Seagate FireCuda 530 Review: Simply the Best SSD


Seagate typically reserves the FireCuda Gaming branding for merchandise which can be distinctive in some facet. Below this banner, Seagate has launched hybrid drives, SATA SSDs and NVMe answers. Even supposing the audience for those units is avid gamers, the functionality they provide may be incessantly of passion to those that typically need enhanced functionality of their machine.

Approaching the again of the earlier FireCuda 520 design, the new 530 is Seagate’s 2nd NVMe providing to give a boost to PCIe Gen4.

The FireCuda 520 simplest presented 5,000MB/s learn functionality, the place Seagate and Western Virtual each have modules that may be 40% quicker than this, hitting 7,000MB/s.

Was once it value the look forward to the FireCuda 530, and does it supply the excessive stage of functionality that avid gamers imagine offers them a aggressive edge?

Design & Construct

The evaluation pattern supplied by way of Seagate was once of the 2TB FireCuda 530, with 500GB, 1TB and 4TB choices additionally to be had. It additionally comes with an built-in heatsink, although it’s conceivable to buy this unit with out the heatsink at a discounted worth.

As NVMe drives cross, the FireCuda is on the sublime facet, carrying a matt black end with the FireCuda branding in gold.

I’ve observed some huge and unique heatsink shapes on NVMe drives, however this one is the maximum reserved, and that has some distinct benefits. In particular, that this manner issue will are compatible in the NVMe slot of a PS5, which will’t be stated for all Gen4 NVMe designs.

Screws on the facet of the heatsink safe it to the module. Typically I’d of taken it aside, however didn’t wish to disturb any thermal interface between the heatsink and the module earlier than the abusive trying out regime.

If I had got rid of it I’d of optimistically observed the Phison E18-PS5018 controller and 3-d TLC Micron B47R 176L NAND modules used on this design. That individual controller may be in the Sabrent 4TB Rocket 4 PLUS, MSI Spatium M480, Gigabyte AORUS Gen4 7000s, so how is the FireCuda 530 such a lot quicker?

All the ones competitor designs have stressed their Phison controller to NAND this is 96-layer, the place the Micron B47R 176L is, as is hinted at in the identify, 176 stacked layers.

That organisation of the NAND offers the FireCuda better throughput, permitting the controller to ship the excessive stage of functionality that to this point simplest this module may give. With this scale of NAND and the further complexity of a controller with triple 32-bit ARM Cortex R5s, either side of the board are wanted for mounting elements.

To get the maximum out of this design calls for a motherboard with PCIe Gen4 M.2 slots. Apart from for the new Intel Z490 chipset motherboard, that invariably method an AMD X570 or an identical platform.

The FireCuda 530 will paintings on a Gen3 slot, however the bandwidth will likely be curtailed, decreasing the general functionality to about part of what a Gen4 machine can succeed in so undergo this in thoughts.

Staying power

Once I speak about NVMe staying power, it isn’t a characteristic that may be almost examined. Even the very worst acting drives may run with a heavy load for months earlier than failure happens.

Due to this fact I’ve to take the module makers at their phrase in this one aspect in their merchandise.

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All the FireCuda 530 drives include a five-year guaranty and 3 years of information restoration, but in addition a few of the greatest TBW (General Bytes Written) numbers I’ve but observed for his or her respective capacities.

I am cautious of small capability drives as a result of their decrease TBW, however the 500GB pressure on this collection gives a meaty 640TB. That doubles for every next capability measurement leaving the 4TB with an awe-inspiring 5,100TB of lifespan. That’s a remarkably giant determine.

To place that into an easier-to-digest quantity, that’s the identical of writing the complete capability of a 1TB pressure on a daily basis for just below 14 years!

Now not that the ones numbers are a ensure the pressure would not fail earlier than it reaches that time. However Seagate is assured sufficient that it must cross that some distance or that its consumers are not going ever to find the place it’s going to fail. Realistically, the lifespan of the 1TB pressure and above is so huge that almost all consumers are not going to reside lengthy sufficient to problem those assumptions.

Even for people that write huge quantities of information on a daily basis, as in 4K video enhancing, the TBW of the 2TB and 4TB drives is not going to be a subject matter.

Efficiency

Should you don’t like giant numbers, then transfer directly to the subsequent segment, as this section is stuffed with them. The theoretical bandwidth of a PCIe 4.0 four-lane M.2 slot is 8GB/s, however there are at all times overheads to any switch that devour into that quantity.

