by Matthew Harris on April 21, 2006 in Cases & PSUs
A PC case is nothing more than a housing for your PC parts but to many the case represents the PC by giving it personality. Today we take a look at the Armor from Thermaltake and the personality it comes across with is pure brute.
The Armor is available in 2 colors, black and silver and your choice in color dictates your material. Black cases are steel and silver are aluminum and as far as I can tell the black case is also available without a window for those of you that think that the only good case window is one that comes to life under the blade of your tools. I think that Thermaltake’s decision to not include a non-windowed side for the aluminum case is a mistake since aluminum is so much easier to work with and is pretty popular for modders.
The design of the window is one of those that you either like it because it’s different or you hate it because it’s too different. Myself I like it but I wish that it didn’t go quite so far forward, I really dislike showing the ugly drive frames in a window which is why the window I put in my case is just 10"X10".
The inside of the case is built with strictly a 5.25" bay that runs from floor to roof. All the 3.5" drives in the front of the case are in bay adaptors. The button/LED carriage will hold either a HDD or floppy, there’s another single 3.5" adaptor that also does that trick that as such, like the button/LED carriage, is not fan cooled. Besides those there is also a 3 in 3 (3 X 3.5" drives in 3 X 5.25" bays) that features a 120mm LED fan which will keep those hot sweaty drives spinning coolly. There’s also a 3 X 3.5" drive (HDD only) that goes in the rear of the case beside the upturned PSU. I personally love this concept in that it’s making use of previously wasted space. The gondola is fan cooled by a 92mm fan directly behind it which pulls air through the drives mounted there.
There is a downside to the arrangement though. If you have a PSU with a single bottom mounted fan the fan will end up being millimeters from the drive gondola which effectively blocks airflow for the PSU. I feel that Thermaltake would have been wise to allow the backplane that the PSU mounts to flip 180° so that should you run up against that you could flip the PSU over towards the off side of the case where there’s about an inch of clearance. While an inch isn’t optimal for massive airflow most PSUs don’t flow more than 30-40 CFM during normal operation so it shouldn’t be too much of an obstruction.
Inside the case you find the accessory box and inside it is the blowhole fan and the screw pack along with the instructions and a polishing cloth that feels a lot like a lens cloth. Considering that this case uses a fairly soft and easily scratched molded acrylic window and doesn’t have a high gloss finish I’ll assume the cloth is for the side window and not the case body but as it is not in the instructions at all I can’t say for certain.
The rear of the case features a punched honeycomb grill for both the 120mm case fan and 92mm gondola fan. Happily you are not stuck with the fan clips and the stock sized fan. The honeycomb is stamped with fan mounting holes for 80mm, 92mm (And that’s it for the gondola fan) and 120mm fan screw holes so if you’re looking to go with a smaller fan for some reason it’s simply a case of snapping out the bracket and screwing it down. Also if you’ve got one of those fan vibration isolator kits you can use it and ditch the snap in mount. Very thoughtful!