Hard Drive Performance Problems

I have a Western Digital WD Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s. I am having performance problems, according to PCMark 7, and from just general observation. It appears that the I/O speed is far less than it should be.

Aside from the obvious suggestions for diagnosing/fixing whatever is going on here (such as defrag, disable antivirus junk, cut down on startup programs), does anyone have any suggestions?

My antivirus program is Avast in gaming mode. This hard drive is in a custom built rig.
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More about hard drive performance problems
  1. Could we see a HD Tune read benchmark graph?

    eg something like this:
  2. This is the benchmark of my primary HDD.

    Apart from the large dips in performance, I don't see any major speed problems. The dips may be due to interference from background Windows tasks, so IMHO they don't conclusively point to a problem with the HDD.

    I would examine the SMART data under the Health tab. Look for reallocated, pending, or uncorrectable sectors.
  4. I can't seem to find the SMART data. And yeah, the large dips in performance are kind of a WTF moment, but other than that the performance seems to be on par with what you would expect from a SATA III HDD, but yet I clearly am getting a drain on performance somewhere. The rest of my rig is very fast. The HDD is definitely the bottleneck.
  5. Best answer
    HD Sentinel or HDDScan may be better able to see your SMART data. HD Tune sometimes has trouble communicating with the SATA driver.

    HD Sentinel (DOS / Windows / Linux):

    HDDScan for Windows:

    See this article for SMART info:
  6. Best answer selected by aigram.
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