Just a quick post to share a free tool I found today.
I wanted to get a figure for disk throughput on my desktop and after browsing some tools ended up downloading FreshDiagnose. You do have to register to get an code to unlock it's functionality, but an email address and password is as much as you need to supply.
It can benchmark just about any aspect of your pc, the screenshot below shows the disk benchmarking for my laptop. It's free and I can see it being highly useful as my role increasingly requires me to look at different systems.