Benchmark Disk Drives – CentOS 7.2

I recently got one of those new 5th Gen servers with SkyLake Xeons and NVMe drives. Obviously I wanted to find out the difference between these and standard Sata 7200rpm drives and Sata SSD drives. There’s a little utility called hdparm which benches disks.

Installation is pretty simple, hdparm is included in the base repo on CentOS 7

yum install hdparm

Issue fdisk -l at the terminal to find the drive and partition you want to bench, if the server is in raid then it’ll be /dev/mdX otherwise /dev/sdXX.

Issue the following to start the test:

hdparm -t /dev/md2

Here’s the result for the server with NVMe drives

/dev/md2:
 Timing buffered disk reads: 7138 MB in  3.00 seconds = 2378.83 MB/sec

Here’s the result for the server with regular Sata 7200rpm drives

/dev/md2:
 Timing buffered disk reads: 632 MB in  3.00 seconds = 210.46 MB/sec

Holy smokes! That’s a huge difference.

I don’t currently have a server with Sata SSD’s free for benching, I’ll post results one becomes available. But surely, for IO intensive tasks, this is the way to go.