In today’s modern gaming landscape, the size of games is becoming bigger and bigger, as developers try to fill their games with as much content as possible to justify the price tag and development times. Gone are the days when a game would be a mere 20GB in size and install to the hard drive of your chosen console quickly.
No, nowadays a game’s install size is a matter of news, it can be that important to people. From the recent release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 coming in at over 200GB, to the average AAA game taking at least 100GB of space on your console’s memory, it is fast becoming a requirement that we all have additional memory installed, unless you want to be deleting something every time you purchase a new game, of course. That’s where Seagate’s FireCuda 540 comes in.
FireCuda 540 – A Powerhouse of Memory
When the PlayStation 5 launched in 2020, there were painfully few options available on the market for an SSD that was affordable, functional, and compatible with the console. Thankfully, the FireCuda 530 was there to make our storage issues a lot simpler and easier. As time has gone on, the market has opened up and the options have broadened, and in response, Seagate has released the FireCuda 540.
Everything that the 530 did, the 540 seems to have improved upon, at least in regards to usage with the PS5. The 530 boasts read and write speeds of up to 7,000MB/s, which is impressive enough until you find out the 540 itself pushes that envelope even further, with speeds of up to 10,000MB/s. The speed at which this does the jobs we require is ridiculous, quite frankly. Transferring 100GB games to the internal memory in moments, going from fresh start to gameplay in a few seconds, no matter the game, and ultimately making game management and storage a pleasure. You won’t need to delete anything whilst you have this installed in your console, that’s for sure.
You’ll be able to play games directly from the FireCuda 540 as if it were the PlayStation 5’s own SSD, with no discernible difference. Even those that were touted as only possible thanks to the PlayStation 5’s SSD speeds like Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. During my time with that game, it was stored and played from the FireCuda 540 and the SSD worked so well with the high demands of the game’s fast travel system, switching of the two protagonists and more besides you’d have an argument for it being as good if not better than the internal memory the PlayStation 5 has.
As time has gone on, the FireCuda 530 has dropped in price to the point that everyone should consider it if they’re struggling for space, but with the FireCuda 540 only recently dropping, it’s still very much up there in the price bracket. This will no doubt change as time goes on and competitors bring their own versions out, but currently it’s a bit hit on the bank balance, with prices currently around £270/$300, although with sales and offers there’s always some to be saved on that.
The other downside is that for those who aren’t particularly tech-savvy, the lack of a heatsink being included may prove intimidating. With the performance of the FireCuda 540, a heatsink is an absolute must for heat dissipation, otherwise, you risk a serious malfunction and damage not only to the SSD but your PS5 or PC’s motherboard, should you install it there. With that said, installing the heatsink and the SSD itself is a five-minute job in total, and with some care and online instructions, even those with zero tech capabilities will be fine.
All in all, the FireCuda 540 is undoubtedly a serious piece of kit, and inarguably one of the best Solid State Drives on the market right now, certainly as Gen5 SSDs go. The performance is incredible, and the added size in memory is invaluable, but for those who may not game every day, or don’t purchase multiple games in a year, the smaller, cheaper versions of the FireCuda 530 may be preferable.
For those who are always on their consoles (or PCs) and as such need the space and performance afforded by this premium kit, the benefits may outweigh the cost, and if the money is spare, you’ll be silly to look elsewhere. It’s certainly a piece of kit that experts and gaming obsessives will see more value from than the average, casual gamer, and the price reflects that.
The FireCuda 540 was tested on a PlayStation 5 and supplied by Seagate.
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