• reviews
  • cases
  • Thermaltake Armor A30 Case Review
  • Thermaltake Armor A30 Case Review



    The Thermaltake A30 is the latest in the highly successful Armor series and with this case Thermaltake is targeting hardcore gamers with a Small Form Factor (SFF) design.  As a LAN party fanatic I have tried on several occasions to make a SFF case work for the portability advantages with mixed success.  The A30 hopes to win me over with a slightly larger chassis and the ability to run full size components, even today's top video cards.
    The Thermaltake A30 makes no attempt to fill the more common roles of a SFF chassis such as a HTPC or maybe a file server.  Weighing in at a stout 14.8 lbs. the 512 (D) x 352 (W) x 340mm (H) case would look more at home in the Batcave.  The added size and weight allow Thermaltake to not only handle full size components but to also include cooling solutions more at home in a full ATX case. 

    And if that's not enough, the case is completely modular.
    Case Features
    • Characteristic black bulletproof armor design with metal mesh elements.
    • Top and front blue LED fan creates combat ambience and excellent ventilation.
    • Front I/O with USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Connector.
    • Support Micro-ATX/Mini-ITX motherboard and high-end graphic cards up to 13" / 33 cm.
    • Compact size ideal for Lanparty event
    It bears repeating that the A30 is completely modular.  The top with its oversize Blue LED 230mm fan and the two windowed side panels are easily removed via thumb screws for ease of installation or maintenance.  The motherboard tray and two sets of drive bays (up to 7 drives total) remove just as easily removing the knuckle busting frustration common with nearly every other SFF case I have worked with in the past.

    Small doesn't mean you have to give up features found in today's high-end cases.  The A30 features external USB 3.0, 2.0 eSATA and HD audio right up front.  Cooling duties are shared by four fans; top 230mm Blue LCD, Front 90mm Blue LCD and two rear 60mm exhaust fans that help the ample venting move plenty of air. There's even a space to run the USB 3.0 cable out the back if needed.
    The Thermaltake A30 is clearly targeted at gamers if not LAN party enthusiasts directly.  The all black SFF design does little to hide the modular chassis' ability to hold a full size build with only the micro/mini ATX motherboard limiting the options.  In testing we found the position of your motherboards PCI-e slot is critical as our Foxconn AAGM motherboard placed larger cards like the BFG GTX 260 under the edge of the drive cage as shown in our gallery.  Still the ability to fit a single full size video card like a HD 5970 with the right motherboard choice is simply icing on the cake.  

    On the down side; the larger desktop footprint may prevent the A30 from fulfilling the more traditional SFF case roles and give some advantage to a full ATX build when portability is not a consideration.    The positioning of the drive cages does limit the size of your heat sink to not much larger than the OEM.  The weight and lack of any obvious grip points are the only LAN party issues and that's reaching for a guy known to travel with a full sized water-cooled build in the past!

    With a MSRP of just $119 the Thermaltake A30 can give a lot of the small ATX cases a run for their money in features and quality of construction.  As with all SFF builds the component selection is critical to get the most out of the case especially with the size of some heat sinks or video cards.  For someone looking for portability or just looking to stand out from the ATX crowd, there is a lot here to get excited about.
    Available Images
    Questions or Comments?
    If you have Questions or Comments about this article, please stop by our forums and let your voice be heard.