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WD Black SN850 SSD – PS5 EXPANSION GUIDE & TEST RESULTS

15 septembre 2021 à 01:13

PS5 SSD Expansion Testing with the WD Black SN850 SSD

A you are considering buying the WD Black SN850 for your PS5 because of Mark Cerny’s recommendations or because it is currently floating around for a good price online? Either way, it is currently one of the most popular choices for those looking at upgrading their Playstation 5. Whether you are looking at upgrading the SSD on your PS5 because you are running out of space or because you heard that some SSDs can increase load times for your favourite games, it is always going to be sensible to spend a few minutes reseaching before pulling the trigger at checkout before spending hundreds on the WD Black SN850 only to find out that the benefits are negligible or, worse still, actually slow your games down! Equally, you should always factor in that the PS5 is a relatively new console and games developers are still in the early stages of maximizing how much they can do with the CPU, Memory, GPU and (of course) super-fast NVMe M.2 SSD. Therefore the commitment you make on buying an SSD upgrade to your PS5 needs to also factor in that it will still perform well in the years to come. The WD Black SN850 meets a number of the key specifications of the PS5 storage bay, but then again many, MANY SSDs do. So today I want to put this SSD through it’s paces with many games to see how well it compares against the internal PS5 SSD doing the same thing. NOTE – FULL Videos of the testing of the WD Black SN850 that combined cover more than an hour can be found at the bottom of the article. This article primarily covers the load times of games and saves on the PS5 using the WD Black SN850 SSD and how they compare with the internal PS5 loading the same game. If you want to watch the full videos that cover PS5 WD Black SN850 use that feature frame rates, texture swapping, asset management and more, I recommend you watch those videos at the end of this article.

Here is the PS5 internal Benchmark for the WD Black SN850 SSD at the initialization of the system:

What Are the Specifications of the WD Black SN850 SSD?

Before we go through the load time testing of the WD Black SN850 on the PS5, it is worth taking a look at the hardware specifications. Unlike traditional Hard Drives and SSDs that were using the PS3 and PS4 that used SATA connectivity, this new generation of SSD storage using M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 architecture. This is a very, VERY big difference physically, in terms of maximum performance and opens up ALOT of specifications that you should keep an eye on. Aside from the capacity (i.e the amount of data the WD Black SN850 can hold in gigabytes and terabytes) the key ones to factor in when buying an SSD are the following:

  • Controller & NAND – These are the brain of the SSD (handling the transfer of data as quickly and efficiently as possible) and the physical cells on the WD Black SN850 SSD that hold the data. As long as you are using 3D TLC NAND (the industry preferred middle ground for price vs performance), you should be ok. Though the better the quality of NAND, generally the better the performance and durability long term.
  • Sequential Read – This is the reported maximum access speed that the data on the WD Black SN850 SSD can be access when accessing large blocks of data
  • Sequential Write – This is the reported maximum speed that data can be written to the WD Black SN850 SSD. As far as the PS5 architecture goes, this is much less important right now but could become important later in the system’s life as games, services and the level to which the WD Black SN850 can be accessed changes.
  • IOPS – These represent the number of individual operations the WD Black SN850 SSD can handle per second, based on the smallest size possible. Again, not strictly relevant in the PS5 right now because of the way data is largely front-loaded on modern games, but may well impact how larger and evolved worlds and multiplayer games are developed in future
  • TBW, MTBF & DWPD – Terabytes Written and Drive Writes Per Day, these indicate how much the drive is designed to withstand in activity over a 5 year or daily basis (respectively), Before the drive begins to deteriorate in performance or eventually fail. The PS5 will hardly be able to hit these kind of numbers daily BUT these figures will give you a good idea of the lifespan of the SSD beyond 5 years. Given the lifespan of some consoles can cross over a decade, the higher these numbers are, the better!

Here are the official specifications of the WD Black SN850 SSD:

Brand/Series WD Black SN850

WD Black SN850

WD Black SN850

Model ID WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Capacity 500GB 1000GB 2000GB
Price in $ 500GB – $169.99 1TB – $249.99 2TB – $549.99
PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4
NAND BiCS4 96L TLC BiCS4 96L TLC BiCS4 96L TLC
Controller WD_BLACK G2 WD_BLACK G2 WD_BLACK G2
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7000MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 4100MB 5300MB 5100MB
Warranty 5yr 5yr 5yr
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,750,000 1,750,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.3DWPD 0.3DWPD 0.3DWPD

So, now you know the hardware specifications of the WD Black SN850 SSD and you also know that (at the time of writing!) the WD Black SN850 is supported by the PS5 SSD expansion bay.

IMPORTANT – This article contains ALOT of gifs to demonstrate the loading times of the WD Black SN850 SSD versus the internal PS5 SSD, so the page/gifs might take an extra minute to load. Please be patient OR watch the videos of the full testing a the bottom of the page.

Testing the WD Black SN850 SSD with the PS5 – Test Parameters

All of the tests of the WD Black SN850 SSD on the PS5 were conducted in groups of 5 games at a time. In the event of a game arriving on a disc, the full disc data and all current updates were transferred over the WD Black SN850 SSD. The disc might be present, but it is only for system verification and would be an identical setup to the PS5 internal SSD that it is being compared against. The SSD was tested using the latest PS5 Beta Firmware update (3.0 or 3.1 depending on the time of testing as a further update was made available during the widespread testing) and although the supported drives when the SSD expansion feature might change, the WD Black SN850 SSD is fully functioning and supported on the PS5 at the time of writing. So, let’s get started on the testing of each game:

 

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Demon Souls Nexus Loading Test

This test was loading from the title screen to the central hub world (Nexus) of Demon Souls, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Demon Souls Archstone 2 Test

This test was loading to the Smithing Grounds of Demon Souls, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Demon Souls Archstone 1 Test

This test was loading to the first main area of Demon Souls, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Ratchet & Clank World Loading Test I

This test was loading to the starting area of Ratchet & Clank Rifts Apart, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Ratchet & Clank World Loading Test II

This test was loading to the first main transitional area of Ratchet & Clank Rifts Apart, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Borderlands 3 Full Loading Test I

This test was loading Borderlands to the Title Screen from the PS5 Main menu on Borderlands 3, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Borderlands 3 Level Load Test II

This test was loading a save game from the title screen to the Pandora World Area, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Resident Evil Village Castle Loading Test I

This test was loading the Castle Area of Resident Evil Village, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Resident Evil Village Stronghold Loading Test II

This test was loading the Stronghold of Resident Evil Village, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Hitman 3 Dartmoor Loading Test I

This test was loading the Dartmoor level on Hitman 3, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Hitman 3 Mendoza Loading Test II

This test was loading the Mendoza level on Hitman 3, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Terminator Resistance Level Loading Test

This test was loading Terminator Resistance Infiltrator Mode, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – GTA V Full Game Loading Test

This test was loading the Grand Theft Auto V from the PS5 menu to gameplay on the Single Player Mode, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Dead By Daylight Bots Test

This test was loading the tutorial Bots Mode on Dead By Daylight, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Red Dead Redemption II Campaign Loading Test

This test was loading the Blackwater Area of Red Dead Redemption II in single Player, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – No Man’s Sky Creative Mode Loading Test

This test was loading No Man’s Sky in Creative Mode from the Title screen, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – In Rays of the Light Loading Test I, Outside

This test was loading the outside world area of In Rays of the Light, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – In Rays of the Light Loading Test II, Inside

This test was loading the underground bunker area of In Rays of the Light, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Star Wars Fallen Order Level Loading Test I

This test was loading the Kashkykk area of Star Wars Fallen Order from the title screen, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Star Wars Fallen Order Trial Loading Test II

This test was loading a combat challenge, mid-game, of Star Wars Fallen Order from the title screen, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Doom Eternal Level Loading Test I

This test was loading a level in Doom Eternal from the title screen, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Control Level Loading Test I

This test was loading to an early area of the game from the title screen on Control, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Plague Tale Level Loading Test I

This test was loading an early Level area of Innocence, a plagues Tale from the title screen, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – WreckFest Level Loading Test I

This test was loading an early challenge in Wrecckfest from the title screen, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Maneater Level Loading Test I

This test was loading the first area of Maneater from the title screen, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Destruction Allstars Level Loading Test I

This test was loading the first arena of Destruction Allstars from the title screen, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

 

Full WD Black SN850 SSD PS5 Test Videos

If you want to see the FULL testing of every PS5/PS4 game with the WD Black SN850 SSD, you can watch the videos below. These tests have been grouped into 5 games per video, with each game being assessed on Loading Times, Frame Rate, Texture swapping, Asset Popping and compared against the exact game being loaded on the PS5 SSD. NOTE – These videos are being edited and published throughout September and October, so if a video is showing as ‘unavailable’ below, it might not be published yet, but should be up shortly!

Brand/Series WD Black SN850

WD Black SN850

WD Black SN850

Model ID WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Capacity 500GB 1000GB 2000GB
Price in $ 500GB – $169.99 1TB – $249.99 2TB – $549.99

 

WD Black SN850 PS5 SSD Test 1

WD Black SN850 PS5 SSD Test 2

WD Black SN850 PS5 SSD Test 3

WD Black SN850 PS5 SSD Test 4

 


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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

PS5 SSD Comparison – WD BLACK SN850 v SEAGATE FIRECUDA 530 v SAMSUNG 980 PRO v SABRENT ROCKET 4+

13 août 2021 à 15:00

Should You Buy the WD Black SN850, Seagate Firecuda 530, Samsung 980 Pro or Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus M.2 SSD for PS5?

If you have been considering an SSD upgrade for your Playstation 5 now that the feature is enabled (currently in beta and full support coming very soon), then chances are that of all the many PS5 compatible PCIe4 M.2 NVMe SSDs available to buy, that one of four models are at the top of your list. The WD Black SN850 (recommended by Mark Cerny), the Seagate Firecuda 530 (heavy endurance, high speed industry recommendation), the Samsung 980 Pro (widely available, fantastic performance and great value) and the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus (great price vs capacity and fantastic architecture). These four SSDs have been the ones that have risen above most others, for various reasons, as the hottest picks for your PS5 storage upgrade. Each drive is pretty much the fastest and most capable drive from their respective brands and although there are a few close ones (such as the Aorus 7000s, ADATA Gamix S70 and PNY CS3140), they have not been as widely embraced at these four SSDs.

TOP 4 Recommended PS5 Storage Expansion Compatible SSDs

WD Black SN850

Seagate Firecuda 530

Samsung 980 Pro

SABRENT Rocket 4 Plus

500GB – $169.99

1TB – $249.99

2TB – $549.99

500GB – $149.99

1TB – $239.99

2TB – $489.99

4TB – $949.99.

250GB – $69.99

500GB – $119.99

1TB – $199.99

2TB – $429.99

1TB – $200

2TB – $469.99

4TB – $999.99

But which one should you buy? Which SSD should you choose for your PS5 Expansion storage? Today I want to go through a large selection of loading tests that were performed on each SSD in order to work out which one is the best SSD to upgrade your PS5. Let’s begin.

Note: SN850 = WD Black SN850, FC 530 = Seagate Firecuda 530, 980 Pro = Samsung 980 Pro and Rocket+ = Sabrent Rocekt 4 Plus.

