Any experience with a Thermaltake Armor case?

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Any experience with a Thermaltake Armor case?

Postposted on Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:01 pm

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133062

I'm looking at a new build and I have some unusual requirements.

I want a top venting power supply slot as this will sit on the floor.

I want some amount of LED lights because (don't laugh) the kids use the lights as night lights if they need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. With the number of plugs in the area -- it just seems easier to allow the computer to fill this function and not get a 1 to n plug mold adapter to put a separate night light in.

I'm looking for quiet. This sits in a common area. The older I get, the more that seems to matter -- the kids make enough noise on their own.

I want at least 2 USB ports on top. Will plug in things like iPods, etc and since this is on the floor, I want them to sit on top and would like the USB ports close.

Don't care about locks, weight (it will go in one location and sit for lifetime unless I lose a job and have to move), exterior color (within reason -- some of the green ones are just *ugly*).

It will likely hold a i7-860, ATI 5850, no more than 2 HDDs and 1 DVD+RW, the 750HX Corsair power supply (that I have already), probably 6 GB of memory and I won't overclock to excessive measures -- may even leave it as the stock CPU heat sink unless there is compelling reason not to (as in it would significantly reduce overall noise).

So...

Has anyone played with one of these? Are there air fliters (I can't tell) -- as this will be on the carpeted floor I'm worried about the amount of dust. How are the noise levels? Do those flanges on the front inhibit DVD trays from operation? Cable management a big problem (have some indication but thinking it could be solved with zip ties)? I note the 230mm fans and some indication you have to go back to mfg to replace should there be issues. Anybody had to deal with that? Is it that common (can't tell how many of the posts are just a minority with a bad experience that are vocal or not)?

Any advice / feedback appreciated. I'm not in a real hurry. With the supply problems with the 5850 I'll likely wait until Jan before I start really buying everything -- but the rebate for $20 will runs out on the 15th -- so you never know -- I might buy just the case early.
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Re: Any experience with a Thermaltake Armor case?

Postposted on Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:47 pm

5850's are in stock :).

Beyond that, the case looks nice, but does have some detractors.

Pro's:
Giant fan on the side for cooling
Looks like all of the drive bays will be easy to install

Con's:
Giant fan on the side for cooling
No places to route cables behind
PSU on top
LOTS of glossy plastic which is susceptible to finger prints, scratches, and breaking

I can't say it's a bad case, but I honestly think you might do a little better- I'd focus on durability first, silence second. You can add lights that aren't in fans, such as colored CCFLs, and you can replace fans with quieter ones too.
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Re: Any experience with a Thermaltake Armor case?

Postposted on Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:25 pm

If you're fine with the looks then go for it. The biggest issue with that case is the complete lack of any cable management features. It is also likely loud as most Thermaltake products (including all of their fans) are.
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Re: Any experience with a Thermaltake Armor case?

Postposted on Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:57 pm

I had very bad experience with ThermalTake products including their fans, PSU and case:
-Fans started failing one after the other, had to replace them.
-PSU started making crackling noise similar to a shorting electrical connection, I took no chances and replaced it. When I called ThermalTake they did not bother returning my call.
-My case although fully aluminum-built is very difficult to assemble and work inside, plus it has front door with fan control knobs which also failed after a while.

So, I am not going to buy any ThermalTake products any time soon. If you are looking for a great case check out Lian Li and Silverstone.
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Re: Any experience with a Thermaltake Armor case?

Postposted on Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:26 am

Seems like 3 strikes against the Thermaltake. Recommendation noted.

So -- I vaguely remember a TR article talking about the power supply on the bottom being a 'good thing (tm)', but in this situation I'm not sure that having the big heat source close to the carpet to collect yet more dust is the best move. Help me learn the errors of my ways?

I know Damage recommends an Antec at times -- how about the 1200? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129043. I'm scared of going with the 900 or 902 with this build based on reading that heat sinks for the i7 don't seem to fit so good...

A little more than I wanted to spend but if it saves headaches down the road it's probably money well spent.
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Re: Any experience with a Thermaltake Armor case?

Postposted on Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:54 am

Have you looked at Antec's P183?
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Re: Any experience with a Thermaltake Armor case?

Postposted on Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:28 am

I have the Thermaltake Armor+ case you have shown in the link. I have had really no problems with it. There is a fan filter in the bottom four spots (I believe its 120mm) and it has a blue light with a faint glow. The side fan 230mm also has a blue led light and this really bright. To me it is too bright to be used as a night light if I am in the same room with it. The fans that come with the case are not really that loud and I have had them going for 2 years now. They have a slight hummm but nothing to obnoxious. It has a removable MB tray which is really nice, and I hide my cables behind that. The case is extremely huge and heavy (loaded it is over 50lbs). There are also small feet that the case stands on if you decide to put it on carpet. I still would advise against putting fans in the bottom if its on carpet. The front fan filters work well. I have cleaned my case 3 times in two years, and each was fairly clean. Let me know if you have other questions. I love my case, but to be fair I have never had a full tower Antec or Coolermaster.
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