Seagate FireCuda 530 M.2 NVMe SSD review: performance above all else
The Seagate FireCuda 530 will burn workloads, but just as likely set your wallet on fire at checkout. This blazing-fast PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD delivers some of the best performance we’ve seen, but at around twice the price of an average NVMe SSD. The FireCuda 530 is a premium device for the built pros, rather than the average gamer.
We’ve been looking forward to retail SSDs with Micron’s 176L TLC replacement door flash, since we took a close look at a Engineering sample based on Phison PS5018-E18 paired with that. After seeing this promising performance, we were eager to see a retail product. While our recent review of Crucial’s P5 Plus gave us another perspective on this new flash with a different controller, it was obvious that to really unlock the potential of Micron’s new flash, Phison’s E18 NVMe SSD controller was needed.
Today we’re taking a look at the Seagate FireCuda 530 for even more perspective on Micron’s new flash. The FireCuda 530 is closely based on the same components and layout as the Phison engineering sample, but there is a difference beyond the sticker above the hardware and the optional heatsink part number.
The Seagate FireCuda 530 comes with Seagate-validated final production firmware, as well as a production-grade flash rated at 3,000 program / erase cycles, not the first sample-grade flash that our sample rated at only half of the P / E cycles. Additionally, unexpectedly, the FireCuda 530 reports flash interface speeds clocked at just 1,200 MTps, matching those of other E18-based SSDs paired with Micron’s 96L floating gate TLC rather than our sample d. engineering that operated at full capacity of 1,600 MTps.
While these slower speeds might seem odd at first glance, it’s probably done to ensure reliable and reliable performance under sustained abuse, as the FireCuda 530 comes with a robust warranty and endurance ratings. Unlike competing SSDs, the FireCuda 530 is backed by data recovery services for most of its warranty, which we’re sure is one reason for its high price tag.
|Product||500 GB||1 TB||2 TB||4 TB|
|Price without heat sink||$ 139.99||$ 239.99||$ 489.99||$ 949.99|
|Price with heat sink||$ 159.99||$ 259.99||$ 539.99||$ 999.99|
|Capacity (User / Gross)||500 GB / 512 GB||1000 GB / 1024 GB||2000 GB / 2048 GB||4000 GB / 4096 GB|
|Form factor||M.2 2280||M.2 2280||M.2 2280||M.2 2280|
|Interface / Protocol||PCIe 4.0 x4 / NVMe 1.4||PCIe 4.0 x4 / NVMe 1.4||PCIe 4.0 x4 / NVMe 1.4||PCIe 4.0 x4 / NVMe 1.4|
|Controller||Phison PS5018-E18||Phison PS5018-E18||Phison PS5018-E18||Phison PS5018-E18|
|Memory||Micron 176L CCM||Micron 176L CCM||Micron 176L CCM||Micron 176L CCM|
|Sequential read||7000 Mbps||7,300 Mbps||7,300 Mbps||7,300 Mbps|
|Sequential writing||3000 Mbps||6000 Mbps||6,900 Mbps||6,900 Mbps|
|Shuffle playback||400,000 IOPS||800,000 IOPS||1,000,000 IOPS||1,000,000 IOPS|
|Random writing||700,000 IOPS||1,000,000 IOPS||1,000,000 IOPS||1,000,000 IOPS|
|Security||N / A||N / A||N / A||N / A|
|Endurance (TBW)||640 TB||1275 TB||2,550 TB||5,100 TB|
|guarantee||5 years||5 years||5 years||5 years|
The Seagate FireCuda 530 is available in 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB capacities. Models without a heatsink are priced around $ 0.24 per GB, while models with a heatsink cost around $ 0.25 to $ 0.32 per GB. The larger capacities are designed to deliver sequential read / write speeds of up to 7.3 / 6.9 GB / s, and even the smallest capacity is designed for read speeds of up to 7 GB / s. Additionally, the FireCuda 530 is designed to deliver up to 1,000,000 / 1,000,000 random read / write IOPS at its highest capacities.
Seagate supports the FireCuda 530 with rather high endurance ratings, more than double that of the average Samsung SSD or WD. The 2TB model we’re testing today is designed to handle up to 2,550 terabytes of writes under its five-year warranty, and the 4TB model is designed for up to 5,100TB of writes. robust. While this is impressive to say the least, what is even more impressive is the fact that the FireCuda 530 comes with three years of Rescue Data Recovery Services, to protect your valuable data from unexpected data loss when traditional means fail. No competitor offers such robust protection.
Software and accessories
Seagate provides downloads to Seagate DiscWizard, essentially an OEM licensed copy of Acronis True Image, and Seagate Seatools GUI, a simple and easy-to-use application for monitoring your SSD health and more.
To look closer
With its clean label and black PCB, the Seagate FireCuda 530 gets a boost from us in the appearance department. The drive is available in an M.2 2280 single-sided form factor with capacities of 500 GB and 1 TB and a double-sided form factor with larger capacities of 2 TB and 4 TB.
With Phison’s PS5018-E18 powering it, the FireCuda 530 delivers top-notch performance that should run even faster now that it’s paired with Micron’s latest flash. The E18 has a penta-core architecture based on DRAM, with the main cores clocked at 1 GHz. It uses an eight-channel PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe 1.4 compliant design to interface with all flash, and interfaces with dual 8GB DDR4 SK hynix DRAM ICs at 1600MHz speeds for faster FTL access for addressing and low latency mapping table wear. leveling.
Additionally, the controller is built on a 12nm process to ensure cool operation, although the controller also supports ASPM and ASPT, and L1.2, as well as thermal throttle protection. Also note the fact that the thermal protection limit has been raised from 70C to 90C. Additionally, in terms of functionality, the Seagate FireCuda 530 is equipped with Phison’s robust SmartECC engine, which operates a fourth generation low density parity check (LDPC) ECC. It also comes with end-to-end data path protection, Trim support and SMART data reporting capability. However, it does not support AES 256-bit hardware encryption.
Built using such a rugged controller in combination with thirty-two 512GB arrays of Micron’s production-grade replacement 176L Grid TLC flash, the FireCuda 530 was built to work. Surprisingly, however, the company still left some performance on the table in its implementation. Rather than running the flash at 1600 MTps as we had hoped and expected, the 530’s flash operates at just 1200 MTps, based on our software reports.
Still, that speed, coupled with all the perks the new flash has to offer, will offer a lot of progress over the Phison E18-based SSDs paired with Micron’s 96L floating gate TLC interfacing at the same speed. Not only does this flash memory feature four planes, but also multiple physical design improvements over the company’s previous memory. Micron’s replacement gate flash utilizes metal-based control grids, features increased etch diameter, and reduced cell-to-cell capacitive coupling issues to ensure its fast performance and high-end endurance.
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