Seagate quotes a most of seven,300MB/s reads and six,900MB/s writes for the 2TB evaluation pattern, and over maximum of the artificial benchmarks, I hit the ones numbers and even moderately bettered them.

CrystalDiskMark 8.0.4 in the default profile accomplished 7,380MB/s reads and seven,040MB/s writes, that are fantastic ratings. This bench’s real-world profile noticed decrease learn functionality however nonetheless write speeds which can be quicker than any PCIe 4.0 NVMe I’ve examined to this point.

The Phison E18-PS5018 controller is rated to 7,400MB/s reads and seven,000MB/s writes, so there isn’t a lot further functionality to tweak from the program.

CrystalDiskMark 8.0.4 Default Profile

Each and every pressure has DDR4 reminiscence for caching, scaled on capability, and makes use of an SLC dynamic cache along a generation known as SmartFlush to get well the SLC cache house briefly. This mixture minimises the chance {that a} write operation runs into the underlying NAND functionality limits.

It’s conceivable to overrun this house given a big sufficient document. I am speaking 100GB or extra information, so this isn’t an issue that almost all will stumble upon. Should you exhaust the cache, functionality drops to round 1,500MB/s, which isn’t the very low ranges I’ve observed on some NVMe drives the place it may be as gradual as 500MB/s.

The quoted IOPS for the 2TB pressure is 1,000,000 for each studying and writing, although my trying out simplest controlled to hit about 800K. This may well be the simplest position the place this pressure isn’t the highest, as each the WD Black SN850 and Samsung 980 Professional accomplished over 900K IOPS in assessments.

Top IOPs apart, the functionality of the Seagate FireCuda 530 is phenomenal and strikes the bar up on what interior NVMe garage can realistically ship.

My simplest caveat is this pressure will throttle if it will get too scorching, so I don’t suggest working it with out thermal coverage. Both get the heatsink model or mount a third-party heatsink on it, as this may occasionally cut back the affect of it getting scorching, and it’s going to additionally lengthen the operating lifetime of the pressure.

Whilst we may see some tiny enhancements from long run merchandise, for any considerably greater ratings, PCIe 5.0 generation will likely be required and drives designed to paintings with that interface.

PS5 pleasant

As I discussed previous, this pressure will are compatible inside of a Sony PS5, however till very just lately becoming inside of and dealing weren’t the similar factor.

Sony has promised that the M.2 NVMe enlargement port on the PS5 would ultimately be made to be had to people who may installed it a pressure that met an overly explicit functionality stage.

For a while, it’s been conceivable to put in a Gen3 pressure, and it might permit PS4 video games to be put in, however no longer PS5 titles. However the introduction of a contemporary Beta 2.0 firmware free up, as much as 4TB drives that may succeed in 5500MB/s learn speeds can be utilized to put in and run PS5 titles.

Those who have carried out that amendment document that the PS5 ratings this pressure with a learn pace of over 6,500MB/s on this console (together with The Verge’s Tom Warren), hanging it firmly on the proper facet of this line.

As this capability strikes out of Beta into mainstream free up, it’s was hoping that Sony will free up an reliable listing of enlargement drives that they give a boost to, and as it’s the fastest, the FireCuda 530 will indubitably be certainly one of them if Sony does.

For the ones with a PS5 taking into account this variation, I strongly suggest that you just use a pressure with a heatsink hooked up. And, select a design like the 530 that has a heatsink sufficiently small that it gained’t motive an issue becoming inside of the enlargement bay.

It’s vital that the pressure will get enough cooling, and a naked module may simply overheat in the confined house and restricted airflow of the PS5 enlargement bay.

Worth

Having a few of the highest pressure functionality to be had was once by no means going to be reasonable, however the ones short of to buy the 4TB fashion will want deep wallet.

Conventional UK pricing for the FireCuda 530 is £109.99, £189.95, £409.99, and £779.99 for the 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and 4TB drives, respectively, and those are with out the heatsink.

If you need the heatsink fashion, then those prices building up by way of about £30, making the 4TB fashion a fab £809.99. You’ll purchase it from the likes of Amazon, Ebuyer and Overclockers.

US pricing is $154.99, $239.99, $489.99, and $949.99 for the naked pressure and $159.99, $259.99, $539.99, and $999.99 in the event you like passive cooling incorporated.

