To had to the above, Its not a good idea to put too much in the way of weight on it after or as above block vents. I would have thought on edge would use less room, in desk space that is. footprint wise
It could in theory be better for the computer to lie flat as far as hard drives go. Think about it, if you have more than one drive installed then they are stacked. Heat rises so the uppermost drive will run hotter than the other/s and as the drives are flat more surface area is exposed to the heat. On their side the heat rises evenly, my only suggestion would be to make sure the side you lie it on is the motherboard side (right hand side) to allow for heat to move into the case away from the components toward the fans.
The drives in my Cooler Master system case are stacked vertically to start with.
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