Improve DAE accuracy and time

have a mega mega slow laptop. ripping (not burning) is very slow.

i want to rebuild my digital library in FLAC using EAC, but it would take over 500 hours! Assume i rip for 5 hours each day, thats still 3 months, and i have a life (and lots of cd’s!). So, i need a new pc, or a good external drive.

question 1: regardless of the fact my processor is very old and slow, will i still be capable of fast rips+encoding into .flac files if i get a good external cd reader/writer?

question 2: will the quality of audio playback of the external hdd that i am ripping to change based on different drives?

question 3: i ONLY want this drive for DAE. nothing else. Please name a few that are good at this job and work nicely with EAC. (preferably available to purchase from the UK - i live there).

question 4 - Does the USB technology used in an external cd r/rw pose any disadvantages in comparision to an internal cd drive?

question 5 - what other factors determine the speed of the DAE and the encoding - how else can i upgrade the laptop to shorten encoding time???