Seagate FireCuda 530: Review of the best PS5 compatible PCIe 4.0 SSD

the PCIe 4.0 solid state drive have been around for a while, but over the course of 2021 they have matured a lot thanks to new controllers and new types of memory serving increasingly pushed models that wink at players. On the other hand, the enthusiast category is willing to pay a lot to have the fastest system in circulation.

But the issue isn’t so much about uploads, extremely fast on any SSD PCIe, as well as the promise of ever wider games, without pop-up phenomena and with mechanics allowed precisely by the use of very high-speed storage. And it is precisely very high speeds that we are talking about in the Seagate FireCuda 530 review, perfectly compatible with PS5 also in the version with integrated heatsink, the one we reviewed, is already able to offer all the PC technologies necessary to take advantage of the high transfer speeds in gaming thanks to the future DirectStorage of Windows 11.

Hardware features

The Seagate FireCuda 530 in the 1 TB model with integrated heatsink

As anticipated, the Seagate FireCuda 530 it looks to gamers, including PS5 ones, but on paper it boasts adequate performance even at demanding professional loads. Indeed it promises maximum speeds 7300 MB / s in sequential reading and 6000 MB / s in sequential writing for the 1 TB model that arrived in the editorial office.

The 500GB drive stops at 3000MB / s in sequential write, making it the least desirable, but still boasts a speed of 7000MB / s in sequential read and should therefore not give problems with PS5. On the other hand, the 2 TB and 4 TB models, which is the largest of the series, both reach the same 7300 MB / s in sequential reading of the 1 TB drive, guaranteeing the same record speed, and arrive at 6900 MB / s in sequential writing, further raising the bar.

Basically they all use the same Phison E18-PS5018 controller that we have already seen at work on slower units, but combined with Micron B47R 176L memory which with its 176 layers is inevitably superior to 96 and 128 layers memories.

Despite the memory, the Seagate FireCuda 530 still has to contend with dynamic SLC cache saturation and as a result, like any SSD out there, it faces slowdowns when RAM needs to be emptied. But the problem arises only with single files that are over a tenth of the capacity and this means that in the case of the 1 TB drive the problem only arises with single files of over 100 GB. It is therefore not something that can worry players or ordinary users. In addition, the combination of DDR4 SK Hynix memory and Hyperflush technology promises to get the SSD back up and running as quickly as possible.

The elegant variant with integrated dissipation of the Seagate FireCuda 530 solid state drive

Performance in terms of I / O operations per second also varies by model: the 1 TB variant promises peaks of 800,000 random read IOPS and 1,000,000 random write IOPS. It is therefore inferior to the 2 TB and 4 TB models, which reach 1,000,000 IOPS in both cases, but significantly faster than the 500 GB drive which stops at 400,000 IOS in random read and 700,000 IOPS in random write , resulting also in this case rather far from the top models and less convenient.

On the other hand, it costs more than half of the 1 TB model, the one we tested, which still has a price quite high. In fact, we are talking about € 274.99 for the version without heatsink and € 304.99 for the one with heatsink.

The high price, however, depends not only on the speed but also on the contour. We are not surprised to see support for technologies such as TRIM and SMART, while it leaves a bit of a bitter taste in the mouth not to find the XTS-AES 256-bit encryption given the professional potential of the device. The rest, however, is exceptional starting with the longevity which takes us back to the days of the best PCIe 3.0 SSDs. In fact, we are talking about 1275 TB of duration in terms of writing for the 1 TB drive: years of service with a gaming configuration, an area in which data is difficult to move continuously. In addition, the offer includes a 5-year warranty and 3-year Seagate data recovery for all drives in the series. An added value not to be overlooked.

