by William Kelley on August 9, 2010 in Cases & PSUs
Looking for a mid-tower chassis that offers a big bang for a small buck? Thermaltake hopes to win us over on those claims with its Armor A90, a chassis built from the ground up with military-like design cues in mind, and also one that includes numerous convenience features, superb airflow, and a modest $90 pricetag.
When I first pulled the A90 out of the box, I was somewhat underwhelmed by the simple looking design and even more underwhelmed by the wire management scheme chosen. While I can look past a somewhat plain design, I am a freak about wiring as a poor design can kill airflow negating any effort put into the build to keep things running their coolest. Thankfully, I was quickly won over by the design once I got my build under way.
The design is definitely military styled and is certainly far better than the plain boxes we were forced to use years past, I just can’t help to think it was drawn up quickly. The design can be considered stealthy for certain, but stealth is also used to keep things hidden while many people want their cases to be as stylish as possible. While many people will certainly like it, I would have liked to see it a touch more creatively styled.
Build quality it top notch and up to the most demanding standards. There is no flex, no creaking and no sharp edges to draw blood. There is ample room to work inside and everything seems to install itself. The somewhat controversial wire storage area turned out to be an excellent feature and I found it far easier to use than most which force you to stuff everything behind the motherboard tray. Even without using zip ties I was able to keep everything well out of the path of the airflow.
Next on my list of positives is the layout of the I/O ports. Far too many cases have their USB ports piggybacked on top of each other which can cause major issues with clearances when using memory sticks and carious USB peripherals. At any given time I tend to have 2+ devices plugged into the USB ports and have frequently been forced to remove one to allow the use of another. This is a well thought out design and is truly worth noting.
Coming in at a price tag of $90US I find the A90 to be an excellent choice for the money. From fit and finish to build quality to ease of use there is little to find flaw with. Couple this with the Mid-ATX form factor and you really have one heck of a deal with a small footprint as well. You can run any size graphics card you wish as well as the biggest PSU on the market, yet you take up less room than many full ATX models out there that struggle with interior room. This is definitely a great case and a good bargain as well. I have no problem giving it the Editor’s Choice award in its class as I haven’t had one cross my path as of late with so much to offer for so little money.
- Excellent value.
- Top-notch build quality.
- Simple to work with.
- Excellent airflow.
- Extremely quiet.
- Comes with lots of fans.
- Motherboard tray CPU hole not adequate.
- No switch for LEDs.
Thermaltake Armor A90 Mid-Tower Chassis
Discuss this article in our forums!
Have a comment you wish to make on this article? Recommendations? Criticism? Feel free to head over to our related thread and put your words to our virtual paper! There is no requirement to register in order to respond to these threads, but it sure doesn’t hurt!