by Lyle Smith

Seagate Fast SSD Review

The boldly-named Seagate Fast is company's latest portable SSD to hit the market. It features a unique design, the latest USB-C connectivity, and much faster transfer rates over tradition external hard disk drives as per the norm with SSD technology. The Fast allows users to sync their files via the bundled backup and folder mirroring software, which automatically monitors target folders for any new files, deletions or modifications so files will always be latest version. The Fast comes with a fully-reversible USB-C cable, eliminating the often-frustrating attempts to connect your USB device to your computer. 

External SSDs are a good way for professionals to have speedy, reliable offline access to larger files, which is why a lot of people prefer them over the Cloud. As such, the Fast is quoted to deliver speeds up to 540MB/s read and 500MB/s write, numbers we usually see with consumer SSDs.

Backed by a 3-year warranty, the Fast is available in capacities of 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB for $90, $126, $280, and $710 respectively. We are looking at the 1TB for this review.

Seagate Fast Specifications

  • Capacity: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB 
  • Interface: USB
  • Maximum sequential performance:
    • 540MB/s read
    • 500MB/s write
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 94mm
    • Width: 79mm
    • Depth (mm): 9mm
  • Warranty: 3-year limited warranty

Design and build

The Fast is a unique looking external SSD. It sports a charcoal black enclosure with a silver-grey face plate on the front of the drive that is simply branded with the Seagate name. Though it's a bit heavier than some of the external SSDs we've looked at (82 grams vs. the ADATA SE730H's 33 grams) and it’s a bit wide, the Fast's slender design will sit nicely next to your laptop without taking up to much space. It's also built very solidly.

On the sides, you will see the USB-C connection port.

Performance 

We tested the Seagate Fast using the HP Z2 mini workstation and compared it to a few recently reviewed portable SSDs:

When looking at its 2MB sequential, the Fast posted speeds of 407.218MB/s read and 394.680MB/s write. The SE730H measured 399.23MB/s read and 380.21MB/s write, while the T5 had 426.62MB/s read and 406.39MB/s write. For 2MB random speeds we saw the Seagate Fast with 387.6931MB/s and 294.4457MB/s for reads and writes, respectively. The SE730H measured 349.4MB/s read and 384.2MB/s write, while the T5 hit 404.32MB/s read and 400.26MB/s write.

In Random 4K performance, the Fast posted 5490.642 IOPS read and 9836.677 IOPS write. We didn't test 4K on the other drives.

Conclusion

The Fast is a solid release by Seagate. 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 250GB to 2TB.

As far as performance goes, the Fast wasn't particularly close to its maximum quoted transfer speeds. That's not to say it didn't record decent overall numbers. In sequential performance, the Fast recorded 407.22MB/s read and 394.68MB/s write (which were 6% and 3% slower than the T5), while random transfer speeds  387.69MB/s and 294.45MB/s for reads and writes, respectively (which were 4% and 30% slower than the T5). 

Though it might not be as fast as some of the other portable SSDs we've reviewed, the Seagate still boasts good performance that will suit pretty much any consumer or media professional need. It is also very affordable (currently listed as $126 USD on Amazon), has a reliable build and will sit nice and pretty alongside a workstation. 

Seagate Fast SSD on Amazon

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