I had one of those Porsche design external drives. It failed after a relatively short time, a number of years ago.
Looking at the remains, it looks like internally it was a 500 Gb Seagate Barracuda, 7200 rpm (which is a good thing), but that the interface was USB 2 or original Firewire (later called Firewire 200), both of which are rather slow for today's use.
Your 3.5 GHz MacBook Pro would have been produced after they stopped putting original Firewire into the MacBook Pro, so unless you used the Firewire convertor cable, you would be stuck using USB 2.0 with it.
Your 3.5 GHz MacBook Pro has USB 3.0 interfaces. I know that without bothering to look in my reference material about exactly which model and year yours is, because my MacBook Pro has USB 3.0 and it is older than yours is (I can tell by the clock speed.)
For mass storage, I am currently using a Seagate Backup Plus 5 TB, which benchmarks faster (about 150 megabits/s) than my internal Apple drive (88-ish megabits/s) on the iMac I am using. When I was doing the research, the Backup Plus was not (at the time) the fastest drive, but it was (at the time) one of the faster and more reliable, and the faster drives were (at the time) much more expensive or much less reliable.