This article is about what to expect when using the FireCuda Gaming Dock on a Mac computer.
Formatting the HDD
The FireCuda Gaming Dock’s internal HDD is formatted NTFS for Windows by default. This means that when using it on a Mac computer, this drive’s volume is Read-Only and will not allow copying files to it or creating new ones. To unlock storage functionality of the Dock you will need to format the 4TB volume in Disk Utility to a Mac-compatible format, for example HFS+. Then you’ll be able to Read from and Write to the Dock’s internal HDD. Please see the following article for formatting instructions.
Warning: Formatting the drive will delete any data currently on its volume. It is strongly recommended to copy the contents temporarily to another location, and then copy them back to the volume after it has been formatted. On a new FireCuda Gaming Dock out of the box, these contents include valuable warranty and device setup information.
Thunderbolt 3 Connectivity
To further experience the full functionality of the FireCuda Gaming Dock, ensure that the device is connected to a Thunderbolt 3 port. It can also be plugged into a USB-C Gen 1 interface, or can be connected to a USB-A port with a USB C to A adapter cable, however in both these instances the Dock’s functionality will be limited compared to when using Thunderbolt 3.
Important note: The Dock has two Thunderbolt 3 ports available, but only one is designed to be connected directly to your computer. The other port will still function if connected directly to your computer, however data transfer performance could be limited depending on the desired use case. Use the port on the left marked with a laptop symbol to connect the Dock to your computer to ensure full performance is available. The second Thunderbolt 3 port on the Dock can then be used to connect other Thunderbolt 3 devices for Daisy Chaining. If you connect a non-Thunderbolt 3 USB-C device then you cannot daisy chain any further.
Limitations when not using Thunderbolt 3
The main limitation when not using Thunderbolt 3 is that any NVMe SSD which has been installed in the Dock will not be recognized by the Mac computer. There is no other way to get an NVMe SSD (which you’ve installed in the Dock) recognized without connecting the FireCuda Gaming Dock to a Thunderbolt 3 port. Another limitation is that Daisy Chaining other Thunderbolt 3 devices is not possible when the Dock is not connected to a Thunderbolt 3 port.
Adding an m.2 NVMe SSD
After installing a new NVMe SSD in the FireCuda Gaming Dock (see user manual), it will likely be necessary to format the drive from Disk Utility first before it’s available for storage. If you wish to use the drive as a Time Machine backup destination, then it is recommended that you format the drive to the Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format. You can find instructions to format your drive here. If the NVMe drive has been used on a Mac computer before, it should be available and ready to go as soon as it’s installed and the Dock has been connected to a Mac (using Thunderbolt 3).
To unlock the full potential of the Dock, be sure to install Seagate Toolkit for Mac. This software will help you get the most out of your FireCuda Gaming Dock by providing an LED Control Panel to manage the lighting themes of the main LEDs on the Dock, and another function you’ll find in Toolkit is a Synchronization tool to sync files between a folder on your computer and the Dock’s 4TB HDD.
Power provision over Thunderbolt 3
The FireCuda Gaming Dock is not designed to charge your laptop. It can provide 15W of power, which may keep the battery from discharging or may provide a very slow charge to the laptop, but only if it’s idle or under light workloads.. However it’s recommended to continue using your regular power supply connected to the computer along with the Dock to ensure the laptop consistently gets the power it needs.