Thermaltake Armor A60 Review (Page 3 of 4)

Page 3 - Physical Look - Inside

Taking a peek inside the Thermaltake Armor A60 for first impressions, we can see that it is practically the same one found in the Thermaltake Armor A90 -- and I would have to say that whoever designed this interior has done a commendable job. It is fully painted matte black, giving it a sleek and stylish feel. Measuring at 480 mm in height, 210 mm in width, and 500 mm in length, it feels very spacious for mid-sized chassis. It weighs around 7.1 kg, which is very reasonable for products of this type in this category. In my opinion, the construction of this chassis is very solid and durable, and no sharp edges or corners were particularly noticeable during use. The only part where Thermaltake has been cutting corners other than the missing top plastic panel otherwise found on the A90 mentioned on the previous page, much like what they have been doing in its older brother, is the partial use of bumps in the motherboard tray. Each mounting hole is labeled 'A' and/or 'M' for ATX and mATX, respectively, but you will need it only for three risers -- the rest are all bumps. I am also pleased to find a large opening at the back of the motherboard tray for easy access to aftermarket heatsink backplates.

The Thermaltake Armor A90 features a bottom mounted power supply bay, and hence, the chassis platform is raised about half an inch off the ground to support power supply units with bottom mounted fans. A little gap is situated between the air intake filter and the bottom of your power supply. There is an air intake dust filter included just below the seat of the power supply to reduce the amount of dust drawn into your power supply. I personally do not see a real advantage to it, because the filter does not look like it can filter much, if at all -- especially if the user decides to put their computer over carpet. Not saying that it is illegal or anything, but it is just not recommended. Anyways, there is a crossbar situated a distance from the rear opening at the bottom for supporting the power supply, along with an integrated chassis clip for a more secure installation. I find it a hassle to install the power supply in this setting, as Jonathan has mentioned in his Armor A90 review a few months back.

The Thermaltake Armor A60 can accommodate up to seven 3.5" drives. A 4-pin Molex powered 120mm LED fan installed at the bottom draws cool air over the hard drives and into the system. Since there are two fan mounts in front, it could easily be bumped up one slot to the one on top of where it is now. All drive bays are stacked parallel to each other, and can easily be removed once the wiring is detached from the opposite side, since the rack is turned 90 degrees to face outward. This greatly improves the neatness of cabling, since many of your cables can be hidden behind your drives. The top 3.5" drive bay is externally accessible for flash card readers or floppy disk drives (If you still use those), whereas the bottom bay has four bumps to support one 2.5" hard drive or SSD. Six of the seven 3.5" drive bays feature convenient slide-in tray installation; pulling out your toolkit would be a great idea if you do not have it by now -- you will need to attach a couple of screws. Out of the six bays, the top one is Thermaltake's SideClick EasySwap bay. I will be explaining this in more detail in just a moment. Meanwhile, installed drives can be pulled out quite handily by squeezing both sides of the drive bay tray. There are also are three externally accessible 5.25" drive bays near the top. Its tool-free installation implementation works by simply unlatching the clips and swinging it upwards, you can easily slide the device in and clip it back to its original position. For stability and secure installations, I would still recommend the use of screws.

Here, we can see the rear 120 mm TurboFan (16dBA @ 1000rpm) in conjunction with the top 200 mm blue LED fan (15 dBA @ 800rpm). Keep in mind that the rear 120mm fan is the only fan in the system powered by a 3-pin motherboard header; the rest are LED fans with 4-pin Molex connectors. As aforementioned, the opening at the top will introduce more dust into your system. Also, you may have noticed the thumbscrew right under the 120 mm fan. This correlates to the clip on the back panel used for clipping down cables, such as those from your keyboard and mouse, to discourage theft of your peripherals at a LAN party.

As promised, this is the section where I promised to discuss the SideClick EasySwap drive bay. Basically, it is an externally accessible bay for the user to easily swap internal hard disk drives in the system. First and foremost, because the Armor A60 and Armor A90 falls within a very close price range of each other, what you will lose compared to its elder brother is the top panel plastic panel used for aesthetic purposes. Other than that, the SideClick EasySwap bay works by having a SATA connector situated near the back panel on a solid plastic backplate. Obviously, the SATA cable will have to be connected to you motherboard. Power is delivered through a corresponding SATA power connector; but the other end is a 4-pin Molex for your power supply to connect to. How this EasySwap bay works is that once you have a hard drive installed on one of the Thermaltake Armor A60's internal 3.5" drive trays, simply push the tray into the conveniently accessible drive bay until the slots at the back of the hard drive clicks with the SATA connectors. It is very easy and extremely convenient. Unfortunately, you can't lock the drive bay, and I think that is quite a flaw the case design -- especially if the Armor A60 is geared towards users who will be taking their computers to LAN parties.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion