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  • jwilliams4200 - Wednesday, June 01, 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? Reply
  • knedle - Wednesday, June 01, 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 01, 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 01, 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 01, 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. Reply
  • MadAd - Wednesday, June 01, 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 01, 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. Reply
  • CSMR - Saturday, June 04, 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. Reply
  • taltamir - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    His point is that nobody BUYS CDs or DVDs anymore. people buy it digitally and download it. And he is right. Reply
  • nycromes - Wednesday, June 01, 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.
  • CSMR - Saturday, June 04, 2011 - link

    I agree; this "half-height" drive is at least 2x taller than it needs to be. Reply
  • Watwatwat - Wednesday, June 01, 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. Reply
  • yxalitis - Wednesday, June 01, 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 01, 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 01, 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 01, 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 01, 2011 - link

    YAY! for slot load!

    BOOO for non-standard size.....
  • tim851 - Wednesday, June 01, 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 01, 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 01, 2011 - link

    Boo for optical Reply
  • tecknurd - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    Aopen had them and they fail all the time. Also Apple still has problems with their slot loading drives. Slot loading drives does and always scratches discs and does not matter how clean the disc is. The rollers just scratches the discs. Then there is higher chances of having problems with dust and dirt.

    Tray loading may not look cool or may not provide the bling but they work better. I always opt for tray loading after messing around with slot loading. If I buy an Apple iMac or Apple notebook, I would take out the optical drive and place in something else like a SSD or a Cupp PunkThis.

    I can already find slim-line optical drives, but there is a problem using them. They require a slim-line cable adapter. It will be nice the industry moves to slim-line tray loading optical drives that uses standard size SATA connector.
  • Daemas - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    useless for me unless I can fit 2 slot load drivers into one 5.25" bay Reply
  • StormyParis - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    I've got 4 PCs, and a single DVD drive: an external Lite-on little number, that requires no power outside of what the single USB plug supplies, and is top-loading, for reliability and retro effect. I've used it exactly once on each PC: for the initial OS install, because I'm too lazy to do the "install from USB key" ringmarole. Even for HTPCs, I'd much rather hide the HTPC and see only the drive.

    So, for starters, I find the thing in itself useless, whatever its format.

    Now, whoever had the genius idea to invent a third variation of the semi-obsolete 5"1/4 format should be taken out back and shot. Or rather, tortured, neutered, hanged, drawn and quartered. With lots of oil and feathers.
  • darkswordsman17 - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    This was actually a pleasant surprise to me. Nothing profound, no, but this would be good for HTPCs and SFF systems, and it should also be good for OEMs.

    I agree that its not as good as if it had been a real half-height change, but that might not be feasible without making the move to slim/low-profile, which then they'd just make those instead, and personally I've never been much of a fan of them, they're always compromised (price, speed, and/or quality).

    Its too bad that media companies wouldn't be interested in something more modern. It'd be nice to have a format that is more compact and doesn't require mechanical spinning, but retains the capacity and price effectiveness of optical formats relative to say flash memory.
  • Grandpa - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    Ok, so you say that these types of drives ruin disks. Then don't buy the drives that ruin the disks. Maybe it's not the form factor. Maybe it's the drives. Reply
  • jwilliams4200 - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    It is the slot-loading feature that can damage discs. There are rollers that grab the disc in the same region where data is stored. Unlike tray-loaders, where the disc is only contacted at the hub where there is no data stored. Reply
  • jrs77 - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    Who uses internal drives anyways these days? I can't be bothered to buy an optical drive for all four machines I'm using, so I'm going with an external optical drive that I can use with all of them machines.

    A single drive to drive them all!
  • jabber - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    I wouldnt like to have to only use laptop style slim drives. Once they get too thin then they just dont handle vibration too well which doesnt really help.

    I often have to coat the underside of a laptop optical drive with duct tape to damp down the vibration. Sometimes size and weight is a good thing especially when it comes to things spinning at high speed.
  • MadAd - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    do you have a large book on the shelf?

    a house brick perhaps?

    yes? bingo, you have a startup business right there, steadydriveTM
  • peldor - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    But only because I'd like to get rid of my PATA cabling and could use a little clearance for airflow around the HD in my SFF case. Reply
  • glugglug - Wednesday, June 01, 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 01, 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 01, 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 01, 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 01, 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. Reply
  • khimera2000 - Wednesday, June 01, 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 01, 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 01, 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). Reply
  • AMD20x6 - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    Well, the one in our Comcrap certainly didn't. I guess they earned their name... Reply
  • Belard - Wednesday, June 01, 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! Reply
  • Araemo - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    As others mentioned, is it really half the height of a standard CDROM?

    Second, isn't a standard CDROM already 'half height' (as opposed to full-height like this: )

    I can understand the desire to refresh that form factor, but it doesn't look nearly as low profile as it could be, and would need to be to drive adoption.
  • Zap - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    Finally. Slot load drives are so much easier for casual use. Love it! Reply
  • LordOfTheBoired - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    Let's see... if this is about 2/3 the size of a current standard optical drive, that'd make it a 1/3 height device? Since current CD/DVD drives are technically half-height devices.

    I've got some old 1/3-height 5.25 floppy drives somewhere. I know why THEY weren't adopted, because they were unreliable. But a decade or two of techology advancement later...
    I always wondered why no one offered a CD-ROM in that size. And then ledges in the drive bay became common, and weird sizes became infeasable.

    But at this point... why is this not a laptop-sized drive?
  • ypsylon - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    Have you ever tried to use 8cm CDs with slot-in CD/DVD drive? If not then probably because of that you are still alive. 8cm CD + slot-in optical drive = 8cmCD shotgun. No slot-in drive support 8cm discs which are still around.

    And frankly who need optical drives today anyway? Using them only to install OS [no other option] or some old games. Send CD/DVD/Blue-Ray into dustbin of history.
  • MamiyaOtaru - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    about time. My ancient ~2001 tower (not my main rig) has slot load CD and DVD drives. I tried to get them for my new machine(s) but can't find them anywhere. Bring 'em back! Reply
  • jjjacer - Saturday, June 04, 2011 - link

    current drives are already half height, original drives for the pc's back in the days of the XT and AT were 3 1/4 tall, now most drives are 1 5/8 tall. so if the new ones are half height to that, they should be called 1/4 height drives.
  • req7777 - Saturday, September 10, 2011 - link

    I was wondering if anyone knows where can I get one of those.
    I would fit perfectly in my moded media/gaming tower.
  • lmcd - Monday, March 25, 2013 - link

    could we just make slim half-height slot-loading the standard and call it? My SG09 is crying for this, so it can finally get a bluray drive for a reasonable price. Reply

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