SN850 v FC 530 vs 980 Pro vs Rocket+ SSD Comparison – PS5 Internal Benchmark

The first thing to test is the PS5 internal Sequential Read performance benchmark on all four SSDs.

WD BLACK SN850 1TB – 6,457MB/s

SEAGATE FIRECUDA 530 500GB – 6,558MB/s

SAMSUNG 980 PRO 250GB – 6,317MB/s

SABRENT ROCKET 4 PLUS 2TB – 6,557MB/s

Although it HAS TO be taken into account that the capacities of these drives differ, this has very little impact on sequential real (given that all four brands say that their smallest 250/500GB drives can all hit/surpass 7,000MB/s). The Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD had the highest PS5 reported speed at 6,558MB/s. However, this is a singular reported benchmark from the system bootup and not fully representative of game loading/handling when in use. So, let’s look at the game loading comparisons.

SN850 v FC 530 vs 980 Pro vs Rocket+ SSD Comparison Test 1 – Demon Souls 1

This test was for the PS5 launch title Demon Souls and was loading into the game from the title screen (offline). Below is a quick video/gif demonstrating this and how the WD, Seagate, Samsung and Sabrent PCIe4 SSDs compared:

Though incredibly close, in the case of the Loading of the save file, frame by frame analysis shows that the WD Black SN850 was the fastest loading.

 

SN850 v FC 530 vs 980 Pro vs Rocket+ SSD Comparison Test 2 – Demon Souls 2

This test was for the PS5 launch title Demon Souls and was loading from the nexus hub and into another world (offline). Below is a quick video/gif demonstrating this and how the WD, Seagate, Samsung and Sabrent PCIe4 SSDs compared:

Once again, with barely hundredths of seconds between them all, the WD Black SN850 SSD was still the first to load this demon souls level change.

 

SN850 v FC 530 vs 980 Pro vs Rocket+ SSD Comparison Test 3 – Demon Souls 3

This test was for the PS5 launch title Demon Souls and was loading from the nexus hub and into another world (offline). Below is a quick video/gif demonstrating this and how the WD, Seagate, Samsung and Sabrent PCIe4 SSDs compared:

The last Demons Souls test was once again, painfully tight, but this time I would say it was a tie between the WD Black SN850 and the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus SSD.

 

SN850 v FC 530 vs 980 Pro vs Rocket+ SSD Comparison Test 4 – Resident Evil Village 1

This test was loading a save file from Resident Evil Village in the later stages of the game. Below is a quick video/gif demonstrating this and how the WD, Seagate, Samsung and Sabrent PCIe4 SSDs compared:

When loading Resident Evil VIII for PS5 from a save game, the Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD was first by just a few frames in the first test.

SN850 v FC 530 vs 980 Pro vs Rocket+ SSD Comparison Test 5 – Resident Evil Village 2

This test was loading a save file from Resident Evil Village in the early castle stages of the game. Below is a quick video/gif demonstrating this and how the WD, Seagate, Samsung and Sabrent PCIe4 SSDs compared:

Once again, in the 2nd Resident Evil savegame load (this time in to a more compact environment) the Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD was the fastest, but only just.

 

SN850 v FC 530 vs 980 Pro vs Rocket+ SSD Comparison Test 6 – Ratchet & Clank 1

This test was loading a save file from Rachet & Clank and featured the long transitional world-changing sequence in the first 30mins of the game. Below is a quick video/gif demonstrating this and how the WD, Seagate, Samsung and Sabrent PCIe4 SSDs compared:

When testing the Rachet and Clank long level change transitional rail segment, the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus and the Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD were a tie.

 

SN850 v FC 530 vs 980 Pro vs Rocket+ SSD Comparison Test 7 – Ratchet & Clank 2

This test was loading a save file from Ratchet & Clank again and the very start of the game, in a very dense asset-rich environment. Below is a quick video/gif demonstrating this and how the WD, Seagate, Samsung and Sabrent PCIe4 SSDs compared:

In the 2nd Ratchet & Clank test, the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus was the fastest but barely 2 frames! Still, a win is a win!

 

SN850 v FC 530 vs 980 Pro vs Rocket+ SSD Comparison Test 8 – GTA V

This test was loading GTA V from the PS5 main menu (notorious for an incredibly long loading time) and into single player. Below is a quick video/gif demonstrating this and how the WD, Seagate, Samsung and Sabrent PCIe4 SSDs compared:

Grand Theft Auto 5 is a game that has been migrated and upscaled from PS3, to PS4 to PS4 Pro. Now running on PS5 for this test (with a PS5 version coming soon), the loading screen is still VERY long! Of the four SSDs, the WD Black SN850 loaded the fastest but a VERY comfortably margin!

 

SN850 v FC 530 vs 980 Pro vs Rocket+ SSD Comparison Test 9 – DOOM Eternal

This test was loading a save file from Doom Eternal from the preliminary stages of the game. Below is a quick video/gif demonstrating this and how the WD, Seagate, Samsung and Sabrent PCIe4 SSDs compared:

Loading Doom Eternal PS5 upgrade (with high graphical settings and ray tracing enabled) from a save game, the Seagate Firecuda 530 and Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus SSD were the fastest, but once again, only by a tiny number of frames.

 

SN850 v FC 530 vs 980 Pro vs Rocket+ SSD Comparison Test 10 – Destruction Allstars

This test was loading an arena match in arcade mode of Destruction Allstars. Below is a quick video/gif demonstrating this and how the WD, Seagate, Samsung and Sabrent PCIe4 SSDs compared:

For Destruction Allstars, as the game uses a sneaky form of hidden loading (as you go into the arena, the game loads assets one by one, with smart camera angling) I judged loading to be ‘completed’ when the help splash screen appeared, as this signalled the start of the player control. In this case, the Samsung 980 Pro was the fastest!

 

SN850 v FC 530 vs 980 Pro vs Rocket+ SSD Comparison Test 11 – Control

This test was for the PS5 full version of Control and was loaded from the PS5 console menu and directly into the game. Below is a quick video/gif demonstrating this and how the WD, Seagate, Samsung and Sabrent PCIe4 SSDs compared:

This one was INCREDIBLY tight, but in the case of Control for PS5, the fastest loading SSD of the four was the Samsung 980 Pro SSD, but only by 1-2 frames.

 

SN850 v FC 530 vs 980 Pro vs Rocket+ SSD Comparison – RESULTS!

It is important to remember that all four of these SSDs are still amazing drives and still easily some of the best choices when upgrading your PS5 storage. Even when one SSD managed to load a game faster than another, it did so within 10ths/100ths of a second faster than the others in some cases. Below is a breakdown of points for each time an SSD either loaded the game first or was given a higher benchmark at the start. There is also the FULL TEST video below over on YouTube that goes through these tests in greater length and detail. It is also VERY important to factor in that these 4 drives were not all the same capacity, though this would have more sway/impact in writing operations (which were largely irrelevant here). I hope you enjoyed this guide and found it useful in your search for the perfect SSD for your PS5 Expansion slot upgrade! Use the links in the table to find your SSD of choice at the best available price right now, for each capacity.

TOP 4 Recommended PS5 Storage Expansion Compatible SSDs

WD Black SN850

Seagate Firecuda 530

Samsung 980 Pro

SABRENT Rocket 4 Plus

POINTS: ★★★★★

POINTS: ★★★★

POINTS: ★★

POINTS: ★★★★

500GB – $169.99

1TB – $249.99

2TB – $549.99

500GB – $149.99

1TB – $239.99

2TB – $489.99

4TB – $949.99.

250GB – $69.99

500GB – $119.99

1TB – $199.99

2TB – $429.99

1TB – $200

2TB – $469.99

4TB – $999.99

asa

 


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Gigabyte AORUS 7000s NVMe SSD Review – Ground Breaking or Game Breaking?

12 août 2021 à 14:45

Review of the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD

Remember when PCIe Gen 4 m.2 NVMes were a new thing? Doesn’t seem that long ago, does it? In fact, the first generation of M.2 SSDs to take advantage of the 8GB/s possible via PCIe 4×4 is barely a year old and in the first half of 2021, we saw the 2nd generation quickly obliterate our understanding of what an SSD can do, with the Aorus 7000s from Gigabyte is a great example of this. Although by no means the first the take a stab at the 7GB/s Seq Read SSD market (with the WD Black SN850, Samsung 980 Pro and Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus getting their products to market before everyone else), it does arrive with hardware architecture, top-end performance and a price point that gives those other brands SSDs something to stop and think about. Plus it is now on the PS5 SSD compatibility list, so many keen gamers will be considering it for their next big storage upgrade. The Aorus 7000s is an SSD by motherboard manufacturer Gigabyte who know a thing or two about PC architecture, but how much of this lends well to NAND based storage? They are utilizing the popular Phison E18 controller, 96 layer 3D TLC Micron NAND and DDR4 memory on their tiny 2280 SSDs, so things look good on the spec sheet, but how good is the Aorus 7000 SSD in reality? Let’s have a close look at this SSD and decide whether the 7000S deserves your data?

Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD Review – Quick Conclusion

You cannot fault the Aorus 7000s NVMe SSD for its performance in 2021/2022, as it does not over-promise on what it can do. We ran all our usual tests and it hit the highs and lows of Throughput and comparative IOPS to others, just as the brand volunteered. The Gigabyte Aorus is a mature and grown-up SSD and not one that is trying to challenge bigger drives like the Seagate Firecuda 530. Had it been released a few months earlier, it would have made a significantly bigger splash on the professional gaming and video editing market, but now runs the sight risk of getting lost in the paddock of Phison E18 SSDs that are arriving on the market around this. The Aorus’ price point and availability certainly make it appealing, but the shaky SSD market making a slow recovery from Pandemic changes, Chia stock issues and semiconductor shortages means this SSD might not be as desirable as it should be when it is not as abundant at the manufacturing level as the likes of Seagate, Samsung and WD’s offerings being so copious. This IS a good SSD and although the IOPs are a touch lower than I would like, its durability, performance at both 1TB and 2TB and inclusive slimline prosumer heatsink make it a very good drive indeed!

PROs of the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s CONs of the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s
Genuinely Impressive Performance

Made by a Gamer Mobo Preferred Manf

PS5 Compatibility Confirmed

Heatsink Included and PS5 Compatible

96 Layer 3D TLC NAND Hugely Beneficial

Phison E18 SSDs Always Delivery!

Surpasses Samsung/WD PCIe 4 SSDs in some key areas

IOPS rating is noticeably lower than most competitors

Endurance (DWPD/TBW) is unimpressive

Still Outperformed by the Firecuda 530

Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD Review – Packaging

The Aorus 7000S arrives in a petite 2 stage card box retail box. The shiny holographic logos and text immediately throw me back to my childhood and I would be lying if I said I didn’t spend a few extra seconds playing with it in the light- sue me! It is quite a tight fit and there is not a vast amount inside.

The Aorus arrives with an inclusive first-party heatsink which arrives pre-applied and sealed by 4 screws. I was immediately impressed by this heatsink and it toes a fine line between effectiveness and sharp design, whilst still arriving surprisingly compact. Indeed in recent weeks, I have been talking about heatsinks more and more (like the use of M.2 NVMe SSD has become increasingly mainstream and people do not know how VITAL these things are).

