How well do the PCI type cards for USB 3.0 and eSata work on PCs with motherboards that don't support USB 3.0 and eSata? I see WD has new externals and people are posting issues of slow transfer speeds and loosing conections. I suspect the above may be a big part of the problem.
They "work" fine. That is, their purpose is to provide support for that modern hardware and they do just that. But understand the PCI bus is antique (legacy) technology, and as such is very slow compared to today's. Depending on your motherboard, the PCI bus has a maximum speed of 33 - 66MHz for a maximum data transfer rate of 533Mb/sec. USB 3.0 can transfer (in theory) up to 4.8 Gb/sec and eSATA using an SATA 6 drive, up to 6Gb/sec. So while this adapter will allow those newer devices to function, the bottleneck created by the PCI bus will greatly degrade their performance. Think of a 6 lane highway suddenly narrowing down to 2 lanes.
That said, if buying new USB or SATA devices today, buy the latest and greatest so you can carry them over to a new computer.
Also note that USB 3.0 devices are backwards compatible with previous version ports. So if your computer has any USB connections, you can still connect a USB 3.0 device to it. If your current computer does not have any USB support, then it is probably pretty dated, and it is probably time to start budgeting for something newer.
Well, I don't pay much attention to the reviews at Newegg. Happy people don't complain and unhappy people complain loudly. Plus those reviews are typically placed within a day or two after receiving the product. I would rather see reviews after 6 - 12 months of use.
If a Newegg product has many reviews that all say the same thing, perhaps indicating a trend, I might take notice. That said, there is a trend with USB devices in general losing connection. This trend goes all the way back to USB 1.0. Whether USB 3.0 finally corrects it, I don't know but if I had a choice between USB and eSATA, I would pick eSATA.
Well, I don't have any experience with external drives so can't help there. I suggest entering the model number of any device plus the word "review" in your favorite search engine to see what is being said.