Seagate BarraCuda Fast review: an elegant external SSD, but slow for the price

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If your performance needs are basic, this SSD external storage unit will do the trick.

With its SATA interface, the Seagate BarraCuda Fast barely

Seagate’s BarraCuda Fast SSD lives up to its name, well, only if we think of external USB storage systems with internal SATA disk, very common a few years ago. Most vendors have moved to internal NVMe cards, to take advantage of the benefits of dual-bandwidth 10Gb/s SuperSpeed ​​USB. It wouldn’t be a problem if the portable BarraCuda Fast external SSD were cheaper, but its price is almost equivalent to that of NVMe cards like the Samsung T7. Additionally, while most external storage units have opted for a rectangular shape, Seagate’s BarraCuda Fast SSD is slightly rectangular, about half an inch longer in length, and has rounded corners. According to our colleague, it would make a very nice coaster for the office.

The BarraCuda Fast SSD is available in three capacities: 500 GB (€104.99 on Amazon), 1 TB, the capacity tested (€164.99 on Amazon), and 2 TB (€359.54 on Amazon). It costs as much as a USB-C model, which only means it has a Type-C connector. Again, the USB port is SuperSpeed ​​10Gb/s and the SSD is based on a SATA technology, not NVMe, as is the case with some cheaper competitors. The portable SSD is guaranteed for three years. Seagate does not give an indication of the TBW (TeraBytes that can be Written). But, in normal use, this shouldn’t be a problem, as most SSDs usually exceed manufacturer’s estimates.

A detail of the design surprised our colleague: the Type-C port is located on the same side as the strip of green LEDs. If the position of the cable causes the SSD to be on the wrong side, the Kermit lighting cannot be seen. Everyone has their own habits, but according to our colleague, it would have been preferable to position the port on the opposite side or on the side. The portable SSD comes with Seagate Toolkit software, which is convenient for synchronizing data. Unfortunately, it doesn’t allow you to change the color of the LED like you can with the Seagate Gaming SSD.

Performances

The BarraCuda Fast SSD is fast, as its name suggests, but within the limits (around 550Mb/s) of SATA technology, but not as fast as Samsung’s T5, released three years ago. However, the test results between these SSDs are so close that performance shouldn’t be the deciding factor.

In the CrystalDiskMark 6 benchmark, the BarraCuda is faster in writing than the Samsung T5, but slower in reading. Longer bars correspond to better results. (Credit: IDG)

As can be seen above, in the CrystalDiskMark benchmark, the BarraCuda Fast shows good write performance, but its read deficit is not statistically relevant.

The BarraCuda Fast largely won against the Samsung T5. Shorter bars correspond to better results. (Credit: IDG)

The BarraCuda Fast also held its own against the Samsung T5 in the 48GB file write tests (above), and takes 80 seconds less than the T5 to complete a 450GB file copy , as seen below.

The BarraCuda Fast excels above all in endurance. At 450GB, it was over a minute faster than the Samsung T5. Shorter bars correspond to better results. (Credit: IDG)

Arguably for a SATA-based drive, the portable BarraCuda Fast SSD performs great, but so does the T5. Which poses a price issue: much faster NVMe-based USB SSDs like the SanDisk Extreme Portable Pro SSD and Samsung T7 cost only slightly more. The graph below shows that for daily use, these competing SSDs are faster, and that for ten euros, you can afford double the performance!

The BarraCuda Fast performs as well if not better than other SATA models, but is no match for NMVe SSDs like the Extreme Portable Pro SSD and the Samsung T7 (although the latter is a bit slower on long copies ). Longer bars correspond to better results. (Credit: IDG)

Note that the Samsung T7 slows down a lot when it has exhausted its cache, but in most cases it is much faster. The SanDisk Extreme Portable Pro SSD is the fastest of the three.

Attractive, but…

The Seagate BarraCuda Fast SSD looks great, looks even, and that LED light line is pretty alluring. It also shows a good performance for the technology used. If its price were not so high compared to competing SSDs, the question would not arise. But, for a few euros more, you can have twice the performance. Hence the difficulty for our colleague to recommend the BarraCuda Fast SSD. Except to be very seduced by its particular design.

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