In a world where NVME-based SSDs are not only often affordable but generally faster than most traditional SSDs, the consumer now has more options than ever when selecting what drive to use when building or upgrading their existing machines.
Enter the Seagate FireCuda 120 SSD, specifically the 2TB model which has been branded and advertised to be made for gamers. On paper, or in this case cardboard, the Seagate FireCuda 120 2TB SSD promises to deliver speeds exceeding that of 500MBps, which for a standard SSD is on par with higher-end models but significantly lower than NVME solutions.
Yet, in a real-world situation, the Firecuda 120 is an excellent solution for not only gamers but content creators and those who on average, move around large files consistently. One of the standout claims of the Firecuda 120SSD is its longevity, which promises to last a staggering 6000TBs plus of useage, which in most use cases won’t be met by the end-user, ensuring a very long shelf-life, even under heavy usage.
Of course, the above can’t easily be tested, so in terms of actual numbers, let’s begin by looking at load times in some popular games which will ultimately be the reason for many to purchase this particular Seagate SSD. Before jumping into some game benchmarks, let me take a moment to state my specs, or at least my moterboard, to give a broader picture of what is being utilized in terms of hardware. The SSD connected to a ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Hero board and despite the available PCIe 4.0 ports, the 120 Firecuda SSD takes advantage of the SATA type connection, meaning users shouldn’t worry too much about compatibility issues before jumping in and pulling the trigger.
Starting with recently the released on PC, Marvel’s Avengers, the latest Destiny-esque online brawler from Square Enix and Crytal Dynamics. The game after the initial Marvel splash screen and upon selecting the Campaign option from the start menu took an impressive 31 seconds to get into the game.
Just for comparison’s sake, the PlayStation 4 base version of the game took around 54 seconds, while still not bad, shows just how big a difference an SSD can make for gaming. Moving on, the next game I tested was the remastered version of Skyrim or more typically referred to as the special edition of the game. From a cold boot into Steam Big Picture, the game fully loaded into a new save after only 10 seconds. Impressive, especially considering some of the mods I have installed to the title over the years.
In keeping with the Medieval Fantasy theme, the next game I tested was a game that initially made me make the switch over to a PC, that game being, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (A game which I’ve sadly still not had enough to time to get through completely). In terms of loading times, the game from a cold boot from Steam loaded in around 15 seconds, specifically the Toussaint DLC area. In essence, any current-gen game will show considerably fast numbers when loading in for the first time upon launch.
To really put the Furecuda 120 2TB SSD to its paces, I launched the bane of every modern harddrive, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. From a cold boot, Flight Simulator 2020’s initial loading to the main menu took 1:05, by far the longest time thus far. Loading into an actual area was even longer, with London’s Heathrow airport taking 1:24, and around 1:40 for new locations that haven’t been cached prior.
As someone who is used to working on spec work for a past Advertising degree and as someone who uses Adobe’s suite of programs frequently. I am used to working with large files, so for the final test, I wanted to move around some larger files that I migrated over from my pseudo-NAS which was approximately 38.5GBs.
From the Desktop, it took approximately 2 minutes to copy an instance of the file to another folder on the FireCuda 120 SSD. In other words, anyone looking to edit videos or move around raw formatted images can comfortably use the Seagate’s offering for most realistic situations. And for those curious, from the network drive, it took about 20 minutes to copy over, but that is more dependant on my local network speeds.
When it comes down to it, the 2TB Seagate FireCuda 120 SSD is a great drive and one that will conform to most user expectations, while living up to its game-centric branding for the foreseeable future.