Let’s be clear, M.2 NVMe SSD heatsinks are NOT expensive, ranging from $8 for the most basic to higher-end engineering examples at $20-30. The Aorus SSD heatsink is compatible with many $15 examples and does certainly give you a feeling of quality. Indeed, the fact some SSDs arrive with optional heatsinks, given the affordable price point, seems crazy to me. Yes, there is the argument that users might already own their own prosumer heatsink or using a compact/custom setup that has its own heat dissipation methods, but the larger portion of the audience would have to faff about getting another one. So yeah, kudos to Gigabyte (again, motherboard manufacturers – important there!) for including this and making an effort on it!

The Aorus 7000s is a 2280 length SSD and it is completely contained in the 2 part surround heatsink.

There is a good level of ventilation space on both the top and sides of the heatsink, whilst still ensuring not to rise the M.2 key connector (something of a problem with larger heatsinks and double-sided SSDs).

Indeed, the M.2 connector is the ONLY part not completely covered in heat dissipation panels. The Aorus 7000s 1TB is a single-sided NVMe SSD, but both sides of the drive are buffed with thermal panelling.

Removing the four screws on the sides of the Aorus 7000s heatsink was quick work, however, the surrounding metal heatsink cage is tightly connected together and removing the SSD from both heatsink panels and thermal pads was actually a lot harder than you might think.

indeed, the Aorus 7000s SSD is so tightly caged in this petite heatsink that the indentation of the chips on the thermal panels is remarkably defined! There is little to no overspill and I can definitely say this is a very slick application (which I have now spoiled) and leaves me feeling confident in how well it will protect the drive in use from temp rises.

Interestingly, if you line the heatsink and Aorus 7000s up, you can see that the additional flow lines of the top line up directly over the Phison E18 and 1GB DDR4 memory, which is exactly what I like to see for focused airflow/dissipation. This is a nice little design mark and something that many could easily blink and miss.

Removing the heatsink entirely, we can take a much closer look at the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s chips on the 2280 PCB. Again this SSD is single-sided, so the distribution of the NAND, Memory and controller are all lined up neatly.

The other side is the bare board. Larger capacities will of course take advantage of this additional space.

So that is the physical design of the Aorus 7000s SSD. But what about the hardware components themselves? Does the Gigabyte Aorus 7000S cut the mustard in terms of current generation hardware and protocols? Let’s find out.

Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD Review – Hardware Specifications

As you might expect from an M.2 NVMe SSD that boldly promises performance of 7,000MB/s sequential read (ie BIG data), the hardware specifications and architecture of the Aorus 7000s are quite modern. Indeed, for all the big talk of the Seagate Firecuda 530 hardware (still currently the ‘score to beat’ PCIE Gen4 m.2 NVMe right now) being top tier, the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s is pretty darn similar on the spec sheet! Below is how it looks:

Brand/Series AORUS Gen4 7000s
PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4
NAND B27 3D NAND 96L
Max Capacity 2TB
Controller Phison E18-PS5018
Warranty 5yr

I know a lot of the above will seem needlessly technical, so below we can bring the most important considerations into sharper focus.

Hardware Focus of the Gigabyte Aorus 7000S SSD Series

The first big, BIG thing to remember here is the controller, that Phison E18. An SSD is much like a microcosm version of a whole computer. The Controller is equivalent to the CPU, and Phison are one of the bigger 3rd party SSD controller manufacturers in the world! I say 3rd party, because some long-running storage brands like Samsung and WD have most of their development and hardware engineering ‘in-house’ and use their own branded controllers. Whereas some brands source some/all components for their SSDs from 3rd parties – which is not necessarily a bad thing for both them and the industry (there are pros and cons on either side). Phison has been at the cutting edge of this subject for years now and the E18 was first revealed last year in 2020, but due to the pandemic making storage trends unpredictable and semi-conductor shortages, most SSDs that utilized the Phison E18 eventually arrived in 2021. This controller is one of the biggest reasons that the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s can actually backup it’s promises about the 7,000MB/s+ Sequential Read (sequential data = big chunks of data). However, that is not the only reason.

The NAND on the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s is where the data lives! SSDs (as you no doubt know) do not use moving parts as found in traditional hard drives and instead uses cells that are charged and data is read/written to them in this process. The quality of the NAND and the layers used will make a big difference to the durability and performance of an SSD and although the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s does not provide the best SSD in the industry at this tier right now (that, once again, goes to the Seagate Firecuda 530 at 176 layer 3D TLC NAND), it is bigger than most, arriving at 96 Layers of 3D TLC NAND. Although the majority of modern PCIe M.2 SSD use 3D TLC NAND (avoid QLC NAND like the PLAGUE btw!), most are still at 64 layers or so, so this is a big jump up for the Aorus 7000S SSD.

Much like the Controller on the Aorus 7000s being the ‘CPU’, it also has an area of memory. The Gigabyte Aorus SSD uses 1GB DDR4 memory on board and this in conjunction with the SSD provides a massive body of data handling resources for getting your data moving through the SSD and out of the m.2 NVMe PCIe 4 interface. The amount of memory scales in conjunction with the 1TB or 2TB SSD you use, with 2GB of DDR4 at the on the 2TB tier.

As mentioned, both available capacities of the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s arrive at 2280 in length. This is quite normal for the 1TB and 2TB versions, but the fact they arrive on single-sided SSD boards is very impressive. Physical storage NAND is distributed evenly in order to space out the storage and allow even cooling, NAND wear and performance. Do remember that this means you won’t need to be so attentive in provisioning for heat dissipation on both sides of the NVMe M.2 SSD, as the 7000S includes a decent heatsink anyway that uses a metal surrounding heatsink and base level thermal heat pads, this is all largely taken care of.

Finally, there is the M.2 NVMe connection. Not all m.2 SSDs are created equal and although M.2 SATA and M.2 NVMe look similar, they provide massively different performance and connectivity. However, the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s takes it one step further, by using a newer generation of PCIe Connectivity. In short, M.2 NVMe SSDs are connected to the host PC/Console system via PCIe protocol (think of those slots that you almost always use for your graphics cards, but a much, MUCH smaller connector). These allow much larger bandwidth (ie maximum speed) for the connected storage media, Much like regular PCIe slots, they have different versions (i.E PCIe Gen 1, 2, 3, 4, etc) and also a multiplying factor (x1, x2, x4, etc). Up until around 18 months ago, the best M.2 NVMes were M.2 PCIe Gen 3×4 (so a maximum 4,000MB/s possible). However, never generation SSD like the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s use PCIe Gen 4×4 (a potential 8,000MB/s possible) and it is only now that SSD controllers and NAND production has reached a point where it can catch up and fully saturate (i.e fill) this connection.

Overall, you really cannot fault the hardware inside/onboard the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s, as it is still (2-3 months after release) higher performing in sequential Read and Write than many other M.2 NVMe PCIe 4 SSDs released in that time. Before we go into the full testing, however, it is worth taking a moment to look closely at the reported performance benchmarks of the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s, as although the performance seems stellar, there are areas such as IOPS and endurance when compared with its main rivals that are worth taking into consideration.

Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD Review – Official Stats First

Before we conduct our own testing on this SSD, Let’s take a closer look at the reported specifications and benchmarks first. The Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD arrives in two capacities at 1TB and 2TB. The Prices currently are a little inconsistent (with each higher capacity tier actually having a higher price per GB – quite unusual) likely due to the hardware shortages, the Pandemic, Chia has affected SSD availability in the last 12 months and most recently the announcement that PS5 supports this SSD and it has increased the current price of both models around 20-30%!. Below is a breakdown of how each Aorus 7000s SSD compares:

Brand/Series

 

AORUS Gen4 7000s

AORUS Gen4 7000s

PRICE GP-AG70S1TB GP-AG70S2TB
Price in $ and $ $199 / £189 $359 / £399
Throughput GP-AG70S1TB GP-AG70S2TB
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 5500MB 6850MB
IOPS GP-AG70S1TB GP-AG70S2TB
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 350,000 650,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700,000 700,000
ENDURANCE GP-AG70S1TB GP-AG70S2TB
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 700TB 1400TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,600,000 1,600,000
DWPD 0.38DWPD 0.38DWPD

There are clear throughput improvements as you rise through the capacity tiers (not unusual), as does the rated 4K IOPS. Though one area worth focusing on a little is that TBW (terabytes Written) and DWPD (Drive writes per day), as this drive is rated a pinch higher than the Samsung 980 Pro and WD Black SN850 in terms of NAND lifespan on daily writes, likely down to that Micron 96 Layer 3D TLC NAND used, rather than the 64 Layer used by competitors. This is an important point because Gigabyte has significantly less pedigree in SSD media than the likes of Samsung, WD and Seagate (being much better know for motherboard manufacturing) and people will want to know they are going to get a product that lasts!

However, despite the use of the Phison E18 controller and 96 layer NAND, the reported IOPS on each capacity is actually a noticeable degree lower than those reported by their competitors. Indeed, the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s is one of the few E18 SSDs that does not crossing into the reported 1 Million IOPS mark, maxing out at 700k. This is still very impressive anyway, but it does make me wonder where the disparity stems from. Indeed, when you look at the bulk of PCIe 4×4 M.2 NVMe 1.4 SSD, that feature the E18 controller and 96L (or higher) on board, it really only leaves about 4 other SSDs in the market today that this can be compared against. The Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus, the MSI Spatium M480, the ADATA Gammix S70 and (current leader) the Seagate Firecuda 530. Of those, the only one that seemingly ‘out specs’ the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s is the Seagate Firecuda 530. However, the Gigabyte SSD has been available in the market for almost 3-4 months longer and has certainly embedded itself in the market at that time a fraction more. Below is how these two drives compare:

Brand/Series

 

AORUS Gen4 7000s

AORUS Gen4 7000s

Seagate Firecuda 530

Seagate Firecuda 530

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4
NAND B27 3D NAND 96L B27 3D NAND 96L 3D TLC Micron B47R 176L 3D TLC Micron B47R 176L
Max Capacity 2TB 2TB 4TB – Double Sided 4TB – Double Sided
Controller Phison E18-PS5018 Phison E18-PS5018 Phison E18-PS5018 Phison E18-PS5018
Warranty 5yr 5yr 5yr + Rescue 5yr + Rescue
Brand/Series AORUS Gen4 7000s AORUS Gen4 7000s Seagate Firecuda 530 Seagate Firecuda 530
PRICE GP-AG70S1TB GP-AG70S2TB ZP1000GM3A013 ZP2000GM3A013
Price in $ and $ $199 / £189 $359 / £399 $239 / £199 $419 / £379
Throughput GP-AG70S1TB GP-AG70S2TB ZP1000GM3A013 ZP2000GM3A013
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7000MB 7300MB 7300MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 5500MB 6850MB 6000MB 6900MB
IOPS GP-AG70S1TB GP-AG70S2TB ZP1000GM3A013 ZP2000GM3A013
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 350,000 650,000 800000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700,000 700,000 1000000 1,000,000
ENDURANCE GP-AG70S1TB GP-AG70S2TB ZP1000GM3A013 ZP2000GM3A013
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 700TB 1400TB 1275TB 2550TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,600,000 1,600,000 1,800,000 1,800,000
DWPD 0.38DWPD 0.38DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.7DWPD

Yes, that is a LONG table, but you can immediately see that the Seagate Firecuda 530 raises the stakes on all of the key specifications. Although there are a number of micro reasons for this, the 176L NAND is the biggest factor here. Yes, that is why the Firecuda 530 commands the higher price tag. However, for many, the additional cost for higher durability they may never need, peak performance their core system will not reach and IOPS rating that their larger file handling will never utilize will mean that holding out for the Firecuda release is not in their interest. Both SSDs (on paper at this stage!) are fantastic examples of where consumer and prosumer SSDs are evolving towards. Let’s get the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s on the test machine!

