Too many expansion slots

Hello,

I am in the market for a new case among other things and I continually see a ridiculous amount of expansion slots in all categories. Forgive me if I am using the wrong term for them with "expansion slots" but there are 6-8 2.5", 3.5", 5.25" and expansion slots. Do people really use all of these or are they just a bragging right for manufacturers? I imagine people that buy these are computer enthusiasts with a couple hard drives, possibly 2 video cards that each take up two slots each(so 4 total).

Do people have multiple CD drives and if so why? I could possibly understand two; a burner and a blu ray maybe. What else do you put into 5.25" slots?

Do people use 7 hard drives? I like having an SSD for my main drive and like a 1TB or 2TB HDD for storage.

What about expansion slots(the slots for video cards, etc.)? Two huge video cards take up ~4 slots? Then you have a Network Interface Card. What are you using the other 2-4 slots for? And how many people actually do SLI/Crossfire?

Unless I am missing something, my ideal case would have five expansion slots, one 5.25" drive bay, one 3.5" drive bay, and one 2.5" drive bay. I have a bunch of old hard drives, but I don't want 6 hard drives that are like 100-300 GBs each when for like $80 I could just get a 1TB drive. Is that what the extra hard drive slots are used for? Old hard drives?

Thanks
12 answers Last reply
More about expansion slots
  1. Do you have a microATX motherboard? Most cases out will come with all those expansion slots.
  2. mgf derp said:
    Do you have a microATX motherboard? Most cases out will come with all those expansion slots.


    I have a regular ATX mb. I am not having trouble finding a case. I am only curious what people use all of the slots for.

    Where would I find a temperature gauge for a 5.25" slot? I am somewhat of a tech junkie and that is the kind of thing that I am looking for. what other cool *** can go into 5.25" slots?
  3. I think those "expansion slots" you are referring to are drive bays in the front and expansion slots are the tabs at the back.

    The 5.25" bays can be:
    - DVD/CD/Blu ray drives
    - Fan controllers/temp gauges (comes in single and dual slot variants)
    - Water cooling reservoir and/or pump combination (comes in single and dual slot variants)
    - A extra slot for plugs e.g. USB 3
    - A external card reader
    - A mini draw to store small screws/cds etc
    - IR receiver for remote

    There are actually people who feel the need to fill these for whatever reason

    Hard drive bay: mostly just hard drives/SSD (note raid)
    Raid1 and 0 needs atleast 2 drives
    Raid5 needs atleast 3 drives and
    Raid10 needs atleast 4 drives

    now on expansion slots:
    - Graphics cards mid-high end usually take 2 slots each and there are board that can take up to 4 cards
    - NIC card
    - Wireless network cards
    - TV tuner cards
    - Sound cards
    - Raid controllers
    - sata II/sata III cards if your motherboard is older or does not have enough slots
    - SSD e.g. OCZ RevoDrive

    I think I might have missed some

    I think they put all that space there in case you ever need it because they are trying to maximize the space. Usually the larger the case the more drive bays and expansion slots.

    What type of case you buy really depends on your needs, for me I never look at the drive bay or expansion slots. Cooling/acoustics/CPU cooler and graphics card clearance is more important and to a lesser degree looks and price.

    For now I only have 1 HDD, 1 video card, 1 TV turner and 1 wireless card.
    Still waiting for SSD prices to drop a bit more to figure out what type of raid setup to get.

    Quote:
    Where would I find a temperature gauge for a 5.25" slot? I am somewhat of a tech junkie and that is the kind of thing that I am looking for. what other cool *** can go into 5.25" slots?


    I can only find a 3.5" temp gauge http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811996002
    you could see if your case has a external 3.5"drive bay or comes with a converter.

    Then there are other things to go in the 5.25" bay (3 pages) http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=11&name=Controller-Panels&Page=1
  4. Gamer-girl said:
    The 5.25" bays can be:
    - DVD/CD/Blu ray drives
    - Fan controllers/temp gauges (comes in single and dual slot variants)
    - Water cooling reservoir and/or pump combination (comes in single and dual slot variants)
    - A extra slot for plugs e.g. USB 3
    - A external card reader
    - A mini draw to store small screws/cds etc
    - IR receiver for remote

    There are actually people who feel the need to fill these for whatever reason

    Hard drive bay: mostly just hard drives/SSD (note raid)
    Raid1 and 0 needs atleast 2 drives
    Raid5 needs atleast 3 drives and
    Raid10 needs atleast 4 drives

    now on expansion slots:
    - Graphics cards mid-high end usually take 2 slots each and there are board that can take up to 4 cards
    - NIC card
    - Wireless network cards
    - TV tuner cards
    - Sound cards
    - Raid controllers
    - sata II/sata III cards if your motherboard is older or does not have enough slots
    - SSD e.g. OCZ RevoDrive



    How would I know how many "extra slots for plugs (e.g. USB 3)" my motherboard can support?

    Also, why would you place an SSD into an expansion slot as opposed to a 2.5" slot? Is it a faster interface?
  5. timothy2180 said:
    How would I know how many "extra slots for plugs (e.g. USB 3)" my motherboard can support?

    Also, why would you place an SSD into an expansion slot as opposed to a 2.5" slot? Is it a faster interface?


