Seagate Joins The PCIe 5.0 Race With A Blazing-Fast 10GB/s FireCuda 540 SSD For Gamers

Seagate FireCuda 540 SSD installed into an M.2 slot.
Seagate just released its first solid state drive (SSD) line to make use of the PCI Express 5.0 bus, the FireCuda 540 series, and with it comes some much-needed competition to a small but growing segment. As you might imagine, Seagate is targeting "gamers, [content] creators, and tech enthusiasts" with its foray into PCIe 5.0 territory, given that these are the demographics that are often early adopters of cutting-edge technology.

"Gamers and content creators have asked for performance of PCIe Gen5 technology and we’ve listened," said Lance Ohara, Vice President of Product Line Management at Seagate Technology. "Seagate is thrilled to bring the fastest and best technology to the gaming and content creating community."

Part of the pitch for gaming is that the FireCuda 540 series is compatible with the PlayStation 5 (see our guide on how to upgrade your PS5 with a fast SSD), at least in terms of its performance specs and dimensions. That said, Seagate says you'll want to combine it with a heatsink or heat transfer sheet if going that route.

Seagate FireCuda 540 SSD installed in a motherboard's M.2 slot.

Seagate is offering two capacities, including 2TB and 1TB models. Both pair 3D triple-level cell (TLC) NAND flash memory chips with a "Seagate-validated" Phison E26 controller chip. Technically, the E26 is capable of pushing sequential reads of up to 14,000MB/s and sequential writes of up to 11,800MB/s.

The FireCuda 540 series plays it a little more conservative, however, with the 2TB model rated to deliver up to 10,000MB/s for both reads and writes, while the 1TB model tops out at 9,500MB/s for sequential reads and 8,500MB/s for sequential writes. Meanwhile, both capacities are rated for up to 1,500,000 IOPS for 4K random writes, while 4K random reads check in at 1,490,000 IOPS and 1,300,000 IOPS for the 2TB and 1TB drives, respectively.

Looking at the endurance figures, Seagate says both capacities boast a mean time before failure (MTBF) rating of 1.8 million ours, along with up to 2,000 terabytes written (TBW) for the 2TB model "meaning gamers can write and delete up to 1TB of the drive capacity every day for five years," and 1,000 TBW for the 1TB model.

It's a promising entry into the PCIe 5.0 territory, even if the specs are not the fastest we've seen in this still-early stage (TeamGroup recently unveiled its T-Force Z54A series that's rated to hit 14GB/s for reads).

The FireCuda 540 series is not yet listed on Amazon, but you can find the 2TB model on Newegg for $319.99 and the 1TB model for $189.99.