My Thermaltake Armor A30 Review

1_legged_sheep

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 20, 2010
Messages
397
Okay first off the A30 case is a PIA to build in! The two SG05 builds I've done were cleaner & easier to work with! (And had better temps!)

Last night I got the system built. Everything fit and it looks pretty clean through the windows. The black lights are a nice touch with the HIS IceQ video card.

The Bad::
ALL of the fans are molex 4 pin fans, so I had to use an extra cable on my power supply to power them. I'm thinking about re-wiring them to 3 pin since my MB supports 3 case fans.
The 3.5 bay is directly in front of the PCI-E slot! If you plan to use a video card longer then the motherboard you will need to dremel off the 3.5 bay.
The fans push practically zero air, as a result my 2500k is idling at 39C and that's with a Geminii S and AS5!
The power supply blocks off about 1/3 of the top fan and since you can only mount the power supply upside-down if fights for air with the top fan.
If you use the bottom 3.5 drive bay it will partially block the front 90mm intake fan.
NO, normal front USB plugins for the motherboard. You're only option is to run a USB cable out the back of the case and plug into on of you're available USB ports. -- I realize this is how most case manufactures do USB 3.0 but on a mATX case it just looks bad.

The Good:
I like the look of the case, but that's strictly personal opinion and it seems that most people disagree with me lol.
Almost everything uses thumb screws.
Slide out MB tray is very handy.
MB mounts are built into the MB tray.
Holds 2 SSD's natively.
Front USB3 and e-SATA

Overall Impressions:
I'm going to re-wire those fans and re-seat the Geminii S to see if that helps temps but I don't have much hope. The CPU temp at idle is sitting about 10-15C above the MB temp which is about spot on. So I think the Geminii is doing its job, when you blow hot air across a heatsink it's not the heatsinks fault.

I'll post load temps and pics tonight when I get home. The build took so long I didn't have time last night.

Right now though performance sucks and the case is too much of a pain in the arse to work on! I'm sure it will sell fast, but it's not a case I will be using again anytime soon. I got it from Superbiiz for only $90 + $15 off coupon code so $75 + shipping but that's still too much.

System Specs:
Thermaltake Armor A30
Silverstone Strider Plus 500w 80+ Copper with short cable kit
ASRock Z68 Pro3-M
Intel i5-2500K
Cooler Master Geminii-S
G.Skill Sniper DDR3-1600 8gb kit (2x4gb)
HIS 6870 IceQ Pro
DVDRW
WD 500 GB Storage Drive
120GB OCZ SSD
UV Cold Cathode Kit
 
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Skott

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 12, 2006
Messages
4,198
Yeah, I'd like to see pics too. Also thanks for being the guinea pig for this case. At some point others will want to know if its good or not. Now they have some reference to look at.
 

1_legged_sheep

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 20, 2010
Messages
397
Just ran Prime95 for a while.. 63C at full load according to both Core Temp and the ASRock monitoring software.

The ASRock monitor shows the MB temp at 37C though meaning that front 90mm fan isn't doing jack. I think I'm gonna have to break out the dremel.
 

1_legged_sheep

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 20, 2010
Messages
397
Okay sorry so long and no replies but the MB went out and I just got the replacement in.

Only did a mild 4.5ghz overclock which only required a small voltage bump (.03v). The memory I have running at default XMS speeds right now but I'll try to tighten those up later. I bumped the video card up to 940mhz/1120mhz. My temps still aren't great but they are good enough.

At 1920x1080 resolution with 8aa on "Very High" settings I got my best benchmark to date in Crysis, almost 46fps!

45fpscrysis.jpg
 

DJ_Reason

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 4, 2011
Messages
195
hmm can you post some pics with the case and the components in it?
and doesn't the case still use 2x 80mm fans in the back?? are they super loud?
 

1_legged_sheep

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 20, 2010
Messages
397
Its 2x60mm fans in the back. They are pretty low rpm though so the case is nearly silent. I can just barely hear the video card and it's only about 3 feet from my head.
 

milkmandan

n00b
Joined
Aug 24, 2011
Messages
5
sorry for necro posting, i am in the market for a case like this (Thermaltake a30), but after 1_legged_sheep's comments and a review site i read state that the case has poor airflow, i've been thinking otherwise. is the airflow really THAT BAD?

i've been eyeing the Lian Li pc-v352b as well. It has 2 x120mm fans, one that blows RIGHT at the CPU/mem part and the other right at the video card. so cooling wise it would be perfect... but the only problem with that is that i will need to cut some of the Drive bay bottom/side plate off, as i need to route my video cards (side) power plugs. the lian li case only gives ~120mm for the height and my video card is roughly 110-115mm, so there really isn't much room as all for a video cards side power plugs.
 

9guns

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 13, 2010
Messages
303
yea man i saw your review on newegg, can we see some pics please? damn i'm dying to see what it looks like under this bitch's skirt...
 
Joined
Jul 4, 2012
Messages
1
For all those who want to see some pictures of what a Thermaltake Armor A30 super gaming rig looks like, here you go:

Pictures:
http://www.overclock.net/gallery/album/view/id/697914/user_id/293718

My hardware components summary: http://www.overclock.net/lists/display/view/id/4394198

For those of you who saw the last picture and thought WTF !!!, let me assure you that this is nothing too extreme a solution to this case heating problem. It's just a blower fan ranging from 190cfm, 50db to 300cfm, 65db, so I would appreciate it if you guys could just get of my case (pun intended ;) ) . Clearly, this is a temporary solution that allows me to use the PC for games. Without the blower, the computer's temperatures are as follows (load temps = under 30 minutes of Crysis 2 gaming):
I7-3770k: Idle ---> 42c, Load ---> 60c
ASUS P8Z77I-Deluxe: Idle ---> 38c, Load ---> 59C
GTX 690: Idle ---> 37C, Load --->90c
Clearly, the problem here is the GPU (I'm fine with the load temps on the CPU and the MB). With the blower, the GPU temps are:
Idle ---> 30c, Load ---> 75c (I can't remember the temps on the cpu and mb with the blower ,but they're fine).

