Recently we took a long hard look at what the 16TB capacity version of the LaCie 1Big Dock had to offer and walked away pretty impressed. While not perfect, it did make a rather good argument in its favor. However, at the end of the day the LaCie 1Big Dock is still a $920 device, and good deal or not that is a rather significant chunk of change. For those who can never, ever see themselves dropping that kind of cash on a dock, but still want a quality, multi-purpose dock Seagate has you covered – as that is where their 4TB FireCuda Gaming Dock enters the equation.
With an asking price of $529, the FireCuda Gaming Dock may not be in impulse buy territory but it has been designed to be the more value orientated alternative to its LaCie sibling… and help Seagate cover more of the marketplace with their models. While less expensive, you would never know that by the list of included features… as Seagate does not ‘do’ cheap. They do less expensive alternatives meant for the more mainstream corner of any market. This is why, much like the 1Big series by Seagate’s LaCie division, the FireCuda Gaming Dock offers the typical dock features (Display Port, multiple I/O ports, etc.) but also adds in numerous value-added features. In fact, it arguably offers more (or at least different) features than the 1Big Dock series.
On the surface that certainly sounds like a contradiction in terms. LaCie is typically the premium ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ option, but the FireCuda Gaming Dock is the exception. Much like the 1Big Dock, the FireCuda Gaming Dock uses the ThunderBolt 3 interface (with USB 3.1 gen 2 Type-C ‘sidewards’/’backwards’ compatibility via Intel Titan Ridge controller). Comes equipped with a high-performance 4TB IronWolf Pro hard disk drive, is actively cooled (with a bigger 40mm fan), and generally speaking is built to take typical levels of punishment that life hands out to home users. However, unlike the 1Big Dock the FireCuda Gaming station also offers things its sibling cannot. Features such as integrated ethernet wired connectivity, as well as onboard audio (via a Texas Instruments PCM2912A controller). Better still, while it may not come in 16TB capacity options, or hot swap hard drive caddies, it does come with a secondary four lane PCIe 3 M.2 slot for uber NVMe storage performance drives. Mix in the typical Seagate flair and styling and on paper this may actually be a better dock and better value than LaCie. Such an offering certainly piqued our interest, so let’s find out if it lives up to its potential.