Thermaltake Armor Revo Gene 'Snow Edition' Reviewformerstaff - December 12, 2012
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Thermaltake Armor Revo Gene 'Snow Edition' Closer Look:
Removing the four thumbscrews of the side panels and we get a look at the big picture. The Armor Revo Gene accepts mATX and standard ATX form factor motherboards, has five 5.25" bays with spring activated tool-less holds, four HDD/SSD trays, and a large 5" x 9" tray cutout that should work for a vast majority of CPU heat sinks available up to a height of 175mm. Four oblong 3" wiring grommets are well placed and fit tightly in the openings. The finish is of very good quality and the interior edges are well rounded. I did not find a sharp edge anywhere on the inside.
Turning to the backside we get an idea of how the wiring management shapes up. There is a 7/8" space for wires and the additional 7/16" afforded by the raised bevel in the panel itself. Thermaltake has also incorporated 'Cable Clear' into the Armor Revo Gene, which amounts to an additional space behind the hard drive and 5.25" device bays. This ensures there is enough room for the connectors to not interfere with the right side panel's installation after assembly. I don't know about you, but I am not a fan of bulging side panels. The shot with the tape measure is representative of the interior finish: well done and consistent throughout.
Turning to the inside front of the Revo Gene we get a look at the storage capabilities. Four 5.25" bays with the Thermaltake version of tool-less mounting system, which is amongst the best in the industry. Below are four hard drive trays that also accept SSDs. The design is unique, as you push in spring loaded tabs from the side. They are extremely beefy and durable. In between the HDD trays and the 5.25" bays is a 'hidden HDD tray' that that can be pulled out from the front when the 200mmm front fan is removed or accessed from inside the case.
Taking the facade off the front of the case is a simple and tool-less task. A firm tug from the bottom releases the bottom two expanding press pins and the front assembly is removed. Once removed it reveals the large 200mm fan that serves as the intake for the case. The fan blows air over the hard drive cage and, thanks to holes punched out on the sides of the chassis, ensures that a bit of airflow gets behind the motherboard helping to cool the backside of the CPU socket. A portion of the airflow from the 200mm fan also gets to the hidden drive above the lone 3.5" bay. Looking at the back of the facade shows a removable filter for incoming air. Pulling back on a couple of the plastic built-in clips releases the filter for a quick rinse. Both the 5.25" and the 3.5" bay covers also have built-in foam filters as well, making the Revo Gene filtered all the way around.
A look at the other three sides of the interior has a 200mm fan pre-installed in the filtered roof. You can also install a 120mm or 240mm radiator here. The rear of the interior comes with a 120mm 'prop' style exhaust fan and a bottom mount for the PSU. The floor of the interior has mounts for a single 120mm fan. All fanned up the Revo Gene should have exceptional airflow like its bigger full tower brother. We will see if that's the case in a page or two.
The accessories are on the lean side with the Revo Gene. You get an install guide, warranty card, a system speaker, fan screws, and standoffs, along with a few zip ties.
Assembly with the Revo Gene is fast and easy. All of the machining is spot on with no alignment issues. The grommets are tight fitting and stay put when pushing through the large connectors with good placement, so you don't have to take a sudden turn after the cable is on the other side. With 7/8" of space afforded plus the additional 7/16" from the bevel on the side panel, there was ample room for the wires and the side panel to sit flat once attached. Fitting the largest graphics cards on the market is not a problem, with plenty of room to spare between the end of the card and the HDD cage. The tool-less devices work flawlessly. You simply push your optical drive back and listen for the click.
Thanks to the use of low RPM 200mm fans, the Revo Gene is one of the quietest cases I have reviewed or used. In the second image you can see an HDD installed in the 'hidden tray' underneath the 3.5" bay. The front fan emits a soft blue glow that is not blinding even in a dark room. The light from the fan also spills out from the bottom of the facade leaving a puddle of blue light on the surface you have it sitting on. The front 'breathe' light is a soft tone as well, pulsing on and off in about five second intervals with a fade in and fade out.
The Armor Revo Gene also has the 'breathe' feature on the front logo. It'll glow and pulse at regular intervals with a slow fade in fade out in a soft blue light. Press play on the video below and have a look at the movie masterpiece I have dubbed "Blue Logo Breathe pulse thingy."
Closer Look: Detail and Textures
I would like to welcome you to my detail and texture section. I like to add this section to my case reviews in recognition that most cases are purchased online from photos depicted in the best light and from flattering angles. Not everyone has a Micro Center down the road to go "kick the tires" before laying down hard-earned money. Details can make or break a case, and here I hope to give you a better feel for the details and textures of the case, and a better idea of what to expect from the case emerging from that box. I hope you enjoy it and find it helpful in evaluating the Thermaltake Armor Revo Gene.
Detail Pictures from top left: Combat Headgear Hanger, side window bevel, drive bay covers, Thermaltake logo, tool-less mechanism, front LED fan, right side panel bevel, 3.5" bay cover.
Turn the page and have a look at the specifications and features and then we'll see just how cool the Revo Gene keeps your hardware.