Seagate IronWolf 525 500 GB Gen 4 M.2 SSD Review


Seagate IronWolf 525 500 GB SSD

September 2021

Type SSD

Price $150 US

Seagate is one of the big names when it comes to the storage industry with products ranging from HDDs and SSDs (SATA & NVMe). The company has been steadily updating its IronWolf line of SSDs over several generations. The IronWolf series itself is aimed at consumers but also serves its good purposes within the prosumer segment. Last month, Seagate launched its brand new IronWolf 525 series NVMe SSDs which are Gen 4 compliant and also marketed towards NAS systems.

According to Seagate themselves, the IronWolf 525 NVMe series will offer all the key additions such as IronWolf Health Management System & Rescue Data Recovery services to reduce the probability of data loss on NAS systems. The drivers also going to be priced accordingly in the entry-level PCIe Gen 4 NVMe segment

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Today, I will be testing the IronWolf 525 500 GB from Seagate which comes at a cost of just $149.99 US.

Seagate IronWolf 525 500 GB Gen 4 NVMe SSD

Seagate states that its IronWolf 525 series is an ideal choice for creative pros and businesses with demanding performance needs. It is Gen 4 compliant and backward compatible with PCIe Gen 3.

The SSDs are based on the NVMe SSD form factor and features a 96-layer Kioxia BiCS 3D TLC NAND flash which offers larger capacities, better performance, and slightly lower power input. Seagate is using the Phison E16 (PS5016-E16-32) SSD controller to power its IronWolf 525 series SSDs which is a Gen 4 compliant controller.


  • Future-Proof Speed IronWolf 525 boosts NAS caching and tiered storage solutions to
    the next level with PCIe Gen 4 speeds up to 5,000 MB/s while maintaining backward
    compatibility with PCIe Gen 3 systems
  • Always-On, Always Accessible Designed to deliver performance in demanding 24×7 low latency, multi-user environments, enabling fast access to data any time, anywhere.
  • Built Tough Endurance rating of 0.7 DWPD 2 ensures robust performance in NAS and other intensive client workloads.
  • Class-Leading Reliability and Dependability Rated for 1.8M hours MTBF and includes a 5-year limited warranty for a best-in-class total cost of ownership (TCO). Purpose-Built Capacities Choose from 500 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB, ideal for primary storage or fast caching
  • IronWolf Health Management (IHM) Actively monitor and protect your NAS data with error Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery recommendations.
  • Peace of mind with Data Recovery Includes 3-year complimentary Rescue Dat

Furthermore, the SSD is priced relatively close to other options, starting at $150 US for the 500 GB, $250 US for the 1 TB, and $450 US for the 2 TB variants. In terms of performance, the IronWolf 525 500 GB has sequential read speeds of 5000 MB/s and write speeds of 2500 MB/s. The Random read speeds of the drive are up to 420K IOPS and the write is 630K IOPS. The SSDs are powered through the NVMe slot with a 3.3V DC supply.

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The endurance of the SSD is rated at 1,800,000 hours which should last a good amount of time. You are also looking at a 5-year limited warranty through the entire lineup.

Seagate IronWolf 525 Gen 4 NVMe SSD Specifications:

Capacity 500 GB 1 TB 2TB
Model Number ZP500NM30002 ZP1000NM30002 ZP2000NM30002
Controller Phison E16
NAND Flash Kioxia BiCS 4 96L 3D TLC NAND
Form-Factor, Interface M.2-2280, PCIe 4.0 x4, NVMe 1.3
(22.15mm x 80.15mm x 3.58mm)
Seq. Read (128KB @ QD32) [ Normal / Sustained @ PCIe 4.0 x4 ] 5000 / 3300 MBps 5000 / 4350 MBps 5000 / 4300 MBps
Seq. Write (128KB @ QD32) [ Normal / Sustained @ PCIe 4.0 x4 ] 2500 / 525 MBps 4400 / 995 MBps 4400 / 965 MBps
Rand. Read IOPS (QD32T8) [ Normal @ PCIe 4.0 x4 ] 420K 760K 740K
Rand. Write IOPS (QD32T8) [ Normal @ PCIe 4.0 x4 ] 630K 700K 700K
Pseudo-SLC Caching Yes
TCG Opal Encryption No
Power Consumption Avg Active 5.6 W 6.5 W
Avg Sleep 20mW 20mW 30mW
Warranty 5 years (including 3 years of Rescue Data Recovery Services)
MTBF 1.8 million hours
TBW 700 1400 2800
DWPD 0.7
UBER 1E10^16
Additional Information IronWolf 525 SSD Specifications
MSRP $150 US $250 US $450 US

Test Setup

Our test platform for this review consisted of an Intel Core i9-11900K  processor which ran at stock clocks on the MSI Z590 ACE motherboard. The platform was coupled with 32 GB of DDR4 memory from G.Skill (Trident Z RGB / 8 GB x 4) and the ASUS ROG Thor 1200W PSU. For graphics, I used the MSI GeForce RTX 3090 SUPRIM X. This rounds up as a high-end platform for tests with modern-day SSDs.

