advice: external cd/dvd

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Ixtellor
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advice: external cd/dvd

Postby Ixtellor » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:52 pm UTC

I just bought an insane gaming PC off the shelf but it doesn't include a cd drive and I can't even figure out where it would go in the case.

So can I buy an external drive ? and how easy (plug n play) are they? (if they exist)
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Re: advice: external cd/dvd

Postby Xenomortis » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:09 pm UTC

Yeah - should be easy to find a USB CD/DVD drive online.
It should just work when you plug it in, but it might need two USB ports to provide enough juice (they often come with Y shaped USB cable).
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Re: advice: external cd/dvd

Postby KnightExemplar » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:11 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:I just bought an insane gaming PC off the shelf but it doesn't include a cd drive and I can't even figure out where it would go in the case.

So can I buy an external drive ? and how easy (plug n play) are they? (if they exist)


Yes. They use USB and look like this: https://www.amazon.com/Blu-Ray-Player-E ... _1?ie=UTF8

The most complicated thing is powering them. Sometimes, they have external cords. Other times, they have cords that "merge" into the USB cable... but overall its just plug-and-play in my experience. As Xenomortis notes, some of them even have two USB-plugs (One of the plugs is purely for power)

USB2.0 has a max speed of ~30MB/s (once all the inefficiencies are taken into account). DVD and BluRay typically cap out at ~20MB/s. Yeah, BluRays / DVDs are slow as balls.

and how easy (plug n play) are they?


Its basically as easy to use as you'd expect: plug in the USB and if it is properly powered, the drive pops up in "My Computer" (at least in Windows).

I've had driver issues in the past on a case-by-case basis. I guess don't go with the cheapest shit out there... pick a brand name that sorta sounds decent or read a review.
Last edited by KnightExemplar on Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:14 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: advice: external cd/dvd

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:14 pm UTC

I've not had to get one myself, for a long time, but there's definitely external DVD drives that you can get (from any supplier, that's just my own first port of call) that will work with practically any machine with USB capabilities (and, let's face it, it's a rare machine that hasn't), or I imagine there might be eSATA versions (might have better, or at least less bottlenecked, performance), if there's a suitable port. Search and ye shall find?

Hard to say if you can fit an internal optical drive, without having a look at it myself. Is it a fancy fascia that covers up all drive bays, or a super-compact casing that is just chock full with the necessary high-performance components? But if you're unsure about it then getting someone who would be sure to take a shufti might help confirm the situation, and advise you better.

(It has been a while since I made a PC specifically for high-performance gaming, and that one had a floppy-drive slot, something that has been since discontinued as standard equipment for... reasons. (Air-flow and dust ingress problems. As if the floppy-slot, backed by the drive, was really any worse than all the other necessary cracks in the case. Conceivably optical drives could have been nixed for similar reasons, once install-from-download became a thing, etc.)


(Ninjaed. But, as I waffle on about other things, posting anyway.)

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Re: advice: external cd/dvd

Postby KnightExemplar » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:18 pm UTC

Oh, and an "internal" Cd / DVD / BluRay player would go into the standard 5.25" slot and looks like this: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 2W02SH8372

The 5.25" slot is standard on most cases. If you want to be sure, give us a link to your computer case and maybe we can see how many 5.25" slots you got. The 5.25" slot is physical... its just the case that holds the drive in place. To actually connect it to your computer, you'd need to use SATA (usually).

Externals are USB based of course.
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Re: advice: external cd/dvd

Postby Xenomortis » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:25 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:The 5.25" slot is physical... its just the case that holds the drive in place.

Real geeks precariously balance the drive on top of one of the other drives.
With the side off the computer case.
And with the PSU outside.
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Re: advice: external cd/dvd

Postby Ixtellor » Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:26 pm UTC

Thanks for all the replies.

The case is the ibuypower slate gaming case.

I'll try and pry it open this weekend and look for slots. I did notice that it has very few USB ports and my keyboard uses up 2 of them.

I think I'll probably just buy a USB port hub and an external drive.


FYI, I was very skeptical of ibuypower, but I love the machine so far. Its my first solidstate drive and i7 processor.

Downsides was lack of usb, and the SS drive was only 120g so its already full.
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Re: advice: external cd/dvd

Postby Sizik » Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:27 pm UTC

Assuming this is the right one, it says it has 3 expansion bays, but you'll most likely have to remove the front panel to use them.
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Re: advice: external cd/dvd

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:28 pm UTC

I've tried to find your system by keywords. Hard pressed to find one with even as little as 1TB HDD (assuming it wasn't a build-your-own-ideas version, hence the SSD option but that flashy red-lit glass-sided box that keeps popping up (when it's not a small white trapezoid shape, for some reason) has no obvious front slots for media trays (might be behind the swing-out front, just needing a reasonable but not excessive tug on the side of front panel, or a press-to-toggle-release catch as indicated by some subtle markings in relief?). And I'm also being generally told that there are up to 6 USB ports (2+4) on any pre-built system, so I'm not entirely sure I'm even looking at the right thing.

It's a strange setup, though, the aesthetic end of the gaming PC market. You can cram high-end mobo/etc into a suitable 'beige box', generally. Make sure you're accommodating the chunky cooling system properly, perhaps with an eye to vents as well, of course. ;)

But you sound like you have a solution, of sorts. "Bling machines" aren't really my thing, so I'll assume someone else will say something more practical about the case configuration, if needed.

