Review verdict: Anyone looking to get the best NVMe SSD that money can buy should be looking at the Seagate Firecuda 530, at least if you’re in the Philippines. Make sure you have deep pockets though.
- The fastest NVMe drive we’ve tested so far
- Comes with its own heatsink
- PS5 compatible
- Excellent warranty coverage
More and more NVMe drives are being released that leverage PCIe 4.0 for insane read and write speeds. The latest one to land in our lap is Seagate’s high-end, high-performance FireCuda 530, which has become so far the fastest drive we’ve tested so far this year.
Design and features
Seagate’s fastest NVMe drive comes in a spiffy package with the drive’s name, branding, and capacity written on the front. Inside the box, you’ll see the drive itself, along with the documentation required to use Seagate DiscWizard (which is an OEM-licensed copy of Acronis True Image) and the company’s Rescue Data recovery services if your drive ever fails and you need to retrieve the information stored within.
The Seagate FireCuda 530 ships with its own integrated heatsink. Removing the top of the heatsink is easy as it’s only secured by four screws on the side. The size of the aluminum heatsink, as well as the thermal compound on the top, helps the drive dissipate the heat generated when it’s in operation, though the added bulk makes it a little hard to use in motherboards that have integrated heatsinks for NVMe SSDs. Thankfully you can buy a version of the drive without the heatsink for that express purpose. PS5 users will be happy to know that the Seagate FireCuda 530 will work on the console and actually exceeds Sony’s specifications for an expansion drive for the PS5.
As far as the heatsink design goes, it’s very elegant and classy, allowing it to fit the aesthetic of a large majority of PC cases, motherboards, and builds in the market.
Getting into the weeds of the Seagate FireCuda 530’s specs, you’re looking at an M.2 2280-sized NVMe SSD, meaning it’s 22mm wide and 80mm long. It uses the PCI-Express 4.0 x4 interface much like the Kingston KC3000 we reviewed earlier this year, giving it double the bandwidth and speed of previous-generation PCI-Express 3.0 x 4 NVMe SSDs.
The Seagate FireCuda 530 comes in four capacities, from 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB, with our particular review sample being the 2TB one. This NVMe uses the Phison E18-PS5018 controller as well as TLC Micron B47R 176L NAND modules.
It’s the same controller as the one used by the company’s rivals, using a 12nm process to keep everything cool under load. Thermal protections are set at around 90C, with further protection from thermal issues provided by Phison’s SmartECC engine, as well as S.M.A.R.T. data reporting capability.
Advertised sequential read speeds and write speeds vary depending on the storage variant that you get, though all of the variants of the FireCuda 530 have read speeds of at least 7,000 MBps. The 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB variants all have advertised read speeds of 7,300 MBps. Sequential read speeds for the 500GB version clocks in at a measly 3,000 MBps, while the 1TB version has speeds of 6,000 MBps. Both the 2TB and 4TB versions have blisteringly fast 6,900 MBps read speeds though – at least as advertised by Seagate.
One thing that really sets the Seagate FireCuda 530 apart from its competitors is its endurance (measured in Total Bytes Written), with the smallest capacity offering higher TBW than the competition. The 500GB variant has an endurance rating of 640TB, while the 1TB version has a 1,275TB rating. The 2TB variant has a higher TBW still at 2,550TB, and the top-tier 4TB variant has a TBW rating of 5,100TB, the highest we’ve ever seen for a drive yet. That’s on top of the 5-year warranty that Seagate offers customers, along with 3 years of Rescue Data recovery services.
The Seagate FireCuda 530 advertises truly jaw-dropping speeds, but does it deliver? In one word: yes.
Read speeds topped out at 7,394 MBps, only edging out the KC3000 that Kingston makes, at least for read speeds.
Similarly, our write speeds for the Seagate FireCuda 530 are only slightly faster than the KC3000, but faster is faster – with the drive recording a score of 7025 MBps, beating Seagate’s advertised speeds.
S.M.A.R.T. data revealed that the drive was surprisingly cool under load, with the drive staying well under its throttling temps while we were using it. Peak temps were just a tad over 73 degrees Celcius in our rig inside our climate-controlled room.
Our test bench is an ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Plus WiFi with an AMD 5800X CPU, along with 32GB of RAM and a GeForce RTX 3080 GPU. Tests were done in a climate-controlled, 24-degree Celsius room in a closed (not open test bench) case to simulate real-world use.
Wrap-up and verdict
Our Seagate FireCuda 530 review shows that it’s the fastest NVMe SSD you can buy in the Philippines. More importantly, it’s one of the most reliable, at least on paper, thanks to the 5-year warranty that the company offers, as well as industry-leading TBW guarantees.
The only downside here is price, as you’ll be paying premium prices to get top-end performance.
Seagate FireCuda 530 Review Philippines Price
The 500GB variant of the Seagate FireCuda 530 has a sticker price of Php 7,281, and the digits only add up from there. You’ll be paying Php 12,582 for the 1TB version, Php 24,717 for the 2TB version, and Php 56,172 for the 4TB version. Take note that those prices are for the heatsink-less versions of the drive.
The Seagate FireCuda 530 with a heatsink has a price of Php 9,637 for the 500GB version, Php 13,760 for the 1TB version, Php25,895 for the 2TB version, and Php 56,789 for the 4TB version.