Data transfer rates (reading and writing) among flash devices can vary wildly and often the cost of a drive can be based on the read/write speed of the device (among other things like built in encryption, etc). So how do we go about checking the speed of USB flash drives to see if you’ve gotten the bang for your buck? The three tools below are free utilities that help you benchmark your USB flash drive performance.
The Check Flash website is in Cyrillic (there is an English option too) but it shouldn’t stop anyone from downloading this light and free USB flash drive speed testing and error checking software.
With Check Flash you can test, manage and format your USB flash drive. You can also run a read-write cycle on your USB flash drive, which returns not only the speed but also any errors (read/write or physical) in your USB drive. The software does not rectify the problem but merely reports it.
Check Flash v1.07 runs as an 812KB sized executable and does not require an installation. Snag Checkflash from MikeLab.
HD_Speed is a pint sized software that can be used to gauge the speed of data transfer on your hard disks, CD/DVD ROMS and USB flash drives. This program is compatible with Windows 2000, XP and Vista only, though it supports both FAT and NTFS volumes.
The 80KB utility does not require installation and runs with a click. Select the drive and hit start. The read/write results show up as a graph and also as real values. You can get a copy of HD_Flash from SteelBytes.
Crystal Disk Mark
Crystal Disk Mark is another disk benchmarking tool that can double up as a USB flash drive speed tester. The screen is simple and gives readouts according to the type of tests performed.
Crystal Disk Mark can carry out sequential read/write tests (i.e. read/write data in order) or random 4KB/512KB reads/writes or text copy. The speed test results are displayed as large numerical in MB/s.The 396KB software runs as a standalone executable straight from the box and is compatible with Windows Vista/2003/XP. Get Crystal Disk Mark from the Crystal Mark site.