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Slim Form-Factor ("Laptop") ODD's & 2.5" Hard Drives... in a Desktop??

Discussion in 'Storage' started by nleksan, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. nleksan

    Mar 26, 2012
    231 (0.11/day)
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    The title of the thread pretty much sums up the general question, although I want to preface this by saying that I know that this is technically possible and has been done before. I have seen the 1x 5.25 to 2-3x 2.5/slim drive adapters, I have seen the drive-mount laptop IDE/PATA/SATA to "Desktop" SATA convertors, and I in fact just the other day purchased a Vantec 3.5" IDE HDD to SATA converter to convert my old Western Digital WD1200 IDE 120GB 7.2kRPM HDD to work with one of the SATA ports on my Asus SK8V (got it for only $5 at the local Microcenter; mounts on back of HDD, allows for use of SATA interface instead of the awful, terrible, miserable ribbon cables; requires 1x SATA cable + 1x SATA Power Cable + 1x MOLEX Power Cable).

    However, as I am in the process of "speccing out" my upcoming build ("paper building" as I like to call it :D ), I have realized just how much less necessary an Optical Drive is compared to just a few years back... Backups can be done faster, more easily, and more securely on a 64GB USB3.0 flash drive or an eSATA/USB3.0 external Hard Drive, while online software distribution has become the "de facto" way of purchasing games and other like programs.

    That said... I am not ready to give up disc drives myself, as I have ~150 PC Games on optical discs (starting back from the Quake3/Half-Life/Deus Ex/Command&Conquer days up through Half-Life Episode 1/UT2k4/Quake4/etc, Ep1 being my most-recent game purchase so yeah, it's been a while).
    Not only that, but as I do a significant amount of High Definition Photo/Video and Audio Editing (including audio production for a few small local artists), having the ability to read/burn discs is very valuable: from CD's for "mass"-distribution to DVDs for 100% Uncompressed Audio to Blu-Ray discs for HD Video and extremely high bit-rate audio files (over 10MB/s before condensing).
    Therefore, I DO need to have the capacity to not only read the above discs, but to burn them as well. I do not use my home PC for most of this, as I don't currently have a strong enough system, which will be remedied soon.

    If you have read any of my other posts, you have probably heard me talk about my getting ready to build an Ivy Bridge rig (spoiler tag, hopefully which works, will show you what I have planned if you care...)
    - Intel Core i7 3770K (hope to hit 5Ghz :rockout:)
    - Asus "Maximus V" or EVGA FTW Z77 Motherboard (or similarly kick@ss board)
    - G.Skill Ares/Corsair XMS3 16-32GB DDR3 18662133
    - 1x HD7970 or GTX680/685 (hoping for a 4GB 680; will eventually be 2 cards, then 3, over 2yrs time or so)
    - 4x2TB Western Digital Caviar Black 64MB Cache OR WD RE4 2TB HDDs (for a RAID10 array: file storage)
    - 2x120GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSDs (likely in RAID0 for A/V programs, games, and others that need the boost)
    - 2x300-600GB Western Digital Velociraptor 10,000rpm 64MB Cache HDDs (for a RAID0 array combined with an mSATA SSD) OR 2x750GB Seagate Momentus XT hybrid HDD/SDD drives in RAID0
    - 1x64GB undecided-make/model mSATA Solid State Drive (for use with RAID0 VR's for Intel SSD Caching)
    - 1000-1350W Seasonic/Corsair/OCZ Fully-Modular PSU (really need full modular, sleeved cables:individually, minimum 6x6+2 PCIe connectors and 12 SATA connectors)
    - 2x 360mm + 1-2x 180/240mm Radiators for Dual-Loop Setup
    - Swiftech Apogee HD CPU Waterblock
    - EK/XSPC/Koolance Motherboard MOSFET/VRM/Chipset Waterblock(s) + Enzotech Copper Heatsinks
    - Swiftech/Koolance/EK Full-Coverage GTX680/685(Ti)/HD7970 Water Blocks (copper)
    - Maybe one of those BitPower Blue RAM Waterblocks because they look kinda cool hehe.. I know they don't really do anything​
    - 2x MCP35X2 Dual Pumps OR EQUIVALENT
    - 2x MCP35X Pump-Top Reservoirs OR EQUIVALENT
    - Tygon Anti-Microbial 1/2"ID(3/4"OD) Interior-Braided Reinforced Tubing (possibly blue, possibly clear...)
    - Lok-Seal 1/2"ID-3/4"OD Compression Fittings for ALL Mounting Points (with Extension Mounts for card-to-card in SLI/CFX; OR EQUIVALENT BRAND) + Lok-Seal 90* Elbow Fitting Extensions for Tube Routing (if necessary)
    - 20-24x 120-140mm Cougar CH-14/Delta Fans (Push-Pull on all rads + 8-16 more fans for case :O)

    Anyway, I am hoping to save as much space as possible regarding storage drives, so I am thinking that it might be a good idea to grab one of those 2x slim ODD into 1 5.25 bay adapters...

