Page 4 - Installation and Conclusion
To be able to cable all your components into the Thermaltake Armor A30 nicely, there is a very specific way of doing it. Personally, I don't think there is a better way than what I am about to describe here. However, if you think you got one, please feel free to drop me an email. As well, you will need some good organizational skills.
Without further wasting your time, here is how I did my cabling. Firstly, chassis cables are organized specifically to their appropriate positions. Hard drives SATA cables are then attached, followed by drives mounted into the drive bay, which is to be installed into the chassis. Accessories that go into the external 5.25" drive bays will come in next, along with their respective cables. Slide the rack back into your Armor A30, and lock it into place with two thumbscrews.
Next, I installed my power supply into the bay, and have it sitting off to the side for the time being. At this point, if you have your motherboard and heatsink installed onto the removable motherboard tray already, then you are set. If you still do not have that installed yet, here's your chance. Next, slide the motherboard tray half way in; connect all necessary case I/O wires, such as the power switch and hard drive LEDs.
Before you connect the power cables from your PSU, be sure to have all the SATA cables ready to be connected to the motherboard. Sliding the motherboard tray in even closer now, but not all the way in, connect the SATA cables, as well all the power cables to your components. Attaching power cables to your motherboard at this time is also a good idea.
If you have followed what I did, and have planned out where each cable should go, then it should be pretty easy to reach the front fan with a Molex connector from your PSU. Connect it, and gently slide the rest of the motherboard tray in while holding onto the power supply bay. Once that is in place, you can stick the power supply bay straight down on top, but be sure your heatsink is not poking into your power supply. Screw everything in with the respective screws, and you are now almost set.
When installing the power supply, it may be somewhat difficult to work with, since you will need to hold the entire bay up to give yourself enough room to work with. Other than that, the installation process should not be too difficult. Any dangling cables can be stuffed in the empty space next to the hard drive bays. Once everything is done, it should look relatively clean and compact, like what I have in the photo above. This took me quite some time to figure out, as I am quite picky on the cabling -- so I really took some quality time to figure out how it should be done.
Once all the necessary cables were plugged in and with our components correctly configured inside, our system inside the Thermaltake Armor A30 is ready to be fired up. Hitting the power button will bring your system to life with the sleek blue LED lights glowing. Your finished system should look similar to what I have above. If you like what you see -- a compact mATX system and what I think looks pretty stylish -- then this case should be considered on your next shopping list.
On a scale from 0.0 to 10.0 where 0.0 is silent and 10.0 is loudest, I would rate the fans at 3.5 subjective sound rating in my personal opinion. I am actually quite satisfied at the perceived sound volume, even though the Thermaltake Armor A30 is certainly not the quietest chassis out there.
Thermaltake -- known for building decent quality chassis for the price? Absolutely. Thermaltake -- known for building cool looking cases for people like me? In my personal opinion, definitely. So, what is Thermaltake to be exact? Well, that all depends on how they market their products, and how consumers perceive them as a whole. I'm not going to answer that question for you, but as far as the Armor A30 is concerned, it is a well likeable product. One very notable feature is the company includes a large 230mm top exhaust fan for such a small chassis. Next, we find ourselves treated to a removable motherboard tray, which proves to be very beneficial for a mATX case. To further the convenience of the installation process, the PSU and accessories racks are removable. Adding a cherry on top, both the top and front mounted fans glow blue, so you may show off your hardcore chassis to your friends. With its smooth and solid all-around build quality, what is there to complain? One concern that I may have, but not necessarily a complaint due to the nature of this case, is that you will need to install your components in a certain order since it would be a tight fit once everything is in, and organization is a key factor. The one concern I have that is a complaint, however, is the lack of dust filters for its top 230mm fan. All in all, let's be honest here, Thermaltake's Armor A30 is quite a unique case for approximately $110 at press time. For a computer chassis that is designed for micro-ATX motherboards, it is not the most compact one out there, but it houses quite a bit of stuff to ensure it packs the hardware punch its looks suggests. So is this Thermaltake Armor A30 worth the money for its intended market niche? I definitely think so.
Thermaltake provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.
APH Review Focus Summary:
8/10 means Definitely a very good product with drawbacks that aren't likely going to matter to the end user.
7/10 means Great product with many advantages and certain insignificant drawbacks; but should be considered before purchasing.
-- Final APH Numeric Rating is 7.7/10
Please note that the APH Numeric Rating system is based off our proprietary guidelines in the Review Focus, and should not be compared to other sites.
The Thermaltake Armor A30 is a well built compact chassis that is great for bringing around to LAN parties.
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1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion