Today we are looking at the Seagate FireCuda 540 2TB SSD. This is the latest in the FireCuda lineage that we have covered at STH, and in the past I was impressed by both the FireCuda 520 and 530 drives. As a result, I am headed into this review with fairly high expectations. This is only the second PCIe Gen5 SSD that I have reviewed, the first was the Inland TD510. That drive was interesting, but came with an interesting – if noisy – heatsink and fan, which today’s Seagate does not include. We will get into that when it comes time for thermal testing, but for now we will start at the beginning.
Seagate FireCuda 540 2TB NVMe SSD
The Seagate FireCuda 540 2TB comes in a double-sided M.2 2280 (80mm) form factor.
Where the FireCuda 530 was available both with and without a heatsink, currently the Seagate FireCuda 540 only comes as the bare drive. Packed onto the 540 is the same Phison E26 controller as we previously saw in the Inland TD510, some TLC NAND, and a DRAM cache.
As a double-sided drive, the back of the FireCuda 540 is home to half the NAND.
Seagate FireCuda 540 SSD Specs
The FireCuda 540 comes in 1TB and 2TB capacities.
The Seagate FireCuda 540 we have today is the 2TB model. Read and write speeds are both at 10000MB/s, which seems to be the target point for the first generation of PCIe 5.0 SSDs. Much like first-generation PCIe Gen4 drives, this rated performance does not fully max out an x4 interface in a Gen5 system, but it still represents a sizeable improvement in sequential performance over the very best that a Gen4 drive could offer.
Endurance and warranty are a mixed bag as compared to the Inland TD510. The rated write endurance is at 2000 TBW, which is a full 600 TBW over the TD510. On the other hand, the TD510 offered an extraordinary 6-year warranty, whereas the FireCuda 540 offers a more standard 5-year. The FireCuda 540 comes bundled with 3 years of data rescue services as an additional enticement. Regardless of comparison to the TD510, the warranty and rated endurance of the FireCuda 540 is certainly premium and inspires confidence in the drive.
CrystalDiskInfo can give us some basic information about the SSD and confirms we are operating at PCIe 5.0 x4 speeds using NVMe 2.0.
Test System Configuration
We are using the following configuration for this test:
- Motherboard: MSI MAG X670E Tomahawk
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 7900X (12C/24T)
- RAM: 2x 16GB DDR5-6000 UDIMMs
Our testing uses the Seagate FireCuda 540 2TB as the boot drive for the system, installed in the M.2_1 slot on the motherboard. This slot supports up to PCIe Gen 5 x4. The drive is filled to 85% capacity with data, and then some is deleted, leaving around 60% used space on the volume.
Next, we are going to get into our performance testing.