De­fend­ing the 5.25in drive bay

Custom PC - - FEEDBACK -

I can barely ex­press how much James Gorbold’s ‘Good­bye 5.25in drive bays’ col­umn con­cerns me. If this is your di­rec­tion of travel, then

might well lose a sub­scriber and Scan a cus­tomer. He may not have used his 5.25in drive bays for three years (re­ally, James, re­ally?) but all of mine see use on a weekly, if not daily ba­sis.

Firstly, buy­ing and rip­ping CDs is of­ten cheaper than down­load­ing mu­sic and it gives you con­trol over the bit-rate and for­mat, as well as art­work and liner notes to pe­ruse, while the au­dio qual­ity of DVD-A is un­sur­passed. Stream­ing in­di­vid­ual low-res tracks may be okay for kids, but un­til you can down­load a full al­bum in a sin­gle file with loss­less au­dio, plus high res­o­lu­tion art­work, at a lower price than the phys­i­cal ver­sion, I’m highly un­likely to make the switch.

Stream­ing movies also are a poor re­la­tion to DVD and Blu-ray, par­tic­u­larly when it comes to spe­cial fea­tures – com­men­taries, deleted scenes, al­ter­na­tive an­gles, seam­less branch­ing and so on.

Another drive bay on my sys­tem houses the I/O for my sound card, al­low­ing me to plug in in­stru­ments, mi­cro­phones and MIDI con­trollers to record mu­sic, while another bay con­tains a multi-card reader, which is al­most al­ways the quick­est and most re­li­able way of trans­fer­ring files, es­pe­cially when your bloated phone/cam­era soft­ware goes wrong. There’s all this, and I haven’t even men­tioned the ben­e­fits of fan con­trollers. If I had a case with no 5.25in bays, I’d have a tonne of stuff clut­ter­ing up my desk and no free USB ports, so con­sider this the start of a cam­paign to save the 5.25in bay! BEN NUNN

All sorts of handy de­vices come in 5.25in drive bay for­mat

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