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Case without hard drive bays?

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June 3, 2010 12:50:24 PM

Hi, I just bought a case on eBay for a significant discount, down to the fact that it's missing the hard drive bays.
It's a Cooler Master 690 and I managed to snatch it for £10 + £10 delivery, which I think is a smashing deal. I thought that the hard drives would be fine in one or two of the five optical drive bays, but I'm concerned about the noise this might generate unlike the dampened HDD rack which has been removed to make way for a CPU cooler. I do think there may be a few advantages, however, like the increased space for longer graphics cards and better airflow.
What do you guys think? Will the hard drives be fine in the optical drive bays?

More about : case hard drive bays

a b ) Power supply
June 3, 2010 1:00:28 PM

well you will need to use a sort of adapter tray thing to hold the 3.5" hdd in a 5.25" bay. but otherwise, yes it will be fine.
a c 96 ) Power supply
June 3, 2010 1:56:06 PM

I installed an optical DVD drive in one of the front bays and relied on Cooler Master's tool-less assembly feature. While this is a great feature most of the time, occasionally it does create noise due to vibrations. My DVD drive was noisy from vibrations.

Therefore, I used one (1) mounting screw on the side in order to better retain the DVD drive. The noise problem was completely solved.

You may want to consider this.
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June 3, 2010 2:56:51 PM

Ubrales said:
I installed an optical DVD drive in one of the front bays and relied on Cooler Master's tool-less assembly feature. While this is a great feature most of the time, occasionally it does create noise due to vibrations. My DVD drive was noisy from vibrations.

Therefore, I used one (1) mounting screw on the side in order to better retain the DVD drive. The noise problem was completely solved.

You may want to consider this.

I will want to have my hard drives nice and secure anyway, so I'll definitely be using screws. I don't care much for tool-less access. I understand the case comes with screws anyway.

Can anyone who has used a Cooler Master 690 comment on the front appearance? Will the hard drive be visible through the front mesh? It shouldn't matter much, but it'd be nice to know.

Thanks
a c 96 ) Power supply
June 3, 2010 3:40:24 PM

The HDD will be partially visible thru the mesh cover of the CM case. I think it will actually look cool! (I have the CM HAF 932)
June 3, 2010 3:59:33 PM

Ubrales said:
The HDD will be partially visible thru the mesh cover of the CM case. I think it will actually look cool! (I have the CM HAF 932)

This is actually a new build, and I haven't got the hard drive yet. So on a slightly different matter, would anyone recommend a green HD as the main system drive? The reason is that these seem quieter and the higher capacities can even operate at a similar speed to other drives. The reason I'm asking is because most people seem to use these as storage drives.
a c 96 ) Power supply
June 3, 2010 4:16:44 PM

Should work fine if the green drives are from reliable manufacturers. I would be cautious because this is newer technology. Green drives consume less power (less heat) than conventional drives. Some of the power savings come from variable rotational speeds on some of these products.

Read some of the consumer reviews (limited due to the newness of the products) and then make your decision whether to make this green drive your main drive. I tend to be conservative and personally, I would gain some experience using it as an external drive and then venture into making it the main drive. Purely personal preference because of the lack of usage experience data, mainly, failure rates (MTBF).

Bottom line: Gain some personal usage experience before using green drives as main drives.
June 3, 2010 4:22:26 PM

Ubrales said:
Should work fine if the green drives are from reliable manufacturers. I would be cautious because this is newer technology. Green drives consume less power (less heat) than conventional drives. Some of the power savings come from variable rotational speeds on some of these products.

Read some of the consumer reviews (limited due to the newness of the products) and then make your decision whether to make this green drive your main drive. I tend to be conservative and personally, I would gain some experience using it as an external drive and then venture into making it the main drive. Purely personal preference because of the lack of usage experience data, mainly, failure rates (MTBF).

Bottom line: Gain some personal usage experience before using green drives as main drives.

That makes sense, but I'm worried the noise might not be sufficiently dampened in the optical drive bays if I use a 7200rpm drive. Do you think I'll have such a problem?
a c 96 ) Power supply
June 3, 2010 4:43:16 PM

Will you have a possible problem? What are your alternatives? One of the early lessons I learned was "If you don't have an option, you don't have a problem!"

Securing the drive(s) using screws like you mentioned is good! The best way to check the noise level is by trying it out.

The side panel on my computer used to vibrate and rattle due to resonant frequency. I fastened a dead weight to it by using double stick tape (no magnets please) and the sound was totally gone.

You may need to try such things if the noise is really disturbing.
June 3, 2010 4:55:40 PM

Ubrales said:
Will you have a possible problem? What are your alternatives? One of the early lessons I learned was "If you don't have an option, you don't have a problem!"

Securing the drive(s) using screws like you mentioned is good! The best way to check the noise level is by trying it out.

The side panel on my computer used to vibrate and rattle due to resonant frequency. I fastened a dead weight to it by using double stick tape (no magnets please) and the sound was totally gone.

You may need to try such things if the noise is really disturbing.

Hmm.. In that case I'll try to get my hands on a drive so I can test it once my case arrives. I think there's a 500GB WD Caviar Black in my conveniently dead external hard drive, which has been lying around for more than a year. I'm not even sure if it works, but I guess I'll have to try it out :) 

Edit: Thanks for your time by the way. It's much appreciated.
a c 96 ) Power supply
June 3, 2010 5:15:36 PM

Hope your external drive is compatible with your HDD (SATA Vs PATA)
June 3, 2010 5:22:23 PM

Ubrales said:
Hope your external drive is compatible with your HDD (SATA Vs PATA)

The external hard drive is SATA, and I have a motherboard with which to test it, but I'm not sure if it has SATA, as it's old. Will the disk spin up even though it's not connected to the motherboard? I just want to hear it before I get my motherboard, hard drive etc. all together.
a c 96 ) Power supply
June 3, 2010 5:58:59 PM

Your query made me curious. I rigged up some old, old, way old, HDDs to a very old obsolete power supply. I held up the HDDs to my good ear and turned the switch to ON. Here are the results:

1. Maxtor HDD - heard the drive click.
2. Caviar HDD - heard the drive click.
3. Seagate HDD #1 - heard the drive click.
4. Seagate HDD #2 - heard the drive spin.

I am certain that you can conduct such a test and hear the disk spin when you connect it to a Molex plug. Make sure that the Molex plug is delivering power by connecting a fan or some such device.
June 3, 2010 6:03:00 PM

Ubrales said:
Your query made me curious. I rigged up some old, old, way old, HDDs to a very old obsolete power supply. I held up the HDDs to my good ear and turned the switch to ON. Here are the results:

1. Maxtor HDD - heard the drive click.
2. Caviar HDD - heard the drive click.
3. Seagate HDD #1 - heard the drive click.
4. Seagate HDD #2 - heard the drive spin.

I am certain that you can conduct such a test and hear the disk spin when you connect it to a Molex plug. Make sure that the Molex plug is delivering power by connecting a fan or some such device.

Will it be enough to jump the green connector to one of the black connectors on the ATX connector? I might as well try it now with an old PSU I have lying around. The HD doesn't have a Molex power connector as it's SATA, but I'll try with the four-pin and post my results.
June 3, 2010 6:19:05 PM

Hmm. I just tried that but the HD didn't click or spin. I think it might be because I don't have an 8-pin connector on the PSU. I just plugged in a 4-pin connector which looks like it may have come out from a floppy disk drive. I guess I'll wait until tomorrow when my new PSU should hopefully arrive, and then I'll test it. Thanks a lot for your effort in assisting me!
a c 96 ) Power supply
June 3, 2010 6:19:24 PM

Why not just connect the HDD in the computer case and then try it out? Anyway, that is where it will eventually reside if it is good.
June 3, 2010 6:32:16 PM

Ubrales said:
Why not just connect the HDD in the computer case and then try it out? Anyway, that is where it will eventually reside if it is good.

I don't have the case in my hands yet, so I can't really do that. Once I have everything though, I'll definitely test it. My worry is mainly down to the fact that the Cooler Master 690 usually has rubber mountings for the 3.5" drives. All of the bays, however, have been removed by the previous owner of the case to make way for watercooling. That's the reason it cost me so little (£20 including delivery).

I don't think the optical drive bays have the same rubber noise and vibration dampening, so it would be helpful being able to test a 7200 rpm so I can see if it's worth splashing out on a WD Caviar Black or similar, in contrast to a 5400 rpm green drive. The problem is that unless the hard drive spins up without being connected to a SATA controller, I can't test it before I buy a motherbord, which I was planning to buy with the HD, RAM, CPU, heatsink and graphics card all in one.

Hopefully it'll work with my new case and power supply.
a c 96 ) Power supply
June 3, 2010 6:37:55 PM

Got it - best of luck with your new system. I don't think that you will run into problems that you will not be able to handle.
June 3, 2010 6:41:04 PM

Ubrales said:
Got it - best of luck with your new system. I don't think that you will run into problems that you will not be able to handle.

Thanks a lot for your time.
June 3, 2010 9:54:58 PM

mosox said:
I have a CM 590 and you can use this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I need one too but the morons who are importing the CM stuff in my country don't sell those too. :( 

Might that country be the UK, as if it is, we're in the same boat :) 

Anyway, this whole thread has turned out useless after I found out that the case didn't come with any fans. I'm not willing to pay £30 for them, and the listing could have made it a lot clearer (ie. mentioned it at all). I will be getting a Cooler Master 690, but this time it will have hard drive bays. Sorry everyone!
a c 96 ) Power supply
June 3, 2010 10:57:42 PM

No problem - it was a good discussion. I love my HAF 932! Huge! In afct, I added a 5th fan (120mm) at the bottom just for the heck of it. Cooler Master's prices for accessories (CM store) are really very attractive.
June 3, 2010 11:01:34 PM

Ubrales said:
No problem - it was a good discussion. I love my HAF 932! Huge! In afct, I added a 5th fan (120mm) at the bottom just for the heck of it. Cooler Master's prices for accessories (CM store) are really very attractive.

it might just be me, but I certainly didn't find the prices for the 120mm fans attractive at over £10..
!