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Pros: FIVE Year warranty
SSHD's have matured
I can't hear it
Cons: The only cons associated with any hard drive would be: Noise, Slow Speeds and Failures
This Seagate exhibits none of these so far
Synthetic benchmarks are placed here due to allowed character count in the review.
I compare the FireCuda to my 2TB WD Black
Transfer Rate Minimum : 99.3 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum : 214.4 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average : 170.1 MB/sec
Access Time : 12.1 ms
Burst Rate : 146.3 MB/sec
CPU Usage : -1.0%
Transfer Rate Minimum : 92.5 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum : 180.5 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average : 144.6 MB/sec
Access Time : 10.4 ms
Burst Rate : 235.1 MB/sec
CPU Usage : -1.0%
Two items caught my eye.
Burst rate and access time
The burst rate is the highest speed (in megabytes per second) at which data can be transferred from the drive interface to the operating system.
The access time or response time is a measure of the time it takes before the drive can actually transfer data.
The WD Black wins both
Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 87.527 MB/s
Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 154.426 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 1.216 MB/s
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 4.744 MB/s
Sequential Read (T= 1) : 137.376 MB/s
Sequential Write (T= 1) : 196.088 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 0.636 MB/s
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 4.706 MB/s
Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 165.356 MB/s
Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 162.447 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 1.518 MB/s
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 1.631 MB/s
Sequential Read (T= 1) : 165.891 MB/s
Sequential Write (T= 1) : 161.710 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 0.545 MB/s
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 1.585 MB/s
Depending what your performance preferences are the WD could appear as the faster drive despite NOT having
8 Gb of high speed NAND flash memory. Curious. Perhaps if I ran the synthetic benchmarks 20 times the Firecuda would learn what it is doing.
Overall Review: Seagate is a long to the game HD maker and created the first hybrid drive product in 2007.
I can't tell you how many times I have read..."I am never buying another Seagate product."
Personally, I have NEVER had more problems with any Seagate products (I have been buying HD's for 22
years) then any other HD brand I have owned which inclue WD, Samsung and IBM.
The FireCuda ST2000DX002 is a 2TB Gaming SSHD Hybrid Hard Drive. It is also currently available in a 1 TB model.
The FireCuda's final resting place in my system is on an Intel SATA 3 6.0 Gb/s connector on an ASRock Z97 Extreme6 mobo.
On the FireCuda I now run all the games that won't fit on my game SSD. I replaced a WD Black WD2003FZEX which had been serving that function.
As an aside, make sure you connect the FireCuda to an Intel SATA connector if you have one. Initially, I was using an Asmedia controller. While I was experiencing no apparent issues there were driver issues with the Asmedia SATA drivers and HWINFO.
Seagate's blurb states "Performs up to 5X faster than 7200 rpm desktop hard drives." I don't know about that BUT an observation: There is a noticeable subjective decrease in access time for all the Program Files and data I keep on the FireCuda since the disk swap with the WD. To actually be able to discern the time decrease speaks well for the FireCuda. The speed increase is due, of course, to the 8 Gb of high speed NAND flash memory. Through the FireCuda's firmware, data being read from the drive is monitored and the most frequently accessed is cached to the flash memory. That is why I notice a
speed increase. The data stored in the NAND will change over time. Initially there may seem to be very little if any speed increase until the monitoring firmware has a chance to figure out what you want so don't be disappointed right out of the gate. Let your FireCuda settle into it's new home and learn your routines.
The Firecuda makes NO noise while the WD (from the get go) produced an audible spindle noise, which that drive is known to do. I prefer silent.
My Win 7 install had gotten old, stale and developed habits I did not appreciate. Since a clean install was due, what better way to see how the FireCuda performs as a boot drive. The install took less then 30 minutes (nothing remarkable there) from an optical drive. Once installed Windows booted to usability in about 20 seconds, fast but not outstanding. I can't say if the few times I actually used the FireCuda as a boot drive gave the firmware time to figure out the best caching scheme. Seagate support writes
"it may take a number of reboots to notice the full performance benefit". The same day I imaged, then copied the contents of the WD Black to the FireCuda. I didn't time it but it did not take long enough for me to think..C'Mon!
I transferred the contents of my GTA 4 folder (15GB) to the FireCuda 210MB/s and the WD Black 202MB/s.
HWINFO Reports the FireCuda temp as 27 degrees C and the WD Black temp as 35 dehrees C. Significant, cooler is always better
Whatever you do... do not compare this drive to a pure SSD using performance benchmarks. If you do that you will be disappointed.
In conclusion: The WD Black is now for sale. I prefer the FireCuda. It is completely quiet in my setting. It is faster in certain synthetic benchmarks, faster in my data transfer tests and subjectively faster to access programs and data. As of today he FireCuda also costs $18 less the a WD Black.
Pros: To try this out I saved all of my games to this drive but did not use this as my boot drive. As you frequently open the same game or application again and again I can say that I did notice faster load times. I did not test this but if you were to install you're OS installed on this, you'll certainly see improvement as you continue to reboot as other reviewers have mentioned. I'm giving it 4 stars because it does what it says and isn't a bad value but as you'll see in the cons, I don't think this would be my choice.
Cons: The main problem I have with this SSHD proposition is you are paying about a $30 premium for 8GB of NAND and you get the maximum benefit if you are only playing one game for an extended period. If you put your OS on this, then your boot times will be faster but also eat up some of the 8GB. If this is your situtation, another option would be to buy a 120GB SATA SSD for $40 to $50 and put both your OS and most frequently played game or two on that and then have an HDD for your infrequently used apps.
I would rather do the 120GB SSD + 1TB HDD than the 1TB SSHD.
Overall Review: How much of a benefit there is depends on the game and how many games you tend to play at a given time. If you typically will mostly play one game for a while then move on to another game you will see greater benefits than constantly rotating between many games.
Personally, I use a 1TB M.2 SSD.
Pros: 1. Came in a box with nice bubble wrap (static safe!)
2. 1.81 TB of space (this is good).
3. 5 year warranty! This means Seagate stands by their product! This is GREAT!
Cons: 1. Only one Con.. Speed is slooooow.
Overall Review: This drive is advertised as 5x faster than a 7200 RPM drive. Nope!
Crystal Disk Mark stats below:
Seq (Q32T1): 169 / 198
4k (Q32T1): 1.6 / 4.8
Seq: 197 / 202
4k: 0.89 / 4.8
So, this would be good for a storage drive only. But… I really can’t recommend this for anything else.
With that said. This is one of the extremely few drives that have a standard warranty (5 years is standard for ALL electronics).
Seagate MUST be commended for that!
Pros: Big Storage - 2 TB of storage + 8 GB SSD
Great price point - just under $105 for 2TB SSHD
5 Year Warranty! - long warranty period means Seagate quality and they back up this product for a long time!
Works with SATA connections - SATA 6GB/s, 3GB/s & 1.5GB/s (although I'd recommend SATA 6GB/s connections to get FULL potential out of this hard drive
7200 RPM HD + SSD - looks, feels and the same size as a traditional hard drive even though it has additional NAND technology SSD inside
Very quiet when running and not feels slightly warm after 3 hours of operation
Plug and play, no drivers needed
Fast like my other SSD's when starting up Windows 10 - (Seagate claims up to 5x faster than traditional hard drives)
Stable for video gaming - I installed and played Tom Clancy's Rainbow Size Siege and Fallout 4 and both ran great on the hard drive, saves were quick, loading times fast, no sudden pauses or delays and the 2TB holds all the data and game info
I didn't fully test the average speeds but did notice the transfer speeds of videos, pictures and documents were fairly fast, just like when I transfer SSD to SSD. (I had 2 other SSD's installed on my PC)
Cons: I wouldn't recommend using this in a RAID configuration, I think it's a bit slow for that application.
