Internal vs External 3.5" drive bays
Is a external 3.5" drive bay actually external (all the cases I've looked at don't seem like it) and what would the difference be between an 'internal' 3.5" drive bay? Also besides optical drives what are the main other uses of 5.25" drive bays (yes I know the floppy disc)? The case I most likely will buy when I build my computer (see a good long lasting gaming and multipurpose rig) is Corsair 500R White ATX Mid Tower Case - PCPartPicker. Just looking at others as well . . .
5.25" bay uses eh?
tiny displays for random crap
When included in a case description, the terms internal and external refer to access. An external drive is one which is accessible from outside the case, which basically means it's mounted to have one end flush with the case exterior as you'd see with an optical drive or floppy disk drive. Items which need to be accessible from the outside, such as fan controllers, digital readouts and the like also use external bays.
I doubt most external drive bays (lest 2.5/3.5) are hot swappable. Though I might be wrong.
It should be noted for clarity that when I talk about desktop hotswap stuff it is 90% of the time HDD/SSD related.
There are a couple cases that come with hotswap capability built in. Otherwise you have to buy a 5.25" -> 3.5" or 3.5" -> 2.5" hotswap unit. It is only worth it if you move around HDDs a lot.
I have a 3x 5.25 -> 4x 3.5" but you can get them in different capacities too. They just connect like any normal SATA device. I like mine at the top of my case with 24" SATA cables. :P
But you do need the free ports to support it and have your ports set to AHCI. The cables are attached to the box and the HDD itself or the HDD in a tray quickly slides in and out connecting to a backplane.
The downside is that they can be really expensive considering the basic materials involved.. >:(
I do not have a closeup on hand but you can see it in these.
IIRC, NCIX has very few but Newegg has many more.
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