Thermaltake Armor A30 Case Review

By on January 3, 2013, 10:35 PM
Thermaltake seems to be adding new models to their massive line of cases almost every week and we have one of their latest in for review. Announced last month, the Armor A30 is the eighth addition to the Armor family, featuring one of the most aggressive designs we've seen on a compact chassis. Most mini towers claim to be designed with both gaming and HTPC use in mind, but the Thermaltake Armor A30 makes no such promise. Instead, it is strictly a gaming chassis designed for LAN party goers. We feel gamers will be attracted to the Armor A30's near shoebox-sized design that can accommodate high-end hardware such as the AMD Radeon HD 5970, today's largest consumer graphics card.
The Armor A30's proposition is made even more compelling when you consider the number of powerful microATX motherboards available these days that support high-end Core i5, Core i7 and Phenom II X6 processors. Read the complete review.




User Comments: 51

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rpsgc rpsgc said:

So... you used a socket 1156 processor (Core i5 750) with an AMD AM3 motherboard (Asrock 880GMH/USB 3.0) ?!

It's some kind of magic?

BMfan BMfan said:

I was just going to ask the same thing.

How is that going to cool down properly if the psu and cpu fans are working

against each other?

Staff
Steve Steve said:

So... you used a socket 1156 processor (Core i5 750) with an AMD AM3 motherboard (Asrock 880GMH/USB 3.0) ?!

It's some kind of magic?

I see what you did there, you spotted a typo and pointed it out with a certain degree of sarcasm thank you.

I was just going to ask the same thing.

How is that going to cool down properly if the psu and cpu fans are working

against each other?

It seemed to cool down properly when testing. That said if you were worried about it not working properly you can always apply some of rpsgc's magic and turn the CPU fan up side down.

g4mer said:

What's Coca Cola for?

rpsgc rpsgc said:

g4mer said:

What's Coca Cola for?

Subliminal advertising... or our new overlords.

fpsgamerJR62 said:

It looks like someone shrunk the Level 10 GT. Aside from LAN gaming, I also think it also do nicely as a lightweight desktop gaming rig. It sure beats moving around my Thermaltake super tower cases and looks way better than every beige mini-tower case that I've used in the past.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Great review, I love finding out about new products I never new existed, but now want to buy from these reviews. I'm more interested as a way to give my computer a small footprint. I could even keep this ON MY DESK! I'd like a photo with the wires attached though, just to get an idea of how it would look hooked up. Now I have to go check out the other mini cases you mentioned. Thanks!

I'm a bit bummed at the lack of intelligent comments on good review of a cool product. The coke is for a size comparison g4mer d00d!

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The discovery of that beastly low profile heatsink makes this review worth it lol... I bought a relatively old 80mm titan LPHSF, and while it was screw mounted (plus) and was crazy short (with fan STILL shorter than Samuel 17), it's cooling had some performance left to be desired... but Samuel 17 by itself is probably better. Too bad it is rather dubious if it'll actually fit on a mini-ITX board with a significant northbridge heatsink. =p

Anywho, good review, neat case for the insides and hardware placement. I have a PC-Q08 for my NAS/HTPC but I'll keep the A30 at the back of my mind if I ever consider making a mini gaming system.

@g4mer: The Coke bottle is like for size comparison. People have a generally good idea how big a 2L bottle is, so they can better visualize how tall it is, among other things. Also for brainwashing/subliminal messaging as rpsgc said. =p

Johny47 said:

That's a very compact and cool looking mini case, if/when I save up enough to build a new PC for taking to a friend's house or something I'll get this case, I have the CM Storm Scout case right now and while it's only a mid tower and has a handle, it's not that light with all the stuff inside and definitely not comfortable to carry(the shape etc) =/

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Pretty amazing case, will be checking what CoolerMaster thinks and comes up with... a mini HAF would be awesome

Taking that aside, again this is an amazing case the only thing I would change about this is a handle for carrying and since it is pretty much for that it feels like a big fail for me at least.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

What's Coca Cola for?

