Thermaltake Armor Revo: Reviving a Legend
By Edward Crisler
When Thermaltake first came on my radar they were well known for their Armor computer cases. This case was a full tower that provided excellent cooling and was also known for it’s distinctive front doors or shields. That case today is consider a classic among tech enthusiasts.
The Armor Revo is an attempt to pay homage to the classic Armor case while at the same time bringing the case to a more modern design. This is most obvious as we look at the front of the case. Looking at the case head on you can see the two shields that the classic Armor case was known for. There are brushed aluminum panels that have the ability to be opened a small degree for purely aesthetic purposes, these are not doors in any manner and do not interfere with the use of optical bays even when fully closed.
Looking past these two shields however we see a design that is similar to designs we have seen before from Thermaltake, there is a reason for that. Thermaltake has, for it’s full tower cases, hit upon a solid design for the interior of the case. This design is well made, efficient and has some great features. So instead of inventing the wheel as it were with each case that have started using the same base and then modifying the outside to create the style they are shooting for.
Now this is not theory, I have been able to confirm this with our contacts at Thermaltake and personally I think this is great. By using a common base for the cases we can see a reduction of costs since only a single basic interior tooling of the case is required. This will also give the various case styles a unifying form that will allow them to be different but recognizable as a Thermaltake case at the same time. This of course could only work if you had a great base to start from and Thermaltake does.
Looking at the front panel of the case we can see this unifying design in action. If that panel design looks familiar it should. We have seen this basic design on the Overseer and the Chaser. You have dual USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, an ESATA as well as the headphone and microphone jacks. There is also an SATA drive docking station that works with 3.5 or 2.5 inch drives. On the right we have the power and reset buttons as well as the HD activity light and on the left we have a high and low fan speed switch as well as a fan light control switch. The logo on the front also serves as the power light for the PC.
Turning to the side we see a side panel that looks a lot like the side on the Chaser with a nice side window and a 200mm side intake fan. The fan gets its power from a power connector built into the side panel and mainframe. This design is something I love about Thermaltake cases and really makes them stand out. No need to worry about the side fans power cable when you take the door off to work or put it back on. The side fan is filtered but you cannot remove it without taking off the fan.
Opening the case we see an interior look that we have seen before. The motherboard tray has a nice large cutout for making access to the CPU back plate easy as well as having a lot of room behind the tray for cable routing. The PSU mounts at the bottom of the case and has a movable bracket to allow the case to easily accommodate larger PSUs. There is also a mount to add a 120mm fan to the bottom of the case for intake, both it and the PUS intake area are filtered and this can be easily removed from the rear.
The optical bays can hold up to four different 5.25” devices and have a tool free design. There are six drive bays for 3.5” or 2.5” drives. These are easy to remove and lock back in real tight. You also get an adapter and face plate for the ability to mount a floppy or other 3.5” devices in the 5.25” bays.
With the 200mm fans at the side and front a third fan is at the top of the case and a 140mm fan at the rears. The chimney area will also allow for a 120mm or 140mm fan to be added or the 200mm fan can be removed and a 240mm radiator can be used instead. The cooling solutions are very versatile and the space very open. When I built my wives system in this case after testing I was able to easily mount AMD’s dual fan liquid cooling solution in the top area using the second fan option. There is a surprising amount of room in the case.
The quality and options offered by this case are things we have come to expect from Thermaltake in their full tower cases. The fans that come stock offer the same cooling as the other cases with this design but do not have the color change options, only offer a choice of blue or off. On the side panel we find the headset holder that Thermaltake has started including in case designs, this is much handier than you would first think. Once you start using it, you have a hard time being without it. This holder is however mounted to the case and if this will sit under a desk be sure your legs are not going to bump into or you might break it, or at the very least hurt your leg.
The cooling in this case is awesome with the test rig (I5 2500K (stock Intel cooler), Sapphire HD 7850, Kingston Hyper X SSD, 8 Gig Kingston Hyper X DDR3) running for 4 hours under gaming level load in a room with a temp of 85F. At no time did the system come close to throttling temps.
The use of an aggressive style is something we have come to expect from Thermaltake, this means some people will love this cases looks and others will hate it. My wife adores the case and hence it now houses her system. Personally I do not think it is bad but it is not a design that gets me excited. However the quality of the build and the features offered do get me excited. The Armor Revo has a tough road to hoe as it must live up to the name created by a case that is legendary. With a nod in the style to the classic case Thermaltake moves this design fully into their new full tower style and has managed to blend the old and the new together nicely. The case is available in White or Black giving you more options in choosing a style that fits you.
This case is definitely worth a look and if you like the style you will love the case. The Armor Revo is a great case that is worth any enthusiast’s attention.
Review as aired 9 June 2012
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