Wccftech SSD Test Setup:

Processor Intel Core i9-11900K @ 5.30 GHz
Motherboard: MSI MEG Z590 ACE
Power Supply: ASUS ROG THOR 1200W PSU
Solid State Drive: Samsung 980 Pro 1 TB (Gen 4)
MSI Spatium M480 2 TB (Gen 4)
MSI Spatium M470 1 TB (Gen 4)
TeamGroup CARDEA C440 1 TB (Gen 4)
TeamGroup CARDEA IOPS 1 TB (Gen 3)
TeamGroup CARDEA A440 1 TB (Gen 4)
TeamGroup T-Create Classic 2 TB (Gen 3)
Memory: G.SKILL Trident Z Series 32GB (4 X 8GB) CL16 3600 MHz
Case: Corsair Graphite Series 780T Full Tower
Video Cards: MSI GeForce RTX 3090 SUPRIM X
Cooling Solutions: ASUS Ryujin 240mm AIO
OS: Windows 10 64-bit

Seagate IronWolf 525 500 GB Gen 4 NVMe SSD Performance Benchmarks

First up, we have the official performance stats for these drives as listed by their manufacturers. You can compare these stats with the rest of the drives I tested in the following chart:

AS SSD Benchmark

AS SSD Benchmark download is a Windows 10 utility software program that tests the performance of solid-state drives. With its help, you can find out the speed of all installed SSDs and take care of any issues that the tests may reveal. The free app performs three separate tests to provide you with conclusive evidence on your driver’s general behavior while it copies, reads, and writes data.  The app determines the access time of an SSD, along with its speed and performance capabilities

ATTO 3.05 Disk Benchmark

As the industry’s leading provider of high-performance storage & network connectivity products, ATTO has created a widely-accepted Disk Benchmark freeware software to help measure storage system performance. As one of the top tools utilized in the industry, Disk Benchmark identifies performance in hard drives, solid-state drives, RAID arrays as well as the host connection to attached storage. Top drive manufacturers, like Hitachi, build and test every drive using the ATTO Disk Benchmark.

The ATTO Disk Benchmark performance measurement tool is compatible with Microsoft Windows. Use ATTO Disk Benchmark to test any manufacturer’s RAID controllers, storage controllers, host bus adapters (HBAs), hard drives, and SSD drives and notice that ATTO products will consistently provide the highest level of performance to your storage.

Crystal Disk Mark 7.0.0 x64

CrystalDiskMark is a disk benchmark software.It measure sequential reads/writes speed,measure random 512KB, 4KB, 4KB (Queue Depth=32) reads/writes speed,select test data (Random, 0Fill, 1Fill),

File Transfer Speeds (100 GB File Size)

To test the maximum average transfer speeds of the drives, I used a 100 GB file to test the limits.

PCMark 10 Storage Benchmark

The PCMark 10 Storage benchmark is designed to test the performance of SSDs, HDDs, and hybrid drives with traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, and a selection of popular games. You can test the system drive or any other recognized storage device, including local external drives. Unlike synthetic storage tests, the PCMark 10 Storage benchmark highlights real-world performance differences between storage devices.

Conclusion – Slightly Expensive With Great Reliability

Seagate is one of the leaders in the storage space and their IronWolf 525 series SSDs spice up the NVMe Gen 4 segment with new and competitive options. The $150 US pricing for the 500 GB SSD makes it slightly on the higher side but in return, you are getting top-notch reliability & added NAS options. Furthermore, you are getting data recovery services which is a bonus!

Seagate’s IronWolf 525 series SSDs promise to offer increased performance through Gen 4 complicacy and added data recovery features.

The drive is backed by a 5-year warranty and has a 700TBW endurance rate which will run it through the paces of all business-oriented tasks that it is aimed at. 1.8 million hours of MTBF makes it a very solid option to consider and if you happen to find these at a discounted price around $110-$130 US, then it’s great for any PC setup.

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