I was wondering if Gigastudio can access samples/instruments (GIGS) stored on a external USB 2.0 harddrive and if so if there is any noticable decrease in speed? (I am planning to buy a 160 gb harddrive in a USB case).
It works fine for me, but maybe you could look at Tiger Direct. They have 200 gig hardrives for 80$. I just bought one of those, and put it in a 3.5 inch hard drive enclosure and for around 100$ I have a 200 gig external usb 2.0 hard drive for my samples only, its quite a good deal.
Firewire 1 and USB 2 should be about the same, but firewire 2 is another story. Firewire 1 is rated at 400 Mbps and USB 2 at 480 Mbps but firewire 2 is rated at 800 Mbps. If you can find a firewire 2 card (and have an open slot) then you can get a LaCie 250 Gig HD from Amazon.com for about $250 USD; the drive is firewire 1, USB 2 and firewire 2 compatible (yes, all three).