Seagate Launches FireCuda 520N SSD For Gaming Handhelds Like Steam Deck And ROG Ally

Seagate FireCuda 520N SSD on top of a handheld game console.
Seagate is adding its FireCuda 520N to the relatively small but growing pile of M.2 2230 form factor solid state drives (SSDs) that fit neatly inside compact handheld PC game consoles like the Steam Deck. Available in 1TB and 2TB capacities, the FireCuda 520N offers more storage space than what the Steam Deck and ASUS ROG Ally offer ship with regardless of the SKU.

This is notable because the Steam Deck and ROG Ally both leverage the M.2 2230 form factor for storage. The same is true of Lenovo's Legion Go, which is available to preorder and releases on Halloween day, though you can choose between 512GB and 1TB storage options on that handheld. As for the Steam Deck and ROG Ally, they both top out at 512GB from the factory.

The FireCuda 520N is a physically shorter SSD than the mountain of M.2 2280 SSDs that are available. The four numbers that come after "M.2" coincide with the width and length of the drive. For example, a traditional M.2 2280 SSD measures 22mm wide by 80mm long, while M.2 2230 SSDs measure 22nm wide by 30mm long.

Seagate FireCuda 520N SSD installed in a handheld game console.

You can actually mod a Steam Deck console to fit larger SSDs but Valve warns you could run into issues if going that route. Instead, drive makers have begun showing the more compact M.2 2230 form factor some love now that PC gaming handhelds are gaining traction.

Seagate's new FireCuda 520N SSDs are essentially smaller versions of the regular FireCuda 520 series. Like its bigger sibling, the FireCuda 520N leverages the PCI Express 4.0 bus to deliver sequential read and write speeds of up to 4,800MB/s for the 1TB model and 5,000MB/s for the 2TB model.

Angled render of Seagate's FireCuda 520N SSD on a gray gradient background.

Seagate doesn't go into more detail than that, but as points of reference, the full-size FireCuda 520 is rated to deliver up to 4,850MB/s for sequential reads and 4,750MB/s for sequential writes, while the 2TB model boasts up to 5,000MB/s for reads and 4,850MB/s for writes. We suspect the individual read and write metrics on the FireCuda 520N are similar.

The FireCuda 520N is available on Amazon, priced at $109.99 for the 1TB model and $189.99 for the 2TB model. Seagate will need to come down in price to be competitive with other M.2 2230 SSDs, though. To that end, it's not difficult to find 1TB M.2 2230 SSDs for $89.99, including Corsair's MP600 Mini, Sabrent's Rocket 2230, and ADATA's Legend 820, all with similar rated speed specifications.