I understand putting vertical optical drives in cases that are too narrow for horizontal drives but I see plenty of new computers that are more than wide enough for a horizontal optical drive. Also, every new case that I've seen has room for exactly one optical drive. If you want to have two drives in your computer you're out of luck.
I understand that new drives have ways to hold in disks. Old ones do not. I have old drives and a new computer. The vertical drive failed from the start and I would like to put my blu-ray RW drive in the computer. Nope. My old drives are now useless.
My question is why does anybody think that all drives must be vertical? Why NOT put horizontal drives in cases wide enough to hold them? I suspect that somebody decided that it's pretty or cool or edgy to have the drive vertical and everybody else is following along.
I searched for "why" and found nothing. There's plenty about how to use vertical drives but I have found zero posts about WHY to do this.
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I do remember an old cd-burner that had notches in the drawer which could be taken out and replaced differently, so that it could hold the disc when placed vertically.
I never liked disc drives to install & operate vertically though. Just don't feel good.
As for your question, I would not know if anybody would think all drives to be vertical.
As for pc cases in general, I always use big ones with enough cooling fans for sufficient airflow. And I always want to be able to install a lot of stuff in them.
You can use an external 5,25 case, but I codn't know at least one case which has a vertical 5,25 slot for optical drives, mabe due I am only searching for big towers for my usage.