Crystal Disk Mark: how it works

Author and references

Requirements

As already mentioned, Crystal Disk Mark is free and open source software, which was developed for computers with operating system Windows. The version portable can be started on all PCs that have at least Windows XP installed, while the one with the classic installer it does not work on Windows XP / 2003 computers.

The operation of the software is very simple: after selecting which hard disk to run the test on, it will start testing the reading and writing capabilities. Works with both the classics internal and external mechanical hard drives (HDDs) with both the solid state drive (SSD) which also with USB sticks e SD cards, acting first in a manner sequential, then in mode random, going to overwrite a disk space with different sized test files.



In this way, both in the case of HDD magnetic disks and in the case of SSD units, the program will measure the transfer times of these files, returning an overview of the speed and ability to work under stress of the unit.

As reported on the official website, this system, if repeated intensively, can reduce the life of SSDs, as the program would overwrite entire GBs of data with each use. In any case, rest assured, these are borderline situations.

The results returned by the program may also vary between disks of the same model, as they may also depend on the type of controller used (IDE / SATA / RAID / SCSI / NVMe), disk fragmentation and CPU performance.

The unit of measurement useful for monitoring the writing and reading speed of a hard disk is defined per MB per second (MB / s), i.e. how many megabytes of files can be transferred within the disk in one second.



Crystal Disk Mark: download

Crystal Disk Mark it is available in different versions and themes, each with some peculiar characteristics. In particular, two versions of the program are available for download: the version Standard and the version Shizuku.

The first version is the basic one, which offers the program with all the main functions and a default green and white theme. With the download of this version, more are available six themes, applicable from the menu inside the program and: Dark, Dark/Red, Default, Digital8, Flower e Green.

The version Shizuku offers the same characteristics as the original, but differs in the presence of over 27 themes, which guarantee customization of the program through anime and manga illustrations.

As already mentioned above, the program is available in both Standard both in version Portable: the first requires the installation of the software on the computer (it is not compatible with computers with Windows XP / 2003 operating system), the second requires only the opening of the relative .exe file to work.

On the official website of the program, moreover, it is possible to download another software created by the same developer: Crystal disk info, which offers the opportunity to directly control dozens of parameters concerning the hard disk, including the working temperature, the firmware installed and the hardware infrastructure.

Unlike Crystal Disk Mark, however, it cannot perform any kind of benchmark in order to measure the writing and reading speed of the drives. This program is also available in multiple versions, with customizable themes and executable files that do not require installation. But today I'm going to focus on Crystal Disk Mark, so let's move on.



Crystal Disk Mark Standard

Il download at Crystal Disk Mark it can be done in two ways: from the official website of the program or, if you use Windows 10, from the official Microsoft store.

To download it from the Microsoft store, open the link I just provided you, click on the button Get, wait for the store to open and press the button again Get. Wait, therefore, for the download to complete and that's it. Then simply click on the button starts (or the Crystal Disk Mark icon that appeared in the Start menu) to open the program.

If you intend to download the program in standard version (with installer) from the official website, connect to the relevant download page and scroll until you find the download menu: be careful, the Crystal Disk Mark download menu is located under the one for download Crystal Disk Info, so read carefully before proceeding. The menu name consists of the program name, the current version and the last release date.

At this point, click on the green button Installer (Vista-), based on the version of your interest. Once you hit the button, you will be redirected to a download page, from which you will get a .exe file to open.

So answer Yes to the question "Do you want to allow changes to the device?". Select thein your languagen (or your preferred language) as the installation language and click the button OK, after that accept the license terms and click NEXT.


Choose whether to create a desktop icon and press again NEXT, then press the buttons Install e end, to install Crystal Disk Mark on your computer.


Crystal Disk Mark Portable

If you prefer to download Crystal Disk Mark Portable, which can be used without the need to install it on your computer (and also works on computers with Windows XP operating system), linked to the Crystal Disk Mark download page and click on the green button called ZIP (XP-). You will be taken back to a download page, from which a file with the extension .zip. If you don't know how to extract it, I recommend that you consult this guide.

Once you've extracted the Crystal Disk Mark archive to a folder of your choice and run the executable DiskMark32.exe o DiskMark64.exe, depending on whether you are using a 32 or 64-bit operating system, by right-clicking on it and selecting the item Run as administrator from the menu that opens. The executable DiskMarkA64.exe it is for 64bit ARM processors (ARM64).

