HDD testing utility?

Hi I recently bought this seagate HDD


And I was kinda wondering if it is performing up to par...
So I thought I'd ask you folks here what is a good program I can use to test its read/write speeds.

The reason I'm wondering about it is because my friend has a seagate 250gb 7200.11 16mb cache, and when he goes to access or say, bring up firefox, it is instant. While with mine it takes about 1 second before it comes up.
And I believe my drive should be just as fast, if not faster than his.

My specs.

4gb corsair ddr2 800
nvidia 680i mobo
9800 gtx
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  1. Also the drive makes slight clicking/grinding noises when working... Is that normal?
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