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Seagate BarraCuda Fast SSD Review

by Alex Schuchter

The next generation of the boldly named Seagate Fast SSD is here. Now the Seagate BarraCuda Fast SSD, this little square drive has similar features to its predecessor and a nearly identical design but, with an updated color scheme. Features sported by this drive include future-proof and fully reversible USB-C connectivity, special file-syncing software, and fast file transfer speeds which is to be expected with SSD technology.  With the special file-syncing software this drive makes it easy to keep files updated. The software syncs important folders and projects with the included backup and folder mirroring software and it automatically monitors target folders for file additions, deletions, or changes. Also, with the reversible USB-C cable it means there’s no right or wrong way to plug in. The days of plugging your USB in incorrectly are gone and the first try will always be the right way. Out of the box this drive works with both Windows and Mac which is a convenient feature.

The next generation of the boldly named Seagate Fast SSD is here. Now the Seagate BarraCuda Fast SSD, this little square drive has similar features to its predecessor and a nearly identical design but, with an updated color scheme. Features sported by this drive include future-proof and fully reversible USB-C connectivity, special file-syncing software, and fast file transfer speeds which is to be expected with SSD technology.  With the special file-syncing software this drive makes it easy to keep files updated. The software syncs important folders and projects with the included backup and folder mirroring software and it automatically monitors target folders for file additions, deletions, or changes. Also, with the reversible USB-C cable it means there’s no right or wrong way to plug in. The days of plugging your USB in incorrectly are gone and the first try will always be the right way. Out of the box this drive works with both Windows and Mac which is a convenient feature.

Seagate BarraCuda Fast SSD

Now part of the Barracuda portfolio this drive is aimed at expanding into the casual gaming market. With this drive, users will be able to boot games faster, transfer files seamlessly, and stream stored videos without lag. With up to 2TB of capacity, this drive can store the equivalent of 50+ titles for users to take anywhere.

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The BarraCuda Fast is available in capacities of 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB for $88, $170, and $300 respectively. This drive is backed by a 3-year limited warranty. For this review, we have the 1TB model.

Seagate Barracuda Fast SSD Specifications

Capacity500GB, 1TB, 2TB
InterfaceUSB-C
FormatexFAT
Maximum sequential performance540MB/s read
​500MB/s write
DimensionsLength: 94mm
Width: 79mm
​Depth (mm): 9mm
Warranty3-year limited warranty

Design and Build

The BarraCuda Fast SSD features a uniquely identifiable design. It’s a thin and light square shaped drive that features a nearly all-black enclosure with white Seagate branding on top and a green lip around the faceplate. The green lip along the faceplate also features a green LED that lights up when the drive is powered on. The front of the drive features the USB-C connector. Looking at the bottom of the drive is run of the mill identifying drive information like the serial number and drive capacity. Utilizing exFAT formatting, out of the box this drive works with both Windows and Mac.

Performance

To test the performance of the Seagate BarraCuda Fast SSD we will be looking at BlackMagic on a current generation MacBook Air and IOMeter on a HP Spectre x360. We’ll also be comparing the Seagate BarraCuda Fast Portable SSD to a few other Portable SSDs:

For BlackMagic, the Seagate BarraCuda Fast SSD was able to hit 497.1MB/s read and 469.4MB/s write. Between the BarraCuda Fast, LaCie, and Fast SSDs it was pretty much a three way tie with negligible differences not enough to put one above the other. The Seagate Fast showed 502.2MB/s read and 467.1MB/s write. The LaCie hit 504.0MB/s read and 454.1MB/s write. The T5 hit 490.5MB/s read and 460.4MB/s write. Overall, the BarraCuda Fast SSD fell short of its claimed maximum, but that’s standard for external drives.

Blackmagic disk speed test

Moving on to IOMeter, when looking at 2MB sequential, the BarraCuda Fast posted speeds of 443.646MB/s read and 430.645MB/s write. The BarraCuda Fast took the top spot against the Seagate Fast Portable SSD, Lacie Portable SSD, and Samsung T5. The Fast Portable SSD measured 407.218MB/s read and 394.680MB/s write, the LaCie Portable SSD showed 405.979MB/s read and 387.916MB/s write, and the Samsung T5 posted speeds of 426.62MB/s read and 406.39MB/s write.

Looking at 2MB random speeds, we saw the BarraCuda Fast again come out on top with 443.647MB/s and 430.852MB/s for read and write, respectively. We saw the Seagate Fast with 387.6931MB/s and 294.4457MB/s for read and write, respectively. While the T5 hit 404.32MB/s read and 400.26MB/s write. The LaCie showed speeds of 390.795MB/s read and 373.516MB/s write.

In Random 4K performance, the BarraCuda Fast posted 5,480.34 IOPS read and 9,515.97 IOPS write. In Random 4K performance, the LaCie took first place 5,775.893 IOPS read and 9960.013 IOPS write. The Fast showed scores of 5490.642 IOPS read and 9,836.677 IOPS write. The T5 wasn’t tested in 4K performance.

Conclusion

The BarraCuda Fast SSD is a solid drive in Seagate’s SSD portfolio. The new green and black design is sleek and the green LED is a nice touch. It features USB-C connectivity, easy-to-use backup and folder mirroring software, a fully-reversible USB-C cable and is available in a range of different capacities from 500GB to 2TB. It also features a 3-year limited warranty.

Taking a look at performance, the BarraCuda Fast didn’t quite hit it’s quoted maximum speeds. However, it did still produce decent numbers overall while performing slightly better in BlackMagic over IOMeter. Performance when compared to this products predecessors show that performance has essentially stayed the same. For BlackMagic, the Seagate BarraCuda Fast SSD was able to hit 497.1MB/s read and 469.4MB/s write. In sequential performance, the Fast recorded 443.646MB/s read and 430.645MB/s write, while random transfer speeds were 387.69MB/s and 294.45MB/s for read and write, respectively.

Seagate Fast SSD drive family

Overall, this drive has the aesthetic to fit in on even the most high tech desk and offers a mainstream performance profile that will be a perfect fit for most office users or even casual gamers. It’s got a nice speed profile like its name claims and has enough capacity for a library of games or whatever your media of choice is that you’d like to take on the go with you. But, this year’s update of this drive is essentially just a rebranding and facelift. The performance and features of this drive haven’t changed at all in its evolution over the years. If you’d really like a green LED this drive is for you. Otherwise you can take your pick from the family of three drives that are roughly the same.

Seagate BarraCuda Fast SSD at Amazon

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