|A member of the Funky Media Group|
|Review: Thermaltake Armor A30 Micro-ATX Chassis|
|Posted by Winston|
|Wednesday, 15 December 2010 01:03|
Page 1 of 6
Micro-ATX chassis are something a lot manufacturers tend to avoid producing, and it seems that there are only a handful of these chassis available on the market. One of the main reasons for this, is because the market for these type of chassis is relatively low compared to standard midi or full tower chassis. Many gamers and modders tend to prefer midi or full tower chassis due to several factors which includes, the spacious interior and this means easy access to components, and better air-flow inside the chassis. But having said that, this doesn't mean they're not sought after. Take a look at Thermaltake's Lanbox and Antec's Mini P180. Both of these chassis are ideal for micro ATX motherboards, and have been well received amongst many gamers and LAN party goers alike.
Over the past few months, the market for Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards, as well as mini PCs are growing. Take for example the much talked about Gigabyte H55N-USB3 motherboard, which was released earlier this year. It's one of the first ever mini-ITX motherboard that can handle overclocking extremely well. There's also the Zotoc's mini-ITX motherboards and mini PC systems, all of which needs Micro-ATX/ITX chassis. So with this in mind ... it's time for manufacturers to take a note and start producing these chassis.
There's one manufacturer who saw a potential in this market for Micro-ATX chassis much earlier than others. Who are they? ... it's no otther than Thermaltake. Their Lanbox series have been selling extremely well. So, continuing its success from the original Lanbox series, Thermaltake have just launched their next Micro-ATX gaming chassis ... the Armor A30.
Thermaltake are not only well known for their chassis, but they're also famous for their coolers and power supplies. They have been producing these type of products and other cooling accessories since the early days of 1999. For those who are not familiar with Thermaltake or its products ... here's a little blurb taken from their website.
In this review, we'll be taking a look at the Thermaltake Armor A30 Micro-ATX gaming chassis. And as the name suggests, it's a Micro-ATX chassis that's designed for both micro-ATX as well as mini-ITX motherboards. The chassis measures 266 x 291 x 456 mm, which is larger than I expected but you can literally fit any full size components into the chassis, such as full lenth graphic cards, ATX12V power supplies and full size 5.25" optical drives. It comes with some very unique features such as the characteristic black bulletproof armor design with metal mesh elements, as well as the front I/O with USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Connector.
For expansion, the Armor A30 supports 2 x 5.25’’and 1 x 3.5’’ which are all accessible. Internally, it can support a further 2 x 3.5’’ and 2 x 2.5” (hidden). Front panel I/O includes the earlier mentioned USB 3.0 SuperSpeed connector, as well as USB 2.0 x 1, eSATA x 1 , HD Audio x 1. Because of the Mini-ATX size, the CPU cooler height is limited to 90mm high, while the VGA length is limited to 350mm in length.
There's also two side windows, one for each side, as well as a honeycomb mesh design to allow excellent air-flow. For cooling, the Armor A30 don't disappoint either. There's a large ultra-quiet 230mm fan with blue LED located at the top of the chassis, dual 60mm fans at the rear, and one 90mm blue LED fan at the front. So it's definitely ... "very cool" ;)
We'll be testing the Thermaltake Armor A30 Micro-ATX Chassis using the following componets, which includes an Intel Core i5 - 650 @ 3.2Ghz, Gigabyte H55N-USB3 motherboard (mini-ITX size), 4Gb Crucial Ballistix Tracer and a Thermaltake ToughPower XT 875W power supply, and an Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 CPU cooler. Will all these components fit inside the Armor A30? Let's find out.
OK ... let's not waste any more time and take a closer look at the specifications and features of the Thermaltake Armor A30 Micro-ATX Chassis.