I care about cooling too. 5 drives jamb packed no cooling really.
Look at picture of the back of cage, it has a nice fan to "actively" cool the drives. Also the spacing between drives will be similar to the spacing you have when you mount the HDDs in a proper 3.5" slots cage you'd have in a standard case. Incidently have you seen the cages/drivebays on servers and even home NASes ly Drobo, Synology? If the tight spacing is good for them then I'm sure this will do to.
5.25" bays are significantly larger in x,y, and z dimensions - so yes of course a small 3.5 in a large 5.25 bay will have more clearance and if you want a silent (but BIG) HTPC then go ahead do it your way, but if you want a nice BYOD NAS/media server this is the way to go.
Seeing this deal reminds me that I still have an unused Icy Dock 5x3 I bought 3 years ago during the Groupon $15 for $7 eBay gift card fiasco. Thought I was going to use it but turned out I never needed it. Looking at the receipt I still paid more for it ($56) than this deal. Should have been more disciplined.
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