When it comes to picking out the best storage options for your build, it can be tricky to decide what drive you need (or want for that matter), in this review we take a look at the Seagate Q1 drive. Is this an affordable SATA SSD with some great performance, as the stats on paper would suggest?.
Where to buy: Amazon (US) // Amazon (UK) // Amazon (Intl.) // Ebuyer (UK)
There is not a great deal to say about the design of this drive, it’s a standard 2.5″ SSD drive that uses 3D QLC NAND flash and is aimed clearly at the budget market. With that being said, the advertised speeds look to be solid which could make this a great choice for the budget builder.
Aesthetically the drive is simple and looks good, though for most it won’t really matter, as this drive will sit out of sight in the back of a case. It’ comes with no gimmicks or extra flashy features, and is instead designed to be a simple looking choice for the masses.
As we’ve established, it really is the performance that matters on a product like this – no one is buying for aesthetics, nor for RGB (though check out our video featuring an RGB 2.5″ SSD!), so let’s boot up Crystal Dismark and run some performance tests. We’re very happy to report that speeds were just as advertised, and through rendering tests, where we continuously read and wrote 4K video files to the SSD, I was very impressed. Advertised speeds were sustained, and while this drive is no way intended for professional video workflows, it was a good test of prolonged performance. We’ve had other affordable drives in, namely Sandisk’s SSD Plus, which struggle to saturate the SATA bus speeds over prolonged periods.
When it comes to alternatives to the Seagate Q1 Barracuda range of SSDs, there are a few stand out options from the likes of Sandisk, Crucial and Kingston. As mentioned, we prefer this drive to something like the Sandisk SSD Plus, but the Kingston A400 has stood up well in our experience, at a potentially better price point for the budget builder.
All in all, this Seagate drive has really impressed us in the performance department. It does come in a little more pricey than the competition, and arguably this drive is too close to M.2 territory for many first time builders. It goes without saying that if you can afford a proper M.2 NVMe drive (and not just a SATA-speed drive packaged into an M.2 form factor) then VMEe is our go to. But, if you are on a really tight budget or sitting within the confines of existing system or notebook, then we can highly recommend the Seagate Q1 SSD as a great budget option, and one that actually sustains the advertised speeds over longer periods of time. But as I say, please don’t edit 4K video on it!