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 such as the Lian Li Mini Q PC-V354 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.
Unless your home theater setup looks something out of the batcave, then the Armor A30 is going to stick out like a sore thumb. The case features a unique "bulletproof" armor design which uses a lot of straight edges mixed with metal mesh elements. The end result is a bold-looking small chassis.
Thermaltake believes this design speaks to gamers and enthusiasts. Personally, I prefer the Mini Q PC-V354's subtle lines, but then again I'm not a hardcore gamer. Going beyond looks, 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 chassis weight also plays a factor in making this a convenient case to move your PC around. While the Armor A30 is a bit heavier than we were expecting at 14.7 pounds, it's still much lighter than most mid and full tower chassis. The Armor A90 for example weighs 22% more, while the Armor+ is two and a half times heavier.
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 on.