk, without all the complicated nobs and buttons, give it a swing. However, not everyone may find it that easy to use because of its lack of help documentation and it doesn’t even have a minimize button. If that annoys you, you may find joy in other testers such as CrystalDiskMark.

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 2.2.15

Supported OS: Win 9x/NT/2K/XP/Vista/7/8

Download size: 302 KB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/47

Is it portable? Yes

DiskTT homepage

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5 comments

  1. gathome

    I notice that some of the dotTech articles of late lack the device allowing illustrations to be increased in size for easier viewing. Is that a function of each author? If so, not having that ability available decreases the value of the article noticeably – one man’s opinion.