I'm waiting on these two items:

1) Evercool 5.25" Cross Flow System Fan - Revision 2 - (PCAC2)
2) Lian Li BS-08B - Video card cooler - 120 mm - black + Cooler Master Excalibur 120mm (x2)

which I will install in the two pci slots and the buttom 5.25'' drive bay left unused (I'm using the top 5.25'' bay to
hide all the cables). Hopefully, the extra air blowing on the GPU will cool it sufficiently. Also, these two items will
change the pressure inside the case from negative to positive, thus allowing air to exit through the meshed frame
of the case instead of entering through it (which means less dust and better GPU cooling).

I know this is a strange build (a gtx 690 in a micro atx case ----> what was this guy thinking, right!!!) - that was the whole point. This is my third build. My first was an air
tunnle (16 fans !!!) antec 1200, and my second was a two water cooled loops Corsair 800D. Through those experiences I've learned a few valuable lessons that every self-respecting PC bulder should know:
1) In the computer building world, there is no such thing as a future proof system
2) SLI is totally unnecessary. You could alwayes find one card that can do a better job than two. If not, wait a few month. You will.
3) Big towery cases are impressive and are good for ventilation. However, unless you really build a crazy system, they will usually end up with a lot of untepped potential (unused drive bays, unused hdd bays etc...). Also, they're usually redicullacely heavy.

Therefore, I've decided that for my third build I will build a system that has as close to a 100% of its potential tapped into as possible; and I think I've succeedded in beating this challange. My mini-itx mb feels inside this case like a normal atx mb will feel inside a haf x case (and that is one specious case). I've used all the ram and pcie slots on this mb and, wIth the exception of the 3.5'' drivebay (which I'm considering using for a fan controller), I've used every possible pci slot and drive bay that this case has to offer. The end result, imo, is beautiful (just look at the first picture showing the three monitors, the television above them, and my PC tucked beneath the left monitor ... beautiful!!!).

If I wanted a cooler case I could have bought one easily. The HAF XM case cost $10 more than my case. The ASUS Maximus V Gene mb cost exactly the same as my ASUS P8Z77I-Deluxe mb and has more options. The Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E cost $20 more than my Noctua NH-L12 CPU cooler and it's a much better cooler. Soooo ... I had other options. But I wanted a challenge (and boy did I get one!!!). To those of you who are not afraid to take on this challenge, I say go for it, and I promise you, you will be rewarded (with a nuclear motherf#%@ing oven, which is what this thing is ... oh my god what have I done ... why did I buy this stupid ridiculous case ... noooooooooooooooo ... I'm kidding, I'm kidding ... this is a good case ... I'm good, I'm good ... Just needed to vent a bit :p)

Anyway, I will update you guys on the new temps and upload new pictures once I install the new hardware. Thank you all for listening to my little rant. I do appreciate it :)
 

burnin8r

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 19, 2006
Messages
1,211
this is the same tired old Tt lanbox from 2006 but they added a fan on top where people used to mod them. its a nightmare to work with because the sides don't come off (only the top), and the PSU over the CPU means you can't even use a decent heat sink.

thnx for bumping a year old thread.
 

xyexz

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
471
It's not a nightmare to work with really, just need to be patient, definitely this case is meant for lower watt parts, with an Antec 620 or similar close loop cpu cooler you can actually get pretty decent cooling out of this.

Here's what I did when I used the Armor a30:
http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1669439

Good luck with your build mate and ignore the haters (if you'd have created a new thread on the Armor a30 someone would've been upset that you didn't search and update an existing thread), keep us posted!

Edit: you'll have to let me know how the Evercool 5.25" Cross Flow System Fan does - the reviews on Amazon say it's terrible and loud but on Frozencpu they are saying it's quiet and moves lots of air lol.
 
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Zoop99

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 13, 2012
Messages
1,365
Pics pleaaase pleaaase id really like to see real pics with a setup... im about to buy a similar case
 

xyexz

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
471
Pics pleaaase pleaaase id really like to see real pics with a setup... im about to buy a similar case

Look at the link I posted in the post above yours, it's about as real a system as you're going to get in something this cramped/size.

Intel Core i7 2600k oc'd 4.5GHz
EVGA GTX 570
2 x 1TB WD Black RAID 0
Asus z68-m pro motherboard
2 x 4GB ram
Antec 620 CPU cooler
DVDRom
Corsair 750 PSU

There are a couple of pictures to show how I fit everything.
 

Mousemagician

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
324
Pics pleaaase pleaaase id really like to see real pics with a setup... im about to buy a similar case

Look at the link I posted in the post above yours, it's about as real a system as you're going to get in something this cramped/size.

Intel Core i7 2600k oc'd 4.5GHz
EVGA GTX 570
2 x 1TB WD Black RAID 0
Asus z68-m pro motherboard
2 x 4GB ram
Antec 620 CPU cooler
DVDRom
Corsair 750 PSU

There are a couple of pictures to show how I fit everything.
... and here there is mine, with a CrossfireX solution.;)
A real gaming system with Z68 and mATX form factor
Specs in my sign
 

xyexz

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
471
Hey did OP ever get the Evercool 5.25" Cross Flow System Fan? I'm really curious to hear how it performs for you.
 
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