Silverstone TJ05-ST
Posted on: 11/11/2004 06:00 AM

As I stated on the previous page, Silverstone includes metal brackets which you'll use to install your optical drives in the TJ05-ST. I felt it necessary to discuss this in a separate section of the review because it's these little things that really matter to someone like myself. I would like to think that I have a certain attention to detail and sometimes when manufacturers make certain decisions, it really blows my mind. This is one of those times.

When you first look at the picture of the drive bay rails installed on my LG CDRW, you'll probably think that it looks pretty standard and that it would work quite well. Unfortunately, the reality is quite different. First, it takes a few minutes to actually figure out how you snap the drive bay rails on the optical drive itself. After a few failed attempts, I figured it out and snapped the rail on the drive without too much difficulty. It was a snug fit and didn't feel like it would just fall off. Remember, this case is largely "tool-less" and this is another example of that fact.

My "issues" started to arise when I actually got around to installing the drive in the 5.25" bay. I removed the existing cosmetic bezel and started to slide the drive in the bay. It slid in about two inches and then got stuck. At this point, I decided to apply more pressure and all of a sudden one side gave way and the drive got shifted in the bay. At this point, I had to try to pull it back out and when I did, I cut myself for the first time. Eventually, after wrestling with it for several minutes, I was able to remove the drive.

I apologize for the blurry picture of my bleeding finger, but it's difficult to take a picture with one hand while you're bleeding out on the kitchen floor.

Continuing on with the trials and tribulations related to installing my optical drive in the TJ05-ST, eventually I was able to get the drive installed properly. Ultimately, I had to switch to another bay (the second one from the top instead of the very top bay) because the machining appears to be so poor that the drives barely slide in the bays at all. I had to apply to so much force when installing the drive that I thought there was a chance that I could possibly break the drive itself. As I was pushing it in the bay, you could see the front bezel on the optical drive shifting and twisting. That is not good.

All-in-all, I cut myself two additional times that fateful night and once I got the drive properly installed, I didn't touch it again. This is an area that Silverstone really has to work on and I'll be intrigued to see how they do on their next workstation-oriented case. There just really isn't any excuse for this at this point. All they had to do was emulate what other manufacturers have done before them. Look at the venerable Antec SX-series drive bay rail. It's plastic with a small metal tab, it screws on to the drive without issue and it slides in with ease and clicks when it's installed fully and properly. That case design is what... five years old now?

I'm going to speak with Silverstone's public relations staff and maybe even see if I can speak with someone in research and development because this is something that can be easily and cheaply fixed. This is something that must be fixed, because there's just no excuse for it at this stage of the game. If it was 1999, I probably wouldn't be spending so much time on this because at that point we were all getting cut inside of our cases. However, it's 2004 and cutting yourself several times while simply installing an optical drive is unacceptable.

I implore you Silverstone, just mimic someone like Antec and design the drive bay rails properly. If it increases the cost of the unit by even a few dollars, it will be worth it.

Now that I've vented about my pain and suffering, let's move on to the conclusion.