Seagate has introduced both new SATA and NVMe SSDs at CES 2019, currently held in Las Vegas. The names of the new SSD series might sound familiar, the company has started to use the same names for its SSD lineup as for its HDDs.
Just like the HDD series, the Barracuda SSD series is targeted at mainstream usage, while the Firecuda SSDs are specifically targeted at “professional-level” gamers.
Both drives are NVMe SSDs in the M.2 form-factor and powered by Toshiba 3D-NAND combined with a Phison E12 controller. They connect to the rest of the computer through a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface and Seagate specifies maximum sequential reads of up to 3.4 GB/s. Maximum sequential writes are specified at 3.2 GB/s for the Firecuda series and 2.1 GB/s for the Barracuda series SSDs.
The considerable faster write speeds of the Firecuda drives can be explained by their higher capacity. Barracuda SSDs are available in one-side 256 GB and 512 GB capacities, while the Firecuda drives are available in capacities of 1TB and 2TB, where the memory chips are on both sides. Because they are double-sided, the controllers of the Firecuda drives can better parallelize the writes.
Random access performance of the Barracuda 510 NVMe drives (PDF) is, according to a preliminary datasheet, specified at a maximum of 340,000 IOPS for reads and 500,000 IOPS for writes. These numbers are for the 512 GB model, the 256 GB model is considerably slower with maximum random read and writes specified at 180.000 IOPS and 255,000 IOPS respectively. The smaller capacity drive also has lower sequential performance numbers.
Random access performance of the Firecuda 510 NVMe SSD (PDF) is specified at a maximum of 620,000 IOPS for read and 590,000 IOPS for writes for the 1TB model, for the 2TB model, maximum random read and writes are specified at 485,000 IOPS and 600,000 IOPS respectively.
Seagate has not revealed any pricing information yet.