    Oh, this will be in a Case Labs M10/TH10 case (PSU/"ugly stuff" kept on right side of MB divider tray, full-size window for MB side, vented PSU side, 85mm extended top - Vented, Casters, 3x Flex-Bays, full 3x140mm fan openings on both sides of front).
    Due to the extra cost of every set of drive bays, as well as wanting to keep the front as "clean" as possible, I am leaning heavily towards going with:

    1 Samsung/LG Blu-Ray Burner - SLIM
    1 Samsung/LG/Lite-On Blue-Ray Reader & DVD/CD Burner - SLIM

    I don't know if that is a feasible idea or not... I kind of want to go with the slot-load style as I think it gives very clean lines, which is important to me with this build... I will be working my behind off to keep the wire management as perfect as possible, so the outside has to look good too. I think the Slot-Load makes that happen, but I will forgo it if it means a loss of reliability or anything else..

    I also don't know about the Hard Drives... I mean, it seems to me that for storage purposes (backups, files, etc in a RAID Array), 2.5" "Laptop" Hard Drives would be perfectly adequate, and the benefit of being able to double-up drives per given area of space is very appealing to me. There are plenty of 7200RPM/64MB Cache 2.5" mechanical drives available, and the Momentus XT 750GB Hybrid seems like a killer way to go for storage of Audio/Video/Photo files as the majority would be just small enough to fit into the SSD Cache (even moreso if the SSD cache of 2 in RAID0 function like one big cache...), so current projects/etc would get the performance boost, I'd save on space, and I would be happy :)
    Or am I barking up the very-wrong-tree? I admit that I have never thought to use a mix of slim ODD's, 3.5" HDD's, and 2.5" HDD's/SDD's in a build before, so I don't know how-or-if it will work.

    I would really appreciate some help :) I would love to leave an extra ~2-3 5.25" bays open for a fan controller (touchscreen... gotta find a reliable one though... but I want that "smooth, clean, futuristic" look and knobs don't fulfill that), as well as being able to possible go with pumps/reservoirs in bays on the PSU-side of the case (allowing for the 2 120.3/120.4/140.3 radiators on the top with push-pull, and maybe doing away with 2 extra and just have 1x 140.2 rad on the right front-intake panel or a 120.3 on the right-side-intake-panel).

    Either way, I would still have "regular" SSD's and HDD's in the "Box", as well as quite likely an mSATA SSD for dedicated caching use.

    Phew... Sorry for the novel! I just get all of these ideas in my head and it's hard to make them more concise!

    I really appreciate your help with this, it's been tough to figure out! I know there are tons of knowledgeable folks on here, and I appreciate any and all answers!

  2. Cotton_Cup


    Mar 19, 2012
    377 (0.18/day)
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    Rizal, Philippines
    This is possible

    taking my old dell studio hybrid (when I look in the inside it's like those in the laptop)
    nleksan says thanks.
  3. xBruce88x


    Oct 29, 2009
    2,516 (0.85/day)
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  4. nleksan

    Mar 26, 2012
    231 (0.11/day)
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    Thanks guys! I can't ditch ODD's completely, but I also can't see myself using them enough to justify giving up two entire 5.25 bays for them... Thus, the (mild-ish) performance hit of a "slim" SATA Blu-Ray Burner + a 2nd Blu-Ray Reader fit into one bay is extremely appealing.

    Not to mention, having a pair of slot-load drives in the front of a CaseLabs TH10 would look pretty awesome next to nothing more than a (heavy-duty, possibly touchscreen if there are any that work at 30w/ch) fan controller for Delta's on rads and a single-bay LCD readout of coolant-temps at various points (inlet/outlet for 2 loops?).

    I just want everything to be as clean as possible aesthetically.

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