Thanks to rootprompt.org, I found a little package that allows to test actual disk sequential access speed. When disk capacities have largely improved, disk speed can be a very limiting rate factor, especially on laptops.
hdparm comes with every Linux distribution :
~ $ sudo hdparm -t /dev/hda Password: /dev/hda: Timing buffered disk reads: 92 MB in 3.01 seconds = 30.58 MB/sec
Use your actual drives if not
Find more about
hdparm in manual pages (
man hdparm) and on maverik’blog, and about
seeker, a utility that he has written to measure random access time.