Thermaltake Armor A60 Reviewairman - September 2, 2010
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Though the Thermaltake Armor A60 is a relatively small case, there is still plenty of interior real estate. Since the hard drive cages are side facing, a lot of room is gained compared to front-to-rear facing drives. The side facing drives also allow for better wire management, giving the ability to hide the hard drive connections, as well as accommodating the hot swap hard drive slot that's located on the side panel. Taking a glimpse at the right side of the case with the side panel off shows that there aren't any holes in the motherboard tray to help route wires, but with a smaller case this isn't completely necessary. The USB3.0 cable can be seen running from the front panel and through the oversized CPU mounting bracket access hole. This allows the motherboard to be installed without pinching down on this cable. As I said, this can be removed and tucked back behind the hard drive trays, which is what I did since I do not have USB3.0 and would not have benefited from leaving it there.
Looking at the rear bottom corner of the Armor A60 will give another look at the mesh underneath and in front of the power supply. The area in front of the power supply can support a 120mm fan, though a slim one would probably need to be used for longer power supplies, and may have clearance issues with extra long power supply units. There is a small rail on the bottom here that can be repositioned by changing the locations of the screws. This rail is in place to support the power supply and relieve some of the stress on the mounting bracket. However, it is not completely necessary since the case is quite rigid and I did not notice any flexing with the heavy Mushkin 800W power supply. There are no screws holding in the expansion slot covers, as they snap in and snap out. The silver thumbscrew above the expansion slots is for the keyboard and mouse cable lock that can be found on the outside. Moving to the top of the rear will show the included 120mm fan, the water cooling holes, and the top blue 200mm LED fan with a spot for another 120mm fan in front of it. Most of the mounting holes for the motherboard have raised dimples rather than requiring the use of standoffs for each one, though I did have to install three standoffs on the rear side.
The three toolless 5.25" drive bays are identical to those found on the Armor A90. The small tab slides back and forth, which releases the flap that has studs on the end of it. The hard drive trays are new to me as far as the design goes, but the operation is intuitive. The overlapping plastic tabs in the front are pinched inwards, releasing the tray. Two or three of the raised dimples that can be seen underneath the hard drive rails are for a stationary 2.5" drive.
To take a closer look at the toolless aspect of the Armor A60, I took a couple of pictures highlighting how they operate. As I said, for the 5.25" devices, the tab is moved to the right to unlock the flap, which flips up and releases the device. In the left picture, the bottom flap is in the unlocked positon, and the right picture shows it locked. The front 5.25" covers, shown below, have a plastic frame with a foam dust filter inside with the front covered with the same mesh found on the rest of the front bezel.
The hard drive trays slide out from the front just like any other toolless trays would. The overlapping flaps are pinched inwards, which releases the tray. The hard drive trays themselves support 2.5" and 3.5" drives. However, a 2.5" drive will require it to be secured by screws through the base. The top drive rail is the hot swappable one, but the hot swap plugs can be removed if the user chooses.
The hard drive trays themselves are one piece. For 3.5" drives, the sides stretch up and around the body of the drive, which is secured by the built-in studs that fit into the drive's screw holes. For 2.5" drives, the drives are secured through the bottom of the tray and have noise dampening rubber grommets in the screw holes. Typically, however, most 2.5" drives used in desktops now are solid state, which don't produce any noise to begin with, so these grommets are not completely necessary.
There are three included fans with the Armor A60. These fans are one 120mm blue LED front intake, one 120mm black rear exhaust, and one 200mm blue LED top exhaust. The LED fans are not overly bright and do not emit a lot of bright light that would bother the user. The two 120mm fans are rated at 0.30A and use 12V, and the 200mm top fan draws 0.20A at 12V.
The Thermaltake Armor A60 has enough room behind the drive trays to hide plenty of wires. I had no problem getting the computer put together without too many wires showing and potentially affecting airflow. Even though the fans run at full speed with no fan controlling abilities, there is hardly any noise. The fans are very quiet and good for someone wanting a very quiet case. With everything put together, the next and final step is to run stress tests on each component in the case and compare these results to the results from other cases. The next page will have the manufacturer specifications and features, followed by the testing and results page.