I was walking around the show floor today and caught a glimpse of Antec's Solo II chassis with a slightly different optical drive bay.

It turns out that there's a new optical drive standard being worked on in the industry. The standard is for slot loading drives with a half-height profile. The drives are still 5.25" wide, but they just aren't as tall as the older drives.

Cases that have a fold down optical faceplate won't work with these new drives, forcing case makers to adopt. This Solo II is an example of what a slot loading solution may look like.
Expect to see these new slot load drives to hit the market by the end of this year, along with cases to match.
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  • CSMR - Saturday, June 4, 2011 - link

    I agree; this "half-height" drive is at least 2x taller than it needs to be.
  • Watwatwat - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    I was expecting laptop type drive slimness....that looks like 3/4 height as said, not enough of a gain for all the trouble it will cause.
  • yxalitis - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    Yeah, who decides we need these changes!
    We the consumer can force a change to fail, simply don't buy the new style, most of us have drive bays for standard optical drives, we would all have to buy some sort of blanking cover to fill the gap...seems pointless to me.
    A CD is as wide as it ever was, so why reduce the height of the drive?
    Anyway, hopefully this will go along with the BTX mobo standard, and just quietly disappear.
  • Crazymech - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    Honestly. I bought a DVD player at my last build in 2009 because it cost me $20.

    I wouldn't buy another one for my next pc, nor would I buy a blu-ray drive. I prefer a HDD docking station, a USB flash drive, network transfers, the internet in its whole.

    There's really no reason to use CD/DVD/Blurays anymore. Maybe except for those without a PS3/bluray player for their TV.
  • probedb - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    Until you can get broadband connections that support over 40Mbps widely adopted and used then you won't get BR quality streaming video. Until you can get lossless downloads of *all* music that is available on CD then you'll always need optical drives.

    Why are people even moaning, it's not like they're expensive or use their own connection like a floppy drive.
  • Wardrop - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    I agree, although we'll see new developments in the near future that will bring the bitrate of blu-ray quality content down significantly. RED, a cinema technology company who make some really kick ass motion cameras, are developing a wavelet based codec that will kick h264 in the ass as far as compression ratios are concerned (the codec is called REDRay). The catch of course is that it's quite a lot more computationally intensive, but by the time the hardware catches up in a couple of years, we'll be seeing 4k may-as-well-be lossless video at under blu-ray's 40mbps.

    If you had a speedy connection (100mbps or higher) and wanted to stream such content, you'd probably be able to downloaded a whole 2 hour movie to a local cache in under 10 or 20 minutes, meaning as long as you're connection doesn't get cut during the first part of the movies, you are not likely to experience a mid-movie streaming disaster.
  • qhoa1385 - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    YAY! for slot load!

    BOOO for non-standard size.....
  • tim851 - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    >> BOOO for non-standard size.....

    It is a standard. What you want to say is: BOOO for new-standard size.

    We've been having a MUCH smaller standard for optical drives in LAPTOPS for years now. They aren't even that expensive anymore. Why not make cases that can fit one of those slimline drives?

    Why not propose a new Mini-ATX standard that is larger than Mini-ITX?
  • mino - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    No, the HOPE for it to become a new "standard".

    If you ask me - look no further than BTX example.
  • Snotling - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    Boo for optical

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