Thermaltake Armor Revo Snow Edition Reviewformerstaff - June 4, 2012
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Once the Armor Revo is stripped of its packaging and your eyes begin to survey the case, you get the impression that Thermaltake wanted to do everything just a bit differently. The first and most notable feature about the Revo is the two large, very heavy gauge brushed aluminum wings or 'Armor plates' that run the length of each side of the case. They are not lightweight either, measuring in at 1/8" to 3/16" in thickness depending on where you measure. What are they there for? Well, they’re mostly aesthetics, as far as I can tell, though upon further review, they could provide a couple of functions beyond looks. They are stout enough to take a hell of a kick and other abuse if you place your computer on the floor and also provide a great interior channel for LED or CC lighting that would give a great back-lighting effect while completely concealing the apparatus. They also open up about 1-1/2" to give full access to the drive bays. Other than that, the bright brushed aluminum looks great against the white semi-gloss paint of the Armor Revo.
Turning to the side panels, we find that both sides have quite a bit of character and texture to them. The left side has a nice asymmetrical beveled window to show off your choice of goodies inside. Below the window is a large round honeycomb cut-out that is a filtered home for an included TT 2030 200 mm black fan with notched blades that claims to reduce vibration and noise. This is another aspect of the Revo that I like that seems to become less and less common with cases – the inclusion of more than the compulsory front intake and rear exhaust fans. Too many cases these days seem to be in desperate need of 'fanning up” out of the box, before they are at acceptable levels of cooling and airflow. Both side panels of the Armor Revo have raised and beveled patterns that add an asymmetrical design and rigidity that, to me, resemble or may have been inspired by PCB tracers. Whatever the origin or intent, they are very pleasing to the eye and are topped off with a top notch semi-glossy paintjob that is also fingerprint resistant.
Moving up top to the control panel of the Revo, we find good accessibility and a well-organized contoured layout. There are power and reset buttons on the right, fan controls on the left, and 1 x mic jack, 1 x headset jack, 2 x USB 3.0/2.0, and 2 x USB 2.2/1.1 in the center. The fan buttons allow you to turn on or off the fans’ LED's, while also controlling fan speed via high/low buttons.
Key to the features of the Armor Revo is the top vertical HDD/SSD Dock-X station. When not in use, it is covered by a spring-loaded door that has a tidy SSD cut-out in the upper left corner to keep the drive from excessive torque should it be bumped or should you accidentally try to pull it out at an angle too far off 90 degrees.
At the top and bottom of the Revo, we find filtered openings. The top makes room for a large and included 200 mm LED fan and either a 140 mm or 120 mm optional fan. The top pattern is also set up for installing a 240 mm radiator for optional liquid cooling. At the bottom of the case, we find a large removable filtered area for the PSU and an optional 120 mm intake fan. The base footings are raised by 1-1/2' for air clearance and better air flow. They are also adjustable to just about any position you want, as I illustrated with the back footings and a few Photoshop layers.
Around back, we find a pretty standard setup – a total of 8 expansion slots for the graphically OCD challenged and a bottom mount power supply layout. The black honeycomb venting is continued back here as well. Along the top are three 1" grommet holes for water-cooling.
The accessory kit is very complete for the Armor Revo – among the standard screws and standoffs, you get a front bay and HDD tray 5.25” to 3.5” conversion kit. You also get a braided 8-pin CPU power extension cable, a system speaker, and an ample supply of zip ties for tidying things up. Also included is a comprehensive user manual and warranty policy information.
Onward and inward; time to see what the internals of this armored white-out has to offer in the way of functionality.