Need more space to store your collection of games which has been growing during this circuit breaker period? The Seagate FireCuda Gaming Dock could be what you need. It’s actually more a multi-functional Thunderbolt 3 hub than a gaming dock, and the FireCuda offers extra connectivity options and 4TB of built-in storage (mechanical drives, not solid state ones) when connected to your computer via a Thunderbolt 3 connection.
Measuring 27cm long, 13.5cm deep and 5.1cm tall, this slab-like device will take up a fair bit of table-top space. It is also fairly heavy at 2.67kg. On its front are a power button, two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports (one for charging only), a 3.5mm input port and a 3.5mm output port. Behind are a power port, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, three USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, a DisplayPort and an Ethernet port.
At one short end is a design feature that gamers are sure to love - a mesh grille where glowing RGB light peeks out from. This grille is a magnetic cap that you can remove to access an M.2 NVMe slot to insert an M.2 NVMe solid-state drive (SSD) if you need to add more storage. The slot is protected by a plate with two screws. Note that while there are two Thunderbolt 3 ports, only one (with the notebook logo) is to be used to connect to your computer. The other is for connecting an accessory such as a Thunderbolt 3 monitor.
The use of the Thunderbolt 3 connection might alienate some gamers as only more recent gaming notebooks (and PC motherboards) feature this port. Crucially, the FireCuda lacks an HDMI port, which sort of limits your display options unless you resort to using an expensive converter dongle.
I did a quick test with it using the CrystalDiskMark benchmark test, and the drive achieved a sequential read speed of 275MB/s and a sequential write speed of 245MB/s. Transferring 21.4GB of game files from my PC took nearly 28 minutes. SSD speed it is not, but that is to be expected.
Seagate positioned the S$569 FireCuda Gaming Dock for gamers to hook up their input devices (mouse, keyboard) as well as acting as an external storage solution. The idea is great, especially for gamers who play their favourite games on a notebook than a desktop. But I thought some of the design decisions could be improved – for instance, the inclusion of an HDMI port. Perhaps a smaller FireCuda option made only to accommodate SSDs could make it more compelling than the current iteration?
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