(Just ninjaed by Sizik, on that very point.)

((And, looking, it's "120GB Solid State Drive + 1TB Hard Drive". System should reside on the 120GB, which may get full if you put every bell and whilst le on it, installs (or especially data, i.e. anything that gets rewritten often) ought to be on the decently-sized other drive. But whether you're set up for C:\ and D:\ drives or something more exotic, I don't immediately know.))

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Re: advice: external cd/dvd

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:58 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:I'll try and pry it open this weekend and look for slots.


You don't need to pry anything open.

Image

You can tell if you have a 5.25" or 3.5" slot available by just looking at the thing.

EDIT: Ehhh, I guess they're called "external" slots. Internal slots are the ones that are inside the case. Whatever, I'm not going to edit my crappy photoshop.
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Re: advice: external cd/dvd

Postby EvanED » Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:34 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Internal slots are the ones that are inside the case.

I would describe that as "internal slots have no opening to the outside." I'd say the slot itself is inside the case for both. :-)

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Re: advice: external cd/dvd

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:51 pm UTC

EvanED wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:Internal slots are the ones that are inside the case.

I would describe that as "internal slots have no opening to the outside." I'd say the slot itself is inside the case for both. :-)


Even more confusing is that the things that fit on the 5.25" slots are called "Internal DVD drives". So your "Internal DVD Drive" fits inside of an "External 5.25 Bay".

Terminology sucks. Don't trust English.
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Re: advice: external cd/dvd

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:06 pm UTC

The most consistent kind of picture I could find of the rig being described was along the lines of:
Spoiler:
Image

Good thing: you can probably see what (internal/external) drive slots the case chassis has by looking through the clear side-panel.
Bad thing: the front of case probably is designed to be hinged open to access the actual plastic fascia (and the side taken off to remove it, and secure the drive and wire it in), rather than be functionally obvious at the expense of performance-neutral 'style'.

Alternate image search result image, that looks different (not just because it's a rear view) and worries me a little because of the lack of obvious chassis towards the front of the case.

(Almost all the many images I found were variations on the "glowing red" and "glass side" theme, with a vast number of different interpretations, making me think that "slate" was just not narrow enough a model name to search for. And then there was this oddity, the aforementioned trapezoid.. Or a funny camera angle, I couldn't tell.)

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Re: advice: external cd/dvd

Postby Ixtellor » Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:35 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:The most consistent kind of picture I could find of the rig being described was along the lines of:
Spoiler:
Image


Yes thats the case.
I did take the front off once to try and 'find' the slots but when I got it off it was obvious it wasnt' meant to come off and there was a bunch of mesh underneath it.

Are USB extenrnal optical drives inferior to buying one and installing it ( very oddly ) in the case?

FYI, I don't care about having a flashy computer, I bought it because I needed one ASAP and I thought the price was decent for what I got.
In retrospect it seems like a serious waste of space to not have the front open up and include some drives there. I was wondering if tech had passed me by and optical drives were obsolete.
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Re: advice: external cd/dvd

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:43 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:FYI, I don't care about having a flashy computer, I bought it because I needed one ASAP and I thought the price was decent for what I got.
In retrospect it seems like a serious waste of space to not have the front open up and include some drives there. I was wondering if tech had passed me by and optical drives were obsolete.


The main downside to optical drives are their terribly slow speeds. You'll have a challenge to write to an optical drive faster than 15MB/s.

So in general, people prefer a $5/month internet backup service (with ~75Mbits/s upload / download speeds, that's ~10MB/s... not much slower than optical). Or a 3TB External Hard Drive. (USB3.0 means you can write to an external drive at ~5Gbits/second, or roughly 450MB/s. Hard drives cap out at ~100MB/s soooo... you end up doing things around 6x or 7x faster than optical or internet).

I think Optical is the cheapest way to hand-distribute data. USB Flash drives are far more expensive than DVDs or BluRay. But internet connections have gotten so fast, that doing things by slow, 15MB/s optical just barely makes sense anymore. Digital distribution is easier.

-------

Case in point: Windows 10 installation has two options now:

* Download
* Flash Stick

Granted, the download is assumed that you burn it to disk. But Microsoft doesn't seem to be printing disks anymore... and prefers just handing out flash drives for the installation.
Last edited by KnightExemplar on Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:48 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: advice: external cd/dvd

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:46 pm UTC

If it has passed you by, it passed me by too!

/certified Old Fogey - gimme back my "Turbo" button!

(@KE, that assumes that everything you want to read is coming from the Internet (or on your ExtHDD/etc). But I think I'm a bit archaic in my expectations that not everything is from the Cloud.)

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Re: advice: external cd/dvd

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:49 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:If it has passed you by, it passed me by too!

/certified Old Fogey - gimme back my "Turbo" button!

(@KE, that assumes that everything you want to read is coming from the Internet (or on your ExtHDD/etc). But I think I'm a bit archaic in my expectations that not everything is from the Cloud.)


Distribution by USB stick seems to be the preferred offline technique however. Maybe MicroSD cards if you're doing photos.
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