Compatible with: PC (Windows 10 or higher), Mac (macOS X 10.14 or higher), XBox Series XJS, PlayStation 5
Storage capacity: 500GB/1TB/2TB
Connectivity: USB 3.2 Gen 1
Special features: Customisable LED, schedule backups, syncable backup folder
Disk type: HDD
Hard disk form factor: 3.5 inch
Size: 14.5 x 80 x 122.5mm (0.57 in x 3.15 in x 4.82in)
Weight: 167 g (0.368 lb)
Writing this Seagate Spider-Man FireCuda HDD review was something I approached with some trepidation. Because simply seeing the pictures of this drive online made me – momentarily – lose sight of my normal objective, facts-based detachment. I mean, I'm not even that huge a Marvel fan. But come on… this drive looks seriously cool.
Marvel magic aside, though, what is this drive actually good for? Who is it aimed at? Is it a contender for the best external hard drive for the PS5, or even the best external hard drive for Mac and PC? With my 'serious journalist' hat back on, I'll set out to answer those questions.
First, the basics. Like any other external hard drive, this device allows you to store 2TB of media, files, and games, to free up space on your computer or game console. You can also use it to schedule regular backups. And all this makes it useful for gamers, but also non-gamers who just want to store images, video and other large files.
Beyond that, a couple of things make it stand out. First, of course, there's the aforementioned styling. And secondly, the customisable RGB LED lighting. But are those things enough to make it worth buying? And what about its performance as a whole? I'll explore all of these questions in my review. But first, let's look at its main USP: the design itself.
Seagate Spider-Man FireCuda HDD review: Design
Seagate currently offers three Spider-Man-themed FireCuda Hard Drives. One features Spider-Man himself, another Miles Morales, and a third – the one we were sent for review – featuring Ghost-Spider, aka Gwen Stacy. These artworks are all brilliantly designed and exquisitely reproduced on the product, so you really feel like you're getting a collector's item, rather than a cheap cash-in. If you not a Spider-fan, FireCuda also has drives celebrating the Avengers, Hulk, Boba Fett, Grogu, Horizon Forbidden West, and The Mandalorian.
Aside from the aesthetic appeal, there's a practical point to this colourful design: it made it nice and easy to find it, amongst all the black rectangles that litter my tech-cluttered household.
There's a separate spider design on the back too. Yes, it's less intricate and not particularly amazing, but they could have just left it blank, so FireCuda gets points for that in our book.
More generally, this drive is super-light, at just 167g, and beautifully compact at 14.5 x 80 x 122.5mm, so it won't take up much space on your desk. As well as the drive itself, you also get a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Cable, along with some stickers and a (quite minimal) quick start guide.
Seagate Spider-Man FireCuda HDD review: Features
So what can it actually do? Put simply, the Seagate Spider-Man FireCuda HDD can be used to transfer and back up files from a range of devices including PCs running Windows 10 or higher, Macs running macOS X 10.14 or higher, XBox X & S, and the PlayStation 5.
There's also a special gimmick that FireCuda is ready keen to shout about: a tiny status LED that you can customise via a free downloadable app for Windows or Mac called Toolkit. This enables you to alter the light's colour, brightness and how it blinks (or doesn't) in a multitude of ways. The changes happen instantly, which is very rewarding and a lot of fun. Whether this instantly excites you or has you wondering what the point is, will no doubt vary from person to person.
A perhaps more practical option in the app is called Mirror, which lets you set up a two-way sync folder between any folder on your computer and your hard drive. That means whenever you add, edit, or delete files in one folder, Toolkit automatically updates the other with your changes.
A final feature is the ability to create a backup schedule, although note that this is only available for PCs and not other devices. When you create your backup plan, the app initially saves a full backup of your selected data to your hard drive. With successive backups, Seagate only saves the data that has changed since the preceding backup.
Seagate Spider-Man FireCuda HDD review: Performance
CrystalDiskMark Read speed: 136.44 MB/s
CrystalDiskMark Write speed: 136.12 MB/s
AS SSD Read speed: 128.06 MB/s
AS SSD Write speed: 127.66 MB/s
ATTO Read speed: 129.46 MB/s
ATTO Write speed: 127.68 MB/s
The Seagate Spider-Man FireCuda HDD is an external hard drive rather than an SSD, so we weren't expecting to be particularly impressed by its transfer speeds. And our tests bore this expectation out. The best results came from our CrystalDiskMark test, which measured a read speed of 136.44 MB/s and a write speed of 136.12 MB/s. Which, let's be honest, is decidedly average, even for an external hard drive, where the best models have been known to approach 200 MB/s. And it certainly compares poorly with the best SSDs, which these days tend to boast read speeds up to around 2,000 MB/s.
Seagate Spider-Man FireCuda HDD review: Price
At time of writing, the Ghost-Spider Special Edition FireCuda External Hard Drive has a recommended retail price of $139.99 / £114.99. That's on the pricey side compared with other external hard drives. The 2TB version of our favourite external hard drive, for example, WD Elements Portable External Hard Drive, costs just $59.99 / £58. Indeed, Seagate's own non-branded 2TB FireCuda Gaming Hard Drive is currently selling on Amazon for only £69.49 / $76.76.
Seagate Spider-Man FireCuda HDD review: Should you buy it?
If your priority is transferring files, images, videos and games from and to your computer or console as quickly as possible, this drive isn't for you. Instead, you'd be better off looking at an SSD, such as the WD Black P50 Game Drive. That make cost you a little more, but with speeds of up 10 times faster, you'll really appreciate the difference.
Maybe, though, you just want a drive to store a bunch of files and games over the long term, and don't need to access them often? Or your main interest is in scheduling regular backups. In either case, transfer speeds may not be so important to you, and an external hard drive will make more sense.
It remains a fact, though, that this special-edition hard drive costs significantly more than others. And while it does the job perfectly well, there's not really much that makes it stand out technically. So it really comes down to whether the Spider-Man styling, and/or the customisable LED, really float your boat. And if they do, then we say: knock yourself out, and enjoy this beautifully designed hard drive for all its worth.