My Asus z70Va notebook currently has a 320gb Western Digital Scorpio Blue drive (PATA). I want to make an external USB drive primarily for backup and restore, using a 2.5 inch enclosure. Given that the internal WD is 5400rpm, would there be any meaningful file-transfer-speed advantage to using a 7200 (with 16mb buffer) in the enclosure as opposed to a 5400 (8mb)? USB 2.0 is my only option, BTW. I'm asking because I already have the new 5400 in hand ready to go into the enclosure, but am wondering whether I should instead return it and buy a 7200. I don't want to bother if there's not much to gain. Thanks.
If you're using USB 2.0 it's probably not going to make any difference. The higher RPM drive would normally have higher transfer rates and access times, but the USB 2.0 interface will probably be the bottleneck for transfer rates and the improvement in access times won't be significant if you're primarily using the drive to read or write large files (backups and restores).