    You can check your motherboard manufacturers site for the slot information

    SSD: Well there are two main types now the SATAII and SATAIII. Trying not to be biased, I'll take the OCZ drives, more specifically the vertex series.

    First generation

    OCZ Vertex 2 120GB: Sequential Access - Read: up to 285MB/s, Write: up to 275MB/s

    OCZ RevoDrive PCI-E x4 120GB: Sequential Access - Read: up to 540MB/s, Write: up to 490MB/s

    Second generation

    OCZ Vertex 3 120GB: Sequential Access - Read: up to 550 MB/s, Write: up to 500 MB/s

    Max Read:
    up to 550 MB/s (SATA 6Gbps) aka SATAIII
    up to 280 MB/s (SATA 3Gbps) aka SATAII
    Max Write:
    up to 500 MB/s (SATA 6Gbps)
    up to 260 MB/s (SATA 3Gbps)

    OCZ RevoDrive X2 100GB: Sequential Access - Read: up to 740MB/s, Sequential Access - Write: up to 690MB/s

    Those PCI-E SSD is pretty much smaller SSDs in raid 0 on the same board.
  6. Gamer-girl said:
    You can check your motherboard manufacturers site for the slot information

    SSD: Well there are two main types now the SATAII and SATAIII. Trying not to be biased, I'll take the OCZ drives, more specifically the vertex series.

    First generation

    OCZ Vertex 2 120GB: Sequential Access - Read: up to 285MB/s, Write: up to 275MB/s

    OCZ RevoDrive PCI-E x4 120GB: Sequential Access - Read: up to 540MB/s, Write: up to 490MB/s

    Second generation

    OCZ Vertex 3 120GB: Sequential Access - Read: up to 550 MB/s, Write: up to 500 MB/s

    Max Read:
    up to 550 MB/s (SATA 6Gbps) aka SATAIII
    up to 280 MB/s (SATA 3Gbps) aka SATAII
    Max Write:
    up to 500 MB/s (SATA 6Gbps)
    up to 260 MB/s (SATA 3Gbps)

    OCZ RevoDrive X2 100GB: Sequential Access - Read: up to 740MB/s, Sequential Access - Write: up to 690MB/s

    Those PCI-E SSD is pretty much smaller SSDs in raid 0 on the same board.


    I understand everything you said about the SSD stats. The last sentence confuses me. PCI-E is the "expansion slots" as I eloquently dubbed them right? Now, you say they are smaller? Smaller size-wise I assume? Do you pay a great deal for the smaller size factor? Or do you mean they are generally smaller drive sizes(less GBs)? Why do you say raid 0? Does that mean I need to get two of them?
  7. Yes PCI-E goes into the expansion slot. By smaller I meant capacity e.g 2x 50GB on the one card, I'm not sure how many they use though.

    Quote:
    The RevoDrive X2 uses an onboard RAID 0 design by employing four SandForce-1200 controllers to maximize data access and bandwidth.
    from here: http://www.ocztechnology.com/ocz-revodrive-x2-pci-express-ssd.html

    Raid 0 here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_RAID_levels#RAID_0

    you only need one of them which is the same as raid 0 on SATA connection.
  8. Gamer-girl said:
    You can check your motherboard manufacturers site for the slot information


    Is there a stat to look for if I were shopping for a motherboard? Like 6 external usb ports on the board or something? I know you can find out how many usb ports are on the motherboard itself, but the concept of connecting external USB ports to the motherboard is new to me. How is it done and where does something like that plug in?

    Tks for the help.
  9. Why do you need that many external usb ports? You know most motherboards already have 6 or more usb ports on the backplate. Connecting extra usb ports is usually for the front panel in the case, for usb 1.1/2.0 at least 1 cable is usually used for 1 USB port.

    If you look at this picture: at little blue rectangle at the bottom right of the ram slots is a USB 3.0 connector, also there are 3 more USB 2.0 connectors at the bottom edge, they are dark blue rectangles next to each other.

    If you look at the newegg listing for the motherboard:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131703.
    click on the the details tab and scroll down to the "Rear Panel Ports" heading and you will see all the connections for the backplate and just underneath that is "Onboard USB" and thats the extra external usb plugs for the case.
  10. my friend uses two dvd drives for some reason (they came with the system)
  11. Gamer-girl said:
    Why do you need that many external usb ports? You know most motherboards already have 6 or more usb ports on the backplate. Connecting extra usb ports is usually for the front panel in the case, for usb 1.1/2.0 at least 1 cable is usually used for 1 USB port.

    If you look at this picture: at little blue rectangle at the bottom right of the ram slots is a USB 3.0 connector, also there are 3 more USB 2.0 connectors at the bottom edge, they are dark blue rectangles next to each other.

    If you look at the newegg listing for the motherboard:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131703.
    click on the the details tab and scroll down to the "Rear Panel Ports" heading and you will see all the connections for the backplate and just underneath that is "Onboard USB" and thats the extra external usb plugs for the case.


    I don't really need many. I just want to know what to look for. I'm sure there are motherboards without any at all. That is all. I just was wondering what to look for. And, like you said, I would like to have some on the front panel.
  12. I've seen Pentium 4 motherboards from HP computers that have those (not USB 3.0 of course) but if you really want them on the front panel then check the cases.
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