Can a fast external hard drive ever be fast enough? When you’re dealing with backups or copying large files from one drive to another, you can never have too much speed. The new USB 3.0 spec emerged last year. The speed comparison between a USB 2.0 drive and a USB 3.0 drive is staggering. Fortunately, the costs have dropped and adding a USB 3.0 external hard drive to your computer has become an attractive idea.
Fast External Hard Drive USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 Speed Comparison
The leap in throughput was as substantial in USB 3.0 as it was between USB 1.0 and 2.0. With the newer USB 3.0 specification topping out near 5 Gbps, it is faster than the wired computer networks in most homes.
USB 1.0 speeds are 1.5 Mbps
USB 2.0 speeds are 480 Mbps
USB 3.0 speeds are 4800 Mbps
Investing In USB 3.0 Fast External Hard Drive
Because the standard is relatively new, your computer may not have a USB 3.0 card installed. Motherboards will eventually ship with USB 3.0 on-board, but if your computer only has the older USB 2.0, then you’ll need to purchase a USB 3.0 card. The cable is also different. So there will be some investment costs in upgrading, but the price is minimal in comparison to the huge performance boost you’ll get after upgrading.
This USB 3.0 from Buffalo is a fast external hard drive said to out-perform internal hard drives. It is an external drive and would be great for moving massive amounts of data back and forth between computers or even just being used as a standard backup hard drive. It is backward compatible with USB 2.0, but you will want to invest in the USB 3.0 card to get the maximum performance. As with most external hard drives, this model also ships with its own cable, so you will not need to purchase the new USB 3.0 cable.
This Buffalo Technologies USB 3.0 card will enable your computer to get the full 4800 Mbps speeds out of your new USB 3.0 hard drive. You must have a PCI-Express port on your motherboard to install this, so make sure your motherboard has that expansion capability before purchasing. The card comes with a driver disk and is compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.
Fast External Hard Drive Conclusion
As file sizes and hard drives get larger and larger, the time it takes to backup and copy data will increase. Having a USB 3.0 external hard drive in your computer will eventually become a necessity. If you deal with a lot of files, or are into movie and photo editing, upgrading to a faster hard drive is paramount in maintaining a productive work environment.