Check Harddrive Speed
The native Linux command hdparm (Hard Disk Parameters) can be used to determine your hard disk drive read speed.
Here is an example of the command:
hdparm -tT /dev/hda
You will need to change hda to match the disk you want to check. You will see a two line report with various numbers and timings, but the only one you are interested in is the very last number, in MB/sec.
However, you should probably perform this test at least 5 times and look at the average. The following one-liner will conduct the test 12 times:
for ((i=0;i<12;i++)) do hdparm -tT /dev/hda; done
Convenient way of testing all drives read performance is provided by script diskspeed.sh, listed on this Wiki page and downloadable from this forum thread. The script creates reports and graphs of drive read speeds, at multiple points across the surface of each drive.