Testing the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 1TB m.2 PCIE4 NVMe SSD

The Gigabyte Aorus 7000s 1TB was selected for this test and it was tested using multiple benchmark tools, from a cold boot, in the 2nd storage slot (i.e not the OS drive). Each test was conducted three times (full details of this are shown in the YouTube Review of the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s over on NASCompares):

Test Machine:

  • Windows 10 Pro Desktop System
  • Intel i5 11400 Rocket Lake – 6-Core 2.6/4.4Ghz
  • 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory
  • Intel B560M mATX Motherboard
  • OS Storage, Seagate Firecuda 120 SSD
  • Test SSD connected to Secondary PCIe Gen 4 M.2 Slot

ImportantIt became quite clear in early testing that my test machine, despite being quite high powered, was still not quite enough to get the truest speed out of this SSD. Factors such as my OS drive being a SATA drive, capture software, embedded graphics rather than GPU card resulting in the larger graphical file testing being fractionally capped, meaning that although this drive maxed at 6,995MB/s Seq Read on my system, it definitely felt that it could have gone a pinch higher and broken into the 7,000MB/s with a more powerful system. That said, these higher benchmarks are generally allied to larger/sequential data (i.e BIG single files) and you should really focus on smaller random benchmarks. I wanted to add this disclaimer.

REVIEW VIDEO

Using CrystalDisk, we got a good measure of the drive and verified that this PCIe Gen 4 x4 SSD was indeed using the 4×4 lane. Additionally, the temp averaged out around 41C between each test being conducted.

CRYSTAL DISK SPECS

The first tests were conducted using the ATTO disk benchmark software. The first was a 256MB test file size and below is a breakdown of the transfer rates and IOPS. The Read and Write easily hit the 6,000MB/s+ area and hit 6,590MB/s Read but 4960MB/s write. However, the bottleneck of my system capped this in ATTO quite noticeably. Additionally, the IOPS benchmarks in ATTO for the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s were good, but as expected, not breathtaking. Next, I repeated these tests with a 1GB test file.

The larger test file, unsurprisingly, produced higher results of sequential Read/Write at 6,590MB/s and 4,980MB/s respectively – that write is still a pinch less than I would like to see, even at 1TB over PCIe with the Phison E18. The IOPS still maintained a similar level as before.

Finally, I completed the ATTO Benchmark tests with a 4GB Test file and the performance remained consistent:

Finally, to conclude the ATTO testing, I switched to a bigger 4GB file and re-ran the program. This ended up maxing out at a read/write of 6,590MB/s and 6,585MB/s respectively – which although still not cracking the reported 7,000MB/s is still mighty impressive.

Next, although the ATTO tests were quite good, but not what I would have hoped from this SSD, so I moved on to the Crystal Disk Mark testing to see how well it would handle our lasts barrage of tests. The first test was the 1GB file testing, which measured both sequential and random, as well as the read and write IOPS. 1GB file test files provided:

Although this never crossed into the 7,000MBs mark (I suspect down to my test hardware), both in the 1GB test and when I tested the 4GB test file routine, we saw increased benchmark scores 6,975MB/s Read and 5,508MB/s Write, as well as increased IOPS reported. Given the 1TB Gigabyte Aorus 7000s model is rated at 7,000/5,500MB/s, this is remarkably close to hitting the maximum reported benchmark!

Finally, I went for the biggest test file at 16GB on AS SSD and this still gave some solid results and although the IOPs were a pinch lower, this might have hit closer to that reported 700/350K with use of a Xeon test machine:

Next, I switched to AS SSD for benchmarks. First up was 1GB file testing, both on sequential and 4K random:

The results were a pinch lower than I would have liked to see, so I then moved onto the 3G test file. These were noticeably better, both in transfers and 4K random:

I decided to chase this a little further and upped the ASS SSD Test file to 5GB and was pleased with the results. Still ‘on paper’ not as high as the Crystal Diskmark tests.

Ordinarily, I would introduce tests like BlackMagic and AJA into the mix here, but even a short burst of testing on an NVMe like this would over saturate the cache memory on board. Nevertheless, in the short term we still could ascertain the reported performance on 1GB, 4GB and 16GB file testing was:

256MB AJA File Test Results (Max) = 5,907MB/s Read & 5,400MB/s Write

1GB AJA File Test Results (Max) = 5,881MB/s Read & 5,427MB/s Write

4GB AJA File Test Results (Max) = 5,974MB/s Read & 5,372MB/s Write

16GB AJA File Test Results (Max) = 5,974MB/s Read & 5,427MB/s Write

Overall, the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s was certainly able to provide some solid performance, as well as potentially exceed the test figures here on a more powerful machine. Given the reported Read and Write statistics that the brand has stated publically, I think there is enough evidence here to back up those claims.

Gigabyte Aorus 7000s SSD Review – Conclusion

It is very hard to find any real fault in the Gigabyte Aorus. I know that sounds spectacularly restrained praise, but that is only because the Aorus 7000s finds itself in a rather more densely populated tier of the industry than it should have been! The architecture, performance, endurance and build are definitely impressive and give me a tremendous sense of confidence in the product, but because it is so similar to other SSDs like the MSI SPATIUM M480 and Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus, it blends in with them, rather than standing out on its own merit. I DO like the Aorus 7000s, genuinely love the inclusive heatsink (not just the fact it is included, but the quality of the thing!) and would DEFINITELY recommend it. I just wish it could stand out from the crowd a little more!

You cannot fault the Aorus 7000s NVMe SSD for its performance in 2021/2022, as it does not over-promise on what it can do. We ran all our usual tests and it hit the highs and lows of Throughput and comparative IOPS to others, just as the brand volunteered. The Gigabyte Aorus is a mature and grown-up SSD and not one that is trying to challenge bigger drives like the Seagate Firecuda 530. Had it been released a few months earlier, it would have made a significantly bigger splash on the professional gaming and video editing market, but now runs the sight risk of getting lost in the paddock of Phison E18 SSDs that are arriving on the market around this. The Aorus’ price point and availability certainly make it appealing, but the shaky SSD market making a slow recovery from Pandemic changes, Chia stock issues and semiconductor shortages means this SSD might not be as desirable as it should be when it is not as abundant at the manufacturing level as the likes of Seagate, Samsung and WD’s offerings being so copious. This IS a good SSD and although the IOPs are a touch lower than I would like, its durability, performance at both 1TB and 2TB and inclusive slimline prosumer heatsink make it a very good drive indeed!

PROs of the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s CONs of the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s
Genuinely Impressive Performance

Made by a Gamer Mobo Preferred Manf

PS5 Compatibility Confirmed

Heatsink Included and PS5 Compatible

96 Layer 3D TLC NAND Hugely Beneficial

Phison E18 SSDs Always Delivery!

Surpasses Samsung/WD PCIe 4 SSDs in some key areas

IOPS rating is noticeably lower than most competitors

Endurance (DWPD/TBW) is unimpressive

Still Outperformed by the Firecuda 530

 


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Seagate Firecuda 530 vs WD Black SN850 SSD Comparison

11 août 2021 à 16:25

PCIe 4 NVMe SSD Comparison – WD Black SN850 vs Seagate Firecuda 530

If you have recently purchased a modern generation gaming PC, Video setup or new generation console, then chances are that when looking at optimal storage media for your system, you likely narrowed your choices down to the Seagate Firecuda 530 (released in summer 2021) or the WD Black SN850 (released in Winter 2020) SSD. Although these two drives look incredibly similar to numerous M.2 media that came before, these solid-state NVMe drives represent the highest-performing PCIe 4.0 that either brand’s respective gamer/prosumer series have to offer, each hitting (and in some cases exceeding) 7,000MB/s performance. Both of these drives are able to exceed pretty much all of the understood maximums thanks to several key factors in their architecture. That said, that very modern architecture varies quite wildly as soon as you take even a casual glance at the specifications and its impacts on performance, durability and capacity is actually quite significant. So, today I want to take a good look at the Firecuda 530 and WD Black SN850 SSD to see whether they excel, where they fall short of their competitor and, ultimately, which one deserves your data! First up, let’s take a look at the early architecture here:

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

WD Black SN850

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4
NAND 3D TLC Micron B47R 176L BiCS4 96L TLC
Max Capacity 4TB – Double Sided 2TB
Controller Phison E18-PS5018 WD_BLACK G2
Warranty 5yr 5yr
 

So, one of the earliest differences between each drive as we can see is the NAND being utilized and laters. Both use TLC 3D Memory (par of the course for 2021 – finding a good line between capacity, performance and durability over MLC/QLC on either side of the scale) but there Seagate Firecuda 530 uses the higher-performing 176L vertically stacked layers, allowing greater performance and greater capacity per physical cell (with the Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD having a current capacity cap of 4 Terabytes and the WD Black at 50% less on 2TB). For those confirmed with endurance (which we will touch on later on) the 176L over the 96L does not result in negatives on durability (quite the opposite in fact) and both of these SSDs are managed by impressive top tier controllers. The Seagate uses the late 2020 formally revealed Phison E18-PS5018 controller (also used by a few other SSD manufacturers), whereas WD has its own massive in-house R&D manufacture available and has ait’s own unique WD Black G2 controller. We talk in a moment about how this impacts their respective performance, but fair play to WD for continuing to keep their SSD development 100% in house with this one. Both drives arrive with 5 years of warranty (though their DWPD/TBW do differ noticeably) which is quite standard, but it is worth highlighting that the Seagate Firecuda 530 also arrives with 3years of data recovery services included. Know as the Seagate Rescue Service, it allows you to access professional data recovery services in the event of accidental deletion, reversing corruption and recovery services at no additional cost (there are T& course). It’s a small extra on the face of it, but for anyone that has lost key data (in the case of this drive utility, I am talking 4K raw video, savegames, editing projects, etc), this is a very noticeable extra to have thrown in!

WD Black SN850 vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Price & Capacity

For many users, the size of an SSD and the price tag is going to be the most compelling argument one way to another on the best drive for their needs. Though the price you pay and the total storage ARE important, SSD like the WD Black SN850 and Seagate Firecuda 530 are much more than that. That said, it is fair to say that the WD Black SN850 provides the best price per GB/TB on every tier (500GB, 1TB and 2TB). Although there are regional differences that go beyond currency conversion (see the 2TB in £ vs $) and recent hardware shortages because of semiconductor shortages and Chia also played their part, the fact the WD Black arrived on the market 6+ months early has resulted in the price being a little more flexible right now – leading to it being at the lower price.

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

WD Black SN850

500GB Model ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ $139 / £119 $119 / £99
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ $239 / £199 $249 / £169
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ $419 / £379 $399 / £339
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013  
Price in $ and $ $949 / £769 N/A

However, there capacity differs slightly, with the Seagate Firecuda 530 NVMe SSD arriving at the larger 4TB – though at an eye-watering price point! If the cost of the SSD is an absolutely huge factor in your decision, the WD BLACK SN850 SSD clearly wins here, however it is worth taking a moment to read further to see what you get for your money – as, in some of the higher tiers, the difference between Price and Value is a great deal clearer.

 

WD Black SN850 vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Reported Read & Write Speed

Whereas the WD Black SN850 took a remarkably strong and clear early lead over the Seagate Firecuda 530 in terms of price, things take an immediate reverse in terms of performance between them. The reported maximum sequential Read and Write throughput on these drives from either brand is almost completely a win for Seagate and the Firecuda 530 in all but the 500GB. Now some of this credit can clearly be dedicated to that Phison E18 controller and 176 layer 3D NAND, but also the 2TB and 4TB SSDs feature double-sided cells (ie the chips are on either side) disturbing the read/write activity a bit. That NAND also provides some great durability (will touch on later) but the clear increase on the Firecuda 530 over the WD Black SN850, especially in the write activity as you rise through each capacity tier is remarkably impressive and only really rivalled by similar SSDs like the MSI Spatium, Sabrent Rocket Plus and Gigabyte Aorus Gen4 7000s.

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

WD Black SN850

500GB Model ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 3000MB 4100MB
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6000MB 5300MB
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6900MB 5100MB
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013  
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB N/A
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6900MB N/A

The WD Black NVMe PCIe 4×4 SSD certainly holds its own, maintaining that solid 7000MB/s write, but reported write speeds to seem a tad inconsistent at each GB/TB tier and fall behind significantly at each comparable Firecuda 530 drive (with the exception of the 500GB WDS500G1X0E model).

 

WD Black SN850 vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Reported IOPS

A much more SSD specific measurement, IOPS, shows us a much more even playing field on the reported performance, with advantages and disadvantages on both sides. One immediate plus for both the WD Black SN850 and Seagate Firecuda 530 is that they both break the 1 Million IOPS threshold respectively at the 1 Terabyte tier, with even the lowly 500GB WD Black SN850 managing to hit the 1M Random Read IOPS, more than double the reported Random Read IOPS of the Firecuda SN850. However the Seagate Firecuda 530 then maintains the 1M IOPS breakpoint, first in Write at the 1TB level and then continues to provide 1,000,000 Read and Write on the Terabyte tiers – with the WD Black capping at 1M/700K on those same tiers.

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

WD Black SN850

500GB Model ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 400,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700,000 680,000
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 800000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1000000 720,000
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 710,000
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013  
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 N/A
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 N/A

Although IOPS are a tough and extremely relative-to-file’ method of measurement in real-world practice, the benefits of that E18 controller and NAND choice by Seagate here on the 530 are another win – though only JUST!

 

WD Black SN850 vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Endurance & Durability

Unlike the other points in this comparison of the Firecuda 530 and SN850, the Endurance and Durability of an SSD is an area that is overlooked often enough that I wanted to take a moment to focus a little more on this – you can thank you years from now! The importance of SSD durability and endurance in 2021/2022 is actually pretty massive. Now that the devices we use all feature incredibly powerful processors, often cloud/network hybrid AI processes and graphical handling that will be instantly bottlenecked by traditional hard drives, SSDs are no longer just the ‘boot’ drive for our OS and are now the day to day working drive. This combined with SSD being used as caching and larger SSD capacities allowing suitable substitution for HDDs entirely means that the CONSTANT concern about SSDs lifespan and the durability of those NAND cells is now quite paramount. SSDs wear out – it’s as simple as that. The more you write, the more wear those individual NAND cells suffer – degrading performance over the years and inevitably leading to drive failure. Likewise, the smaller the drive, the greater likelihood that you will be writing, then rewriting, then rewriting, time and time again. The Seagate Firecuda 530 and WD Black SN850 are no exception and alongside massive research and development in better controllers and interfaces to improve performance, the way NAND is improved has led to SSDs lasting lover than ever before. However, SSDs and NAND are not built equally and there is actually quite a large difference in durability between the WD Black SN850 and the Seagate Firecuda 530. The Storage industry typically measures the predicted durability and endurance of an SSD as TBW, DWPD and MTBF. They are:

TBW = Terabytes Written, rated as the total number of terabytes that this SSD can have written to it in its warranty covered lifespan. So if the TBW was 300TB and the warranty is 5 years of coverage, that would mean that the drive can receive on average (with deleting/overwriting data each repeatedly) 60 Terabytes per year (or 5TB a month). After this point, the manufacturer highlights that durability, endurance and performance will decline. Often highlighted as an alternative to warranty length when gauging the predicted lifespan of a SSD.

DWPD = Drive Writes Per Day / Data Writes Per Day, this is a decimalized figure that represents what proportion of the capacity of an SSD (where 1.0 = 100% capacity) can be filled, erased and/or rewritten on a daily basis. This is provided using the warranty period and TBW figure. So, for example, if a 500GB drive has a 0.3DWPD rating, that is approx 150GB of data per day

MTBF = Mean Time Between Failure, which is the interval between one failure of an SSD and the next. MTBF is expressed in hours and most industrial SSDs are rated in the Millions of Hours. MTBF and MTTF (Mean Time to Failure) have largely become overlooked in recent years in favour of TBW and DWPD in SSDs, but are still stated on most Data Sheets.

So, now you know what those large Terbyte stats, hours and decimal point details are on the average SSD datasheet. So where do the Seagate Firecuda 530 and WD Black SN850 stand on this:

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

WD Black SN850

500GB Model ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 640TB 300TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 1275TB 600TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 2550TB 1200TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013  
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 5100TB N/A
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 N/A
DWPD 0.7DWPD N/A

And that is a very clear win for the Seagate Firecuda 530, with its significantly longer predicted lifespan for writing in its 5-year reported warranty period. Of course, if you are not going to be fully replacing the data on your drive on a regular basis, then you may not be concerned about the 0.7DWPD on the Firecuda 530 over the 0.3DWPD on the SN850, which is understandable. However, I would highlight that for Seagate to state that this SSD will maintain the reported performance benchmarks, as well as that durability is no small thing and although they cost more per GB/TB, you can see that this is where that extra money is seemingly going.

 

WD Black SN850 vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Conclusion

Comparing two SSDs like the Seagate Firecuda 530 and the WD Black SN850, although very similar in base architecture, may seem a little mean-spirited. There is clearly more than half a year of difference in when these two SSD were introduced to the market and in terms of technology, that is pretty huge. However, now that more and more affordable motherboards are integrating PCIe Gen 4 in their systems, modern home gaming consoles like PS5 are featuring storage expansions for PCIe 4×4 m.2 and even NAS brands are slowly approaching PCIe 4 in their servers, I think more people are going to compare these two high-end drives. the WD Black SN850 is very well priced right now, providing PCIe 4.0 Speeds at the same price as many PCIe 3.0 drives, with blanket 7,000MB/s Read performance on all models, cracking the 1Million IOPS threshold even on smaller capacities and getting head start on the PCIe4x4 M.2 NVMe market. However, given the large number of 7,000MB/s Read and 6,500-6,800MB/s Write drives that have been unveiled in the last 3 months, the WD Black may have arrived the tiniest bit TOO early to the party, before manufacturers could properly catch up (blame Covid, blame shortages, blame trade wars, blame Chia, you name it, it happened!). the Seagate Firecuda 530 on the other hand has arrived at the time when the latest generation on the kit that desires this kind of storage has been re-tooled and means it is very well placed. That isn’t to say that the Firecuda 530 gets by on luck, no, the incredible durability increase, consistent high performance on R/W and even arriving with a 4TB model off the bat make it a very convincing choice to ultimately win in this comparison. The data recovery stuff (for the few people that may actually use it) is a cherry on the cake too.

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

WD Black SN850

Best Performance  
Best Endurance/Durability  
Best Price for TB  
Best Extras  
Best Value DRAW DRAW
Where To Buy

 

 


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Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD Review – The Score To Beat?

9 août 2021 à 17:40

Review of the Seagate Firecuda 530 PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD

Few brands in the world of storage media have been smashing the first’ milestones as much as Seagate has in the last few years. Off the back of a hot run of hard drive news promising 20TB drives shortly and 50TB drives inside 4 years, we now have their new PCIe 4 M.2 NVMe SSD to look at. Now, the Firecuda 530 is NOT the first PCIe4 NVMe SSD to arrive on the market, not even close. Seagate has brought their 7,000MB/s contender out 2/3 of a year after rivals at WD and Samsung brought their respective SN850 and 980 Pro AND at a higher price point. At this point, is their new drive a little late to the party or were they just having a good long run-up? Well, the specifications do set it apart from the majority of other drives in a number of very distinct areas and with Seagate placing a heavy focus on sustained write, durability and longevity of their media, this a definitely much more considered approach from the brand and a far leap from the brand that only a few years ago was learning more into competitive pricing and getting there ‘first’. So, let’s take a close look at the Seagate Firecuda 530 in today’s review, see if it’s advantages are clear from day one or are you paying more for eventual gains? Let’s find out.

Note – This review features the 500GB Firecuda 530 ZP500GM30013. This should be taken into consideration during the drive testing portion of the review, as the performance of this series scales in line with the available capacities

Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD Review – Quick Conclusion

For the most part, I DO think Seagate has succeeded in fulfilling the promises they have made on the Firecuda 530 and have arguably released the best example of m.2 PCIe4 NVMe SSD architecture you can buy in 2021. There is no avoiding the fact that the Seagate Firecuda 530 series of SSDs have arrived on the market noticeably later than their biggest rivals AND with a higher price tag, so they were going to need to make a pretty good early impression to make up the ground amply covered by their competitors. The decision to focus heavily on endurance and durability is a remarkably mature one (and potentially controversial one against their competitors) in an age when consumers are demanding prices come down, forcing brands to either cut covers where they think they will be felt the least or going the budget router of QC NAND. Therefore you have to respect Seagate’s decision to draw a line in the sand here about what they consider a high-end SSD.

PROs of the Seagate Firecuda 530 CONs of the Seagate Firecuda 530
Highest PCIe 4×4 M.2 Performance Right Now

176 Layer 3D TLC NAND is Unparalleled right now

Best Example of Phison E18 Performance

Highest Endurance PCIe Gen 4×4 M.2 SSD Right Now

Inclusive Data Recovery Services

PS5 Compatibility Fully Confirmed

Available in up to 4TB

Costs more than most

Heatsink is an Additional Purchase

Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD Review – Packaging

The Firecuda 530 arrives in a remarkably similar box to the Firecuda 520 and despite the obvious change in animal logo, it’s still going to be pretty easy to overlook what massively different drives these are in their architecture if seen on a shelf! 

Though clearly, this new drive commands a higher price tag and even a quick scan of the promised performance mentioned on the retail box is sets it up to have to live up to a high standard later in testing

Inside we find the Firecuda 530 SSD in a two-piece plastic shell, thermal pad, warranty information (5 Years + 3yrs Rescue Data Recovery Services) and the Firecuda 530 M.2 NVMe SSD itself in antistatic packaging. All fairly standard stuff and although there is a first party Firecuda heatsink available, this is an optional extra.

Much like previous generations, the Firecuda arrives with a paper label either side of the PCB (so not the metal plate featured on more affordable SSDs like the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus), but if Seagate’s defence, this drive will be working noticeably hot regardless (due to the significantly higher performance maximum over other drives) and it is highly recommended for use with a proper heatsink regardless – so a metal label would be like putting a plaster on a shotgun wound!

