I think everyone agrees, the attraction to the hot swap cages is basically that it provides that much more (20% more than the Cooler Master I guess) drive density. The CoolerMaster 4-in-3 is nonetheless still more drive density than a regular rack and in terms of drives to dollar ratio a better deal. You win.
The pain factor fitting in 5-in-3's using the C-clamp method is so minor as to be neglible.
Mostly I am ammused by the notion that its acceptable to splurge for hot swap if you are building a 20-rack at $319 (because its so sexy) but imprudent to buy 5-in-3's at $82 a pop if you are planning to eventually get to squeeze a 15-rack a little at time into a tower by buying it in 5 drive increments. Why is this
considered so much more sexy than this?
The dollar to drive ratio for 15 drives with 5-in-3's is actually less - and you can get it a little at a time - which after all is the American way. Dream big but buy it on the installment plan.
That all said getting to a 12 drive build out of tower using the the Cooler Master 4-in-3's at $28 per 4 is cheaper again dollar per drive by half so it is by far the best deal per drive. Maybe slightly less of a bargain if you have to upgrade the fan that comes with 4-in-3 as some claim is necessary. Whatever.
I'm not kicking myself for getting the 5-in-3, that much.
I hadn't read this thread and was being cautious following the template of the recommended build. I would not be surprised if the hot swap performed better cooling wise for being 2 slightly smaller fans than one slightly bigger one on the CoolerMaster. I'm going to get 3 MORE DRIVES into my tower (just kidding).