Folks, I recently picked up a couple of external drives, and decided to benchmark them to determine whether the interface and/or drive type made much of a difference. For those that don't want to read the details, here's the bottom line: If you're going to splurge on a FW800 interface, it's well worth fitting this with a 7200 rpm drive to maximize performance. Uncached sequential writes over FW800 were twice as fast on the 7200 rpm drive compared to the 5400 rpm. FW800 is a marked improvement over USB 2.0 as well. Full results are below. For background, when shopping for drives, I was interested in using the FW800 interface on the MBPs, for the simple reason it's rated almost twice as fast as USB 2.0. Some of the drives I was shopping for included 7200 rpm drives. My first thought was this was silly, since the interface limited the throughput to far-below the limits a 5400 rpm drive could produce, so why bother upgrading to 7200 rpm? Well, it turns out it does make a difference. I've got both a FW800 enclosure (G Drive Mini) and a USB 2.0 interface (Nexstar TX) as well as a 320GB 7200 rpm drive (Hitachi) and a 640GB 5400 rpm drive (Western Digital). So, I benchmarked both drives using both interfaces. Some interesting results! Turns out, the 7200 rpm drive does in fact dramatically improve performance in the FW800 interface. For sequential operations, Firewire has a dramatic improvement over USB 2.0; for random read/writes, drive speed seems to be a more important factor. And for large files, the combination of Firewire and 7200 rpm gives a pretty impressive throughput of almost 75MB/s. Full results are below. Enjoy. Note that the drive and interface are noted in the title bar for each drive.