The drive is fairly standard in height to other m.2 NVMes, however, it is easy to forget that the micron NAND featured in the Firecuda 530 is significantly higher quality than many at 176L (something we will touch on later).

The larger capacity Firecuda 530s drives at 2TB and 4TB feature double-sided NAND placement, resulting in both better capacity handling, performance and durability. However, this needs to be balanced against a larger heatsink/thermal pad application. In PC use, this is of little-to-no concern, but now the Firecuda 530 NVMe SSD is pretty much the ‘score-to-beat’ on PS5 SSD upgrades, this is an important consideration.

In terms of physical design, you cannot really fault this drive and it is not really going to be apparent until we properly dig deep into the specifications and their stand out qualities where we will see where the extra $ on this drive’s price tag are going.

Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD Review – Hardware Specifications

Below is a breakdown of the hardware specifications of the Firecuda 530. There are a number of key factors here that really need your attention!

Drive Firecuda 530 500GB

Firecuda 530 1000GB

Firecuda 530 2000GB

Firecuda 530 4000GB

Price 500GB – $149.99 1TB – $239.99 2TB – $489.99 4TB – $949.99
Warranty, Limited (years) 5+3yr Rescue 5+3yr Rescue 5+3yr Rescue 5+3yr Rescue
PCIe Gen M.2 PCIe Gen 4×4 PCIe Gen 4×4 PCIe Gen 4×4 PCIe Gen 4×4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4
NAND Type 176L 3D NAND 176L 3D NAND 176L 3D NAND 176L 3D NAND
Controller E18-PS018 E18-PS018 E18-PS018 E18-PS018
Performance ZP500GM3A013 ZP1000GM3A013 ZP2000GM3A013 ZP4000GM3A013
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7300MB 7300MB 7300MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 3000MB 6000MB 6900MB 6900MB
IOPS ZP500GM3A013 ZP1000GM3A013 ZP2000GM3A013 ZP4000GM3A013
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 400,000 800,000 1,000,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700,000 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,000,000
DWPD 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.7
MTBF, hours 1,800,000 1,800,000 1,800,000 1,800,000

Now, the above is clearly a little more technical than many gamers would like. Obviously, the general performance of the Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD is going to be high (as detailed in the performance tests later in the review), however, its sequential Read performance is actually not too far ahead of the likes of the Samsung 980 Pro and WD Black SN850 released some 5-6 months ago, so why should gamers spend more on this drive? Well, a lot of the more technical aspects that focus on SUSTAINED performance and DURABILITY make up a lot of this. Likewise, this architecture and its impact on Sequential WRITE is also something to consider. Write activity in console/pc gaming of a noticeably smaller fraction of activity over Read, approx 85% Read and 15% Write over time. However this is changing all the time, as games are being regularly streamed or shared, as well as world creation games and create-your-own-adventure sandbox titles growing quite significantly, smaller but sustained write activity running parallel with read is an important consideration. Let’s take a closer look at those key specifications and translate them into normal speak!

Hardware Focus of the Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD Series

The first big thing to focus on with the Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD is the controller. This is the brains of the SSD and in the case of this SSD, it’s a good one! The Phison E18 has already featured on a few other SSD releases in early 2021 to wide praise and given Seagate’s history of using their controllers right up to the E16 in the previous drive in this series, it was always going to be their SSD controller of choice here. This controller has some remarkably high bandwidth capabilities that the rest of the SSD can stretch it’s muscles a bit in order to try and saturate! Supporting up to a maximum 7,400MB/s and 7,100MB/s sequential Read/Write and up to 1Million 4K Read/Write IOPS, the Phison Controller is pushed quite far to it’s limits at the 4TB Firecuda 530 model. It’s a shame that Seagate does not have it’s own in house teams as WD/Samsung do, but the Phison E18 is still an industry leader right now and an inevitable choice by the brand.

Alongside this controller, the NAND featured on the Seagate Firecuda 530 is quite a top-end choice too. As mentioned, the Phison E18 controller has been featured on a number of other solutions in the last 6+ months, however, the Firecuda 530 arrives with an extra advantage with Micron 176 layered 3D TLC NAND. This is very important, as this massive jump over the bulk of other SSDs that arrive with 96L NAND allows better-sustained performance through the drives lifetime and (more importantly) a MUCH higher endurance rating. With most other M.2 PCIe4 NVMe SSDs arriving with 0.3 or 0.38 drive writes per day, this one is rated at 0.7 DWPD. Even if you are not planning on hammered this drive daily, that only means this SSD NAND will last even longer and will in all likelihood massively outline whatever system it is installed within.

Alongside the controller and NAND, the Firecuda 530 features DD4 DRAM/memory. This scales in capacity alongside each storage tier of the series. Another interesting thing of note on the Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD drive physically is that regardless of whether you chooses the 500GB, 1TB, 2TB or 4TB, they ALL arrive at 2280 length. This is to be expected on the smaller capacities, but the 4TB in particular managing to hit that cap without resorting to a 22110 (without compromising the NAND storage to QLC etc) is impressive indeed. This does mean that the 2TB and 4TB model then need to be double-sided drives (something to factor in at the heatsink level on more compact PC and console systems like PS5) but never the less, only 2-3 brands including Seagate include a 4TB drive at this architecture and performance threshold.

As mentioned (about a million times, I know) the Firecuda 530 features M.2 PCIe4 architecture, arriving in NVMe 1.4 revision. This is an important detail as, although there are currently a large number of PCIe4 M.2 SSDs on the market, some are using older revisions. This can be updated in some cases, but it is by no means consumer-friendly/universal.

Overall, you really cannot fault the hardware inside/onboard the Seagate Firecuda 530, as it is still by far one of the highest performing sequential Read and Write drives in the market over many other M.2 NVMe PCIe 4 SSDs released in the last 6-8 months. Before we go into the full testing, however, it is worth taking a moment to look closely at the reported performance benchmarks of the Seagate Firecuda 530, as although the performance is good, there are areas such as IOPS and endurance when compared with its main rivals that make quite a stark contrast.

Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD Review – Official Stats First

Before we conduct our own testing on this SSD, Let’s take a closer look at the reported specifications and benchmarks first. The Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD arrives in four capacities at 500GB,1TB, 2TB and 4TB. The Prices currently are a little inconsistent (with each higher capacity tier actually having a higher price per GB – quite unusual) likely due to the hardware shortages, the Pandemic, Chia has affected SSD availability in the last 12 months and most recently the announcement that PS5 supports this SSD and it has increased the current price of most models around 20%! Below is a breakdown of how each Firecuda 530 SSD compares:

Drive Firecuda 530 500GB

Firecuda 530 1000GB

Firecuda 530 2000GB

Firecuda 530 4000GB

Price 500GB – $149.99 1TB – $239.99 2TB – $489.99 4TB – $949.99
Warranty, Limited (years) 5+3yr Rescue 5+3yr Rescue 5+3yr Rescue 5+3yr Rescue
PCIe Gen M.2 PCIe Gen 4×4 PCIe Gen 4×4 PCIe Gen 4×4 PCIe Gen 4×4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4
NAND Type 176L 3D NAND 176L 3D NAND 176L 3D NAND 176L 3D NAND
Controller E18-PS018 E18-PS018 E18-PS018 E18-PS018
Performance ZP500GM3A013 ZP1000GM3A013 ZP2000GM3A013 ZP4000GM3A013
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7300MB 7300MB 7300MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 3000MB 6000MB 6900MB 6900MB
IOPS ZP500GM3A013 ZP1000GM3A013 ZP2000GM3A013 ZP4000GM3A013
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 400,000 800,000 1,000,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700,000 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,000,000
DWPD 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.7
MTBF, hours 1,800,000 1,800,000 1,800,000 1,800,000

The first very clear thing is that the performance clearly scales quite hugely as you go through each capacity tier. The 500GB model features a rather underwhelming 3000GB sequential write compared with the more than double 6,000MB/s and 6,900MB/s reported on the rest of the series, but the sequential read performance of all capacities is still reported at 7,000MB/s (with a peak of 7,300MB/s at the highest end). Likewise, the 4K IOPS scales noticeably through the tiers, with the 500GB being the only version that does not break the 1,000,000 IOPS rating. Understandably this is an architecture/physical NAND scale limitation, but it definitely worth highlighting, as many buyers who are looking at the Seagate Firecuda 530 series and are somewhat intimidated by the higher price tag over other M.2 PCIe4 NVMe SSDs (but still want the endurance and durability of use) might scale to the 500GB model and then be unaware they are getting a very different ‘write’ experience. That said, modern PC and console gamers who are going to use the Seagate Firecuda 530 are going to largely need to focus on Read activity. For a better understanding of the most commonly used terms in the word of SSDs, take a moment to watch my video below that breaks down all of the most complex and repeated terms and anacronyms into plain, chewable English!

So, now you know the hardware specifications, the performance benchmarks and exactly what makes the Seagate Firecuda 530 a particularly advantageous drive. However, there are quite a few drives n the shelves right now that are shoving for gamer’s attention and for both PS5 and PC Gamers alike, there are 2 main alternative drives, the WD Black SN850 and Samsung 980 Pro. These two alternative drives have been available to consumers for well over 8 months and in that time have dominated this tier of the storage market significantly. The WD and Samsung gamer SSD arrived on the market last year at a lower price point than the Seagate Firecuda 530, as well as had plenty of time to get more flexible with that price in the meantime. So, with the Seagate SSD arriving at a higher price point, they can only really win on the subject of VALUE, not the price tag. Ultimately, what you GET for your money in terms of performance, responsiveness, service and (Seagate hope) durability. Below is how these three SSDs compare at each available capacity tier:

Brand/Series

 

Seagate Firecuda 530

WD Black SN850

Samsung 980 Pro

500GB Model ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0 MZ-V8P500BW
Price in $ and $ $139 / £119 $119 / £99 $119 / £109
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0 MZ-V8P1T0BW
Price in $ and $ $239 / £199 $249 / £169 $209 / £179
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0 MZ-V8P2T0BW
Price in $ and $ $419 / £379 $399 / £339 $390 / £369
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013   N/A
Price in $ and $ $949 / £769 N/A N/A
Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530 WD Black SN850 Samsung 980 Pro
PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.3c
NAND 3D TLC Micron B47R 176L BiCS4 96L TLC 3D TLC
Max Capacity 4TB – Double Sided 2TB 2TB
Controller Phison E18-PS5018 WD_BLACK G2 Custom Elpis
Warranty 5yr + Data Recovery 3yrs 5yr 5yr
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 1,750,000 1,500,000
DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD 0.3DWPD
500GB Model ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0 MZ-V8P500BW
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7000MB 6900MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 3000MB 4100MB 5000MB
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0 MZ-V8P1T0BW
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB 7000MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6000MB 5300MB 5000MB
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0 MZ-V8P2T0BW
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB 7000MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6900MB 5100MB 5100MB
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013   N/A
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB N/A N/A
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6900MB N/A N/A
Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530 WD Black SN850 Samsung 980 Pro
500GB Model ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0 MZ-V8P500BW
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 400,000 1,000,000 800,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700,000 680,000 1,000,000
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0 MZ-V8P1T0BW
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 800000 1,000,000 1000000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1000000 720,000 1000000
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0 MZ-V8P2T0BW
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 710,000 1,000,000
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013   N/A
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 N/A N/A
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 N/A N/A

So, when looking at these drives, we have to look at the advantages and disadvantages of the Seagate Firecuda 530 vs the WD Black SN850 and Samsung 980 Pro. They break down as follows:

+ Highest Peak Performance at 1TB and 2TB

+ 4 Terabyte Option

+ More Than Double The Reported Endurance & Durability than WD/Samsung

+ Inclusive Rescue Data Recovery Service

– More Expensive at ALL Capacities

– 500GB Model Has Noticeably Lower Seq Write than 500GB WD/Samsung

– Not 100% Developed In-house

Overall, I do genuinely think that Seagate and the Firecuda 530 win overall on points versus the Samsung 980 Pro and WD Black SN850. It definitely costs more, but you seemingly get quite a lot for your money. That does mean that you need to price these SSDs in terms of their lifetime utility and value (which many might not want or need to), but Seagate does make a compelling argument here. Additionally, the available 4TB drive will please a lot of professional gamers, as that is quite a lot of space to play with – albeit at quite an intimidating price tag! Let’s get the Seagate Firecuda 530 in the test machine:

Testing the Seagate Firecuda 530 500GB m.2 PCIE4 NVMe SSD

When testing the Seagate Firecuda 530, I wanted to perform a good balance of consumer-accessible tests. So the results below come from testing this 500GB SSD on a PC system and loading game tests from a PS5 system (for those considering this SSD for a console gaming system).

