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I have a laptop (Dell Latitude E5420) with 5400 RPM hard disk and the speed seems slow. I also have a 7200 RPM desktop computer’s hard disk drive.

So my question is if I connect that 7200 RPM desktop PC’s hard disk to laptop using USB-to-SATA cable, will it increase speed performance? As the disk on USB-to-SATA cable will use USB’s power, it may reduce the performance. Does anobody experience doing like this?

  • Which Usb port You are Using Usb 2.0 or 3.0 – Ali786 Dec 5 '14 at 6:52
  • My laptop has USB 2 and eSATA ports. Can I connect on eSATA? – Daud Dec 5 '14 at 6:59
  • @Daud Just posted an answer, but looking at the specs for your laptop it seems it should have USB 3.0 ports. So that is the best bet. But—and I go into more detail in my answer—the issue is the USB-to-SATA bridging circuitry itself. If you can do eSATA then go for it. It seems there is one port on that machine that USB/eSATA combo so definitely an option. – JakeGould Dec 5 '14 at 7:03
  • @JakeGould my laptop doesn't have USB 3.0 port. dell.com/pk/business/p/latitude-e5420/pd – Daud Dec 5 '14 at 7:12
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So my question is if I connect that 7200 RPM desktop PC’s hard disk to laptop using USB-to-SATA cable, will it increase speed performance? As the disk on USB-to-SATA cable will use USB’s power, it may reduce the performance. Does anybody experience doing like this?

Speed of the external drive won’t really be impacted due it getting any power via the USB port. The speed will be impacted by the USB protocol being used (2.0 versus 3.0) as well as the USB-to-SATA bridging circuitry itself. How bad/good that would be depends on many factors.

First, will the USB enclosure or cable be USB 2.0 or USB 3.0? Since you have a Dell Latitude E5420 and that system only has USB 2.0 ports on it, a USB 3.0 connection to the external drive should be pretty solid speed-wise but not so much with USB 2.0. That said, checking the specs it seems it has one port that is a combo USB/eSATA port which is a potential solution; eSATA will give you better performance right away since that would be a direct connection to the SATA bus on the laptop itself.

But if you want to try using USB 2.0 that would still hinge on the USB-to-SATA bridging board itself. And that can be a toss up. Some USB-to-SATA bridging boards give good speed, others not so much. Sometimes it’s an issue with the USB aspect of the bridge, sometimes it’s the SATA aspect, sometimes it’s a combination of both.

My advice to you is if you can find a decent, low-cost USB 2.0 or eSATA external enclosure it’s worth a gamble to see if it helps your speed situation. And I would definitely recommend going with eSATA over USB since that would be a direct connection to the SATA bus on the laptop itself; no USB 2.0 or data protocol bridging bottlenecks.

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    The model Dell e5420 (dell.com/pk/business/p/latitude-e5420/pd) doesn't have USB 3.0 port, it has USB 2.0 and eSATA ports instead. The link you provided above is of Dell e5430. – Daud Dec 5 '14 at 7:08
  • "...due it getting AC power via the USB port." -- How do you get "AC" power from a USB connection??? – sawdust Dec 5 '14 at 7:49
  • @sawdust Noted and corrected. Long night. – JakeGould Dec 5 '14 at 7:51
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You need to compare the specs of your hard disks. RPM is not sufficient to predict real world performance. There's also seek speed and throughput. You might end up not having any real difference in speed.

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