Review: Seagate BarraCuda Fast SSD

Our whole lives are stored in electronic devices. From smartphones to laptops, having enough storage is always a necessity, but we always seem to be running out of space. While many companies are offering cloud storage, it will never live up to the standards held by external hard drives.

Enter the Seagate Barracuda Fast SSD. If you follow the latest news on the storage market, you’ll know that Seagate has come through with several products under their “Fast” brand. Now, with the Barracuda Fast, they’re giving us upgraded hardware, software, subscription to the Creative Cloud, and massive storage spaces of 512 GB, 1TB and 2 TB.

All three come with a three-year warranty, and are sold at $87.99USD/$238AUD for the 512GB, $169.99USD/$358AUD for the 1TB, and $299.99USD/$688AUD for the 2TB SSD.

If you’re already running out of space and you just want to know if you should buy the Barracuda Fast SSD, don’t worry. We’ve summarized its features for you.

This pocket-sized square packs similar features found in its predecessor. It looks almost identical except for the new color scheme. The Barracuda Fast SSD comes with a fully-reversible USB-C connectivity, file-syncing software, fast file transfer, among others. Having the reversible USB-C cable means that you will never plug it in the wrong way. Its file-syncing system makes it easy to keep your files updated, while its backup and folder mirroring software automatically takes note of certain folders for deletions and changes.

The Barracuda Fast SSD is marketed as a slow dive into the casual gaming scene. Gamers will be able to boot games faster, stream without lag, and transfer files in no time. With as much as 2TB, this SSD can store all the files you could possibly need.

Design and Build
The Barracuda Fast SSD shows off a unique, signature design. Thin and square in shape, this lightweight drive features a black cover, highlighting the white Seagate logo on top, with a green “lip” surrounding the faceplate. The lip conceals a green LED light that glows when the drive is plugged in — a nice touch to let you know that it’s on. On the front, you will find the reversible USB-C connector that can be used with your mobile device, computer, and consoles — even your PS4 or Xbox!
On the bottom, you’ll find the typical drive information including the serial number and storage capacity. The Barracuda Fast SSD works out of the box with both Windows and Mac operating systems.
This drive packs as much as 2TB in its tiny body. Its exact dimensions are 9.1x79x93 mm, with a weight of 0.14 grams, which makes it easy to transport. Unlike earlier hard drives, the SSD is more resistant to drops and other things that might happen to them when they’re being carried around. This means that your data is always secure, with less chance of getting corrupted.
The Seagate Barracuda Fast SSD offers speeds of 560.3 MB/s (read) and 519.7 MB/s (write). It also offers excellent backup solutions with the build-in program called Toolkit. It helps sync data on your SSD to specific folders on your computer, so if you ever lose your drive, you always have a backup safely stored somewhere else. It also comes with a free two-month subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud.

Speed Test
Even if Seagate claimed that the Barracuda Fast SSD has impressive speeds of more than 500 MB/s read and write, we still had to put it to the test.

To test the performance of the drive, we compared it to a few other portable SSDs, including the LaCie Portable SSD and the Samsung Portable Fast T5. We looked at its speed using the softwares BlackMagic on the current generation MacBook Air, and IOMeter on the HP Spectre x360.

On BlackMagic, the Barracuda Fast SSD delivered speeds of 467.1 MB/s (read) and 469.3 (write). Among the Barracuda Fast SSD, LaCie Portable SSD, and Samsung Portable Fast SSD, there wasn’t a noticeable difference to rank the three drives. Both the LaCie and T5 hit an average of 503.2 MB/s read and 465.4 MB/s write. The Barracuda Fast SSD fell short of the claimed maximum speeds of 500 MB/s and above.

On the IOMeter, at 2MB sequential, the Barracuda Fast SSD showed off speeds of 442.6 MB/s read and 431.7 MB/s write. The Barracuda Fast SSD was at the top of the list against the LaCie, which measured 405.98MB/s read and 387.92MB/s write, and the Samsung T5 which had 426.64MB/s read and 405.37MB/s write.

At its lowest price point of around $80, the Seagate Barracuda Fast SSD can store up to 512 GB of photos, files, videos, you name it. We tried it out by transferring a bulkload of files from our office computer to the SSD, and needless to say, the files transferred seamlessly. Do note that even if you’re using the Barracuda Fast, its transfer speed will be useless if you’re using a computer with outdated USB ports.

As a gaming hard drive, the Barracuda fast boots games almost instantly. We tested it out on two games — one “casual” and one that was a bit heavy and demanding. For the casual game, we booted Cooking Simulator, and as expected, it booted seconds after double-clicking. We then booted Red Dead Redemption 2, which is a hundred times more graphically and technically demanding, but it still started fast. It didn’t boot as fast as Cooking Simulator, but for an SSD, it can run heavy videogames pretty well.

The Barracuda Fast SSD uses a backup system called Toolkit. It creates a folder on your SSD that mirrors specific folders on your PC or Mac, so that your files are always in sync, and are always available in both places. Whatever you add, change, or delete in one device, will always be updated on the other. If you accidentally delete a file on your drive, they’re stored in the archive folder of your Barracuda Fast SSD for easy retrieval.

You’ll have to create a custom Sync Plan to use the backup and folder mirroring system. That way, you’ll get to choose which folders to sync with your Fast SSD, change the destination of synced folders on your drive, tweak archive settings, and more.

The Barracuda Fast SSD is a well-made and aesthetically-pleasing tiny treasure. It features USB-C connectivity that is compatible with different devices, backup and folder mirroring, a range of storage capacities from 500GB to 2TB, and a three-year warranty.

Overall, this drive is a perfect fit for ‘everyday’ users to casual gamers. It features an impressive speed profile and has enough capacity for around fifty games, or hundreds of movies — whatever your heart desires! But, the Barracuda Fast SSD is basically just a facelift of its predecessor. Its features haven’t changed the slightest, but if you’re really into the green LED light, then this drive is for you. Otherwise, you would probably be happy with any other drive from the Seagate Fast family.

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