REVIEWS: Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSD 1TB USB-C 20Gb / s – Introduction of Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSD 1TB and Software

In today’s review we will look at another external SSD, this time it is a somewhat more expensive and hi-end external SSD, which offers an interface with throughput of up to 20Gb / s, which is a relatively hot news, the main problem is the unavailability of laptops and expansion cards with 20Gb / with speed. Of course, the disk also works with 10Gb / s and 5Gb / s USB, it is backward compatible.

And that’s exactly the problem I came across, although laptops with TB3 have a throughput of up to 40Gb / s when using four Gen3 lines, but only USB 3.2 Gen2 10Gb / s pushes out. So with laptops with TB3 I’m unlucky and I don’t have a motherboard with USB-C 20Gb / s either. So I tried to get a PCIe x4 card Gigabyte GC-USB 3.2 Gen2 2×2 20Gb / s, which provides just one port using the ASmedia ASM3242 chip, but it is also not available. And I don’t really want to buy a card from abroad for some $ 94, so I finally tested the SSD in 10Gb / s and 5Gb / s mode.

So now to the SSD itself, the tested piece had a capacity of 1TB (there are also 500GB and 2TB versions) and is currently sold in the Czech Republic for some 7500 CZK with VAT, which is not a small amount. Also confusing is the warranty, Seagate itself lists a five-year warranty on the web, but some e-shops only offer three years, so be careful where you shop.

In the box we find the NVMe USB-C SSD itself, a double-sided USB-C 10Gb / s cable and a manual. We will not find a cable with a USB-A connector here, which may be suitable for connection to computers that do not have a USB-C.

The disk itself is relatively inconspicuous, the cover is metal with a rubberized back, we find a USB-C connector with a disk activity LED and also an RGB LED strip, which can be configured in Windows using the Seagate Toolkit.

In terms of disk speed, Seagate only lists up to 2000 MB / s in 20Gb / s mode. Unfortunately, Seagate doesn’t want to tell TBW again, on the other hand, the drive has a five-year warranty, so I’m a little calmer.

Seagate targets this SSD to gamers, however I’m not sure about this use, it is perhaps a very expensive solution for consoles, it is close to the price of 2TB SATA SSD disks. So maybe it’s meant to be used with gaming laptops that have only one drive? However, there are also 4TB M.2 SSDs and it seems better to me to have an internal NVMe disk than this way via USB, the performance will always be worse via USB, due to the overhead of the USB protocol.

Seagate SeaTools also works with the drive.

We can download the Seagate Toolkit, in which we can configure computer backups, or just specific directories on this SSD. Apart from backup and the possibility of archiving deleted files, the software with this disk does not actually provide anything else, so it is not needed for normal data transfer. Fortunately, the tool is lightweight and everything can be set up very quickly with a few mouse clicks. In the Toolkit we can also configure RGB LED strips directly on the disk.

I tested the drive in 5Gb / s mode using a cable that has one end of USB-A, and I suspect limited power in this mode. Via USB-C, most laptops provide 7.5-15 Watts, USB 5GB / s type A is usually limited to 5W, but this is not the rule.

I will add that the editors of the foreign website TweakTown have disassembled the disk and inside it is quite common Seagate FireCuda Gaming 510 1TB M.2 2280 NVMe SSD. This SSD has a TBW value set to 1300 TB, which is quite decent, so I don’t understand why Seagate doesn’t boast about it in the external version as well.

I also decided to mention a smaller “blast from the past” called UASP. In 2011 and in the days of Windows 7, it was a relatively hot topic. USB 3.0 was hot news and the acronym stands for USB Attached SCSI Protocol, when using UASP we get better performance of USB drives, because they are connected as SCSI and not in BOT mode, which is significantly slower. If you are using Windows 8 and newer or reasonably modern Linux, you do not have to deal with this at all, but in Windows 7, which is no longer supported, you must manually install drivers for UASP devices.

For the sake of interest, I also enclose WIFT’s period articles:

Seagate promotes the use of these discs for gamers, where gamers install games on such an SSD, which seems like a rather strange idea to me, as most desktops and laptops have the option of replacing storage with larger and faster ones. Maybe it’s more interesting for owners of consoles or Apple Macbook Personal Computers, which have soldered and non-removable storage directly on the motherboard. So I’m testing on two different notebooks, but neither is a Macbook.

The first master to shave is the Acer Predator Helios 500, which I reviewed last year, so I liked it when I bought it. The notebook has a lot of USB ports thanks to the AMD Ryzen 7 2700 desktop processor and the B450 chipset. I test SSD on Acer in three ways, as follows:

  • USB-C 10Gb / s – USB-C to USB-C cable in 10Gb / s USB-C port is used – connected to B450
  • USB-A 10Gb / s – USB-C to USB-A cable in 10Gb / s USB-A port is used – connected to B450
  • USB-A 5Gb / s – USB-C to USB-A cable in 10Gb / s USB-A port is used – connected to CPU

Acer currently runs Windows 10 Pro v1909 and I test primarily using the AS SSD Benchmark, but I also simulate real use using robocopy and copying of the installed game World of Warships, which takes up about 48GB of disk space and has many small files.

You can read a review of this sandy machine below:

Another subject was my light travel companion, the Lenovo ThinkPad W530 from 2012, this piece has a CPU Core i7-3840QM, 32GB RAM DDR3-1866 and a whole two USB 3.0 5Gb / s type A ports. I tested on this machine in Linux , specifically I use Linux Mint Cinnamon 19.2 64-bit. USB ports are provided by the Intel QM77 chipset and the CPU communicates via the DMI 2.0 bus.

In Linux I tested mainly using dd and I also tried hdparm.