Seagate Gaming FireCuda 5TB external hard drive review: ‘Excellent for those who are worried about aesthetics at any cost’

The Seagate Gaming FireCuda 5TB external hard drive adds a bit of color to a type of product that is typically presented without fanfare. Despite SSDs becoming the standard for PC game installations, users still need bulk storage, and the FireCuda stands out by adopting a design with more panache than its peers. But, of course, the big question is whether or not this bolder styling is worth the premium over one of Seagate’s non-gaming external hard drives.

Looks

FireCuda Gaming Hard Drive Review 2

At first glance, the FireCuda Gaming Hard Drive has a stealth look about it. It’s non-descript and matte black, which means it’ll match with pretty much any gaming PC hardware. However, it stands out by having a strip of RGB lights on the lower front edge that can be customized (when connected to a PC).

Other than the design, the FireCuda Gaming Hard Drive is very much like Seagate’s base line of external HDDs. It works at up to USB 3.2 Gen 1 speeds and connects via a USB-A to Micro-B cable. However, for the money, it would have been nice to see it use a USB-C connection for a bit of future-proofing, especially given how rare Micro-B to USB-C cables are.

Performance

FireCuda Gaming Hard Drive Review 3

Where the FireCuda Gaming Hard Drive suffers is the performance category. The drive retails for $179.99, which is around $70 higher than the base Seagate Portable 5TB that houses the same (or a very similar) HDD inside its enclosure. The 5400rpm drive is decent for bulk storage, but its relatively low read and write speed means you won’t want to play any games or execute and programs from it.

I tested the drive on CrystalDiskMark 8.0.1 and got these results:

Seagate FireCuda Gaming Hard Drive 5TB Performance

TestRead (MB/s)Write (MB/s)
SEQ1M
Q8T1
122.87123.00
SEQ1M
Q1T1
121.45122.88
RND4K
Q32T1
1.540.95
RND4K
Q1T1
0.530.96

Seagate Gaming FireCuda 5TB external hard drive: The final verdict

FireCuda Gaming Hard Drive Review 1

The Seagate Gaming FireCuda external hard drive is excellent for those who are worried about aesthetics at any cost. However, the “gaming” moniker only applies to looks and not performance. This hard drive does look fetching with its RGB strip and matte black finish, but it performs the same as its lower-tier brethren for $70 more.