Seagate FireCuda 530 4TB SSD Review - King of SSDs + Heatsink Tested

Seagate's FireCuda 530 demonstrated that it is the undisputed champion. How can it get better? With more capacity, of course.

@JonCoulterSSD
Published Wed, Aug 25 2021 10:15 PM CDT
Rating: 98%Manufacturer: Seagate (ZP4000GM30013)

Introduction & Drive Details

Capacity is King, they say. We say bleeding-edge performance blended with capacity is what makes for the true King of SSDs. The 4TB Seagate Firecuda 530 we have on the bench today is among the fastest SSDs ever made while at the same time carrying with it the highest capacity ever done for a TLC-based consumer NVMe SSD. It's fast enough that when we factor in capacity, we feel it can be said it's the rightful King of SSDs. At least for today.

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VIEW GALLERY - 35 IMAGES

As we have done with our previous FireCuda 530 reviews, we ran a CDM on our AMD system to give maximum possible sequential speeds a quick check. As expected, the 4TB 530 doesn't generate as much sequential throughput as the 2TB model, but it's still what we consider jaw-dropping territory. Sequential throughput of this magnitude can and does generate a substantial amount that does need to be tamed by a heat sink of some sort in certain use case scenarios like, say, sticking one in a PS5 console.

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Seagate FireCuda 530 4TB SSD Review - King of SSDs + Heatsink Tested 35 | TweakTown.com

Seagate has got you PS5 enthusiasts covered. They offer the FireCuda 530 with heat sink that meets all aspects of fitting in the expansion slot and effectively cooling the 530 for PlayStation 5 applications. We tested the effectiveness of the totally Boss EK heat sink that's employed on the 530 HS models. In the above screenshots, we have a 2TB FireCuda 530 without heat sink (and no airflow) hitting 72c and throttling back big time as we ran 2x9 iterations of CDM sequential. Then we have the exact same testing with another 2TB FireCuda 530 with heat sink (and no airflow), and the difference is dramatic. We couldn't even get it to hit 50c. Absolutely perfect for the PS5. Wow, EK doing EK things on SSDs; got to love that.

Drive Details

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The King of SSDs should be enduring. How about 5.1 petabytes of enduring? Amazing. Even when it gets dethroned one day, it will still have plenty of endurance left in the tank.

Jon's Test System Specifications

Synthetic Benchmarks: CDM, Anvil, ATTO

CrystalDiskMark

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As expected, chart-topping numbers across the board. The 4TB model can't quite catch the sequential write speed of its 2TB sibling but does manage to exceed it when serving data to the host. And with that, we can confirm the throughput crown is owned by one family, the FireCuda 530 family.

Anvil's Storage Utilities

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Another massive read score for the FireCuda 530 Series. It's the 4th best we've recorded for any flash-based SSD. Impressive. In terms of Max IOPS, the 4TB model is the slowest of the 530 series due to its different die capacity. The drive is spec'd for up to 1,000,000 random read IOPS which you can see is severely overstated as it always has been for every Phison-based SSD to date. It's just tradition at this point, I guess. No harm, really, because nothing you will ever do will call for anything above 275K IOPS anyway.

ATTO

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At QD4, the 4TB FireCuda serves up sequential 128K speeds just slightly below those of other E18 controlled SSDs. Nevertheless, it's still up there breathing the same rarified air that only Phison SSDs can get too.

Real-World Testing: Transfers, Gaming, PCM10

Transfer Rates

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The 4TB FireCuda 530 dishes out a new lab record for this particular hardware/software combination by beating out its generally more powerful 2TB sibling.

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Serving data to the host is something Seagate's FireCuda 530 series does as good as it gets. Impressive.

Game Level Loading

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Gaming is a performance metric that matters to the majority of DIY consumers, especially to the enthusiast crowd that TweakTown caters to. As expected, the 4TB FireCuda 530 places where only 176Layer flash arrayed SSDs have been able to go so far.

PCM10 Storage Tests

PCMark 10 Storage Test is the most advanced and most accurate real-world consumer storage test ever made. There are four different tests you can choose from; we run two of them.

The Full System Drive Benchmark and the Quick System Drive Benchmark. The Full System Drive Benchmark writes 204 GB of data over the duration of the test. The Quick System Drive Benchmark writes 23 GB of data over the duration of the test. These tests directly correlate with mainstream user experience.

PCMark 10 Full System Drive Benchmark

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This particular test writes over 204GB data and covers a broad range of common consumer tasks, including booting Windows 10, file transfers, Adobe and Office applications, and startup times for games including Battlefield V, COD Black Ops 4, and Overwatch. Unlike synthetic numbers, this is comprehensive real-world data which is why we use it to rank SSDs in terms of user experience.

Another Elite level performance brought to you courtesy of Seagate's FireCuda 530 series.

PCMark 10 Quick System Drive Benchmark

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Elite performance where it matters most is what the FireCuda 530 Series is all about. The entire series has earned TweakTown Elite status. Impressive.

Final Thoughts

Unprecedented capacity to performance ratio compels us to declare the 4TB Seagate FireCuda the new King of SSDs. Everything about it is cutting edge. Performance, endurance, and capacity - everything. The only drawback is, of course, the cost of ownership. Do you want to own the King of SSDs? You will need to cough up roughly a thousand bucks. That's a huge chunk of change, to be sure, but it, in our opinion, is worthy of its asking price, all things considered. You can't really wear it out. It can hold as much or more data than any other M.2 TLC device and deliver all that data to the host at speeds of up to 7,300 MB/s.

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We rank SSDs in terms of overall user experience (performance where it matters most) as expressed by PCMark 10 storage tests. We consider a user experience score of over 7K to verify an SSD as TweakTown Elite. To date, only nine flash-based SSDs have attained this status, and three, yes, three of them are Seagate FireCuda 530's.

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The 4TB FireCuda 530 takes everything that makes the 530 series the throughput and gaming champion and heaps on more of it. A 4TB SSD like the FireCuda is about as future-proof as hardware can be in today's world of rapid technological advancements. It can likely last you a lifetime if called upon to do so. You only live once, and the King of SSDs is out there waiting for you to bring it home.

Pros

  • Sequential Speeds
  • Gaming
  • User Experience

Cons

  • None
Buy at Amazon

Performance

98%

Quality

100%

Features

100%

Value

95%

Overall

98%

The Bottom Line

Certified TweakTown Elite and crowned King of SSDs. What more could you want?

TweakTown award
98%

Seagate FireCuda 530 2TB NVMe PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 SSD

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* Prices last scanned on 9/15/2021 at 10:35 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Jon joined the TweakTown team in 2013 and has since reviewed 100s of new storage products. Jon became a computer enthusiast when Windows XP launched. He was into water cooling and benching ATI video cards with modded drivers. Jon has been building computers for others for more than 10 years. Jon became a storage enthusiast the day he first booted an Intel X25-M G1 80GB SSD. Look for Jon to bring consumer SSD reviews into the spotlight.

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