I'm glad you asked because after we took the photo I quickly realize this shot would cause confusion amongst some of the less technical readers. What we have cunningly done here is include a 2L Coca Cola bottle, an object most users will be able to relate to, in order to give some kind of perspective as to how small this case really is. Genius right! You can rest assured everyone is going to start doing this kind of thing now.

I shouldn't have drank all that Cola at once

The discovery of that beastly low profile heatsink makes this review worth it lol...

If you are interested there is a full review here...

[link]

Pretty amazing case, will be checking what CoolerMaster thinks and comes up with... a mini HAF would be awesome

Taking that aside, again this is an amazing case the only thing I would change about this is a handle for carrying and since it is pretty much for that it feels like a big fail for me at least.

Now that would be awesome, might send them an e-mail

Thanks for all the great feedback so far guys.

w3b0n said:

I want a cold coca-cola !

Staff
Steve Steve said:

I want a cold coca-cola !

Apparently we all do.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Geez! I cant believe all you Coke-a-cola fanbois! Coke sucks...pepsi is like way better! The opening is bigger so it goes down faster and doesn't bottleneck...Pepsi rules!!!

Oh yes, Great review as usual Steve.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Good review, quite impressive seeing a case that size being able to handle even the biggest of video cards something that my mid tower without modding can't even do. The internal layout is also pretty superb and I much prefer it over the others. Regarding the look of the case, I find it to be the best of mini towers shown here on TS, but to each their own .

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Btw I forgot Steve to mention about the superb review, without which I couldn't have given any opinion =)

(Make the mini HAF go live! )

DokkRokken said:

Steve said:

What's Coca Cola for?

I'm glad you asked because after we took the photo I quickly realize this shot would cause confusion amongst some of the less technical readers. What we have cunningly done here is include a 2L Coca Cola bottle, an object most users will be able to relate to, in order to give some kind of perspective as to how small this case really is. Genius right! You can rest assured everyone is going to start doing this kind of thing now.

I don't often snort beverages out of my nose in fits of laughter when browsing Internet webpages, but this was one of those exceptional cases. Good show, sir.

However, I'm not a huge fan of that exterior design but it's tailored more for the lanparty crowd than the HTPC'ers. I hope they debut a more conservative case with the same interior.

Great review!

Guest said:

oh man, this thing is so ugly

especially the in the front....

in all other aspects, this box is a little beauty :)

Staff
Steve Steve said:

oh man, this thing is so ugly

especially the in the front....

in all other aspects, this box is a little beauty

Those were my thoughts exactly.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Thanks for the link Steve, me likey. =o

I don't think it looks too bad, though I've almost always been a fan of red LEDs for black cases, blue for silver cases. For what its worth, I've seen far worse front panels and many of them are twice as tall (so twice as ugly =p). I also agree how a handle(s) would have be nice, but that is something relatively easy to add to a case.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Not easy if you want it to handle that much weight and feel comfortable moving though.

To make an example, I have a CoolerMaster Scout Storm and the handle I cant even start describing how I feel it could raise a couple hundred kilos (Mmmm in Chile we weight in kilos not in pounds so couldn't tell you exactly how much but a lot :P).

If you make one, with such little to work with and no ability to put it anywhere besides the chassis it might be very fragile.

Guest said:

Thermaltake is out of ideas and has to revamp poor cases that they sold before (the Lanbox Lite). Now they just made it suck in more dust than it did before.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

Thermaltake is out of ideas and has to revamp poor cases that they sold before (the Lanbox Lite). Now they just made it suck in more dust than it did before.

And front IO ports actually in the front... and has built in 2.5" drive mounting... and support for nearly all large graphics card. While I won't argue it is a revamp after looking at the Lanbox Lite again for the first time in a LONG time, they did a number of design changes for the far, FAR better. Of course, as it has been discussed, the aesthetic choices made could be considered gaudy.

lipe123 said:

MY biggest concern is the fans, 60mm and 90mm fans barely last a year in dusty environments before completely locking up or making those super noisey vibrating sounds.

If it was me I'd dump those silly seethru side panels and put grids with 120mm fan mounts - or something better than those little fans.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@lipe123: The size of the fan does not determine lifespan. Bearing type, revolution speed, orientation, and operating temperature are the primary variables. Dust build up can also affect lifespan and performance.

Opting to get anything besides the standard sleeve bearing will help make your fans last longer.

Guest said:

That Coke bottle is of a size and type not available in the Uk, therefore NOT a good size comparison. Far better to show a pint Glass of Ale, in a proper Dimpled glass, which *everyone* will be familiar with, Surely?.

I do like this case tho as it would suit me fine, Not a lan gamer, or even a HTPC'er just like a good case. At £120 its too much, I could get a solid SSD and a reasonable case for that. And no stupid lites, how sensible ..

Staff
Steve Steve said:

That Coke bottle is of a size and type not available in the Uk, therefore NOT a good size comparison. Far better to show a pint Glass of Ale, in a proper Dimpled glass, which *everyone* will be familiar with, Surely?.

I do like this case tho as it would suit me fine, Not a lan gamer, or even a HTPC'er just like a good case. At £120 its too much, I could get a solid SSD and a reasonable case for that. And no stupid lites, how sensible ..

Ahh I am pretty sure more people can relate to a 2L Coke bottle than a Glass of Ale? Never even seen one but I am sure everyone has them in the UK. That said in either case I am sure you would get the idea, or at least I hope.

"In Europe, soft drinks are typically sold in 2, 1.5, 1-liter, 500 mL plastic or 330 mL glass bottles; aluminium cans are traditionally sized in 330 mL, although 250 mL slim cans have become popular since the introduction of canned energy drinks and 355 mL variants of the slim cans have been introduced by Red Bull more recently." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_drink

In the United States, soft drinks are sold in 3, 2, 1.5, 1 liter, 500 mL (16.9 U.S. fl?oz), 8, 12, 14, 16, 20 and 24 U.S. fluid ounce plastic bottles, 12 U.S. fluid ounce cans, and short eight-ounce cans. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_drink

In Australia, soft drinks are usually sold in 375 mL cans or glass or plastic bottles. Bottles are usually 390 mL, 600 mL, 1.25 or 2 liter. However, 1.5 liter bottles have more recently been used by the Coca-Cola Company. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_drink

In India, soft drinks are available in 200 mL and 300 mL glass bottles, 250 mL and 330 mL cans, and 600 mL, 1.25 L, 1.5 L and 2 L plastic bottles. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_drink

Your suggestion for a pint Glass of Ale seems silly since the sizing is very loosely defined and its only common in the UK.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pint_glass

I am starting to think for the next case review we should create a poll to see what people want sitting next to the case, it appears to be a key issue.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Ahh I am pretty sure more people can relate to a 2L Coke bottle than a Glass of Ale? Never even seen one but I am sure everyone has them in the UK. That said in either case I am sure you would get the idea, or at least I hope.

Yeah Steve! make sure its a proper pint as well (20oz), and would it kill you to make it Guinness for better perspective?:p

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Yeah Steve! make sure its a proper pint as well (20oz), and would it kill you to make it Guinness for better perspective?:p

haha thanks I am taking notes!

1 person liked this |
Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

I vote for a plate of nachos and a Battlecruiser figurine.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

I vote for a plate of nachos and a Battlecruiser figurine.

mmmmmmm....Nachos

Guest said:

Pint glasses seem equally available in the USA. Maybe I should have stuck a smiley on my comment?.

The coke bottle pictured is either a) distorted or b) photographed in such a way as to make it look distorted. It appears to be far squatter than any coke bottle I have seen. Also I wouldn't necessarily believe that 2L Coke bottles are the same shape (height/width) in every market. Maybe a Plain old ruler, a std midi-size desktop case and a 3.5 disk drive for comparison?.

How about some more NAS reviews as well? With real world throughputs ..