PC Test Machine:

  • Windows 10 Pro Desktop System
  • Intel i5 11400 Rocket Lake – 6-Core 2.6/4.4Ghz
  • 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory
  • Intel B560M mATX Motherboard
  • OS Storage, Seagate Firecuda 120 SSD
  • Test SSD connected to Secondary PCIe Gen 4 M.2 Slot

Note – It is VERY IMPORTANT to read these performance benchmarks in the context that they were made with the 500GB model of the Firecuda 530 series. Like most M.2 NVMe SSDs, the Firecuda 530 series scales in performance as you go into larger capacities, as there is a larger arrangement of NAND available on the board and improved distribution of data. Later in August/September, we hope to be bench-testing larger capacities and updating this review, alongside added new ones that reflect the increased performance these larger drives can provide. Otherwise, you can read the great review over on Tweaktown that features the 1TB Model. Let’s get back to the testing!

The Drive was first checked on Crystal Disk to check that it was clearly accessible, utilizing the PCIe Gen 4 bandwidth interface fully and was in good, healthy working order.

The PC Tests of the Seagate Firecuda 530 500GB SSD included ATTO Diskbench Mark, CrystalDisk, AS SSD and spikes of AJA Disk Speed Test (over time).

Seagate Firecuda 530 500GB – 1GB Test

Seagate Firecuda 530 500GB – 4GB

Seagate Firecuda 530 500GB – 16GB

 

Seagate Firecuda 530 500GB – ATTO 256MB Test

 

Seagate Firecuda 530 500GB – ATTO 1GB Test

Seagate Firecuda 530 500GB – ATTO 4GB Test

 

Seagate Firecuda 530 500GB – AS SSD Tests

We performed three different file type tests in AS SSD, 1GB, 3GB and 5GB. They were as follows:

AS SSD 1GB TEST FILE

AS SSD 3GB TEST FILE

AS SSD 5GB TEST FILE

Ordinarily, I would introduce tests like BlackMagic and AJA into the mix here, but even a short burst of testing on an NVMe like this would over saturate the cache memory on board. Nevertheless, in the short term we still could ascertain the reported performance on 1GB, 4GB and 16GB file testing was:

Seagate Firecuda 530 500GB 1GB AJA File Test Results (Max)

5,612MB/s Read & 4,529MB/s Write

Seagate Firecuda 530 500GB 4GB AJA File Test Results (Max)

5,600MB/s Read & 4,732MB/s Write

Seagate Firecuda 530 500GB 16GB AJA File Test Results (Max)

5,455MB/s Read & 4,903MB/s Write

Seagate Firecuda 530 500GB – Playstation 5 Load Times

Below I tested 4 different games on the Playstation 5, with each game being stored on the m.2 SSD expansion slot populated with the Seagate Firecuda 530. In three out of four cases, the game loaded 1 Sec + faster on the Seagate:

Overall, the Seagate Firecuda 530 was certainly able to provide some solid read performance, though clearly the fact this review features the 500GB drive has undermined the write activity. I am fully confident that larger capacity testing (coming soon) will live up to their respective reported benchmarks, as well as potentially exceed the test figures here on a more powerful machine.

Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD Review – Conclusion

For the most part, I DO think Seagate has succeeded in fulfilling the promises they have made on the Firecuda 530 and have arguably released the best example of m.2 PCIe4 NVMe SSD architecture you can buy in 2021. There is no avoiding the fact that the Seagate Firecuda 530 series of SSDs have arrived on the market noticeably later than their biggest rivals AND with a higher price tag, so they were going to need to make a pretty good early impression to make up the ground amply covered by their competitors. The decision to focus heavily on endurance and durability is a remarkably mature one (and potentially controversial one against their competitors) in an age when consumers are demanding prices come down, forcing brands to either cut covers where they think they will be felt the least or going the budget router of QC NAND. Therefore you have to respect Seagate’s decision to draw a line in the sand here about what they consider a high-end SSD. Though some buyers might not be as thrilled to pay for these extras that they feel they won’t need, the Firecuda 530 is still pretty much the score to beat in 1TB above, though the 500GB whilst maintaining the price structure of larger drives, might leave you a little less impressed. Overall, I can definitely recommend the Firecuda 530 series, but maybe pay the extra and go for the 1TB at the very least.

Drive Firecuda 530 500GB

Firecuda 530 1000GB

Firecuda 530 2000GB

Firecuda 530 4000GB

Price 500GB – $149.99 1TB – $239.99 2TB – $489.99 4TB – $949.99
PROs of the Seagate Firecuda 530 CONs of the Seagate Firecuda 530
Highest PCIe 4×4 M.2 Performance Right Now

176 Layer 3D TLC NAND is Unparalleled right now

Best Example of Phison E18 Performance

Highest Endurance PCIe Gen 4×4 M.2 SSD Right Now

Inclusive Data Recovery Services

PS5 Compatibility Fully Confirmed

Available in up to 4TB

Costs more than most

The heatsink is an Additional Purchase


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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

WD Black SN850 PS5 SSD Expansion Test

8 août 2021 à 20:00

Testing the WD Black SN850 SSD on the PS5

Yes, it’s time for another PS5 SSD Expansion Test and this time it is the drive that received one of the most high profile recommendations so far (from Mark Cerny, designer and programmer, involved in the development of the PS5 itself), the WD Black SN850. Now that Sony has enabled the ability to expand the storage of the Playstation 5 in the latest software update (in beta at the time of writing), the range of potential PCIe M.2 SSDs that PS5 gamers are able to choose from is surprisingly vast. The minimum requirements of the M.2 update are 5,500MB/s sequential read (i.e big files), no longer than 22110 in length and PCIe Gen 4 M.2 Key interface in architecture. So, that narrows things down a little, but not by a vast amount. I made a master list of current compatible SSDs for PS5 HERE with help from Reddit users, but today I want to focus on the WD Black SN850, as it is one of the most available, well priced and high performing SSDs that are supported by PS5 right now. The WD Black SN850 is certainly supported by the Playstation 5 and in today’s test, I have opted for the smallest available capacity, as whatever results are achieved by this drive are only going to be amplified/better on the higher tiers and regardless I can imagine a number of buyers who choose this drive for its great architecture, will make a saving on the capacity. Let’s take a look.

IMPORTANT – In today’s article we will be testing 4 mid-range PS5 games. Bigger and more exhaustive titles (such as Spiderman Miles Morales, Rift Apart and Demon Souls) will be tested in a FULL comparison between the 6 BIGGEST/Most Popular M.2 NVMes that are compatible with the PS5 Expansion slot. Stay Subscribed for those later this same week!

PS5 SSD Expansion WD Black SN850 – Specifications

Western Digital and its ‘WD Black’ series has been around for years! Indeed, WD was one of the very first brands to take direct-to-gamer storage media seriously, adapting the WD Black range that was originally aimed at pro-PC users and photo/video editors and shape it more towards games players. The WD Black SN850 is the latest iteration of this in NVMe (though originally released right at the tail end of 2020, ahead of many others at this storage tier), though the WD black label is carried on a large number of other data storage solutions from docks, HDDs to external drives and high-end PCIe lane media. The specifications are particularly impressive, even at the 500GB smallest capacity (though sequential read is a tad underwhelming by comparison) and only get better as you scale into the larger 2TB level at the top. The specifications are below:

Brand/Series WD Black SN850

WD Black SN850

WD Black SN850

Model ID WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Capacity 500GB 1000GB 2000GB
Price in $ 500GB – $169.99 1TB – $249.99 2TB – $549.99
PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4
NAND BiCS4 96L TLC BiCS4 96L TLC BiCS4 96L TLC
Controller WD_BLACK G2 WD_BLACK G2 WD_BLACK G2
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7000MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 4100MB 5300MB 5100MB
Warranty 5yr 5yr 5yr
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,750,000 1,750,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.3DWPD 0.3DWPD 0.3DWPD

PS5 SSD Expansion WD Black SN850 Test – Internal Speed Test

The first test is the easiest. When you boot the PS5 with the WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD inside the expansion slot, the system will immediately identify that it is installed and format the drive. Then the system makes a performance benchmark check in order to ascertain whether the drive is suitable for PS5 Game use. The WD Black SN850 SSD achieved 6,457MB/s Sequential Read on the PS5 internal system performance test. This is only a small dip from the reported maximum 7,000MB/s, but I hoped it would be a pinch higher. Throughout my testing of SSDs in the PS5 m.2 expansion slot, the highest speed I have seen has been around 6,650MB/s reported sequential read, even on drive rated as high as 7,300MB/s, so this would indicate that the full development and fine-tuning of what the PS5 hardware can do still leaves room for growth. This is not unusual (even in previous generations of PlayStation, it took 2-3years for both Sony and Games developers to learn how to fully optimise the system hardware to its fullest degree in the lifespan of the system).

PS5 SSD Expansion WD Black SN850 Test – Moving Games

Moving games from the internal console storage and onto the WD Black SN850 SSD is very straightforward and can be conducted from the Playstation main menu, then on from the settings>storage manager menu. I moved the four games that will be used later in the article for performance and loading tests from the PS5 internal SSD and onto the WD Black SN850:

Initiating the move of these files is very easy, however when files were being transferred (much like in my testing of the PS5 and other compatible SSDs) it was nowhere near the speed I was expecting and in fact it became very apparent that the PS5 system much performs some encryption, compression or bit-checks as the files are moved. The result is that moving games from the internal PS5 SSD and onto the expansion slot with the WD Black SN850 took much, MUCH longer than I expects. This is not the fault of the M.2 SSD and more regarding the clear internal handling protocol and security of the PS5 System.

They did move however and once the games were moved onto the WD Black SN850 M.2 SSD, the data used was clearly visible in the storage manager. Let’s get on with testing the games.

