Price (RRP): $439/699
The Seagate FireCuda 510 SSD is up there with the premium, high-speed PCIe NMVe SSDs easily matching 3400/3200MB/s sequential read/write speeds. It is for disk speed freaks, gamers and those that understand what PCIe NVMe M.2 2280 is and its strengths and weaknesses.
GadgetGuy has recently reviewed the best offerings from Samsung’s 970 EVO Plus and WD Black. Like the Seagate FireCuda 510 SSD (website here) these use 64-layer NAND, their own controllers and various cache sizes and algorithms.
Seagate uses 64-layer, TLC (Triple Level Cell/3-bit) with 1MB DRAM per terabyte. It also reserves up to 28GB of the TLC for use in longer data transfer.
Specifications Seagate FireCuda 510 SSD (1/2TB)
- Interface: NVMe PCIe Gen3 x 4 lanes, NVMe 1.3
- NAND Flash Memory: 3D TLC
- Cache: 1MB per TB plus 28GB reserve from TLC
- Sequential Read/Writes: 3,450/3,200 MB/s
- Durability: 1300/2600 TB (TBW)
- Mean Time Between Failures: 1,800,000 hours
- Capacity: 1TB and 2TB
- Form Factor: M.2 2280
- Warranty: 5 years
The result (in theoretical tests using Crystal Disk Mark – and there are many others) is below. Note speeds can vary +/- a few percent between tests and we run several tests over several days to get an average.
|Random – Small||671.4||1680.6||-60%||1751.3||-62%|
|Random – medium||253.3||348.2||-27%||584.9||-57%|
|Randon – large||46.89||49.57||-5%||51.34||-9%|
|Random – small||490.7||1519.3||-68%||1560.6||-69%|
|Random – medium||170.7||289.8||-41%||535.8||-68%|
|Random – large||130.2||112.3||16%||191||-32%|
Let’s analyse this
- Maximum sequential read – all pass
- Maximum sequential write – all pass
- Random Read – small files – FireCuda is 60/62% slower
- Random Read – medium files – FireCuda is 27/57% slower
- Random Read – large files – all pass
- Random Write – small files – FireCuda is about 68/69% slower
- Random Write – medium files – FireCuda is about 41/68% slower
- Random Write – large files – FireCuda is 16% faster than Samsung and 32% slower than WD
I would not write FireCuda off because these are results specific to CrystalDisk Mark tests that may not reflect real-world use.
What it shows is that its cache gets overwhelmed for random reads/writes slowing down accordingly. This either means its cache or controller is optimised for overall sequential speed, or its cache is too small. The good news is that it is more firmware related, and I am sure Seagate will address this.
What does this mean to you?
Overall speed comes where the cache and controller have time to sort the data and read/write it in an orderly (sequential) manner. This should mean it is perfect for games.
Large files transfers are great just beating the Samsung 970 and coming second to WD Black.
It needs to be optimised for random read and write of disparate file sizes.
We also used Windows Explorer to test copy rates from another PCIe NVME SSD. For a medium size 50GB file, it starts well at around 1.8GBps but quickly drops to about half that once the cache/reserve is full.
For a large 500GB file (yes, I know that a file of this size would be unusual) it maintains 1.8GBps albeit with several small drops offs as it comes up for air.
In layman’s terms, it is slowest in backing up from other storage on a hard disk where files are fragmented and ranging from small to medium in size.
Cloning software Disk Wizard enables a fast clone of an existing drive.
Price (average prices online plus delivery)
- 1TB $439 (44 cents per GB)
- 2TB $699 (35 cents per GB)
These are comparable to the Samsung 970 EVO and WD Black.