Assessing the performance of various hardware components is a job for specialized software utilities that can thoroughly test several parameters before reaching a qualified conclusion. For hard disk drives, one of the possible choices is CrystalDiskMark.
The application runs through the setup process pretty fast. Except for destination directory, there isn't anything else to configure. However, pay attention every step of the way, because you might end up with a different homepage and other applications installed as well.
This application was developed to help you get to know your HDD, so it has the power to measure sequential and random read/write speeds while displaying all details to the user with the help of a simple interface. The whole look is designed to make the app very user friendly, so all the information you'll get after conducting the tests will be displayed in the main window.
Speaking about the test, CrystalDiskMark needs just a couple of minutes to perform all the benchmarks. In order to get the most accurate results it's recommended to close all the other apps before hitting the start button.
This tool doesn't put your processor and RAM under a tremendous stress, but it's better to have no documents open while CrystalDiskMark performs a test, be it a sequential read or write or random 4KB/512KB reads or writes.
You can manually select the number of test runs, the size of the test and the drive that will be analyzed and then press the corresponding button to start all the tests.
All things considered, CrystalDiskMark puts up a decent performance and it serves its purpose very well. The application doesn't require any extra knowledge and any user will be able to take advantage of its features and check their HDD's capabilities.