Seagate dives back into consumer SSDs with BarraCuda drives

Seagate made a foray into client SSDs five years ago, but its consumer storage products of late have hewn to good old spinning rust in the BarraCuda, BarraCuda Pro, FireCuda, SkyHawk, and IronWolf families. Folks who have long been pining for a consumer Seagate SSD option now have one again in the BarraCuda SSD. This SATA SSD lineup will range from 250 GB to a whopping 2 TB.

The performance of these devices likely won't put them at the apex-predator end of the solid-state spectrum. From what little data Seagate shares, we can expect sequential reads of up to 540 MB/s and sequential writes of up to 520 MB/s, figures that most likely come from the largest models in the series at high queue depths. That performance is in line with popular SATA SSDs using 3D TLC NAND like Samsung's 860 EVO and Crucial's MX500, at least.

Seagate has priced these drives in line with many popular high-performance consumer TLC SSDs, too. The 250-GB model will run $75 on Amazon, the 500-GB drive will demand $120, and the 1-TB bit bucket will sticker at $230. Each of the drives carries a reassuring five-year warranty. Amazon will apparently enjoy a window of exclusivity for these drives starting on Prime Day and running through September, when Seagate says they'll hit general availability.

Comments closed
    • David
    • 1 year ago

    The 1-TB MX500 is $199 with a 5 year warranty. Why would I pay extra for Seagate’s reputation?

    • LoneWolf15
    • 1 year ago

    [i<]Folks who have long been pining for a consumer Seagate SSD option[/i<] Pardon me, but who pines for Seagate anything? More than enough options for me where I don't have to experience the reliability rate issues I've had with them ever since the Thailand floods.

      • LostCat
      • 1 year ago

      I’m a Firecuda fan when it comes to hard drives.

      Otherwise…eh. They work.

      • just brew it!
      • 1 year ago

      While I agree they seem to have had a couple of rough patches (7200.11 fiasco and the post-flood QA issues you mentioned), you may want to give them another chance at some point. They’re cost effective, and I think they’ve got the QA under control now. They came off my “avoid” list 3-4 years ago, and I haven’t regretted it (so far).

      • Sahrin
      • 1 year ago

      There was a time when Seagate was the premiere spinning disk brand.

      • BurntMyBacon
      • 1 year ago

      To be fair, the Thailand floods that affected HDD manufacturing will have less than zero to do with the reliability of their solid state offerings. They’ll need to come up with different ways to make them unreliable.

    • Chrispy_
    • 1 year ago

    So WD bought Toshiba’s SSD division which means OCZ and Indilinx special sauce – making WD SSDs a decent choice with good heritage and people who know what they’re doing.

    Do Seagate own or have any experience with SSD controllers or NAND manufacture, or is this just a rebrand of someone else’s drive (Generic Phison + whatever NAND vendor is offering the lowest cost)?

      • MileageMayVary
      • 1 year ago

      I have a similar question. “Sure, it says Seagate on the outside. Who is making the inside?”

      • Waco
      • 1 year ago

      Their older drives (at least, the enterprise ones) used LAMD and SK Hynix controllers. No clue on the new consumer versions aside from the really old ones that used Sandforce controllers.

        • just brew it!
        • 1 year ago

        Would not be surprised if the new ones are Sandforce-based as well, given that they now own the Sandforce IP.

        • Chrispy_
        • 1 year ago

        Ah, yes – Link-A-Media does ring a bell.

        They’re acceptable, IIRC.

    • Acidicheartburn
    • 1 year ago

    I’m sure Seagate will find a way to make these unreliable as well.

      • just brew it!
      • 1 year ago

      FWIW their HDD reliability seems to be reasonable these days, AFAICT.

      Much like IBM in the early ’00s (with the “Deathstar” fiasco), I suspect Seagate had a bit of a “Holy crap, we really need to fix our QA process!” moment a few years back. If they follow a similar trajectory to IBM/HGST, they’ll actually have somewhat [i<]above[/i<] average reliability (and slightly below average prices) for a few years, as they try to win back customer confidence and market share. All of the storage vendors occasionally ship products with design flaws...

        • Chrispy_
        • 1 year ago

        Backblaze’s limited selection of models does seem to indicate that Seagate are doing better than WD in terms of reliability at the moment.

        I’ve been buying Seagates for a while and not been disappointed. The Barracuda and Ironwolf models I’ve purchased seem higher quality in terms of vibration and smoothness over the old WD Reds I was using for everything but it’s too small a sample size to be relevant (30ish drives) and subjectively I’d have been comparing new seagates to old WDs, which isn’t even a fair test.

