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Review: Seagate FireCuda 520 PCIe Gen 4 SSD (1TB)

by Parm Mann on 5 December 2019, 14:01

Tags: Seagate (NASDAQ:STX)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaegam

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Test Methodology

HEXUS SSD Test Bench

Hardware Components Product Page
Processor Intel Core i7-8700K (overclocked to 4.8GHz) intel.com
Motherboard Asus ROG Maximus X Hero asus.com
Graphics Card MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio msi.com
Memory G.Skill Trident Z 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4-3200 gskill.com
Power Supply be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 1,000W bequiet.com
Primary Storage 256GB WD Black PCIe SSD wdc.com
Secondary Storage 1TB Crucial MX300 SATA SSD crucial.com
Chassis be quiet! Dark Base 700 bequiet.com
Monitor iiyama ProLite X4071UHSU-B1 iiyama.com
Operating system Windows 10 Pro microsoft.com

Comparison Drive Configurations

Model Capacity Form Factor Controller Firmware Protocol / Interface Reviewed
HEXUS Review
Corsair Force Series MP510 960GB M.2 2280 Phison-E12 ECFM11.0 NVMe / PCIe 3.0 x4 £220 Dec 2018
Crucial MX300 1TB 2.5in Marvell 88SS1074 M0CR060 AHCI / SATA 3.0 N/A N/A
HyperX Fury RGB 480GB 2.5in Marvell 88SS1074 000056R8 AHCI / SATA 3.0 £115 Dec 2018
Samsung 950 Pro 256GB M.2 2280 Samsung UBX 2B0QBXX7 NVMe / PCIe 3.0 x4 N/A N/A
Seagate FireCuda 510 1TB M.2 2280 Phison-E12 STES1020 NVMe / PCIe 3.0 x4 £230 Jun 2019
Seagate FireCuda 520 1TB M.2 2280 Phison-E16 STNSC011 NVMe / PCIe 4.0 x4* £225 Dec 2019
Team Group Cardea Liquid 512GB M.2 2280 Phison-E12 ECFM12.2 NVMe / PCIe 3.0 x4 TBC Aug 2019
Team Group T-Force Delta Max RGB 500GB 2.5in SM2258 TBC AHCI / SATA 3.0 N/A N/A
WD Black NVMe 1TB M.2 2280 WD B35590WD NVMe / PCIe x4 £375 Apr 2018
WD Black SN750 NVMe 1TB M.2 2280 WD B35590WD NVMe / PCIe 3.0 x4 £230 Jan 2019
WD Blue SN500 NVMe 500GB M.2 2280 WD 201000WD NVMe / PCIe 3.0 x2 £67 Mar 2019
*PCIe 4.0 x4 testing conducted on Scan 3XS Vengeance RTX Fluid Extreme


CrystalDiskMark CrystalDiskMark provides various storage benchmarks, but we're interested in the returned 32-thread 4K performance numbers to see how well the drives fare when tasked with numerous small transfers.
DiskBench A small program that accurately measures the time taken to read and write folders on to the same drive.
PCMark 8 PCMark 8's storage test is a collection of workloads that isolate the performance of the PC's storage system.
Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood An alternative storage benchmark used to gauge game load time.


We're faced with a bit of a predicament in that our Intel-based test platform doesn't offer support for PCIe Gen 4. That's something we're hoping to remedy in the very near future, but as luck would have it, we just so happened to have a £7,000 AMD Ryzen-based gaming rig sitting around. Should numbers between different platforms compared? Ideally not, but we've decided to go with it to give readers an idea of what to expect between a number of popular PCIe Gen 3 drives on Intel Z370 and the Seagate PCIe Gen 4 on AMD X570.