I have this older p3-600 which had one of those 4200 RPM drives, an PC-Card USB 2.0 card and an external drive. The external drive was faster.
I cured this machine by replacing the internal 11GB 4200RPM (slug) drive with a new 40GB 5400RPM drive. The result was spectacular. Boot time dropped from over 4 minutes to under 2 minutes (Windows 2000 Pro.) And the cost was all of 89 bucks. Great payback.
I am currently using a laptop that has an old hardrive in it a fujitsu mht30 something 30gigs rpm is at 4200rpm but i also have an iomega 120gb external connect via the usb 2 and it spins at 7200.... so my question is.. which is faster? to the computer , since the internal is at 4200 and well is directly connected and internal... but the 7200rpm drive is an external and is connected to the usb 2... sooo does the usb slow it down a lot? and which would be faster to load graphics intensive programs off of? helping load times. etc? thanks guys-btw my first post so not sure if i formatted it the right way.