PS5 SSD Expansion WD Black SN850 Loading Test 1 – Destruction Allstars

The first game to test loading times WITH the WD Black SN850 SSD on the PS5 was Destruction Allstars. Again, I started the timer from the title screen and below is the results on how the internal SSD and m.2 SSD compared:

Both games ran as well as expected, but the WD Black SN850 was able to load the game the tiniest pinch faster (under 1 sec). A good start!

PS5 SSD Expansion WD Black SN850 Loading Test 2 – Control

Next was loading the game control directly from the PS5 player GUI and to test loading the game into a save and into direct gameplay would take, comparing the internal storage to the WD Black SN850 expansion SSD.

Interestingly, once again, the WD Black SN850 seemingly loaded the game a pinch faster at 16 seconds, 1.1 seconds faster than the PS5 internal SSD. Again, a small difference, but still noteworthy. As games become more advanced in the PS5 system lifespan and the speed of storage access grows in importance, knowing you have an SSD that can keep pace or even exceed the one inside the system at game loading is going to be reassuring.

PS5 SSD Expansion WD Black SN850 Loading Test 3 – Maneater

The third game to test on the PS5 and using the WD Black SN850 SSD was Maneater. Rather than loading from the main PlayStation user interface, I opted to load the games from their own title screens, as this allowed me to not factor in the publisher and studio logos at startup that is unskippable and therefore would just hamper the comparison. Here is how the game running from the internal PS5 SSD compared with running on the WD Black SN850:

This was slightly an area of contention, as although both games loaded into the game fat (with the WD Black SN850 doing ti 1.5secs faster), they did load into different locations and this might have played a part. Nevertheless, load times were very close, and as long as they run at the same pace, that is always going to be a plus!

PS5 SSD Expansion WD Black SN850 Loading Test 4 – Wreckfest

Next up was Wreckfest. I loaded this on the WD Black SN850 and PS5 internal SSD from the title screen and quickly skipped through the options and config menus. Only off-line play was selected, to remove any server/internet connectivity delays from the equation.

Once again, the WD Black SN850 was a clear second or more after, even with the slight differences in menu transition removed from the time difference. It’s once again worth highlighting that although these differences are very small, they are all still important, as later in the system’s life, you are going to want to know that this SSD can stand the test of time and greater demands from the PS5 hardware in future titles.

PS5 SSD Expansion WD Black SN850 Loading Test 5 – Innocence A Plague Tale

Finally was A Plagues Tale. I selected this larger world title as it has a lot of world assets that need drawing very early on. The game was loaded directly from the title screen and below is both the game running from the PS5 SSD and the WD Black SN850:

For me, this was the clearest win for the WD Black SN850 SSD over the internal SSD. Although it was barely 1 second faster, it was the one where there was little to no difference in their loading side-by-side and the WD Black was clearly the faster. It’s all relative, as we are talking an odd second here or there, but it’s still good to know that upgrading your PS5 with the WD Black SN850 will not present any kind of bottleneck.

PS5 SSD Expansion WD Black SN850 – Conclusion

The WD Black SN850 is unquestionable a great PS5 SSD choice! Even without heavy market recommendations, it breezed through the preliminary testing and was even seen to exceed the PS5 internal SSD at points from a 100% even start. Clearly, the performance you have will scale depending on the capacity you choose, but even the 500GB has read performance that is more than enough to run your top tier games from. As mentioned, endurance on the WD Blck SN850, although a pinch lower than a number of other PCIe4 M.2 NVMe SSDs on the market right now (between 0.8 and 4.0 less DWPD), but is of little significance to anyone but the highest level professional gamers streamers (and even then if/when Sony open up the storage use to more than warm game storage). If you are looking for a great performing, best priced and highest recommended SSD for your PS5 SSD expansion upgrade, the WD Black is practically unbeatable!

Brand/Series WD Black SN850

WD Black SN850

WD Black SN850

Model ID WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Capacity 500GB 1000GB 2000GB
Price in $ 500GB – $169.99 1TB – $249.99 2TB – $549.99


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

 

Seagate Firecuda 530 NVMe SSD FINALLY Revealed

28 juin 2021 à 01:40

Next-Gen NVMe Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD Released

Great news for anyone who has been looking at purchasing the fastest possible solid-state drive for gaming and video editing in 2021, with the long-awaited reveal of Seagate’s brand new Firecuda 530 NVMe SSD. Although previously alluded to in tech articles featuring the Phison E18 controller, this is the first time we have formally seen this truly next-generation SSD revealed to the public. Arriving with traditional read-write performance and reported IOPS that dwarf most other SSD on the market, this new Firecuda  530 NVMe M.2 solid-state drive is massively going to change the accepted norms of PC gamers and console owners moving forward. Today we are going to cover why this SSD is such a big deal and which systems are most likely to benefit from it in 2021/2022.

Why Is The Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD a Big Deal?

It would be an understatement to suggest that Seagate produce a few SSD. In reality, they have a huge range of solid-state drives for different industries and although these all scale towards different utilities, endurance, interfaces and controllers, most are relatively comparable. The Seagate Firecuda 530 takes advantage of several brand and industry unique characteristics which place it noticeably higher over competitors at Samsung with the 980 Pro and WD with their Black SN850. Let’s go through a few of the key standout characteristics of this SSD.

The Phison E18 Controller

The controller features in the Firecuda 530 is the newly developed and only recently revealed Phison E15 PS5018 NAND controller. A noticeable jump on its predecessor, the E16 featured on the majority of current generation Seagate SSD, this new controller is the driving force behind this SSD and its massive performance benefits over other drives. With overall 1.5 times the Read and Write performance within PCIe 4 x4 and 2.1 times the performance over PCIe Gen 3 x4 SSDs with the E16 controller, this is a massive jump and is what enables the drive to be better equipped to saturate the PCIe Gen 4 x4 bandwidth (maximum potential 8,000MB/s) available in NVMe right now. Likewise, this all results in more than just megabytes per seconds, as at its highest capacity, it reports a staggering 1,000,000 Random Read & Write IOPS.

The Best PCIe Gen 4 x4 Bandwidth Saturation Yet

As mentioned, the last generation and most recent generation of Firecuda SSDs from Seagate arrive with PCIe Gen 4 times 4. PCIe 4 provides 2,000MB/s bandwidth and that x4 = 8,000MB/s. However, this is BANDWIDTH, which you can think of as the size of a water pipe. The Firecuda 520 NVMe 1.3 SSD could hit 5,000MB/s Read and 4,400MB/s Write – which although impressive, still left around a 3rd of the bandwidth wasted. The new Firecuda 530 NVMe 1.4 SSD however can provide up to 7,300MB/s Read and 6,900MB/s Write – which is a noticeable increase and makes better use of the bandwidth. Currently making it the fastest available commercial SSD you can buy and one that gamers will seek out!

Large Capacity Options on Day 1

Interestingly, unlike many other Seagate SSDs that have arrived on the market that are NVMe PCIe Gen 4×4, the Seagate Firecuda 530 NVMe SSD arrives in a slighter larger array of capacities, with the 500GB (ZP500GM30013) and 1TB (ZP1000GM30013) models arriving with only 1 side of the PCB covered in NAND chips, and the 2TB (ZP2000GM30013) and, yes, 4TB (ZP4000GM30013) model being dual-sided (dual rank) with NAND, allowing a greater storage capacity, as well as facilitating higher Read and Write performance in traditional MB/s and IOPs. Impressively, all four capacities are 2280 in length – no 22110 longer versions to contend with.

Excellent Endurance Ratings, Support & Recovery Services

Alongside good performance, decent capacity options and the new E18 controller, the Firecuda 530 NVMe SSD also arrives with a 0.7 DWPD rating (the amount that it can be Rewritten to it, every day in 5 years, so 70%, DAILY) with results in a total TBW of 640 / 1275 / 2550 / 5100 TBW Respective to the capacities (small-to-big). Likewise, this translates well to its MTBF, reported at 1.8 Million hours. However, not only have they included the expected 5-year warranty, but they also included 3 years of rescue data recovery services at no additional cost. We at NASCompares have always been positive about this inclusion with the bulk of their NAS/Server/Business class HDD/SSD, as data recovery costs can be INSANE! If you are unfamiliar with the Seagate Rescue Recovery service, below is a video whereby we tested the extent of the service by damaging a drive

The Seagate Firecuda 530 is Almost Certain PS5 Compatibly

One of the most appealing elements of the Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD is that of all the PCIe Gen 4×4 M.2 NVMe SSD that we have seen revealed in the last 12-18 months, this is almost certainly going to be a PS5 supported internal hard drive. Sony disabled the internal M.2 SSD slot inside the Playstation 5 at launch, as the system needed 5,500MB/s SSDs minimum used, to match the SSD the system uses on-board (which with compression, can reach 9,000MB/s). Sony is saying that the PS5 Storage Expansion slot to allow SSD upgrades will be enabled this summer, as compatibility testing is still on going and although there is a reasonable chance a lot of PCIe Gen 4×4 SSD will be supported, the 4TB and its MAX 7,300MB/s of performance will mean it is practically certain to be confirmed as PS5 compatible.

What Are The Specifications of the Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD?

So, we have discussed how the Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD will benefit users in 2021/2022 (mostly gamers, let’s be honest!). But how does that translate to specifications. The official specifications sheet can be found HERE, but below are the highlights of the entire range of Firecuda 530 SSDs:

Highlights of the Seagate Firecuda 530 NVMe SSD

  • Available in 500GB, 1TB, 2TB & 4TB, Price: $140 – $240 – $490 – $950 Respectively
  • PCIe Gen 4×4 NVMe 1.4 & Phison E18 PS5018 Controller
  • 176L 3D TLC NAND
  • Max Sequential Read 128KB – 7,000 – 7,300MB/s
  • Max Sequential Write 128KB – 3,000 – 6,000 – 6,900MB/s
  • Max Random Read IOPS – 400,000 – 1,000,000
  • Max Random Write IOPS – 700,000 – 1,000,000
  • 0.7 DWPD and 640 / 1275 / 2550 / 5100 TBW Respectively
  • 1.8Million Hours MTBF
  • 5 Years Warranty & 3 Years Inclusion Rescue Data Recovery

Below you can see how the Seagate Firecuda 530 compares with the Seagate 520, 510 and SATA range of SSDs in their portfolio.

So, as you can see, the new 530 series is a great deal higher in performance and ability than anything else the brand has produced in the Firecuda series to date!

When Will The Seagate Firecuda 530 SSDs Be Released and How Much Will They Cost?

The Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD has already started to appear on both the Seagate official store site AND on Amazon. At the SG21 event the prices were listed

Seagate Firecuda 530 ZP500GM30013 500GB – $140

Seagate Firecuda 530 ZP1000GM30013 1TB / 1000GB – $240

Seagate Firecuda 530 ZP2000GM30013 2TB / 2000GB – $490

Seagate Firecuda 530 ZP4000GM30013 4TB 4000GB – $950

So, as you can see, these are not going to be low-cost drives, with the super-fast and high capacity 4 Terabyte model costing almost $1000. We will, of course, be reviewing the Seagate Firecuda 530 here on NASCompares soon, along with numerous tests on the PS5 when the storage expansion feature is enabled to show you if it is worth the hefty price tag! Stay tuned!

 

 


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.   This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today’s video. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases

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