External Storage Solutions

I'm thinking of buying an external drive enclosure + a 200 GB HD. My questions are:
- Is it worth to put the extra money and buy a SATA enclosure + HD? Is the speed difference compared to IDE really noticeable? I have 2 Seagate SATA 160 MB HD inside the pc.
- I plan to use this setup on other pcs. Will a SATA disk work on an old non-SATA ready pc?
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  1. What interface are you using to connect it to your computer?

    IEEE1394 Firewire is only 400 megabits peak, which translates to 50MB/s. USB 2.0 is only 480 megabits peak, which translates to 60MB/s. In practice, Firewire will give you around 30MB/s while USB 2.0 will go around 20MB/s.

    You can see that Firewire and USB 2.0 then are so slow that even the old UDMA33 speeds of 1998 are fast enough. SATA can't help whatsoever.

    Now, if you had an SATA breakout connector on the PC and ran an SATA cable directly to an external SATA drive, you'd get a huge speed increase. But good luck finding the parts you need to do that. And even if you did this, your PC would be the only one you could do that with, as others wouldn't have the external SATA plug to connect it to.

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