In case you have decided to install the Shizuku, executable names may change. In particular you will have DiskMark32S.exe for the 32bit version (x86), DiskMark64S.exe for the 64bit (x64) version and DiskMarkA64S.exe for the 64bit ARM version (ARM64).

How to use Crystal Disk Mark

Once you have the Crystal Disk Mark in the version you prefer, you need to understand how to use it and what options are available for starting the Benchmark. That's all.

Regardless of the version you have decided to download, Crystal Disk Mark allows you to benchmark through the same options.

In the top bar there are five menus: namely Fillet, Settings, Profile, Subject, ? e Language (Language).

In the menu Fillet there is the option Copy (also accessible via the key shortcut Ctrl + Shift + C) which allows you to copy the results of the tests carried out in a textual manner; to save a screenshot or a text document of the benchmark, however, there are options Save (Text) e Save (Image) (also reachable by shortcuts Ctrl + T e Ctrl + S). The voice Logoutfinally, it closes the program.

In the menu Settings, you can change the benchmark according to your needs. For example, if you intend to test on an SSD with NVMe infrastructure, you can select the option NVMe SSD which automatically changes the file overwrite options to optimize them for analyzing this type of drive.

If you are an experienced user and intend to create a custom analysis profile for your hard drive, click on the entry instead Settings and modify the characteristics of the analysis you want to operate to your liking. You can choose whether to set up a type test sequential (SEQ) o random (RND), and the size of the blocks to use for the various steps during the benchmark.

In any case, I advise you to keep the profile default if you have a hard disk other than NVMe, otherwise select the option dedicated to this type of SSD.

Via the menu Profile you can decide what information you want to be shown on screen, depending on the profile you have chosen for the analysis. In particular, you can choose whether to see the Peak performance, Real Performance or only those in Reading o Writing.

The results will change based on the profiles you previously went to edit in the settings. If you are not an advanced user, I recommend that you leave everything on default, in order to display the complete reading and writing data that are detected by default by the program.

Via the menu Subject, you can select the themes to apply to the program, to change its appearance. Additionally, there are two options to improve data visibility: with Magnification you can select a magnification percentage for the window, while com Font settings you can change the type and size of the writing characters.

The menu ?Finally, it allows you to visit the manufacturer's website and get additional information on how the program works, while that Language (Language) gives the opportunity to change the language of the software.

To change the benchmark settings, you can use the drop-down menus in the center of the screen. The first allows you to choose a number from 1 a 9, which refers to the number of times the program will overwrite the disk in tests: more repetitions will give a more reliable result, but will slow down the process and will use more rewrites on the disk (which is particularly bad for SSDs, as already said). The value is set by default 5, you can leave it like that too.

In the second drop-down menu you can set the block size you want to use for the test. In case you choose 1 GB, for example, the program will write files to the disk until it reaches the size of 1 GB, and will measure the time it took to do it.

Choose this option according to your needs: for very large drives, reserving 1 GB of space for the test may be fine, otherwise you can reduce the space you intend to dedicate to the benchmark in the drop-down menu.

In the third menu you can choose the logical department on which to operate the test (C:usually it is the hard disk of the PC on which the operating system is installed). You can help with the size shown on the screen to more easily locate the disk to be tested.

Through the last drop-down menu you can choose which unit of measurement to display the results obtained. By default it is selected MB / s, I recommend that you leave it as it is, since it is the globally recognized parameter for measuring read and write speeds of discs and other storage units.

Once everything is set up according to your needs, you can click on the green button All to start the test in all four methods, both in manner Sequential, both in way Chance. Otherwise, just click on one of the four green buttons related to the test you intend to run.

The test Sequential writes files to disk faster, filling the "boxes" that make up the hard disk memory in order with their position. The test Chanceinstead, it fills these "boxes" in a disconnected way from their position and generally puts more stress on the hard disk, simulating a type of use more similar to what is done in reality.

Furthermore, the test will be repeated, by default, both with file blocks from 1 MB, both with blocks from 4 KB, which greatly fragment the space dedicated to the test and which, therefore, take longer to be transferred. You can change the size of the blocks from Settings.

I advise you to press the green button All, in order to fully test your disk. Remember to close all open processes on the reference disks before starting the test! Once started, wait for the operation to complete, or press the green button Stop to stop.

Once the process is complete, I recommend that you write down the data and compare it with the average values ​​for that drive via a site suitable for this purpose, such as User Benchmark which contains the average values ​​of many HDDs, SSDs and other hardware components. In particular, I recommend that you take a look at the average results placed under the menu Write MB/s.

Crystal Disk Mark: how it works


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