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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  • jwilliams4200 - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    I don't get it. Who would want a drive that is obviously not "half-height" (it looks like maybe 3/4 height to me) with a slot load, when they can have a conventional tray-load drive that fits in a standard slot? The slot load rollers are rougher on discs than a tray load, so I prefer tray load. And if it is not half-height, you cannot fit two in a standard slot, so what is the point?
  • knedle - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    But let's be honest, who uses optical drives anymore? I mean everyone has them, everyone uses them to for example boot computer from CD, or read something from CD/DVD once in a while, but thats all.
    Movies are streaming, small files are being send by e-mail, and those larger fit on pendrives/usb hhds, there is no longer need for any optical drives that will be used everyday (or at least used as offten, as they were 10 years ago).
    On the other hand, I'd prefer to get a laptop cd drive, or usb cd drive, than this masterpiece of ugliness that is featured on the photos.
  • probedb - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    How exactly am I meant to play/rip my CDs/DVDs (that I own) without an optical drive?

    If you can name a provider that streams movies with the bit rate and audio options of Blu-Ray then maybe you can have movie streaming but most people don't have broadband connections that support 40Mbps.

    Just because *you* don't use them doesn't mean no-one does.
  • jwilliams4200 - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    Even if streaming video offered 1080p with HD audio, I still would prefer a blu-ray disc. The streaming does not offer fast-response navigation (fast-forward and backward, frame advance, etc.) and although it does not happen often, I hate when the streaming connection (and/or network connection) goes down while I am watching. I want a local copy so I am not at the mercy of the network.

    Streaming is for the birds.
  • ingoldsby - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    Vudu does 1080p w/DD 5.1 on a 9mb connection. The quality is very close to blu-ray - but the navigation isn't quite as good. Honestly the only way I can see a difference in quality is if I pause it and get right up close to the screen - I don't know what they use for compression, but it is very impressive.
  • MadAd - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    i get the sentiment- i dont see why we need an optical format going forward. Movie companies can just as soon sell us a film on a 4gb drive, imagine a little block inside a blister pack at your movie shop instead of a disk

    of course we cant just erase 20 years of format in a heartbeat, vinyl records are still sold and used, albeit in small numbers and I expect CDs will have legacy gear available for a long time to come, and of course disk price is still somewhat cheaper than solid memory, but do we need a clunky old optical disk format going forward?


    IF we did keep one it should be a BR-Minidisk type and leave the 5 1/4" arena for enthusiasts that want full size disks with extenal drives. If some want to cling to another optical then the next iteration of BR should give us the same 25GB density somewhere near a minidisk size.

    but we really dont need it
  • jwilliams4200 - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    A blu-ray disc can hold up to 50GB of data, and while most movies are not that long, 4GB is not nearly enough. Many blu-ray movies are around 25-30GB. That cannot be done cheaply in flash to sell movies.
  • CSMR - Saturday, June 4, 2011 - link

    Regardless of whether there is a use for future optical formats, drives to read existing CD/DVD/Blu-Ray discs will be read for a long time.
  • taltamir - Thursday, June 2, 2011 - link

    His point is that nobody BUYS CDs or DVDs anymore. people buy it digitally and download it. And he is right.
  • nycromes - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    At a time when many broadband connections are at risk of seeing bandwith caps being imposed, you may see a resurgence of ODDs. They aren't a bad solution, if you can keep the media from getting damaged.

    I personally, may be keeping a close eye on my bandwith usage and possibly moving away from downloading games from Steam and too much netflix streaming as a result of the caps. I don't have a lot of internet options at the moment and ODDs represent the next best solution to downloading everything.

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