    • albundy
    • 1 year ago

    i still have my original Seagate 600 SSD chugging along in my mom’s pc. 240GB and still no issues after 6 years. it did really well and half the cost going head to head with the samsung 840 pro.

      • MOSFET
      • 1 year ago

      I had a Seagate 600 240GB and it was faulty from day one, and it would fail every test except SeaTools. I’m glad someone had a positive experience with one 🙂

      • gamoniac
      • 1 year ago

      I also have a Seagate 600 240GB from the good old CompUSA day for $110 on sale. It has been running 24×7 for the last 5 years, hosting several VMs running on it.

    • tay
    • 1 year ago

    [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeMvMNpvB5M[/url<] 'nuff said

      • chuckula
      • 1 year ago

      +3 for you!

      #JellyYouLinkedItFirst.

    • meerkt
    • 1 year ago

    When mentioning SSDs in passing, not in full reviews, why does TR like to quote max sequential speeds? It’s always ~500-550MB, so not really meanigful. Roughly the equivalent of LCD manufacturer specs for viewing angles. A more useful single number for summaries would be sustained sequential or IOPS.

      • thedosbox
      • 1 year ago

      Bit difficult to do that when the information isn’t listed by the manufacturer:

      [url<]https://www.seagate.com/www-content/datasheets/pdfs/barracuda-ssd-DS1984-2-1804-WW-en_CA.pdf[/url<]

        • meerkt
        • 1 year ago

        So best leave it out. Depending on the reader’s knowledgeability it’s either non-info, or misleading.

          • Thresher
          • 1 year ago

          Just call it SATA 6 and be done with it.

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 1 year ago

      I’m not sure what you’re cheesed about when I qualified the likely measurement conditions in the article.

        • meerkt
        • 1 year ago

        Also with qualifications, these “up to” PR figures don’t give any real info on drive performance. Even the Toshiba TR200 240GB specs claim ~500-550MB/s (which might actually be true for sequential reads).

        If to mention manufacturer specs, maybe only max IOPS? That at least might differ between drives, and potentially, vaguely, hint at something. 🙂

    • Hsldn
    • 1 year ago

    Samsung 860 evo is about 110usd right now.

    Also my Intel 330 250gb works like a charm after 6 years. It’s quite fast too. I just want to upgrade for the fun of it but it gives me not enough reason to buy a new ssd.

    • JosiahBradley
    • 1 year ago

    If it’s any consolation I’m still running a Seagate 600 250GB SSD in my Linux build that laid dormant for about 4 years and still working now. Gives me faith in the new round of drives.

    • just brew it!
    • 1 year ago

    Seems like an odd strategy to sit on the sidelines for several years, then jump back into the consumer SSD market [i<]after[/i<] it has become a highly competitive "race to the bottom" commodity segment with (I'm assuming) razor-thin profit margins. I guess they've decided they can't bet the farm on selling ever-higher-density enterprise SSDs/HDDs to Cloud service providers, and want to maintain a strong presence in the consumer space for whatever reason.

      • flip-mode
      • 1 year ago

      But if they get the price + warranty combo correct, they could still move a lot of drives. I’d easily pay $10 more for a better warranty from someone I trusted to back it up.

        • just brew it!
        • 1 year ago

        “We sell ’em at a loss, but make up for it in volume!”

          • BurntMyBacon
          • 1 year ago

          My brain hurts from reading that.

        • Kougar
        • 1 year ago

        At those prices I don’t see them selling tons. Can snag an S10 Gammix or SX7000 M.2 drive for $140 that offers double the write performance and almost 4x the read performance. Still has a 5 year warranty, and just costs $20 more than Seagate’s quoted price.

        During the SandForce and inglorious OCZ SSD years quite a few people would have gladly paid more for a name-brand SSDs from Seagate or WD, but these days not so much.

          • brucethemoose
          • 1 year ago

          Low end-NVMe prices are steadily creeping down too. They’ll be right at this Seagate drive’s price soon enough.

      • HERETIC
      • 1 year ago

      Sandforce probably been telling them-“controller will be ready next month.”
      for the last 5 years…………………………

      • blastdoor
      • 1 year ago

      I suppose so, although it does seem that there is plenty of room in this market for innovations that informed consumers would pay for. It’s not clear that Seagate is offering anything like that here…. Just sayin’, it’s not impossible to do something new and valuable in this space.

    • Neutronbeam
    • 1 year ago

    Wonder if they will have a Prime Day discount?

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