One of the best ways to enhance system performance is to install an internal solid-state drive (SSD), which provides lightning-fast data transfer speeds.
But as SSD prices drop, solid-state external drives are looking attractive, too — especially when used with USB 3.0.
New external SSDs are not only fast but lightweight and — with no moving parts — rugged. Current models range from 120GB to 300GB capacities.
The memory in SSDs works much like the RAM in your PC — or, more accurately, like memory in a thumb drive. Unlike traditional hard drives, data read/writes do not have to wait for a mechanical part to move to the proper place on the spinning platter.
If you’re looking for fast external backups or you’re frequently storing big files outside your PC, here are three external SSD models to consider.
LaCie Porsche Design Slim Drive SSD
Recently acquired by hard-drive giant Seagate Technologies, LaCie still puts its particular stamp on its products — in this case, sleekly designed external hard drives, as exemplified by the Porsche Design Slim Drive P’9223 USB 3.0 SSD (site). This 11.2-ounce aluminum wedge looks like it belongs in a modern-art collection. But the technology inside screams speed, speed, speed!
Until recently, nearly all SSDs were sold as internal components. The few external SSDs available were obscenely expensive, and their speed was constrained by USB 2.0’s relatively slow data-transfer rates. However, prices have plummeted and SuperSpeed USB 3.0, included on new systems or available as an upgrade on older PCs, gives external SSDs the performance you’re paying for.