Find Out How Fast Your SSD Or Hard Drive Really Is [OS X Tips]

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Geeky, yes. Cool? Yes, again.
Geeky, yes. Cool? Yes, again.

Sometimes, it’s just fun to compare scores with your friends. Without the urge to compete, we wouldn’t have sports, national videogame competitions, or reality television. Now there’s a new way to measure up against those around you – Solid State Drive (SSD) speed.

Ok, so it’s not really a thing, but here’s how you can benchmark your own SSD to compare it with other SSD devices, if you need to know how much faster one computer you own is than another. In fact, it’s a ton of fun to compare the speed of an SSD, say in this here Macbook Air, and that of a hard drive, like in my Mac Mini. Here’s how.

Launch Terminal from the Utilities folder, which is located in the Applications folder. Copy and paste the following into the Terminal once it’s running:

time dd if=/dev/zero bs=1024k of=tstfile count=1024

This command measures write speed of your storage device, be it an SSD or a more traditional Hard Disc. The output will look something like this:

1024+0 records in
1024+0 records out
1073741824 bytes transferred in 4.675983 secs (229629114 bytes/sec)

real 0m4.683s
user 0m0.003s
sys 0m0.781s

See the bytes/sec number? You can change that to megabytes per second with a quick Google search. Search for 229629114 bytes in megabytes, and you’ll get a more comprehensible – easier to remember, at least – number. In this example, this translates to 218.991 Mb/sec. I’m gonna call it 219.

To test the speed your HD or SSD reads info, paste the following command into the Terminal app:

dd if=tstfile bs=1024k of=/dev/null count=1024

The output is a little less verbose in this case, giving something like the following:

1024+0 records in
1024+0 records out
1073741824 bytes transferred in 7.575844 secs (141732303 bytes/sec)

This, according to my Google search, is 135.166 Megabytes/sec, rounded to 135 Mb/Sec. So, my Macbook Air has an SSD inside it, with 219 Mb/s write speed and a 135 Mb/s read speed. I can now take this number with me when shopping for a faster SSD drive, or check my other Macs around the house, to see which one is faster. Or, I guess, brag on the internet about how much faster my SSD is than anyone else’s. Which, you know, I’m not gonna do.

Got an OS X tip? Need help troubleshooting OS X? Drop me a line or leave a comment below.

Via: Macworld OS X Hints