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Seagate is releasing new SSD custom-made for gaming handhelds and Microsoft Surface devices

Seagate announced that it’s releasing brand new SSD for the mobile device market, specifically for gaming handhelds and Surface devices.

According to the manufacturer, the SSD is called FireCuda 520N NVMe and it features a 2230-S2 M.2 form factor. It’s made for high-performance portable devices like the Steam Deck, Microsoft Surface devices, the ASUS ROG Ally, and the Lenovo Legion Go, among others. 

The FireCuda 520N is a PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD available in 1TB and 2TB capacities. It has a high octane read/write speed of up to 5,000 MB/s for the 2TB capacity and up to 4,800 MB/s for the 1TB model. Seagate claims that the drive also offers PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD performance on the level of desktop gaming, and it is backward compatible with Gen3 and Gen2 PCIe slots.

The FireCuda 520N NVMe SSD is on sale now for $109.99 (1TB) and $189.99 (2TB).

Why is an SSD so important? 

As we continue to see the best handheld game consoles debut, the market for the smallest and best SSDs for these portables continues to grow. It makes sense, as these portable gaming consoles are meant to handle some of the best PC games on the go, and those games tend to come with larger-than-normal file sizes. It’s great that we’re now getting SSDs to match these increasingly powerful handhelds properly.

Seagate is well known for its excellent SSDs like its OneTouch, and the FireCuda 530 is no slouch in quality either. So its FireCuda 520N NVMe SSD should be just as high-quality. 

But what is an SSD and why is having them for these portable systems so important? And why did Seagate specifically choose the M.2 2230-S2 form factor? SSD is storage for a PC, a console or other devices, and even the best cheap SSD reads data much faster than the best hard drives or the storage drives most consoles ship with. This high read speed is vital for gaming, as it keeps performance from dipping every time the handheld needs to read stored data from the SSD.

Seagate also chose the M.2 format for the FireCuda 520N, which is important. The best M.2 SSD is a particularly fast format for PCs and they’re even quite great for video game consoles like the best PS5 SSDs. It makes sense then that it would be chosen for handhelds like the Steam Deck, Asus ROG Ally, and the Lenovo Legion GO. 

It’s even quite suitable for something like a Microsoft Surface device, which tends to prize portability and so its expandable SSD storage slots have to be smaller than the standard 2280 M.2 drives we typically see. In essence, having a small SSD that runs extremely fast is ideal.

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