Thermaltake Armor Revo Snow Edition Reviewformerstaff - June 4, 2012
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Delving into the interior, I was curious to see if this was one of those cases that you could tell where development ran out of funding, from otherwise spending on the cool looking exterior. Removing the bezel of the Revo gives a look at the huge 200 mm blue LED fan behind the honeycomb cut-outs, the four 5.25" drive bays, and the removable front filter. The front comes off with a solid tug, detaching six evenly spaced roller clips which have a solid feel to them while being put back on. The filter is removed by simply pushing two plastic clips to the left. The filter seems to be solidly constructed and easily cleaned. The 5.25" drive bay covers are filtered with 1/8" black foam, wrapped with steel black honeycomb found elsewhere throughout the case. One thing I like about Thermaltake’s white edition cases is how closely the plastic parts match the painted metal panels.
Removing the panels on the Armor Revo reveals a contrasting black interior with various sky-blue accents reminiscent of the blue used on Gigabyte motherboards. The blue accents are used on the tool-less system and the HDD trays. A large 8" x 6" cut-out for CPU heat-sink mounting should be ample for most of the coolers on the market. Oddly, I could not find the maximum heatsink/cooler height listed anywhere for the Revo – my own measurements show that the enclosure will accept a maximum height of 175 mm (rounded down from 177 mm), so most any of the monster air coolers will work . The Revo is a bit stingy by today’s standard with 3/4" clearance behind the motherboard area – there is a bit over an inch behind the 5.25" bays and HDD tray area which is nice, but any power connectors that need to end up behind the motherboard could fight with you a bit when putting the right panel back on. The Revo is not littered with grommeted cut-outs like some cases I have used, but I found the routing to be ample, and as always, I look for grommets that do not leave their post every time you pull a cable through them, so it’s nice that the Revo's stayed put rather nicely.
Thermaltake utilizes a method for power delivery to the large side fan that, while not unique, I would like to see on more cases for enthusiasts who are frequently inside their case. A small PCB with contact points is mounted to the edge of the case and another PCB with spring-loaded contacts is mounted to the side panel. When the side goes on, so does the fan – a very nice addition to the Armor Revo. Behind the 200 mm side fan, you will find the hexagonal-shaped removable filter which is easily removed via four screws from the outside of the panel.
The tool-less design incorporates a spring lever on one end that pushes the pins into the sides of the optical drive bays. It’s a completely different spin on tool-less mounting versus the Level 10, though just as effective. The HDD/SSD trays are of a unique design with their powder blue diamond centered style and rail design. The release is unique as well – you push a spring-loaded tab on the left side to release and swing open the front of the tray. Vibration dampening rubber grommeted pin sets hold the HDD in place while the SSD requires screws from the bottom of the tray. Unlike many of the HDD trays found in other cases that are almost to the point of being rubber and relying on the HDD for structural integrity, the HDD trays in the Revo are very rigid and sturdy in function as well as form. Not a big deal by any means – just another difference I noticed.
On the roof of the Revo you will find a coarsely-filtered opening with a 200 mm blue LED fan installed. Should you opt for liquid cooling, you can install a 240 mm radiator here. The floor of the case is filtered by a single 5" x 13” framed filter for both the PSU and optional 120/140 mm intake fan. There is also an adjustable bracket that will accommodate the largest PSUs on the market. On the back panel, you can get a better look at the 140 mm 'Turbo-prop' exhaust fan.
Time to get some components in here and see whether the Armor Revo is user-friendly and easy to work with.