Internal Design

The Thermaltake Armor A30's interior is unlike any case we've reviewed before, which is largely due to its modular design. While other mini tower cases can also feature adjustable components, their entire design is not modular. The Mini Q PC-V354 for example has a removable 3.5" drive cages, but that's about it.

The Armor A30 has modular 3.5" and 5.25" drive cages in addition to a modular power supply mounting system and motherboard tray. Such a flexible design should make the Armor A30 extremely easy to work with, and that's more than most compact PC cases can claim.

To get inside of the Armor A30, you have to remove the top/lid by unscrewing a pair of thumbscrews. Once the top is off, the 5.25" drive cage simply lifts out. This cage can accommodate a pair of 5.25" devices, a single 3.5" drive and dual 2.5" drives as well. The 2.5" drives are mounted on the top of the cage, making them easy to access.

Below the 5.25" cage is a smaller 3.5" cage that can hold a pair of 3.5" hard drives. In total, this allows the Armor A30 to house three 3.5" drives. The Lian Li Mini Q PC-V354 is reduced to the same number of 3.5" devices if you use a lengthy graphics card, while the Silverstone SG04 is also limited to three drives.

You have to remove the 5.25" cage to access the 3.5" bay, but this isn't an issue as the former slips right out. Even if it seems like an inconvenience, most users won't touch the 3.5" drives after the system is built.

Before installing the motherboard and graphics card, you must remove the power supply cage. This takes a little more work to remove than the 5.25" cage as it's secured using six top mounted screws and two thumb screws at the rear. Once unscrewed, you can lift out the power supply and the cage, which opens access to the motherboard tray.

The tray is secured by another four thumbscrews. This makes installing the motherboard and other necessary components much easier as you don't have to deal with the cramped internals of a mini tower case. It's worth mentioning that the tray supports both microATX and Mini-ITX motherboards.

The motherboard module has a pair of 60mm fans that operate at 1500 RPM and generate 18dBA. Complementing them is the top mounted 230mm fan which spins at a more sedate 800 RPM making a whisper quiet 15dBA. A single 90mm fan is mounted in front, which operates at 1200 RPM/16dBA.

Compared to the competition, the Armor A30 is well equipped in the cooling department. In fact, the dual 120mm fan configurations of the Lian Li Mini Q PC-V354 and Silverstone SG04 left much to be desired, so we are happy to find Thermaltake taking care of business.

The case supports a max. graphics card length of 350mm, but that's enough clearance for today's largest card, so it shouldn't be a concern. On the other hand, keep in mind that the Armor A30 only supports CPU coolers as tall as 90mm -- anything bigger will conflict with the power supply.