BenchMe is a compact free application for benchmarking storage devices (hard drives, USB keys, memory cards and more).
The program has a very basic interface. All you can really do is click the arrow to the right of the Start button, choose the physical device or drive you'd like to benchmark, and then wait for the results.
There's still a fair amount of functionality here, though. So BenchMe highlights drive capabilities, for instance, letting you see whether the device supports S.M.A.R.T., acoustic management, native command queuing, tagged queuing, and more. The program also measures the device's I/O Operations per second (IOPS) and device access times. And, perhaps most usefully, BenchMe plots read speed for data blocks across the device, as well as highlighting the minimum and maximum speed.
You can view all these results in the program window (see the screen grab for an example). There's also a Print button, or you can opt to copy the image to the clipboard, in various sizes.
We did have one problem with BenchMe. For some reason it was unable to detect our drive capabilities, and so they were all greyed out on the report screen.
We're not sure whether that's a general issue, though, or just something specific to our hardware setup. And otherwise BenchMe proved a capable benchmarking tool, straightforward and easy to use.