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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  • glugglug - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    Slot loading drives break more often than tray loaders, are more likely to scratch the disc, and are more likely to build up dust and dirt accumulation inside.
    They aren't even making them that much slimmer than the normal desktop DVD burners.
    If Slim DVD burners drop below $30, and cases start accomodating 2 slim drives in a normal bay, that's great. But this slightly slimmer slot loader "standard" is just garbage.
  • the goat - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    The standard 1.75" optical drives everybody uses are already half height. A full height 5.25 drive is 3.5" tall.

  • JAAman - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    i was just about to post the same thing!

    i think the problem is, most of the people here are too young to remember full-height drives...
  • TechnoButt - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    I'm glad I checked before reposting this.

    I miss my 5.25" Full Height MFM 10MB Hard Drive that would literally move when powered on (not screwed down)... but not really.
  • marc1000 - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    the cd drive of my car stereo is jammed with pieces of a CD that broke inside it. or a mini-cd someone stupid tried to "slot-load" and now it won't get out until I disamble the whole unit. I would NEVER install a slot-loading drive in a PC.
  • khimera2000 - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    Looking at this thing I have come to the following thoughts

    1. Your using the same size disk still.... its 2011 if i can get over 16gigs on a chp smaller then the nail on my pinkey this standerd better bring out smaller disks.

    2. I have one optical drive on my computer... It has a blue light that matches my case... I like it... but i have not read anything off of it in months, and find my self wondering if i will ever use it again...

    3. Everything I own takes SD, or ProDuo memory cards they are alot more scratch resistant, and a CD wount fit in my camera.

    4. Star Bucks.... they have a fast connection, its free last i went. Its relatively fast, and I have access to everything at home.

    The only way i would get one of these is if it had a card reader built in to replace the one that i have manageg to damage (CF slot only other cards work). Even then the optical drive has become a just in case device for me. I only have it just in case someone has a really old setup that does not support booting from a USB drive. Most of my OS installs today use a HDD just because its easier.

    what would be cool is making a standard for hot swapping SSDs. making personal disks that contain your private information locked away and always on hand... just like a wallet, but with more stuff on it, like your games, your documents, etc. so that way you wouldent have to worry about running out of space on your home rig, and you can bring the disk where ever you go and know you can play what ever you want on there as long as the system that it plugs into maches the performance required. having a slot for this large copacity drive on Notebooks, Desktops, and Consols would make it possible to just swipe out a single drive between machines without loosing any information... just changing the way the information is used based on the hardware surounding it.
  • AMD20x6 - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    Slot load drives are nothing new- we once owned a Pentium II 266MHz Compaq with one. The mechanism failed with our Windows 98 disk inside and, since slot load drives don't have a convenient paperclip hole to pop the non-existent tray open, the drive had to be disassembled.

    There's a reason that no one but Apple seems to have adopted this style. They're a PAIN when they break.
  • Belard - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    Yes, slot-load desktop drives *DID* have a paperclip release hole. Pioneer drives had these. I still have mine (I don't use it).
  • AMD20x6 - Thursday, June 2, 2011 - link

    Well, the one in our Comcrap certainly didn't. I guess they earned their name...
  • Belard - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    Unless the drive is ACTUALLY 1/2 the height of todays drives... its pointless. Technically, todays 5.25" Drives are already HALF-HEIGhT!

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