There are plenty of choices in the ExpressCard world, so shop carefully before making a purchase. Get answers to the following questions before you buy:
- What version of ExpressCard does your computer use?
- Are drivers for your version of Windows available? In some cases, the driver CD might not have them, and you’ll need to get them from the website.
- For eSATA and USB 3.0 cards, what version of PCIe does your computer use? You’ll get faster performance with PCIe 2.0 or higher than with PCIe 1.0. To determine what version of PCIe your computer uses, download and run the latest version of SiSoftware SANDRA and use the Buses and Devices report from the Hardware section of the program.
- Can you use an existing USB 2.0, FireWire (IEEE-1394), or eSATA port to handle the device? If not, or if all existing devices must be left plugged in at all times, it makes sense to add new ports.
Although most “big-box” retailers stock only a fraction of the ExpressCard products (let alone product categories) on the market, you’ll find plenty of on-line vendors to choose from, including the vendor’s own online store.