Review: FireCuda Gaming Dock 4TB + 1TB Extension
Is this illuminating, quietly fast warhorse external hard drive and docking station for me? It would seem that every person who has a computer, or more specifically, a slim laptop, should contemplate using an external drive of some sort. With so many external hard drives on the market, which type and brand is the best one for your personal needs? To start, let’s break down the needs and uses of an external HD.
A lot of our personal computer files are stored in the cloud. Our phones and tablets mostly backup to their sources and do not require a computer to keep them updated and saved. We use cloud type storage for our pictures and videos using apps like google photos and apple photos. We also use different sources now for streaming and saving music, movies and the list goes on. This is all convenient and works well. But the majority of consumers interested in external hard drives, would agree that keeping things organized locally and backed up privately, for easy access is very important to them. Storing bigger files like games, raw home videos, photos, movies, 3D files, and music gives us a sense of security and comfort knowing they are with us. Plus, it’s much faster to get access to them at our own location without the use of the internet. So what would be the advantages of using the FireCuda Gaming Dock as your main external source over other products?
The Seagate FireCuda Gaming Dock has 4TB of mass storage built-in for storing those big files and getting easy access to them. However, there are three specific details about this drive that sets it apart from almost all other products.
- #1 : It connects to your computer through a single USB type C thunderbolt 3 port directly from the hub, and gives you a full dock of ports. This allows you to either keep other devices connected at all times, or quickly add another product without the hassle of moving and adjusting your computer. All of the USB, Ethernet, and audio ports work with no extra drivers needing to be installed. The FireCuda gives you 4 USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2 battery-charging port, an ethernet port, a display port, both 3.5mm audio-in/mic and audio-out ports, and an additional USB-C Thunderbolt 3 port for an accessory device. (All plug and play) It also comes with power outlets for different countries which is a nice addition.
- #2 : Lights make anything look and feel more stylish. This drive comes with a unique install that allows you to customize the colors and patterns the LED’s flash. You can configure the color spectrum to change up to 6 different colors per palette save. You can set the brightness using the slider function in the app and decide to keep the LEDs always on or turn off when your display goes to sleep. It also has 4 additional pattern styles that give more diversity to your personal ambiance. These include breathe, solid, blink, and spectrum. The Seagate’s Toolkit software works great for both Windows and Mac, which is downloadable on their website. It also can be used to create and manage backup plans of your computer.
- #3 : The LED glowing end cap removes easily and hides an expandable M.2 NVMe SSD slot underneath for incredible speeds. This gives a user the ability to add an ultra high-performance upgrade like the FireCuda 510 NVMe SSD. This additional drive is sold separately, but when installed, becomes part of the same unit. It can be used directly for lightning fast speeds when it comes to video editing, higher performance game play, virtual reality, 3d modeling, animation, etc. Booting applications and loading games or files with blazing speeds of over 10x faster than the 4TB HDD.
Having these features definitely gives a boost to those of us that are in need of a personal storage center. It’s a docking station that stays setup on your desk, ready to do its job. This is not a small unit for carrying in your backpack. However, it is light weight and not bulky. It weighs a little less than 6 pounds and is about 10 1/2 inches wide X 5 inches in depth. So it’s definitely bigger than Seagate’s Backup Plus Portable Drives or some other smaller external drives we’re used to seeing. The FireCuda Gaming dock is clearly marketed to laptop gamers, using the phrase “The Heart of Your Battlestation” on their website, but by no means should be only considered by gamers. There are a range of benefits to this drive that can optimize professionals and novice users during their day to day workflows.
- Massive 4TB of storage
- Expandable M.2 NVMe slot
- Custom LED glowing spectrum
- Beautiful black design
- Great quality for the price
- Easy to setup and quickly turn on
- Very quiet fans
- Needs to be plugged into a power outlet
- Easily contracts fingerprints
- Power brick is on the bigger side
For laptop PC gamers, this is definitely a must buy. Anyone looking for a big hard drive to store games and then use the internal SSD to run intense games that require faster transfer speeds and higher graphics will be happy.
The FireCuda Gaming Dock was designed mainly for laptop users who engage in hardcore gaming and/or artistic professionals working with large programs such as Final Cut Pro X, After Effects, and DaVinci Resolve who are wanting to add more ports, storage and some illumination. For me personally, this high-end, multi-functional hub works out beautifully since my MacBook Pro 15” has only 2 thunderbolt 3 usb-c ports on both sides. So instead of needing a “dongle” plugged into 2 of the 4 ports, plus using another port for my thunderbolt 3 display, leaving me 1 unused usb-c port. I now have 6 empty ports on the hub and 2 empty ports on my MacBook Pro to use for whatever I need at any time. Plus, the concern that the dongle might get unplugged accidentally while adding a flash drive or SD card reader is no longer a worry.
Using this drive for backups of personal and work projects, storing media files, and running FCPX libraries without a hiccup has been fantastic! The minimalist design and soft light transitions definitely makes it stand out on any work space. It’s solidly built with silicon padded feet underneath to keep it from moving around on any surface, including glass, and is raised enough for constant airflow and improved cooling. This has enhanced my home office capabilities and I find it visually pleasing. Anyone looking for something unique that combines external storage with great connectivity will be pleased with the FireCuda Gaming Dock.