Are those Seagate FireCuda 530 SSDs really that good?

So I’ve been looking for Gen4 SSD for workstation as files storage (mostly for VMs drives) and what I see in reviews completely contradicts my view on ssds market that I had from 6 years ago. I used to live in the world where Samsung Pro and Intel SSD’s were the only worthy devices and everything else was budget crap or gamery rgb dripping toys flexing irrelevant sequential read numbers, not worth even looking at them. Yet today on top of literally all charts I see some players that I’d never even consider to be anything else than budget econo-ssd’s. Like WD SN850X or Seagate FireCuda 530 which came kinda out of nowhere.

I browsed through few benchmarks and comparisons and it seems that SK Hynix made some crazy ssd that is completely unavailable anywhere and in my country it costs 600$ for 2TB which is… a bit expensive ngl. But some spinning-rust champions, ssds wannabies (Seagate and WD) seem to follow it quite closely and that’s something that I’d never expect.

And then on top of that some reviews claim that FireCuda 530 is absolute champion in terms of random writes, endurance and in general writes and random i/o which again is really shocking to me. How even. They barely started making SSDs.

I’m looking for drive for VMs on Btrfs that will be snapshotted quite a lot so I’m most likely interested mainly in sustained random i/o performance and lots of writes, so given that - is FireCuda 530 really best player out there for such use case?

I recently tried to make a similar decision between the 980 pro, SN850 and FireCuda 530. After looking at all the benchmarks I bought the next one that came up on sale, because they all seemed so similar. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with any of those options.

(Though admittedly that Phison E18 controller (which Seagate borrowed) is impressive - Seagate FireCuda 530 SSD Review - in some benchmarks).

I mean there is always Optane, but that’s in a class of its own.

When you really hammer an SSD with writes it slows down dramatically. It cannot sustain maximum speed for more than say 40GB of transfers. For booting the OS and running some programs that makes no difference at all but if you’re moving a VM or cloning a drive it’s shockingly slow.

Same problem if you’re working with huge video files and you need to move or duplicate them.

When it comes to lots of tiny reads and writes SSDs are a lot better than HDD but not nearly as fast as when moving large blocks of data.

When you’re buying a very expensive SSD these are the hidden performance features you’re paying for.

An example of this would be Optane. It’s not actually that fast and the M.2 version does not even use all available lanes in the socket. However it’s fast where it counts, reading and writing tiny blocks of data with no loss of performance. The end result is in actual applications where you’re doing real work it’s fantastically fast.

As for whether FireCuda is suitable I don’t know. All I know is that SSDs are not as fast as they seem from first impressions. Optane is the only one with consistent performance and never slows down for any reason, the rest all have some sort of compromise.


Ikr? I mean that kinda why it looks a bit sus to me but when you take a look at this review:

They claim it’s able to sustain 2G/s sustained write after cache ends which sounds quite crazy comparing to eg. WD SN750 with miserable 300 M/s which is closer to what I’d expext from ssd.

But it’s not the only review mentioning crazy write performance of FireCuda 530, some point out that latency doesn’t doesn’t spike through the roof even if you hammer it with random writes which again sounds like VMs use case dream characteristic. Both link given by @cowphrase and this WD SN850X review WD BLACK SN850X SSD Review -
Shows that Firecuda wipes the floor with literally everything in terms of random write latency

Any Phison E18-based drive with B47R 176L NAND is going to perform about the same, although Seagate appears to have done some additional SLC cache tuning to achieve the high endurance rating and impressive response times under load.

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Someone has to buy one and try it. For the price I’d hope they would have reduced the issues I mentioned to the point they don’t affect you.

I’ve read an read about SSD performance but never really got what it was about until I was trying to max out my 10gbps server connection and would see the slow down with my own eyes.

Seeing both HDD pool with SSD write caching slow down and seeing a pure SATA SSD pool slow down showed me the problem very clearly.

If you want to avoid this slow down you either have to be very smart how you set up your arrays or spend money to get the fastest SSDs.