What do you use your second 5.25" bay for?

thelazyone22

Senior member
Sep 27, 2007
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#1
First off, thanks to Anandtech and assassin24 for rolling the HTPC forum out; definitely an excellent addition.

I am curious what people put in their second external 5.25" bay. Clearly the first bay houses a BD drive and the "conventional wisdom" is to add a 3.5" card reader to the second but I'm curious if the card reader is actually all that useful. Granted I'm not a photography person by any stretch of the imagination but I'm guessing that's what it's for: being able to quickly throw up a photo slideshow off an SD card or something. I use a USB card reader for my desktop and the rare instances I dig it out are merely so I can dump stuff to a loose microSD card before replacing the one in my phone/tablet.

Considering the fact that space is at such a premium in an HTPC build, what do you have in that second 5.25" bay? A 3.5" card reader? A hard drive? Secondary BD/DVD/HD-DVD drive? Cable storage?

Thanks in advance!
 
Aug 25, 2001
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#2
Honestly? I haven't seen too many HTPC cases (Smaller ones, MATX and smaller), that have two 5.25" bays. I've seen a few with an exposed 5.25 and a 3.5 though. Is that what you meant?
 
Nov 17, 2011
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#5
I have another HDD behind one of mine.
 

billyb0b

Golden Member
Nov 8, 2009
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#6
no 2nd 5.25 bay for me with my HTPC.... but if there was one it's a nice space to tuck a hard drive
 

Auric

Diamond Member
Oct 11, 1999
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#7
I would prefer to use the space for additional hard drives (particularly via trayless backplane - i.e. 3 in 2, 4 in 3, 5 in 3). External card readers are more practical for various reasons: formats/specs update relatively frequently, portability between devices, easier to handle cards (may be inserted into reader before reader insterted into USB port). These days, I would not even bother with an internal ODD either and just use a slim external unless maybe the chosen case has a dedicated slim bay.
 
Feb 6, 2002
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#8
Seems like you could take a normal 5.25 bay and squeze in both a thin laptop style DVD/BLURAY and also a hard drive. Those darn thin ones do cost a lot though.
 

Zorba

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 1999
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#9
I only have one 5.25" slot. I do have an external 3.5" that is covered by a flap, which is filled with a HDD. If I had any more room I would add another HDD.
 

assassin24

HTPC Moderator
Mar 27, 2005
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#10
I like to use Velcro in my HTPCs to see where I can place the SSD. This often free up a space for the 3.5" hard drive.
 

CA19100

Senior member
Jun 29, 2012
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#11
I use one of my extra 5.25 bays for an Antec Easy Swap USM -- a SATA backplane for the many 2.5" drives I have laying around. Much more convenient (and faster) than using a USB adapter. It does double duty holding my little SSD that I use for Intel Smart Response. And if you pop out the little frame on the front, you can directly insert Seagate Free Agent drives as well.
 

AnitaPeterson

Diamond Member
Apr 24, 2001
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#12
My X-Fi breakout box - with additional inputs, outputs and controls.
 

jtvang125

Diamond Member
Nov 10, 2004
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#13
My HD160 has an exposed 5.25 for a optical drive, unexposed 3.5 on top of that and a hard drive cage that can hold an additional 3 hard drives. I have my bluray in 5.25, a ssd in the 3.5 and 2 hdds in the drive cage. Kinda redundant to have so many hard drives in there when I have a 20TB file server on the network but I had spare drives laying around from previous builds so why not?
 

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