Why don't PC cases have 5.25" external drive bays anymore?

lopoetve

Extremely [H]
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It's very frustrating to me that in 2022 it is practically possible to find a laptop and increasingly difficult to find a PC case that accommodates an internal DVD/Blu-Ray player. I couldn't live without the DVD/Blu-Ray drives on my computers and my multiple DVD/blue ray players in my home. Mainly for the DVD functionality. I honestly never cared much for Blu-Rays: too much DRM and I can't accept having to pay a bunch of money for a program like WinDVD just to be allowed to watch movies on my computer.

I would never trade my DVD collection for any kind of digital/subscription service. I tried that a few years ago with Dragon Ball. I subscribed on Funimation's website when I rediscovered the show for the first time since my childhood and got access to all of the DB anime series in HD. The problem is that when I look back on it and the lag problems I had, it just wasn't worth it, I ended up just buying all of the series' on DVD over the past year. For example, there was a time when I was streaming on my Linux dual-boot machine that the Funimation site just stopped working on the linux browser for a few weeks. I have no idea why, I ended up just going back to Windows 7 to watch it but that was a huge pain. A DVD would have worked a lot better. Also, some days, the videos were just laggy and I don't know why. I usually ended up just lowering the bitrate to SD anyway just to get a reliable video feed. The only time that DVD's have this kind of inconsistency is if you scratch them, but that is something that is generally in your control.

Subscription/digital services are not reliable in my view and what guarantee do you have that the content you paid for will still be accessible in 20 years? I have almost all of my DVD's from 20 years ago and they are still in pristine condition and play perfectly. That said, how much of my digital content from 20 years ago do I still have access to? Most of it got lost when I replaced my PC in 2005 or it is forgotten on some poorly labelled backup DVD or USB drive somewhere that I will never find. I have my movie boxes and the discs are sorted based on genre and I basically know where everyone of them is. From an archival standpoint, DVD's are basically king. 30 years from now, if there is a big war and after cyberattacks take down the internet and emp attacks take out most hard-drives, DVD's will still be around and working. They will be the books of our era that scholars will one day use to study our society and culture of our day.
While I too have an extensive DVD/BDROM collection... um... Plex? Or another media server system? None of my discs have left their protective cases in over 6 years. Buy it, rip it (which just needs an external drive, not one taking up a 5.25 bay), and drop it on the server to watch anywhere. Drive space is cheap, I've got my entire collection in as high a quality as I could rip it, and I never once have to dig out a disc. I laughed at people doing that with Xbox systems back in the day, but now that I have it I wouldn't go back for anything. And plex runs on ~anything~ these days from a server perspective - and the client is just a web browser, regardless of actual OS.
 

gvx64

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 30, 2022
Messages
222
Here are 250 cases with external 5.25" bays https://pcpartpicker.com/products/case/#G=1,12 granted they may not all suit your needs, but there should be some that do.
Thanks, this is a helpful page. I will keep it in mind. I just built my new Shuttle PC and it has a Blu-Ray writer. That said, I had to go with a lower end 300W model (SH510R4) partly because the higher end 500W SH570R8 didn't have an optical drive bay and space-wise on my desk it would have been an issue for me to use an external one.

https://www.shuttle.eu/en/products/cube

Don't get me wrong, it's not that you can't find PC's with internal optical drives in 2022, there still are plenty of them out there. It just feels the way Floppy Drives did back in 2005: you could still find them and they still had some application (BIOS flashing) but everybody knew that they were on their way out and probably would be totally gone in another 5 years.
While I too have an extensive DVD/BDROM collection... um... Plex? Or another media server system? None of my discs have left their protective cases in over 6 years. Buy it, rip it (which just needs an external drive, not one taking up a 5.25 bay), and drop it on the server to watch anywhere. Drive space is cheap, I've got my entire collection in as high a quality as I could rip it, and I never once have to dig out a disc. I laughed at people doing that with Xbox systems back in the day, but now that I have it I wouldn't go back for anything. And plex runs on ~anything~ these days from a server perspective - and the client is just a web browser, regardless of actual OS.
That's really interesting, actually. I am doing something very similar as you for my retro video game collection. I started backing them up after I had a couple game carts fail due to powering them on in the console. Fortunately, they weren't overly expensive to replace (Dragon Warrior I for the NES and Star Wars Shadows of the Empire for N64), but I learned my lesson. If that had happened to a Dragon Warrior IV cart I would have had a heart attack. In my view, it's no longer safe to be playing game cartridges directly in 2022 and I would also include PS1 and Saturn discs in that as well and so I made the decision.

The main reason why I haven't done this with DVD's yet is partly because of the data (8.5GB per dual-layer disc), but also because I haven't heard about commercial DVD's failing from natural end-of-life yet. My retro game collection filled a couple of 128GB MicroSD cards but I would definitely need some very large hard-drives if I was to attempt backing up my DVD collection, especially when considering the large number of TV/anime series' that I have. That said, what you are suggesting is logical. Not only do you help extend the life of your original copies by minimizing moving and touching them but you also get the ease of access benefits as well. Yeah, and I can see how an internal DVD drive wouldn't be as critical in such a case.
 

lopoetve

Extremely [H]
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I’ve had two commercial dvds start to crack at the center hole (due to being used way way way too much) so they definitely can go bad

12T drives aren’t super expensive. Throw them in raid, backup to the cloud if needed (and you have the original discs), plus, well, H.264 or H.265 rips are much smaller than the original media. Even at an effectively lossless quality level.
 

swingdjted

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
274
I surrendered. Didn't like doing it, but... yeah.

