8 Replies Latest reply on Aug 8, 2009 5:19 PM by John T Smith

    Case Questions - Size and Drive Mounting

    John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

      Planning ahead for a new i7 system, I'm going to buy components as I find them on sale... so have 2 questions about a new case


      First is Drive Mounting


      Everything I see today (have not looked at every possible case) uses some kind of "thumb lock" to mound 5.25 drives, such as a DVD drive or, in my case, the hard drive swap hardware I am going to use (Vantec MRK-200ST-BKSATA which goes in a 5.25 opening, then hard drive goes in a housing to slide in and out easily)


      I am used to the old style case with screw holes to mount 5.25 drives... so... do the new style cases really work well to hold a drive securely?


      Next question is about case size


      I'm looking at a mid-tower case http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119196 that seems as though it is plenty big enough for my needs, with enough 5.25 openings for DVD and two hard drives... and 3 case fans for cooling... and what looks like plenty of case width to be able to put a Noctua cooling tower on the i7 CPU


      I'm also looking a  full-tower http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119160 that doesn't seem to me to "really" offer anything more I need, since I'm not going to have a raid array and will only have 1 video card


      But... is there some advantage I'm not seeing to having a full-vs-mid-tower case?

        • 1. Re: Case Questions - Size and Drive Mounting
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          I looked at both your links, but forgot to look at the price. The second one has the advantage of 6 full front bays and a huge side fan, in addition to a (from the looks of it) a 140 mm back fan. That makes for a nice airflow to keep your system cool, and offers the possibility to have 6 disks in front as well as two burners. The other case has nice led's, which don't buy you anything and only 5 full front bays, so only 4 hard disks plus two burners. It is up to you, but these were my initial reactions.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Case Questions - Size and Drive Mounting
            John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            I did what I should have done in the 1st place, and read the size specifications


            A full tower case won't fit in my cabinet (heavy wood furniture we... ie the designer wife... bought for both sides of the office)


            I don't need as many external drive bays as the F-T has, so the mid-tower will do fine on that specification


            The Coolermaster Scout comes with 3 fans... front, top and back... and has side mounting for up to 2 more for CPU and video card... so I don't think cooling will be a problem


            Now, my only point of "wonder" is never having used the type of drive mounting it has... some sort of "thumb thing" you push to lock?


            But, since ALL the cases I've looked at seem to have the same/similar mounting, I guess they work OK


            Since the CM Scout, and the Corsair 850w power supply are both on sale right now, I think I'm going to buy when I get done with the Honey-Do list and put them away until I'm ready to build... which will be when Win7 64bit is a SP-1 level


            Thanks for the comments




            Found some pictures of the CM Scout, one of which was of the "stuff" that comes with the case


            There are drive "rails" included that look like they go on the sides of the 5.25 drives, and then those are locked into place by the quick release case locks




            I have been planning on using drive swap hardware (like my current computer) to easily change boot or data drives... but now I'm thinking I'll just keep an extra drive on hand, with an Image of the boot drive made to external drive, and only actually change a drive in case of failure


            I now use a dual boot with 1st boot Win2k and Premiere 6 to run my Pinnacle Dv500 and 2nd boot WinXp, so will just set up one drive with Win2k and Win7 64bit


            I'll most likely get a 320Gig Sata drive for boot (and extra in reserve) and a 1-T Sata drive for data... with 1-T of space, I can simply put different projects in different folders and, for SD work, I'll have ample space (and, by the time I actually build, I may be able to afford a 2-T data drive)




            While they are on sale, and to spread the hit to my tiny budget, I ordered PS and Case today


            PS - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139009


            Case - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119196



            Next month (or sometime soon) I'll watch for Sata drives on sale at Newegg



            I'm going to wait until just before I build to buy a motherboard, since by then the Gigabyte I'm looking at MAY be on a 2nd revision with refinements


            • 3. Re: Case Questions - Size and Drive Mounting
              Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

              If you would like 5 removable disks in the space you have allocated right now for your 3 removable hard drives take a look at this Supermicro mobile rack unit  This unit is only $100 and I have two installed in my system.  They work great and I bought extra carriers since I actually have three different OS/Application disks.  One is Xp Pro 32, one is Vista 64 and the other is Win 7 RC just to experience the differences.


              Be careful of the 2 TB drives as they are "green" meaning they are slowed down to save power and there fore not suitable for anything but archiving

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Case Questions - Size and Drive Mounting
                Harm Millaard Level 7

                I fullheartedly second Bill's advises. The SuperMicro drive cage is SUPER and Green disks should be left in the woods.

                • 5. Re: Case Questions - Size and Drive Mounting
                  John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Supermicro looks interesting, but a bit of overkill for what I do (no raid since no HD editing so don't need that many drives) and it also says it works with specific model cases


                  Buying in stages since my budget is small, I've got the CoolerMaster http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119196 on order


                  What I'm thinking of now, if I don't just go with have a "hard mounted" boot drive with a spare on the shelf, is the http://www.cwol.com/serial-ata/sata-removable-drive-pro.htm since it is all metal construction and has two small fans to cool the drive


                  Anyone used that brand/model and have any comments?

                  • 6. Re: Case Questions - Size and Drive Mounting
                    Harm Millaard Level 7



                    This time I looked at the price and it looks quite nice. I am not fond of all LED's, especially in a cupboard, but that is personal choice.


                    Your second option, the removable drive cabinet is IMHO a waste of money. It is pretty expensive, and what does it add to your system? You will know when your boot disk fails, you will know where it is in your mid-tower, so why spend any money on that. Sorry to be so blunt, but wasn't that why you asked?

                    • 7. Re: Case Questions - Size and Drive Mounting
                      Mortimer IOU Level 2

                      You can get removable drive bays for a lot less (like $20), and personally I like them. With an extra drawer or two, it takes about 10 sec to swap out an OS, or put in a different setup. I've got four. It makes it especially easy to make a clean install.

                      • 8. Re: Case Questions - Size and Drive Mounting
                        John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP


                        I am thinking about just having an inside mount (dual) boot drive with a spare in my supply cabinet, and a 1-T size data drive for different projects in different folders, but I've been using swap hardware for a long time, so the idea is hard to leave


                        Jerry K:

                        The Startech swap hardware I use now is metal/plastic and not really up to DAILY drive swapping, so I was looking at an all metal model to last longer



                        But... having drives inside the case (especially now that Terrabyte drives are affordable) will work OK


                        The reason I first started with swap hardware was to have Win2k on one small drive to use my Dv500 card and WinXp on a larger drive for everything else


                        Now that I've read about and figured out how to do dual boot, I can just use one drive for different versions of Windoze... which will certainly help by saving a hundred (or more) in my build cost


                        I will, of course, stay away from "green" drives, since they run slower and aren't good for video editing