Seagate Firecuda 5TB Gaming External Hard Drive Review

October 17, 2021

Seagate’s external hard drive range has been drilled into my brain since I spent my formative years at university working nights at Officeworks. What used to be purely an essential tool for backup purposes has grown somewhat thanks to recent developments in connection speed, and drives like Seagate’s Game Drive for Xbox allowing seamless direct play of Xbox One titles on the console. Seagate’s new FireCuda Gaming Hard Drive is a new portable external HDD that sports quick speeds, a decent warranty and inexplicably but attractively, RGB lighting.

The RGB lighting is a strip along the bottom edge of the drive’s front, far more subtle than it could otherwise have been and lending the drive a nice glow effect, particularly when its placed on a dark surface, as the light emanates around it. The colour and patterns can be customised with Seagate’s Toolkit software. Named ‘FireCuda RGB’, it has some basic effects like static, breathing, blinking and sliding between rainbow colours, but it also allows you to create your own patterns with custom colours too. The RGB can also be linked to Razer Chroma and Synapse, although you’ll need to go through Toolkit to do it.

The rest of the Gaming Hard Drive is fairly no-frills, with a neat matte-black finish and FireCuda logo impression. Seagate says it’s meant to ‘complement your gaming battle station’, but really it’s just a nice slab of plastic that doesn’t look or feel as cheap as the lower-end HDDs you’ll find in the bargain bins at Officeworks.

The FireCuda Gaming Hard Drive uses a USB 3.2 Gen 1 bus-powered connection and contains a traditional spinning hard drive, not an SSD in external housing which has become more and more popular these days for quick transfers. In terms of speeds, we got around 135 MB/s sequential read and 138 MB/s sequential write. When practically copying a 120 GB video file, this translated to about 90-110 MB/s transfer speeds juts using Windows Explorer. These speeds are pretty good for a traditional external HDD, and given the technology is still much cheaper for higher capacities, makes this reasonably priced as well. Storage is offered in 2TB and 5TB sizes, for RRP AU$119 and AU $219 respectively.

If you’re used to playing games off internal 5400 RPM drives, then the speeds offered by the FireCuda Gaming Hard Drive is comparable, and even a bit faster when comparing write speeds. Seagate advertise it as a good device to use as a game library, to store all your games offline, which makes some sense as a use case, although depending on the PC game library you’re using could introduce some niggles (like Epic Game Store requiring you to uninstall completely a game then download it and reinstall it to a new directory if you want to move something).

It makes a lot more sense as a solid, attractive part of a content creators’ kit, allowing you to cart around a good hefty amount of visual and audio projects in a package that runs fast and looks cool on a public desk or with a client. The smaller sizes are also pretty light, coming in at 167g, while the larger 5TB size is a bit chunkier at 266g.

Of course as it shares the same technology as the Seagate Game Drive for Xbox, this could also be potentially used as game storage for your Xbox Series X or PS5 – although it’s important to note that neither will allow you to launch current-gen games from the drive, only archive them and then move them to the main system memory when it’s time to play. However, it is fast enough to play PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (and older) games.

It’s also important to note that Seagate offers 3 years limited warranty with these drive, as well as 3 years of of Data Recovery Services. As we mentioned in our review of the FireCuda 530, this is a pretty good service to have included with the drive, and shows Seagate has confidence in the product, especially one that will be out and about a lot more than their internal SSDs (although all the same, it’s probably worth reading those terms and conditions).

The Seagate FireCuda Gaming Hard Drive offers the solid performance that you’d expect from an external hard drive in its price range. It is a bit fancier than most other drives, with its customisable RGB lighting, that can illuminate your desktop with rainbow colours, although its speeds obviously pail in comparison to the growing number of external SSD’s on the market, which offer much faster performance and USB-C connectivity with even tinier sizes. In terms of storage size though, 5TB is pretty massive, especially at this price point, making the Seagate FireCuda Gaming Hard Drive a good choice for the image-conscious content creator, or the gaming enthusiast who has to glue lights on every bloody thing in their house.


-Speedy USB 3.2 interface makes it suitable for game storage and content creators
-Comparable to most other top-end external HDD solutions
-RGB Lighting for reasons


-Still, ultimately, a good spinning platter external HDD and not a super-quick SSD

Overall Score: