How is the speed of a hard drive connected through a USB 2.0 external enclosure?

How is the speed of an external SATA hard drive connected via a USB 2.0. I am planning on using it to record multiple instrument tracks and can't have any extra latency or reduction in speed. Is there a major difference between an external connection through USB 2.0 versus an internal connection straight to the motherboard? I'm running out of room in my computer so that is why I am researching this option.
jerrykobesAsked:
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PUNKYCommented:
Based on the chart provided by the link below:

http://www.addonics.com/emerging_technologies/sata_tutorial.asp

The speed of sata will downgrade to usb speed. If you use sata II, then there is huge impact of data transfer rate.
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jerrykobesAuthor Commented:
Right now I am just using IDE hard drives on my Dell Dimension 8300 desktop. I'm pretty sure that there is a SATA port on the motherboard but I don't think it is SATA2. How would the USB 2.0 speed compare to the IDE 133 that I am using now? Are interrupts handled differently between the CPU and hard drive depending on which connection is being used, thus possibly causing an extra delay with the USB? I'm very paranoid of spending any money on this and any help is appreciated.
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PUNKYCommented:
Based on chart from the link I listed above USB 2 provides data transfer rate very much slower then IDE 133, there should no comparation for it, though.
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