Seagate Gaming Dock review: The cure to a poor port situation
- Tons of ports
- Slick design
- Expensive vs traditional external hard drives
- Sometimes a little loud
Seagate's Gaming Dock is expensive but it’s a rock-solid accessory for those who currently strained against the limits of their existing storage setup.
The thing that drew me to the Seagate Gaming Dock wasn’t the look of the thing as much as it was the sense of purpose. Seagate are no stranger when it comes to experimenting with unique niches within the wider storage category. See, for example, their DJI FlyDrive.
Thankfully, the Seagate Gaming Hub isn't just novel. More than just successful at making the case for this kind of accessory. It’s exceptional at it. It’s a first attempt at doing something different that gets things very, very right.
In a world where even some of the best gaming accessories can feel superfluous, the Seagate Gaming Dock fits right in as a slick-looking, purpose built alternative to just expanding your storage space with an additional or external hard-drive.
Dimensions: 51 x 270 x 135mm
RGB Lighting: Yes
Software: Seagate Toolbox
In Australia, the Seagate Gaming Dock is priced at AU$599.
Right from the get go, there’s a lot to like about the minimalist look of the Seagate FireCuda Gaming Dock. It’s got an oblique sort of charm to it. While it is a little larger than I’d like, carving out more of my desk than I would have liked, it looked good enough as a design piece that I didn’t hold anything against it.
In terms of ports, the Seagate Gaming Dock includes:
2x Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C ports
4x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type A ports
1x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type A port used for charging
1x RJ45 Ethernet jack
1x audio in
1x audio out
A big part of the story here comes down to that plethora of ports. The Seagate Gaming Dock picks up where your base hardware experience lets off and lets you explore the possibilities for yourself. You can run a daisy-chain display through the dock or run the storage through any port that supports data transfer on the thing. You can also put a FireCuda SSD into the mix by sliding it into the M.2 slot on the rightmost side if the base 4GB isn’t enough.
This process is intuitive and tactile enough that I have no complaints.
In terms of software, getting the most out of this thing involves installing the Seagate Toolbox app. Once you’ve done this, you can configure things like automatic backups and also tinker with the RGB lighting on the Gaming Dock. Again, for a company that doesn’t do many RGB-laden peripherals, it feels like Seagate have done a really good job here.
If there’s anything I’d flag here it’s that I quickly found myself wishing that more of these ports were placed on the front of the unit, rather than the back-end. On paper, this design choice makes it easier to hide the wires away. In practice, it made situations where I had to tangle with those wires all the more vexing.
Seagate’s gaming dock isn’t going to be for everyone. However, if it’s for you, you’re probably going to come away pretty thrilled with what it delivers.
Maybe you forget to splurge on a larger capacity SSD when you built your last PC. Maybe you own a gaming laptop. Maybe you’re like me and use a microPC like Intel’s Hades Canyon NUC. Regardless, the pitch here is that you’re in a situation where you have to regularly juggle whatever you have installed or taking up space and, with modern PC games sometimes requiring installations that measure in the hundreds of gigabytes, this problem isn’t getting any easier over time.
Compared to buying a chunky traditional external hard drive, the Seagate is a little more expensive but purpose-built solution to that problem. There’s also definitely room here for people who do video or media production and want that extra high-speed storage.
Setting the Seagate Gaming Dock up is basically as simple as plugging it in and while the sound of the drive itself was sometimes noticeable, it hardly competed with in-game audio once I had my headphones on. In action, the FireCuda delivered consistent speeds of around 250mb/s. It took just shy of three minutes to transfer a 38GB game directory folder onto the drive and another 2 and a half minutes to bring it back again.
The Bottom Line
It won’t improve how your games look but, if you have the room or it within your budget and on your desk, the Seagate Gaming Dock adds to almost every other aspect of the PC gaming experience. It’s expensive but it’s a rock-solid accessory for those who currently strained against the limits of their existing storage setup.
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