USB 3.0 Ports
Many vendors that formerly produced eSATA external hard disks as their high-end solutions have now changed their product lines to support USB 3.0. While you can run a USB 3.0 drive on a USB 2.0 port, if you want better performance, you need a USB 3.0 port. If a USB 3.0 hard disk is already on your desktop or in your pocket, get better performance (but not always the maximum possible with USB 3.0) by adding a USB 3.0 card from vendors such as the following (all are dual-port):
- Aluratek AUEC100F (optional AC adapter, /34)
- Belkin F4U024 (includes AC adapter, /34)
- SIIG JU-EC0112-S1 (/34)
- Sonnet USB3-2P-E34 (/34)
- StarTech ECUSB3S2 (/34)
The actual throughput of a USB 3.0 ExpressCard depends upon the implementation of the PCIe (PCI Express) bus used in the laptop: if the laptop uses PCIe version 1.0, the maximum throughput is 2.5Gbps; if the laptop uses PCIe version 2.0, the maximum throughput is 5Gbps. In either case, your USB 3.0 hard disk will run much faster than if it was connected to a USB 2.0 port, but will not reach maximum speed on laptops that use PCIe version 1.0.