With the "Fast" lineup entering its third solution, Seagate's brand strategy has been to pull the FireCuda and Barracuda names into its portable drive lineup. As you will see in upcoming reviews, this extends through several products, with our first being the entry-level Barracuda Fast SSD.
For anyone that follows TweakTown or the storage market, you will know the Seagate "Fast" brand has come through several products, including its first-generation SSD that we reviewed in 2018. Along with this, we had the LaCie Portable SSD and second iteration of the Game Drive for Xbox SSD that used a similar form factor.
Diving into the Barracuda Fast, it has kept the portable form factor of past solutions with an updated hardware layer to power it. Marketing offers 540 MB/s as its only performance indicator, and like prior Seagate solutions, it does come with added software, a 2-month sub to Creative Cloud in this case.
The Barracuda Fast is offered in several capacities, including 512GB along with 1TB and 2TB. All three are offered with a three-year warranty. MSRPs come in at $87.99 for the 512GB, $169.99 for the 1TB, and $299.99 for the 2TB solution.
Packaging takes full advantage of the Barracuda branding with a full black and green colorway. Capacity is listed top right with features to the left an image of the drive below.
The back goes into more detail in several languages.
Unboxing, we have the Barracuda along with two cables, one for legacy connections and the other for USB-C.
Added styling of the form factor includes a green ring between the enclosure and its top. Along the bottom edge, you will find a green LED the light up the SSD when connected.
The bottom of the drive offers regulatory and capacity information.
Opening this solution up, we find a Barracuda SSD complete with a Seagate branded controller, Nanya DRAM cache, and what looks like Intel 3D NAND.
Testing the Barracuda Fast, we start with CDM. The sequential performance came in at 557 MB/s read and 522 MB/s write. 4KQ1 offered 26 MB/s read and 54 MB/s write.
ATTO proved the Barracuda a consistent drive if anything offering the same level of performance from 64K through 64M.
Price/Performance is not kind to the Barracuda Fast, mostly because of its interface limiting performance, and the cost is still on the same level as NVMe solutions. That said, the drive does land in the middle at 75.6%.
The build quality of the Barracuda Fast follows the LaCie Portable and recent Game Drive solutions with a robust enclosure with solid design elements, including the new green LED to add to the whole Barracuda brand.
Any performance issues of past solutions have been worked out with the Barracuda Fast. The performance of this drive is fantastic and, if anything, one of the most stable and reliable I have seen. ATTO shows this perfectly with peak performance holding from 64K through the entirety of testing. CDM, too, showed solid drive performance at the peaks of USB 3.2 Gen 1, 557 MB/s read and 522 MB/s write.
As for pricing, the Barracuda Fast is in a weird market right now, where you have USB 3.2 Gen 2 solutions with NVMe roots at the same price point. So, while this is the entry-level solution for Seagate's portable SSD lineup, it's competing with much faster drives. The Barracuda Fast is a solid product for those wanting entry-level performance in their portable drive, but I'm feeling Seagate missed the mark by trying to fill the entry-level portfolio with a full range of products, leaving them with nothing to cover the Gen 2 10Gb/s market for portable SSDs.
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Crosshair VIII Formula X570 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB 2x8GB DDR4 3600 (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair Hydro H60 (buy from Amazon)
- Case: Corsair Carbide 275R (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Corsair MP600 1TB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair RM850x (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
The Bottom Line
The Barracuda Fast SSD is a fantastic looking external drive in a small form factor package that offers entry-level solid state performance backed by a three-year warranty, but pricing could be better.