Amazon US recently says unavailable however you’ll purchase the SSD from Best Purchase and Newegg.

And, no, I’ve no thought why the similar heatsink on a 500GB pressure prices simply $5, however magically prices $50 on the 4TB possibility. When you have a motherboard with an built-in NVMe heatsink and you need the greater capacities, you may avoid wasting cash.

How does this examine with different high-performance PCIe 4.0 NVMe?

As a spread, the Seagate FireCuda 530 is dearer than maximum different manufacturers at every capability, however there are quite few that provide a 4TB capability.

The Sabrent 4TB Rocket 4 Plus prices simply £799.99/US$899.99 however can simplest set up 5300 MB/s write functionality. And, the Corsair MP600 Professional 4TB is US$984.99 and has a miles nearer write functionality of 6,850 MB/sec, however has a shorter lifespan with a TBW of 3100TB.

The WD SN850 is most certainly the pressure that many may believe, however the most capability to be had for that’s 2TB. The 2TB SN850 with heatsink undercuts its FireCuda 530 identical by way of US$110, however write pace is simplest 5,100MB/s or 1,800Mb/s much less.

For the ones questioning about the Samsung 980 Professional, it’s inexpensive, however like the SN850, it doesn’t have a 4TB possibility and its most write pace is 5,100 MB/s.

Different choices come with the up to now discussed MSI Spatium M480 and Gigabyte AORUS Gen4 7000s, however once more those may well be inexpensive however don’t ship the uncooked functionality of the Seagate pressure.

Total, if you need the functionality and the 4TB possibility, then it’s the FireCuda 530 or the freeway till extra aggressive merchandise hit the cabinets.

Now not certain which SSD to shop for? Take a look at our highest SSDs chart with 10 nice choices and purchasing recommendation.

Verdict

It’s uncommon to discover a product that delivers on its promise so comprehensively, however the Seagate FireCuda 530 does.

Seagate’s distinctive design delivers a stellar functionality, fantastic lifespan, efficient thermal control with the heatsink and a few attainable for the newest technology console house owners.

The product even features a particular guaranty with 3 years of information restoration must the pressure fail with important information on it that you wish to have again, one thing we’ve up to now simplest observed incorporated with enterprise-class units.

In brief, the FireCuda 530 is the pressure all avid gamers need if their machine has PCIe 4.0 and they are able to manage to pay for it.

And predictably, the value this is the catch. In comparison to different PCIe 4.0 answers, that is at the pricey finish of the spectrum, particularly for people that need the 4TB capability unit.

Its domination of the NVMe international gained’t final endlessly, as others are the use of the Phison controller already, and NAND with 176 layers or extra will definitely be heading to different module makers.

However in the in the meantime, Seagate has the distinctive place of creating the quickest PCIe 4.0 pressure, perhaps person who actually exploits all that interface has to supply, and they’ve the blessing of Sony as a drop-in enlargement for the PS5.

We think the genuine drawback with the FireCuda 530 is that to be had inventory may no longer deal with the ranges of call for this product could be very more likely to see.

Specifications

Seagate FireCuda 530: Specifications

  • Capacities: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and 4TB
  • Color: Black
  • Choices: Heatsink or no longer
    Controller: Phison E18-PS5018
  • Flash Reminiscence: 3-d TLC Micron B47R 176L NAND
  • Dimensions: (L x W x H): 80.15 x 22.15 x 3.58 mm
  • Weight: 10.6g
  • Interface: M.2 NVMe PCI slot (PCIe Gen4, downgradable to Gen3, Gen2 and Gen1)
  • Quoted Sequential Learn (500GB, 1TB, 2TB,4TB): 7,000MB/s, 7,300MB/s, 7,300MB/s and seven,300MB/s
  • Quoted Sequential Write (500GB, 1TB, 2TB,4TB): 3,000MB/s, 6,000MB/s, 6,900MB/s and six,900MB/s MB/s
  • Quoted Random Learn IOPS (500GB, 1TB, 2TB,4TB): 400K, 800K, 1000K and 1000K
  • Quoted Random Write IOPS (500GB, 1TB, 2TB,4TB): 700K, 1000K, 1000K and 1000K
  • General Bytes Written (500GB, 1TB, 2TB,4TB): 640TB, 1,275TB, 2,550TB and 5,100TB.
    Guaranty: 5 years



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