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A solid-state hard drive is an alternative to the more traditional hard disk drives in computers today. Hard disk drives have metal platters that are magnetic, and solid-state drives use flash memory rather than moving parts to write and rewrite data. In either case, your computer’s drive needs to be installed in the tower.
As one of the most important pieces of equipment in the rig itself, it is vital that it has a secure spot to rest once it is installed. This is where SSD brackets come into the picture.
We will discuss their primary functions, and we’ll go over whether you can install your own SSD without a bracket and still experience the same security once it is done.
Before we get into installing an SSD without a bracket, let’s take a quick moment to go over just what a bracket is when we’re talking about computer lingo. Brackets come in slightly different styles or setups, but they are part of the hardware of your computer tower.
You may need a particular bracket style depending on the type of computer case you have or drive you are attempting to install. However, many brackets will be two pieces of hardware that are attached to the inside of your computer case.
A drive will sit in a bracket, and you will screw it in once you’ve seated it. This will create a stable frame for the drive to rest inside. Additionally, some brackets can connect to others within the tower. In short, you can think of a bracket as hardware that makes things stable for the hard drive.
With that in mind, can you install a drive without using a bracket?
While extra security it always a good idea if you can manage it, there are cases where you should be able to install a SSD without a bracket. The best scenario for this would be if your computer tower sits on the floor or other stable surface without moving.
If your tower is level, and if you don’t need to move it, there should be no issue with your SSD sitting in the case without a bracket holding it in. Keep in mind, it is also a good idea to set the tower up in a space where it is unlikely that you will bump or jostle it. Although SSDs are known to be quite robust, you don’t want to hit it or make it fall accidentally, either.
One benefit of an SSD is that there are no moving parts to it since it does not rely on a magnetic platter. Because of this, you have some decent options for setting it up without a bracket. You’ll still want to keep it level, but it could even sit at the bottom of your computer tower. Theoretically, as long as you can create a solid cable connection for the SSD itself, you could place it wherever you like, within reason.
We’ve touched a bit on what brackets are already, and you can probably guess from their description what they are for. Brackets are all about providing a secure space to mount drives within a computer tower. In most cases, a bracket for an SSD will look like a thin metal platform with raised sides. As we mentioned, there are some bracket configurations that are different, and the kind that might work best for you will depend on your rig setup. A drive is meant to slide right into the bracket and rest on the platform, supported by the raised walls on either side.
For those who like a dedicated space in which to place their hard drives and screw them in, a bracket can be the way to go. Since we’re discussing brackets and their purposes, we should mention that there is another type of bracket that you might find in your search.
You may come across things that the industry commonly refers to as “mounting brackets”. While the name sounds similar, the purpose of these kinds of brackets is slightly different. A mounting bracket will typically refer to a system you might want to use to mount your actual computer tower in a different configuration.
For example, you can find things like under desk or wall mount brackets. These are designed to keep your computer off the floor or otherwise in a position that might not be the standard one for your setup. They are referred to as just brackets much of the time and serve a similar function, but they are not the same thing as SSD brackets.
Whether you absolutely need a bracket for your SSD will depend on your setup and your preferences.
As we touched on earlier, there are many cases in which you may just be able to sit the drive flat and stable on a surface and leave it. It should run fine as long as the cables are connected properly and securely.
However, there are potential scenarios where you may need to add brackets in order to ensure the best functionality.
Your SSD should be usable if you have the cables necessary to make the connections to the dedicated power supply and your computer’s motherboard. If so, then the drive should work just fine for your purposes.
Because an SSD doesn’t have any moving parts, your options for making it stable are expanded beyond what they might be if you were dealing with the more traditional HDD.
You should still take basic precautions to ensure that the drive is safe and stays out of harm’s way, though.
As long as you have a physical setup that allows the SSD to have secure connections and to remain on a stable surface, nothing should happen if you don’t mount the drive in the usual way using brackets.
In most cases, yes, it should be fine not to mount an SSD. Simply follow some of the tips that we’ve outlined above. Of course, you need to make sure all of the connections the SSD needs can be made securely.
This part is sometimes best done with brackets, but if you can do so without them, there should be no issue. The only thing you’ll have to keep in mind is the particular setup of your computer. Sometimes, your tower might not be configured in such a way that it makes it easy for you to just hook up the SSD and place it anywhere.
If you find that it is tough to connect the SSD appropriately, you may wish to consider using adapter brackets to solve the issue.
Most SSDs will at least come with screws you can use for mounting purposes. Some of them will come with a caddy, which is a sort of enclosure that surrounds the whole drive.
Otherwise, different cases from various manufacturers also come with brackets that are designed to accept SSDs installed. Some manufacturers may bundle mounting equipment with the drives when you buy them, but it could also depend on what equipment came with your case when you bought it, too.
However, it is not uncommon for SSDs to not come with bracket hardware, either. In most cases, this is done as a cost-saving measure, and it allows users to decide how they might want to mount the drives. Bracket hardware is relatively inexpensive and ubiquitous, but there are other options out there.
We will mention here that the robust nature of your typical SSD does lend itself to mounting methods that might not be standard for most rigs. For example, there are ways you could mount the drive using materials such as Velcro strips instead of the more traditional brackets.
In theory, any attaching materials of sufficient strength or quality can help you find ways to mount your solid-state drive. As long as it is secure, you should be fine. Some users prefer to find their own ways and means of mounting their drives for aesthetic purposes.
The brackets inside computer towers provide a convenient and relatively easy way to install and hook up extra drives. However, because of their robust nature and the different ways you can seat them, you don’t necessarily need brackets for SSDs.
You can use brackets if you find that you’re not able to make solid cable connections for your drive, or as an added bit of security if you’d like to screw it in, but either option should work for most tower setups.