WD SN850 NVMe PCIe 4.0 1TB datasheet with heatsink

Seagate FireCuda 530 NVMe SSD, 1 TB, Internal SSD, M.2, 4 PCIe Gen4 ports, NVMe 1.4, 7,300 MB / s, 3D TLC NAND technology, 1,275 TBW, 1.8 million hours MTBF, 3 years of service Rescue, ZP1000GM3A013
Offerta Amazon

Offerta Amazon

Seagate FireCuda 530 NVMe SSD, 1 TB, SSD Interno, M.2, 4 porte PCIe Gen4, NVMe 1.4, 7.300 MB/s, tecnologia 3D TLC NAND,…

  • Typology: PCIe 4.0 X4 NVMe M.2 with optional heatsink
  • Controller: Phison PS5018-E18
  • Memory: Micron 176L TLC
  • Sequential reading: 7300 MB / s
  • Sequential writing: 6000 MB / s
  • Random reading: 800.000 IOPS
  • Random writing: 1.000.000 IOPS
  • Longevity: 1275 TB
  • Dimensions: 8.01 x 2.21 x 0.22 cm
  • Weight: 47 grams
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • Price without heatsink: 274,99 € (1 TB) / € 151.90 (500 Gb), € 567.90 (2 TB), € 1,109.90 (4 TB)
  • Price with heatsink: 304,90 € (1 TB) / € 170.90 (500 Gb), € 639.90 (2 TB), € 1,179.90 (4 TB)
  • Link to purchase on Amazon

The design

Compact, sleek and sturdy, the Seagate FireCuda 530's heatsink disassembles easily

Compact, sleek and sturdy, the Seagate FireCuda 530’s heatsink disassembles easily

Completely wrapped in a sturdy rectangular shell in black anodized aluminum developed in collaboration with EKWB to achieve the ultimate in cooling, the Seagate FireCuda 530 drive with integrated heatsink sports the same design minimal and elegant of the company’s latest external discs, including a subtle orange engraving that cuts it horizontally.

The rest do the logos and the excellent textured finish of the chassis which adds further value to a sleek, monolithic and rugged solid state drive that looks more like a luxury USB stick than an M.2 SSD. The regular shape, among other things, makes it easier to insert the SSD into the slot M.2 di PS5, and makes it very easy to disassemble the dissipation fixed by two pairs of screws positioned laterally.

Performance

We tested the Seagate FireCuda 530 on a motherboard that guarantees full exploitation of PCIe 4.0 SSDs

We tested the Seagate FireCuda 530 on a motherboard that guarantees full exploitation of PCIe 4.0 SSDs

Tested on the MSI X570S TORPEDO MAX motherboard, which has proven to know how to squeeze the latest generation PCIe 4.0 SSDs to the bone, the 1 TB model of the FireCuda SSD Seagate 530 showed off performance up to the specifications declared, exceeding them both in sequential reading and in sequential writing. With CrystalDiskMark it has in fact touched the 7390 MB / s in sequential read speed several times and has reached the 6102 MB / s peak in sequential write speed, resulting in the fastest consumer solid state drive in circulation.

Filled the cache by moving a single 200GB file, the speed dropped to 1602MB / s, but that’s still a pretty good value for a drive that performed well even when transferring large packages of different sized files , as in the case of the Cyberpunk 2077 folder. It has in fact kept, according to what reported by Diskbench, one transfer speed average of 2230MB / s, about 150MB / s higher than the fastest consumer PCIe 4.0 SSDs currently out there.

The Seagate FireCuda 530 punctually exceeds its claimed sequential read performance

The Seagate FireCuda 530 punctually exceeds its claimed sequential read performance

It does not reach the top, however, in the case of I / O operations per second. In random reading the unit still met the declared specifications, with 800,000 IOPS touched with the settings dedicated to CrystalDiskMark’s NVMe SSDs, but in random writing it stopped at around 750,000 IOPS, against the promised million. But we are still talking about excellent values ​​which in part also depend on the system.

Then the numbers obtained with the demo of Final Fantasy: Shadowbringers are noteworthy, with 11.46 seconds of overall loading time which proved to be sufficient to overcome the competition. We are talking about a minimum margin compared to similar models, but the issue also depends on bottlenecks that could disappear if technologies such as NVIDIA RTX IO and Microsoft DirectStorage were to spread.

Also note the excellent temperature 42 degrees under stress, proof of the high quality of the heatsink. A value that must be taken into consideration if you aim to mount this SSD inside the PS5.

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