So you bought the latest motherboard with SATA III ports that can deliver the data transfer speeds of up to 6.0Gb/s and you are quite happy with it. But all of your investment in the new motherboard is in vain if you attach an older SATA I or SATA II hard drive with it. Sure enough those hard drives will work fine with new motherboard, but they won’t deliver the data transfer speeds promised by the SATA III ports. Similarly, if you are using an older SATA cable then perhaps even your new SATA III hard drive won’t be able to deliver the maximum data transfer rates.
To check whether your computer hardware and the hard drives are running at their peak performance, you have to run a benchmark test on them. And the free HD Tune software can help you do exactly that. HD Tune is a free hard drive benchmark and error checking tool. In addition it also displays the capabilities, features and other information about your hard drives.
Before running a benchmark tool make sure that you close down all the other apps and programs that could be using the hard drive. Disabling the antivirus software and closing all the web browsers is a good idea. After this, you can launch HD Tune, select one of the hard disk drives from the drop-down list and click on the Start button. The benchmark will take a few minutes to finish and will show you the minimum and maximum data transfer rates. Disk burst rate, access time and the CPU usage is also displayed.
Under the Error Scan tab, you can also perform a quick or thorough disk of your hard drives for the damaged blocks. This is not as good as the CHKDSK command line utility in Windows that can also fix the problems, but it can quickly display the damaged blocks if any in your hard drive.
Conclusion: HD Tune for Windows is a hard drive benchmark and error checking tool that can quickly display the data transfer rates for your hard drives as well as some other useful information.
You can download HD Tune software from http://www.hdtune.com/.