What Is a Linear Hard Drive Test?

Linear hard drive testing is one of the most important metrics to consider when comparing the performance of one hard drive with another. A linear hard drive test will write data on all sectors of a hard drive.

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Linear hard drive testing is one means to benchmark the performance of a hard drive for comparison purposes.


A linear hard drive test writes data to a hard drive from the first sector to the last sector in 1 MB increments and displays real-time and composite performance scores in terms of MB/s.


The test will show performance in at least four categories rated in MB/s. First, the test will show the current write speed. Second, it will show the minimum write speed during the test. The third benchmark is the maximum speed reached, and the final benchmark is the average speed throughout the test.


Linear hard drive testing allows a user to see data that replicate a hard drive's performance both when it is brand new and when it is full of data. The results of the test allow a consumer to compare hard drive performance across brands as well as against the performance of solid state drives. It also shows clear differences between a hard drive that shows a performance decline in its innermost sectors when it nears data capacity and a solid state drive that is not affected by data load.

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