I've read the FAQ and went through some very informative posts here so I think I'm up to speed on Sata and all the different flavors of connectivity. I do have a fairly simple question that I'd like a definitive answer to though. My present USB backup strategy is painfully slow and I've been sourcing an eSata alternative I can use on all my machines. My newest 4 Core PC has eSata built in so that's all set. However my older system that I still depend on is based on a D865GLC board and thus has an older Sata connector on the board. My question is, can I hook up an eSata "pci bracket" like this one and have a backup unit like this one function properly? I realize I might have to shut down the PC before hooking it up or disconnecting it but that's OK. I'm not expecting hot swap with the older board, I'm just looking for an inexpensive and FAST backup solution for my older PC.
In fact, the eSATA spec does NOT provide power to the external device through the port, and so almost all eSATA devices have their own power supplies. There is a newer version of eSATA (not "standard", I believe) that adds some power supply contacts in the port, but it's uncommon.
The two more common features of eSATA that MAY not be supported in standard internal SATA ports are hot swapping (you say you don't need), and longer cable lengths to reach an external device (done by higher signal levels). However, many internal SATA ports actually have added those eSATA features, so often the adapter plate you mention works just fine. Just don't push for an extra-long data cable to the external drive.