Seagate FireCuda 530: It's very, very fast
PCWorld|September 2021
Seagate’s latest top-tier NVMe SSD broke all speed records on both PCIe 3 and PCIe 4.
JON L. JACOBI

The Seagate FireCuda 530 is currently the fastest NVMe SSD on the market. It not only bested the best of the rest in our real-world and synthetic benchmarks, but did so by a healthy margin in several tests. If you can afford it and you can find it, you won’t regret buying it.

DESIGN AND SPECS

The FireCuda 530 is a 2280 (22mm wide, 80mm long), PCIe 4 x4, NVMe SSD. Seagate, like many other vendors these days, is loath to reveal the fine details of its SSDs, so we’ve taken to stripping off the labels and reading the chip numbers. The 2TB model I tested has 2GB of SK Hynix DDR4 primary cache. It uses a Phison PS6108 controller, and it stores bits on 176-layer 3D Micron TLC (Triple-Level Cell/3-bit) NAND. Good stuff.

Alas, an SSD as fast as the FireCuda 530 is going to be expensive, but the bigger problem at the time of this review was availability: It was sold out in all capacities at all major online retailers, including Best Buy (go.pcworld.com/ sgbb) and Amazon (go.pcworld.com/sg2t). A Seagate representative said the company expected the drives to resurface later in August. Based on the prices shown on Newegg.com, you’ll pay $160 for 500GB (go.pcworld.com/ sg50), $260 for 1TB (go.pcworld.com/sg1t); $540 for the 2TB capacity we tested (go. pcworld.com/sg2t), and a cool $1,000 for 4TB (go.pcworld.com/sg4t). Newegg’s product pages estimate availability by August 30. For some reason, the models with a preinstalled heat sink carry a rather large upcharge. Get your own for less than $15.

The 2TB and 4TB drives are double-sided, while the 512GB and 1TB capacities are single-sided. This is a possible consideration if your laptop is super thin.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM PCWORLDView All

DOES YOUR LAPTOP FEEL SLUGGISH? - TRY THESE 9 THINGS BEFORE YOU GIVE UP

DON’T DITCH THAT AGING LAPTOP UNTIL YOU TRY THESE SPEED-BOOSTING TRICKS FIRST.

7 mins read
PCWorld
October 2021

Dell XPS 17: The ultimate content creation laptop

With a giant screen and thin profile, the Dell XPS 17 is perfectly built for content creators on the go.

10+ mins read
PCWorld
October 2021

Mullvad VPN: Our favorite ultra-private VPN gets even better

Mullvad adds a few useful extras, as well as a big expansion of its network of servers.

7 mins read
PCWorld
October 2021

How Windows 11 will speed up your slow PC

If your PC feels faster, is it faster? That’s Windows 11’s aim with some smart under-the-hood tweaks.

3 mins read
PCWorld
October 2021

How to secure your home Wi-Fi network and router

Make sure what happens on your network stays private on your network.

9 mins read
PCWorld
October 2021

WHAT IS DDR5? THE PC'S NEXT–GEN MEMORY, EXPLAINED

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE PC’S NEXT RAM STANDARD.

6 mins read
PCWorld
October 2021

Unpatched Office attack reminds us: Don't click on risky docs

An attacker will have to convince you to click on the document as well as turn off Protected View.

2 mins read
PCWorld
October 2021

Gateway 15.6-inch Ultra Slim Notebook: Big screen on a budget

Getting a 15.6-inch display at this price is nice, but there are trade-offs.

7 mins read
PCWorld
October 2021

GameSir GK300: Wireless mechanical keyboard goodness, just not for gaming

A removable wrist rest, backlighting, and a full-size layout help this wireless mechanical keyboard stand out.

3 mins read
PCWorld
October 2021

Windows 11 to launch on October 5

The start of an exciting fall for PC users.

2 mins read
PCWorld
October 2021
RELATED STORIES

Camera Set

The iPhone 13’s leaps forward for photo & video

6 mins read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #520

Pasta e Ceci

A cousin of pasta e fagioli, this cozy soup features chickpeas instead of white beans.

1 min read
Better Nutrition
October 2021

Framework Laptop: True Modularity

REVIEWS/HARDWARE

10+ mins read
PC Magazine
October 2021

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14: Blazing-Fast Gaming Machine

REVIEWS/HARDWARE

9 mins read
PC Magazine
October 2021

HAS A CYBERSTALKER TAKEN OVER YOUR LIFE? HERE'S HOW TO GET IT BACK

Picture this: You enter your house and find a stranger (or an enemy) sitting at your kitchen table chowing down on your leftover potato salad and reading your mail. You order him out, but before long, he’s back.

10+ mins read
PC Magazine
October 2021

Asus ROG Zephyrus S17

Kooky Keyboard

3 mins read
Maximum PC
October 2021

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 (2021): A Superlative Aspirational System

We won’t try to keep you in suspense. When we reviewed last year’s model, we called the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon the best laptop in the world—though we later decided it shared that title with the Dell XPS 13 OLED—and it hasn’t done anything in its latest revision to change that state of affairs. The X1 Carbon Gen 9 catches up with the Dell and other elite ultraportables by moving to an 11th Generation Intel “Tiger Lake” Core processor and a slightly taller 16:10 rather than 16:9 screen aspect ratio. Its premium price and lack of an SD card slot still knock half a star off what would otherwise be a perfect five-star rating, but it effortlessly collects yet another Editors’ Choice award as the most desirable executive notebook on Earth.

7 mins read
PC Magazine
September 2021

Roasted Red Pepper and Lentil Stew

Charred pepper lends a punch of smoky flavor in this hearty, veggie-stuffed meal.

1 min read
Backpacker
September - October 2021

iPad VS Mac

Do you need a laptop or a tablet? We help you discover which Apple device is best suited for your needs

10+ mins read
Mac Life
September 2021

Classic Summer Cobbler

A fresh, healthy take on one of Grandma’s beloved recipes.

5 mins read
Better Nutrition
August 2021