I also wouldn't recommend using it as just a backup or external hard drive as you'll probably not utilize the SSD part of this drive.
BUY A NEW SATA CABLE! - Did not come with a SATA-3 cable, luckily I had one laying around, but it might be something to consider if you don't have one
Overall Review: I first installed this drive as my primary with Windows 10. The load times were very similar to my existing SSD that I took out. The issue I had was the SSD in this drive was only 8GB, not enough for me. I eventually reformatted it and used it as a secondary drive, only installing video games on it. That worked out great for me! I installed both Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six and Fallout 4 on the SSD and directed any additional data + DL content onto the 2TGB hard drive. I've logged over 100+ hours of playing video games so far, sometimes my PC is on for 3-4 days at a time and the FirecCuda is still running just as fast as day one. I've had it installed for over 2 weeks now and I haven't had a single issue with it.
I originally had a 3TB Seagate BarraCuda HDD running my games and I've noticed with this FireCuda hard drive the games start much faster although I didn't notice much difference with the save times and in-game load times.
I also do mild graphic designing with Photoshop and Illustrator and I use some of the 2TB to store my work. I have noticed that saves and transfer speeds are equivalent to my other Seagate 3TB hard drive. I'm guessing because the storage is running the same 7200RPM on both drives, which is why it's the same speeds transferring and accessing files.
Overall, I would highly recommend this hard drive especially with the 5-year warranty and built-in 8GB SSD! I am fairly impressed with this hard drive. I've used SSD's as my primary drive just for Windows 10 + programs and an SSD's as my secondary drive for just video games along with a regular hard drive. I can say that during the time I've used it, this SSHD can perform just as well as having separate SSD + HD combo. I still use it daily till this day.
Here are my specs on my new PC:
Corsair Obsidian 750D Case
3x Rosewill 120mm Red Fans
Corsair RM6500X 650W Modular PSU (80Plus Gold)
Asus Z97-PRO MOBO LGA 1150
Intel i5 4690k 3.5Ghz Quad Core
Corsair Hydro H11Si Liquid CPU Cooler
Corsair Vengeance 16GB DDR 4 PC2133
EVGA Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 6GB graphics Card
TP-Link T8E WiFi Card - PCI Express
Seagate FireCuda 2TB SSHD (8GB SSD)
Crucial M500 240GB SSD
Silicon Power Slim S55 480GB SSD
Seagate 3TB Barracuda 3.5" 7200RPM HDD
G Skill Ripjaws KM780 Red Mechanical Keyboard
SteelSeries Rival 100 Black Mouse
Pros: In summary: this drive does make loading files you use frequently faster (including Windows/OS files and programs) and after some learning time it feels like an SSD depending on how you use it. The hard drive part of it also has the large capacity you'd expect from a traditional hard drive. However, as I'll describe below, you get some of the pros of both SSDs and HDDs while getting the cons of both. It's definitely a compromise and whether or not it's worth it really depends on the price when you buy it.
First off a quick description- this is a 1TB (or 2) hard drive with an 8GB SSD built into it. The SSD is essentially invisible to the end user- it's not a separate partition or anything like that. Rather it functions as a non-volatile cache which means even when you turn off your PC it remembers what files you use the most so that next time it can load it from there quicker. This means that after a while, it learns which files you use the most and those files will load a little bit faster.
In practice, this works ok. It is faster than having just a hard drive but it also is not as snappy as an SSD. I use my PC mostly for games and I noticed that the games I play the most do load quicker after a while, but if you load programs you don't use as often, it's as if you just have a normal hard drive. Boot times similarly feel somewhere in between an SSD and a HDD. Also, if you're constantly doing different things on your PC (for example, varying the programs you use, maybe because multiple people use it), you will notice that program load times will get longer as the files saved in the cache keep changing.
