Seagate BarraCuda 510 M.2 NVMe SSD Review: Competitive Performance Meets Bad Pricing

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Planning on building a new or high-end system? Seagate's BarraCuda 510 has plenty of performance, but if you are concerned about aesthetics, Seagate’s BarraCuda 510 isn’t too pleasing. Those sequential speeds of 3.4/2.1 GB/s read/write speeds are quite helpful for large file transfers and large media editing, and the random performance is also solid, but it isn’t the best, and pricing is a problem.

The Seagate BarraCuda 510 delivered high-end performance in our trace and application testing in PCMark 8 and SYSmark 2014 SE. Overall, it nearly tied all the other Phison E12-based SSDs and even outperformed the BPX Pro in our 6GB read test. It was also slightly faster than the BPX Pro during our 50GB file folder copy test. That landed the BarraCuda in second place in efficiency, too.

With a rather ugly sticker over top of the components and a blue PCB, however, its looks will take away from most builds. We would like to see a shift from manufacturers to placing their stickers on the backside of the SSD rather than the front. Unless it is aesthetically pleasing, of course. WD, Samsung, and ADATA have done a much better job on aesthetics by using black stickers and PCBs.

While looks aren’t its thing, support is a bit better. Seagate’s BarraCuda 510 comes with cloning software support and an SSD toolbox, though it is a little basic. It also comes backed by a five-year warranty and comes with endurance ratings that are competitive with other high-end contenders like the Samsung 970 EVO Plus and WD Black SN750. Although, in all fairness, other E12-based SSDs do offer more than double that rating.

The BarraCuda 510 is a competitive product, but its pricing is a bit high for what it is. Seagate's MSRPs may have been cheap months ago at CES, but it will have to watch its competitors and adjust retail pricing given the current market. Currently, you can save a few bucks on something like an ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro, MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro, or Team Group MP34. The WD Blue SN500 at $65 for 500GB is also a very good buy right now and makes Seagate’s value proposition questionable given that it is almost twice the price.

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Sean Webster
Storage Reviewer

Sean is a Contributing Editor at Tom’s Hardware US, covering storage hardware.