Price (RRP): $599 and the SSD is from 319-1020
The FireCuda Gaming Dock is Seagate’s answer to add both mass and fast storage and an array of ports via a Thunderbolt 3 connected dock. And the FireCuda 520 is its premium PCIe Gen 4 SSD screamer!
Now it fair to say that Seagate makes great HDD and SDD, so I was curious about a FireCuda Gaming Dock – a Thunderbolt 3 dock at that – when there are so many good docks already in the market.
So, I guess we need to issue a spoiler alert. The Seagate FireCuda has a 4TB HDD and an M.2 SSD slot. It is primarily for gamers although Seagate’s marketing suggests creatives and others can use it. Let’s find out.
Seagate FireCuda Gaming Dock
- Website here
- Warranty: 3-years if registered and you return it in original packaging
- Price: $599
What is the FireCuda Gaming Dock
A Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) connected dock with multiple ports (see list later), 3.5” 4TB hard disk and a PCIe NVMe M2.2280 Gen 3 x 4 lane expansion slot. You need a Thunderbolt 3 computer/laptop to use its full capabilities.
Who is it for?
Gamers and creatives with Thunderbolt 3 equipped laptops who need 4TB mass storage and optionally fast M.2 SSD storage over a 40Gbps link.
But it does not have passthrough power despite a 20V/5.5A (110W) power brick. That may be a deal-breaker for office and permanent setups where 170W passthrough is the norm.
Serious gamers will likely be running their laptops off even higher amperage power supplies as most laptops throttle the CPU/GPU when running on battery alone.
So, if you need passthrough power, then the dock is not for you. With the caveat that it is more storage with benefits, we move to the review.
It is Windows and Mac compatible and comes with install software on the 4TB disk. I assume you know what a Thunderbolt 3 interface is and that you need to activate it when you first plug it into a computer.
Note that many Thunderbolt 3 ports circa 2018/early 2019 are only two-lane (like the Huawei MateBook X Pro) giving a maximum of 20Gbps so if you don’t get the throughput you expect, look there first.
You can download the freeware HWiNFO64 (select portable version for Windows) which is full of wonderful information about your PC. See below to check the PCIe Bus.
The device will also work on USB-C 3.1/2 Gen 1/2 (5/10Gbps), but the SSD will not work, and port speeds will reduce.
One little thing that irks me is when you must activate a registration over the internet to get access to the device. Why? In my case, I must hand such devices back after review and then I receive a torrent of spam from Seagate as the owner.
Once registered, you get access to a Seagate Toolkit. It allows you to Manage LED colours (pre-set pattern or custom), create backup plans, a ‘Mirror folder’ on your PC that backs up to the dock and more.
Seagate – please read my lips – not necessary!