I've got 6 external Maxtor One-touch 4 USB 2 500Gb drives which have been working well for several years (3 for data and 3 for backup). My wife has need of external storage, and on her mini-Mac she cannot upgrade to USB3 so I am considering giving her my drives, getting a USB 3.0 card for my Win7-64 machine, and upgrading to 3 2Tb drives for picture files and backup.
I'm using a Dell XPS 730 2.4GHz quad-core with 8Gb memory. I'm crimped in the wallet, so I'm looking to do this inexpensively yet increase the speed of my external drives. There are three alternatives that I see:
1) Getting something like Seagate or Western Digital 2Tb drives and external enclosures, which would come to roughly $200 per drive/enclosure combo;
2) Getting ready-made external 2Tb drives that are designed for USB3.0 (About the same cost).
3) Getting Seagate Freeagent Goflex (or semthing like that) drives that are USB 2.0 but with an option of a USB3.0 base, also about the same cost.
My sense is that I could provide better (cooler operating) external cases than those in the ready-made external drives.
A question: Is the upper limit of USB3 such that if I get one of the 5400rpm or 5900 rpm drives by Seagate or WD, still rated at the 3GB transfer rate, going to slow down the results compared with a drive 7200 rpm 3GB transfer rate?
Are there other considerations I'm missing? I cannot afford one of the multi-drive enclosures, with or without raid capabilities.
Or, should I stay with USB 2?