As we travel to exhibit at forensic events worldwide, we usually bring some of the fastest SSDs (usually Samsung 850 Pro) with us to show the speed at which they can be imaged with Atola Insight Forensic (on these drives, it constitutes around 500 MB/s).

At the same time, we feel that in this blog we have missed the opportunity to demonstrate exactly how fast Insight can image different types of hard drives, solid-state drives, USB flash memory, etc.

We test our units on a wide range of storage devices. This time we imaged a few of them and cross-checked the speed with, where you can find detailed info on the minimum, average and maximum read and write speed of almost every data storage device in the market.

NB. Imaging speed is limited by the speed of the slowest of the devices participating in the imaging session. Therefore, the slowest of the two speeds (either the read speed of the source or the write speed of the target) will define the speed at which imaging process is running.

Samsung 850 Pro 256GB

We begin with the Samsung 850 Pro SSDs mentioned above. These two drives are not damaged but are rather worn out, as we have been demonstrating Insight’s imaging speed on them at every exhibition for a few years now. Insight images from one such SSD to another at 501 MB/s (therefore it is the write speed of the target drive that defines the imaging speed in this case).

Atola Insight Forensic: SSD imaging

At this drive’s maximum write speed in sequential mode (sectors read and written to in sequential order) is 502 MB/s.

Samsung 850 Pro 128GB

Next, we take the 128 GB version of the same SSD drive, and Insight images it at 490 MB/s.

Atola Insight Forensic

The maximum write rate (we image to an identical SSD) claimed at (based on over 6 thousand samples) is 490 MB/s, the same rate as that achieved by Insight.

Toshiba X300 4TB

When Insight images a 4TB Toshiba X300 (an HDD with SATA interface), it achieves the speed of 195 MB/s.

Atola Insight Forensic: HDD imaging

How does this speed compare to the one at The website quotes 182 MB/s of max read speed. Insight’s speed substantially exceeded the benchmark speed based on 992 samples!

Western Digital’s Blue 250 GB (2008)

Insight’s speed of imaging a Western Digital’s Blue 250 GB constituted 115 MB/s.

Insight imaging a Western Digital’s Blue 250 GB at 115 MB/s

At the same drive’s max read speed is 115 MB/s. Again Insight achieved the top speed based on over 3000 samples.

Western Digital WD7500AYPS 750GB

Insight was able to reach 77 Mb/s when reading WD7500AYPS 750GB drive.

Insight reaching 77 Mb/s when reading WD7500AYPS 750GB drive

The same drive at achieved the maximum read speed of 73.7 MB/s. Again Insight exceeds this index.

HGST HTS41010A9E680 1TB

When imaging this HGST 1TB SAS hard drive, Insight was able to achieve 111 MB/s.

Insight imaging HGST 1TB SAS at 111 MB/s

And it is a much higher speed than that of (99.5 MB/s max read speed).

Corsair Voyager 3.0 64GB

Next, we imaged Corsair Voyager 3.0 64GB USB, and Insight reached an overall speed of 207 MB/s.

Insight imaging Corsair Voyager 3.0 64GB at 207 MB/s

The max read speed achieved by the contributors of constituted 215 MB/s. Insight did below the max speed but substantially above the average.

Speed has always been the cornerstone of our development efforts. And we are pleased to confirm that Insight does exceptionally well when imaging most data storage devices.

Please note that here we imaged devices that were in overall good health. Imaging may be considerably slower when dealing with a damaged drive, and the speed heavily depends on the type and degree of such damage.

Here are links to the pages with the devices mentioned in this blog for your reference:

Samsung 850 Pro 256GB

Samsung 850 Pro 128GB

Toshiba X300 4TB

WD Blue WD2500AAKS 250GB

WD WD7500AYPS-01ZKB0 750GB

HGST Travelstar 5K1000 2.5″ 1TB

Corsair Voyager GT 3.0 64GB

Yulia Samoteykina
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Yulia Samoteykina

Director of Marketing Yulia believes that with a product that is exceptionally good at solving tasks of forensic experts, marketing is about explaining its capabilities to the users. Yulia regularly represents Atola at DFIR events, holds free workshops and webinars about Atola imagers functionality and advocates on the users' behalf to ensure that Atola keeps on adding value and raising the bar for the industry.

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