Guest said:

You write that maximum CPU cooler height is 90 mm - but this is datasheet number. Can you measure, how much mm is really between CPU and power supply? I have 105 mm height CPU cooler, I hope that I can use it. Thank you.

i3rucei3ruce said:

Yeah, I for one have always wanted to move my gaming desktop around to parties and friends' houses, but also never wanted to downgrade to a laptop. This is a product I'm pretty interested in. I don't care about looks whatsoever- if everyone in the world said it was ugly, but it had good performance, I'd still prefer it. Also, handles make me nervous- I'd much rather cradle the thing in my arms, done it plenty of times with my huge full tower desktop- smaller is all the convenience someone like myself is looking for.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

You write that maximum CPU cooler height is 90 mm - but this is datasheet number. Can you measure, how much mm is really between CPU and power supply? I have 105 mm height CPU cooler, I hope that I can use it. Thank you.

You can't sorry.

Guest said:

thanks Steve, but now show us the same box with a couple of dvd drives in it!!!

and a floppy drive (if you must have one) to me looking at that box is only half

the story, so next time could you show us what it looks like in a finished box???

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This case seems a bit pointless without a handle, and it doesn't look like it's easy to carry either.

And I've also never seen a bottle of Coke that big, must be an American size...

Staff
Steve Steve said:

thanks Steve, but now show us the same box with a couple of dvd drives in it!!!

and a floppy drive (if you must have one) to me looking at that box is only half

the story, so next time could you show us what it looks like in a finished box???

We showed the box with a DVD drive, two SSDs and a pair of hard drives, for most that should be sufficient and no I do not have a floppy drive, have not used one in over a decade. In my opinion it was a finished box.

I could have only installed another optical drive but did not see the need. I tried the single unit in both the primary and secondary positions without a problem.

This case seems a bit pointless without a handle, and it doesn't look like it's easy to carry either.

And I've also never seen a bottle of Coke that big, must be an American size...

I agree about the handle but I am pretty much over the soft drink bottle comments, take it or leave it :P Ohh and for the fifth time its an Australian 2L bottle.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

I agree about the handle but I am pretty much over the soft drink bottle comments, take it or leave it :P Ohh and for the fifth time its an Australian 2L bottle

Well you brought this on yourself Steve...you should have been aware that putting your beverage down next to a piece of hardware would cause such consternation and angst!

Staff
Steve Steve said:

I know it was stupid. The strange thing is I got away with it here somehow...

[link]

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

I know it was stupid. The strange thing is I got away with it here somehow...

[link]

Well let that be a lesson...always stick to the International 12 oz can......umm...what???

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Yeah, this case definitely needs a handle. With that said, think how ugly it would be if it had one. I've seen toolboxes with more personality. Alright, that might be a little harsh. But only a little, mind you.

I've seen a LAN concept case, that came with a nylon sling affair. Wish I could remember who made it.

Perhaps something like this; [link] except it needs to come with the case.

Oh look, here's pretty much the same thing, for 7 times the price; http://www.crazypc.com/products/8150.html

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

or this seems to be more to your taste Cap:p

[link]

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Wow, that's super! If you get too drunk, you can let your St. Bernard carry the computer home from the party....

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Wow, that's super! If you get too drunk, you can let your St. Bernard carry the computer home from the party....

ROFL!

and I knew better...

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Indeed I fan the can more atractive, also you can stack them up a bit so you can really meassure it

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Wow... not even me understood what I just said there...

The can is far more atractive, there =P

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Wow... not even me understood what I just said there...

The can is far more atractive, there =P

I speak some Spanish, so you could try that. Julio frowns on that a bit, in the English forums.

I have to say your post #47 was mystifying at best.

"? Que dice ?"

Guest said:

Most excellent review! Thank you!

I purchased this case because of this review. I also purchased a Corsair Hydro Series H70 and I think I can make it work by removing the 3.5" bay and cutting off the bottom bracket for the 2nd 5.25" drive. That leaves enough room for the radiator and both fans on the h70. I am using a 2.5" SSD and an optional 2.5" Seagate Momentus XT 500 GB drive. I'm building this week, but will take pictures if there is any interest.

Guest said:

Hi Steve,

Nice review.

I know that the ideais going to look akward to most of you but I was wondering if I could use this case to make a (relatively) compact NAS. That would require converting the 2 5"bays into 3 "bays to ge to 6 SATAs.

Can you tell if one of these bay adapters would fit? Of course otherwise there would always be the good old tinkering approach ;)

Cheers

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