Although I picked up a case with a 5.25 bay, it's filled just with a DVD-RW lightscribe drive. Rather than fight the problem of not having front-of-case customization, I just gave up and hid the whole case. I don't care about aesthetics (glass/RGB/etc.) and only wanted a case to be visible if I was going to use the front of it.

Now, the case is hidden and out of reach (and therefore percevably silent for that reason). I have small external everything connected by a long USB extension, including a hub, card reader stick and high-amp charging USB on said hub, USB Blu-Ray burner, and a web cam also connected that way with plenty more ports ready for thumb drives, etc. I found an external power button including lighting that you would normally see on a power button for drive use indication, power, etc. It even has a small reset button built in.

Kybd/Mouse are wireless/blutooth/radio frequency choice so no wires to worry about there and the little USB plugs for them are hidden on the back of the hidden tower. Printers are wireless/networked, so no wiring there either. The display cable and audio cables were long enough to keep the tower hidden far away too.

I figure, if I can't customize or make use of the tower's front with 5.25" bays, why have the thing accessible or visible at all? Now nobody even needs to know that the tower exists. Only human interface stuff exists in view and in reach, and I didn't have to go out of my way to make the tower extra quiet, because I can't even hear it from where I am the way it is. There just isn't any reason for me to have a tower nearby anymore I guess.

So because of all this external stuff, I accepted my defeat when trying to defend the 5.25" bays on this particular box. R.I.P. 5.25" bays.
 

Format _C:

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 12, 2001
Messages
3,813
Matrix orbital 7” display has HDMI and USB
Main purpose is sensor panel display
Here is a example of a sensor panel you can create.
How do you set this up?

I came across this HP display it uses a 7" LCD with a DisplayLink

Windows sees it as a USB DisplayLink HP CFD monitor so how would I set this up if possible with this type of display?
I can then either clone or extend my desktop with the display settings in Windows 10
Thanks
 

xDiVolatilX

[H]ard|Gawd
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Jul 24, 2021
Messages
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I haven't used a disk in years. I don't think I ever will again. Plus swapping out the useless drives to perforated covers allow my top 360 rad to get cool fresh air sucked in through and out the top. That's a win/win no extra wires clutter weight + more airflow cooler temps better performance lol
 

Wade88

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Jun 21, 2015
Messages
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Sounds like you need to invest in a personal media server. I've been using PLEX for years,I spent $70 on a lifelong plex pass like 5 years ago and it's been more than wonderful.

Love mine. I can do whatever the fuck I want with all of my own music and ripped movies/tv shows. Takes up less physical space than stacks of dvds, and I can have as much curated music (and audiobooks!) Set in either playlists or shuffle on my phone at any time. Also I can stream every single bit of media, regardless of what it is, to any device, anywhere, at any time.

My main thing is that I listen to music that won't ever be on music services. (Super small garage bands from my Punk days, lots of oldschool chip tune soundtracks, etc.) So I need my *own* streaming service. I have 500GB of music at this point.
(And 40TB of video)
There's command line and gui software for ripping Tidal Hifi contents if you have a subscription. You just get a sub and download all you want and then turn auto renew off. You can resub again when you have a critical mass of things you want again, and fill your plex server this way cheaply and easily while not as blatantly stealing.
 

Wade88

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Jun 21, 2015
Messages
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Fwiw, you can add playlists to usb sticks and cds (if they're formatted correctly) and some players will read and recognize them. Your head unit may not, but you can check the documentation to be sure.
The sync 3 system in my ford trucks reads flac off of flash drives so long as it's only 16 bit, fails with 24.
 

Wade88

Gawd
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Jun 21, 2015
Messages
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That's what I do usually since it does android auto too but sometimes it's nice in places where it's hundreds of miles away to cellular service, and the phones are so large now that they don't really fit in the cubby that contains the ports while it's closed anymore but I've never seen a flash drive that doesn't... They also read a fiio x5 2nd gen with 2 400GB microSD cards in it full of flac but it's slow to scroll, is better off with 256GB flash drives. The phones are great but they tend to top out at a mere .5-1TB vs my bag of flash drives for trips to Edwards AFB. Have you ever driven through West Texas at night? It's so desolate that when I do it these days I tow a fancy RV so I can eat real food and have my own toilet and bed, plus an air conditioned and heated place for my dog to lurk for short periods.
 

vegeta535

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Jul 19, 2013
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There's command line and gui software for ripping Tidal Hifi contents if you have a subscription. You just get a sub and download all you want and then turn auto renew off. You can resub again when you have a critical mass of things you want again, and fill your plex server this way cheaply and easily while not as blatantly stealing.
That is stealing lol. Not judging but I am pretty sure that is a big no under the terms.
 

