Thermaltake Armor A30 Case ReviewNCC10281982B , ajmatson - June 7, 2011
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With the front cover removed you can get a better look at the external bay cutouts in the chassis. There are the two 5.25 inch and the one 3.5 inch bay for your optical and accessory needs. You can also get a better look at the port and switches. Notice under the reset switch you can see the LEDs better, which are covered by the mesh grill when the cover is installed. In the center of the front of the chassis there is a 90mm intake fan that has the same blue LED glow as the top exhaust fan. This 90mm fan operates at 1200RPM, and has a noise level of 16dBA. On the front cover, the bay slot covers have a mesh filter material in them designed to help keep dust out of the case and keep your components clean.
The bay section of the chassis is removable for ease of installation. Once the four thumbscrews are removed, the bay slides out for drive installation. The external 3.5 inch bay can be used for an additional hard drive if desired. On the top of the bay section there is space for two 2.5 inch hard drives or solid state drives. To install these drives requires little effort as this is a tool less installation. Just snap the locking mechanism into one side of the drive, line up the pegs on the bay section to the other side, snap into place, and you are ready to go! Underneath the bay section there sits two additional 3.5 inch internal drive bays. The section can be removed with a single thumb screw if needed or removed all together if not in use.
The true highlight of the Armor A30 design is the removable motherboard tray. With the removal of a handful of thumb screws, the tray slides fully out of the back of the chassis, which makes motherboard installation and maintenance a breeze. The tray supports motherboards from micro ATX to mini ATX form factors. For easy installation, there is a small notch on the tray that lines up with one of the motherboard holes and is designed to keep the motherboard in place while you secure the other screws with more ease, making the install painless. In addition to a variety of motherboard support, the Armor A30 was designed to house full size current graphics cards as well. The card is designed to slide into a narrow space towards the front of the chassis. However, there is one issue I ran into. Depending on the placement of the PCI Express slot on the motherboard, the card may not fit and will be blocked by the drive bay section. This setup will only work if the motherboard's PCI Express x16 slot is the first slot on the board. I tried the setup originally with a Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H and could not get the card into the chassis. This is an important issue to consider when choosing a motherboard for this case.
To connect the front panel ports, buttons, and LEDs, there are several leads to be attached to the motherboard. For the power switches and LEDs there are four bi-color coded leads. The orange and white are for the HDD LED, the blue and white are for the power LED, the black and red are for the power switch, and the purple and white are for the reset switch. For the ports there is a single USB 3.0 lead, the front panel audio port lead, an eSATA cable, and the USB 3.0 pass through cable, which routes out of the back of the chassis and into the USB 3.0 port on the motherboard.
With everything installed, now we get a good look at the final build.
With the closer look done, how about we get to testing the Armor A30?