Cons: The cons are not nearly as obvious but since you are combining a hard drive and SSD, you also get the cons of both. I would expect that the SSD cache does have a limited lifespan of reads and writes and that given enough usage, would one day wear out. I'm not sure how this drive handles that, but the result could be anything from a slower drive (if the drive firmware is smart enough to stop using portions of the cache that exceed a certain read/write count) to data loss (if the drive continues to try to use the cache after it has worn out). I trust Seagate as a major brand enough to think that it has built in some kind of failsafe but that's something to keep in mind. Similarly, you get the cons of having a traditional hard drive- power consumption, vibration sensitivity, and the possibility of mechanical failure over time.
Overall Review: Finally, the bottom line on whether or not this drive is worth it comes down to the price. At the time of writing, I would say this drive is actually somewhat expensive, because for about the same price, maybe a couple dollars more, you can buy both a small SSD and a hard drive. If you have enough space in your system, this would be a better setup because you would get much more reliable and controllable performance increases by having a real SSD and choosing what programs you load to it. You would also have a hard drive for storing big files like media for example. This solution really gives you the best of both worlds, versus when testing this hybrid drive, I wasn't always convinced that the SSD cache was giving me much of a boost.
Pros: The Seagate FireCuda SSHD 2TB hard drive is an interesting hybrid drive with some of the benefits of the speed of solid state drives and the storage capacity of conventional magnetic storage. The flash memory capacity is 8 GB and offers good access and transfer times if the needed data is stored there. The spinning drive part is a 7200 RPM drive with 64 MG cache, so it performs well even if the flash memory portion is not filled with the needed data. I use this drive primarily for storage for Steam games and other relatively frequently accesses files, for which is it ideal. The qualitative performance has been good, with the most benefit being noticed on load/reloads and in starting the same game multiple times.
The quantitative performance is good too, with CrystalDiskMark showing 147 MB/s read and 215 MB/s write. The performance in Atto benchmarking was 220 MB/s read and write (128 kb) using the defaults. There are comparable with other reviews and those were done with partly filled drive. The synthetic benchmarks are both strong. The drive is quiet, under heavy reads and writes.
Cons: The price per GB is relatively high compared to conventional drive and SSD combination, but this offers some additional benefit not present in that configuration.
Overall Review: It could also be used for OS installation for improved boot times compared to a spinning drive only, but not as good as a pure SSD. If one drive is the limiting factor, than this is the ideal solution. If two or more drives can be used, then the best solution is either a single large and costly SSD, or combined smaller SSD and this hybrid drive.
Seatools (for Windows) can be downloaded and used to check for the serial number and part number. Then a warranty check can be performed at the Seagate website.
Installation was easy, formatted using GPT on Windows 10. The warranty is a strength of this drive, at 5 years it is at the top of any consumer oriented drives. This does inspire some confidence that Seagate views this as a reliable drive.
Pros: Renamed Seagate Hybrid SSHD. Same drive, latest controller firmware.
The best solution for single drive performance desktop on a budget.
SSDs today still are at least 3x the cost of a Spinning HD. So if you're on a budget there aren't many options to build a computer with a decent amount of storage and great storage performance.
Either you buy a SSD or a performance hard drive. SSD is expensive (or you buy a small one). Performance hard drives are still lots slower than SSDs.
OK, this will never compete one on one with a SSD for sustained transfers. But for booting and some random memory caching, its pretty darned good.
Compared to a non hybrid WD black drive, this is much snappier. Boots way quicker.
Also, if you have only 4 or 8 gb of ram, this drive is especially helpful for swapdisk applications. Don't know why they don't brag about that more, it s a great benefit for those with limited memory slots.
Cons: This feels like a "in the middle" solution like an Edsel car, who's time is limited. Its a tweener.
Who knows, maybe its not, and 10 years from now we'll be buying 100TB spinners with 1TB ssd caches.
Even though it's currently the best solution for a single drive performance desktop, the dual drive desktop has it beat ( 1 SSD plus 1 HD).
Overall Review: For those who think the included 8GB SSD cache isn't enough, i would disagree. Its plenty to cache the OS startup files you need with plenty to spare. Even though a new OS install takes up way more than 8gb, most of those files never get used, only a small fraction are needed to boot and run the OS. The vast majority of the rest are configuration tools and programs that only run when you need them. This thing boots up almost as fast as a true SSD.
