Flash-based computer storage has increased in speed and capacity at a breakneck pace over the past decade. The M.2 NVMe SSD has almost completely replaced his SATA drive as the new system’s primary storage function. Small form factor machines continue to rely on PCIe Gen3 SSDs for the best balance between performance and thermal solution sizing, but Gen4 SSDs (especially DRAM-less types) are slowly starting to enter that segment. I’m here. However, the growing need for speed in the consumer market gaming segment is creating demand for PCIe Gen5 SSDs.
Phison’s E26 controller is the leader in this space and is the basis for nearly all Gen5 SSDs available today. Today Seagate announced the launch of his FireCuda 540 PCIe Gen5 M.2 2280 NVMe SSD. The PCIe 5.0 x4 interface greatly improves sequential access speed compared to the previous flagship (FireCuda 530). His DirectStorage optimizations added to the firmware make it an ideal candidate for game enthusiasts.
Seagate’s FireCuda SSD series drives are typically based on Phison controllers with custom firmware (the company’s preferred term is “Seagate Verified”), and the FireCuda 540 is no exception. Based on Phison’s PS5026-E26 using the latest 3D TLC NAND (Micron’s B58R 232L).
Micron’s B58R 232L 3D TLC NAND can run up to 2400 MT/s, and these transfer speeds boast the highest sequential access bandwidth numbers (in the 12-14 GBps range) by some Gen5 SSD vendors is used for It’s very likely that Seagate decided to run them slow and limit the overall maximum sequential rate to around 10 GBps. This should help both in terms of heat and power consumption.
Unlike other flagship M.2 PCIe 5.0 x4 NVMe SSDs, the FireCuda 540 does not come with a heatsink option. Rather, the company emphasizes that an external cooling solution is required for optimal performance. With motherboard vendors providing their own his SSD cooling solutions compatible with their board layouts, and third party his SSD cooling solutions also on the market, this is a good move to keep prices low. It is possible.
Seagate has chosen to release only 1 TB and 2 TB versions of the FireCuda 540 for now.
|Seagate FireCuda 540 SSD specifications
|Phison PS5026-E26 (PCIe 5.0 x4)
|232L 3D TLC NAND (Micron B58R)
|form factor, interface
|Single-sided M.2-2280, PCIe 5.0 x4, NVMe 2.0
|Double-sided M.2-2280, PCIe 5.0 x4, NVMe 2.0
|Random read IOPS
|Random write IOPS
|pseudo SLC caching
|TCG Opal Encrypted
|5 years (with 3 years DRS)
|Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (without heatsink)
Besides DirectStorage optimizations, another important update seems to be the availability of hardware-based TCG Opal Encryption (which was apparently absent from the FireCuda 530 at launch ). The DRAM and flash industry is in one of the normal price cycle troughs. So this is good news for end consumers (and less so for flash vendors). The 2TB model costs him around $150 per TB, which is hard to complain about, but be aware that this does not include a cooling solution (a cooling solution is a must if you invest in a Gen5 SSD. is).