Using IOMeter will give you a great benchmark on any hard drives and network drives you have. I use this quite often as you can see the effects of new hardware, introducing Link-Aggregation, or troubleshooting drives to determine if they are losing performance.
Steps to Follow
1) Download IOMeter from the Official Site and run setup
2) All Programs -> Iometer -> Iometer
3a) Under ‘Topology’ tab, select the local machine
3b) Delete All workers but 1
3c) Under ‘Disk Targets’ tab select the drive you want to run the IO test on:
3d) Set Maximum Disk Size to 204800 Sectors (one sector is 512 B, so 204800 sectors gives 100MB)
Note: Default test is – 67% read, 33% write, 2 KB, 100% Random non/sequential writes, Burst Length 1 I/O. This is fine for this brief guide and the sample results below use this.
5a) Under ‘Results Display’ tab, under Update Frequency, set to 10 seconds
6) Clone Workers from the first page to the number of cores you have. (Ex. Quad Core = 4 workers)
7) The click the green flag to start the test, and choose a location to save the results….
Remember to benchmark often and always do a before and after you make any changes. This is imperative so you can see any performance gains or losses you might incur. There are many times I have been surprised by the results of switching hardware or simply testing older hardware to see how it is holding up. One thing is for certain, I haven’t found a freeware tool that is better than IOMeter in the past 15 years that I’ve been doing IT.