lopoetve

Extremely [H]
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Oct 11, 2001
Messages
33,248
That's what I do usually since it does android auto too but sometimes it's nice in places where it's hundreds of miles away to cellular service, and the phones are so large now that they don't really fit in the cubby that contains the ports while it's closed anymore but I've never seen a flash drive that doesn't... They also read a fiio x5 2nd gen with 2 400GB microSD cards in it full of flac but it's slow to scroll, is better off with 256GB flash drives. The phones are great but they tend to top out at a mere .5-1TB vs my bag of flash drives for trips to Edwards AFB. Have you ever driven through West Texas at night? It's so desolate that when I do it these days I tow a fancy RV so I can eat real food and have my own toilet and bed, plus an air conditioned and heated place for my dog to lurk for short periods.
Oh yes, including to Edwards, and mine was pre-cell phone (I did have an early iPod and tape converter though - for a 1997 Ford Econoline modified with a 700 mile range tank... god I saw shit on that trip after 10 hours driving straight). Stupid college jobs...

Honestly a 256G phone will contain ~hours~ of audio - enough to hit all 50 states. :p Never needed more music capacity than that, but fair.
 

Wade88

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Oh yes, including to Edwards, and mine was pre-cell phone (I did have an early iPod and tape converter though - for a 1997 Ford Econoline modified with a 700 mile range tank... god I saw shit on that trip after 10 hours driving straight). Stupid college jobs...

Honestly a 256G phone will contain ~hours~ of audio - enough to hit all 50 states. :p Never needed more music capacity than that, but fair.
My dog likes music too, with this I can cart around the entire library and i have them numbered with a laminated master sheet like a disemboweled jukebox and an excel file that keep up with all of it :D. The phones are crammed full of other stuff besides music too though, like maps of 4 different kinds. I have 6 days of flac on my 512GB pixel 7 pro. A large portion of my library was legitimately ripped, basically anything prior to 2013 was purchased by my brother on CD and inserted into one of a series of gigantic books full of CDs. I finished ripping them all in 2015. It took 3 years to do it without it feeling like a job.

The dog likes to watch TV too, so in the RV there is a synology box loaded up with SSDs full of stuff he likes on half the library and on the other half is stuff my wife and I like.
 

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Wade88

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Jun 21, 2015
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Nice an "E-Van" I love those! Too bad Chevrolet is the only US maker with "real" RWD full sized vans left!
How is a twin turbo dually one ton transit not a real full size van? https://www.ford.com/commercial-trucks/transit-cargo-van/models/transit-van/ The transit connect is FWD but literally no T150, T250, or T350 is they're all RWD with optional AWD. If all my dogs liked to go places like Stryker does I'd probably buy one. GM doesn't sell 4wd vans, they all have to be upfitted. If you don't like AWD you can have a 2wd transit upfitted too it just costs more than it did for the E-series with a part time 4wd system.GM would never think of forward-thinking things like this either https://www.patentguru.com/US20220355710A1 https://fordauthority.com/2022/02/ford-patent-filed-for-pet-mode-system-would-rival-teslas-dog-mode/ I wonder how well it'll work for 20lb cats too. They might even include door poppers without having to have them upfitted like the police k9 units do. I have these but it's more so they can all get out faster to pee after long trips.
 
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TheSlySyl

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There's command line and gui software for ripping Tidal Hifi contents if you have a subscription. You just get a sub and download all you want and then turn auto renew off. You can resub again when you have a critical mass of things you want again, and fill your plex server this way cheaply and easily while not as blatantly stealing.
Since I posted that my music library has grown to about 3 terabytes and my Plex server has over 100tb total now. 😅

Also, Plexamp is awesome.
 

Wade88

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Jun 21, 2015
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913
I like plexamp too, I use it most days on android auto and on the phone by itself. The galaxy tab s8+ with the maximum storage and a 1TB sd card holds quite a lot of music too but I went for the 5g one instead of a high storage wifi model.
 
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Oct 16, 2016
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Fractal just announced the Pop series. Modern designs with two 5.25" bays at the bottom (i.e., in front of the PSU). The optional accent colors available with the black units are interesting.

https://www.techpowerup.com/review/fractal-design-pop-air-rgb/


Why did it take me a few months to stumble across this post and learn about these cases so that I know Fractal Design has a dual 5.25" bay option that isn't the Define 7 XL?

Dammit, now I'm upset that Marietta Micro Center isn't stocking the Pop lineup, especially the XL. That bottom bay placement is perfect for the XSPC dual bay D5 pump/reservoir units I've been using for years! Might have to cut some holes in the inner shroud and grommet them to make a path for the tubing, but hey, I've got cutting tools and I'm not afraid to use 'em.

Then I can stick a 360mm radiator in front (if it's the XL), 240mm up top, and hopefully have all the airflow I need to keep the system cool under max load without having to resort to loud, high static pressure fans ramming air through a dense 360mm rad like I've done in my current Corsair 800D, all while keeping that top section nice and clear to work in.

Fractal loses points for selling the USB-C front panel header separately, though. They put the rest of the ports in, don't just half-ass it like that!
 
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