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Recently, when buying my new laptop computer, the shop seller told me that was no difference between a computer with e-sata or with USB 3.0 port. However, I didn't trust him and bought the one with USB 3.0.

I don't know much thing about one or another. Did I make the best decision on buying the laptop with USB 3.0? Does someone know more about these two interfaces and the differences between the two?

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closed as not constructive by Linker3000, Breakthrough, 8088, Journeyman Geek, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Nov 7 '11 at 18:36

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Two different electronic communication standards/protocols, with two different (although somewhat overlapping) purposes. We can't answer this question for you, only you can. Voted to close. –  Breakthrough Nov 7 '11 at 12:59

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

USB:

  • in general way more flexible.
  • USB 2.0 still dominates the market but will be replaced by 3.0 soon.
  • USB 3.0 devices will be more common in the future
  • allows for longer cable length
  • your friends will have USB disks and if they have a eSATA disk it will have a USB plug as well.

eSata:

  • eSata probably slightly better for exclusive external disk (or disk array) usage
  • eSata 3.0 is slightly faster than USB 3.0 on a bus level. eSATA 3.0 6Gb/s vs USB 3.0 5GB/s but those values are rather theoretical cause there are no hard disks you will be able to buy that support such speeds.
  • should be considered if you work with large data on a external disk array that uses several physical hard drives to maximize throughput

Just to compare a computer hardware website has following in the section of 3.5" external disks as of Nov '11:

eSATA (153) SAS (7) USB 2.0 (378) USB 3.0 (156) FireWire 800 (84) FireWire (101)

USB 3.0 already is as on the same level as eSATA and is only going to get more popular.

TL;DR: The laptop with external USB 3.0 seems to be the better choice. eSata devices are more expensive and less common. The few advantages eSata has over USB 3.0 are no match to the wide range USB 3.0 has to offer.

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You should add that at the moment USB3 has a lot of incompatibilities between devices <-> chipset (there are plenty of FW-updates for devices because of that) and chipset <-> system integration. And Linux has additionally some driver problems. Hence at the moment eSATA is much more reliable. –  Robert Nov 7 '11 at 13:38

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