Firecuda. Awesome name. I'd hurry and release the 4, 6 TB versions soon, as they will be the choice for every single drive desktop, combining fast boot performance with a nice big drive.
One thing to keep in mind: These disks don't seem to be compatible with MS "storage spaces" for use in storage arrays since the SSD cache represents an abstraction layer above the physical HDD disk. As such, I would also recommend not trying to use in a raid array without confirming compatibility first. This was born to be an OS drive, not stuffed back in some NAS.
Pros: I wanted to test this drive as the single drive in a gaming computer, for both boot and data/apps. An alternate way to use this drive might be in a dual drive setup, with a fast but small boot SSD and then this drive for data and games. That would be a good way to get more storage that is faster than a regular data hard drive, without the expense of buying a large SSD.
I had no problems cloning the drive and getting windows to boot. I use a handful of older steam games like portal2 and civilization that have fairly long level load times, so thats how I tested this.
Using my old 7200rpm hard drive, my computer took about 110 seconds to boot up to a useable desktop. With a 1TB SSD, that boot time was dropped to 30 seconds. With the firecuda, boot times started out a bit slow over 90 seconds, but then over the next few days after a dozen or so reboots, boot times dropped as expected, to around 60 seconds. So it wasn't as fast as my pure SSD, but it was certainly a lot faster than the regular hard drive. The boot times dropped as the commonly used boot files were move over to the SSD portion of the drive, and that seemed effective.
Game load times were not consistent enough to time, however just like boot times, they were not as short as the pure SSD but were noticeably faster than a regular hard drive. I was only using a couple games so again I assume the drive was able to put the commonly used files on the SSD portion to improve load times.
For generic system responsiveness like search results and going through large email files, the drive did feel noticeably slower than the large SSD I have been using. It felt a little bit snappier than the old hard drive, however when reading, searching, or indexing it was nowhere near as responsive as the SSD. For tasks that involved writes, the fast write speed did seem to help, with programs saving data and closing about as fast as they did with the big SSD.
For raw speeds, I was getting around 140mb/s read and 180mb/s write, which isn't super fast because my gaming computer is a bit old so my computer was holding the drive back a bit. This contrasts to well over 350mb/s and 450mb/s read/write with my large SSD, and somewhere around 50/60 mb/s for my old regular HD.
Cons: The "duty cycle" for this drive is rated by seagate as "8/5", meaning they expect it to last the full 5 yr warranty period only if it is used around 8 hrs per day and 5 days per week, not left running 24/7. Hardcore gamers and power users who leave their computer running or doing something all the time will probably want to find a drive that is rated for 24/7 use.
Also, a larger SSD portion would let the drive put more games into the higher speed portion of the drive. It worked as expected for me but I was only using a couple of older games and a really big email file as I tested this drive out.
Overall Review: I would recommend this drive for anyone who has a computer with a smaller SSD for boot and programs, and wants a faster large data drive for game installations or other data. For someone who wants a bit more speed and doesn't need a huge amount of room, the 1TB or 2TB version of this drive would be a nice upgrade from their old conventional data HD.
For someone who wants overall system speed and responsiveness however, there isn't any real substitute for just buying a large 1TB or bigger SSD and putting everything on it, and thats why I'm giving this drive only 4 eggs. The prices of large SSDs are a lot higher than this hybrid drive, but they will be faster for everything, just just the most commonly used games. This SSHD simply isn't big enough or fast enough to address a broad range of applications, especially now that you can get 1TB SSDs that are faster for right around $300, and you can get huge data hard drives around 8GB. A 1TB or 2TB hybrid SSD isn't big enough for all your storage and isn't fast enough to really match pure SSD speeds, putting this drive (in my opinion) in a niche for people who don't need big storage and can't afford a big SSD, but want a faster data drive to decrease boot or game load times.