External SSD drive via USB2?

It might sound like a silly idea, but does anyone have any idea whether connecting an external SSD drive via USB2 (old laptop) will result in any faster performance than a normal drive via USB2? The transfer speeds will be just as slow, and the seek times will be faster, but I don’t know if that will translate into better performance for things like Audacity.

As a fuzzy rule you can’t use USB for critical time recording. USB uses traffic-copping on the data lines and sooner or later you’re going to miss a step and lose data or a data event. This is an old video problem. They can’t do it, either. Network drives are even worse. Maybe they got better at it, but my guess is no, particularly if you’re starting out life with an old laptop.

Firewire could do it just fine because FireWire is full duplex and has no holes in the streams.


I should have mentioned that I’m only editing, not recording. I just want to improve the access times for loading, effects, saving, etc.

I should have mentioned that I’m only editing,


I would have a hard time believing an internal drive would be slower than cramming a data stream down a USB line. You may get marginal improvement if the external drive is near empty and the internal one is a basket case. Can you get on a lot better just by cleaning out your drive, error test and defragment it?

But yes, if you have a massive show and you’re pulling many different parts into a timeline you could probably do well with an SSD – even an external one. If you start to get “holes” in your show playback, that could be traced to the USB connection.


You’d be much better off using a RAM Disk.
Have a look at these pages:
How to Supercharge Your PC With a RAM Disk
Speed Up Windows and Web Browsing!
Dataram RAMDisk
RAM Disk for Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8
ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver