TT Armor Revo Gene Mid Tower Case VO800M1W2N
When Thermaltake debuted the Armor chassis back in 2005 is was a MONSTER. I would know as I bought one and used it lovingly for quite a few years. Its styling was awesome with the pair of aluminum front doors and big side panel window and its sheer size was intimidating. Since then Thermaltake has kept the Armor series a live releasing a few new models here and there based off the same HUGE full-tower chassis in the form of the Armor+ and Armor+ MX. Thermaltake first mini-sized the Armor in the form of the Armor A series, then brought back the front aluminum doors with the Armor Revo, and now has simplified it a tad and lowered the price point with the Armor Revo Gene. The Gene drops the price to around $130 shipped and carries a 3-year warranty. Let’s check this beast out!
“Thermaltake Armor Series line of high-performance computer chassis have long been regarded in the computer enthusiasts community as one of the most versatile and high-performing gaming chassis since early 2005 when the first Armor was introduced. The all-new Armor Revo Gene is designed to not only continue the tradition of excellence, but to excel in all aspects of a true gaming chassis that takes aggressive styling to a new level and with unique and advanced features that one can only appreciate when experienced. Look out boys, the legend is back.”
Thermaltake Armor Revo Gene Features:
- Wing Shape Aluminum Front Bezel
- Breath Lighting Effect
- USB 3.0 Superspeed
- Top-mounted HDD hot swap Docking Station
- VGA TripleMax 31cm
- CableClear cable management
- Liquid Cooling Ready
- Innovative 5.25” & 3.5” tool-free design
- Combat Headset Holder
- Heightened foot stand enhances intake airflow
Specifications of the Thermaltake Armor Revo Gene:
|Case Type||Mid Tower|
|Front Bezel Material||Combination of plastic and high air flow mesh|
|Color|| Interior: Black
|Side Panel||Swivel Door with Tranparent Window|
|Motherboard Support|| 9.6” x 9.6” (Micro ATX)
12” x 9.6” (ATX)
|5.25" Drive Bay||4|
|Ext. 3.5" Drive Bay||1|
|Int. 3.5" Drive Bay||5|
|Front I/O Ports|| USB 3.0 x 2
USB 2.0 x 2
MIC & Speaker (support AC’97 & HD Audio)
|Cooling System|| Front (Intake) :
200 x 200 x 30 mm Blue LED fan x 1 (600~800rpm,13~15dBA)
Rear (Exhaust) :
140 x 140 x 25 mm TurboFan, 1000rpm, 16dBA or 120 x 120 x 25 mm x 1 (optional)
Top (Exhaust) :
200 x 200 x 30 mm fan x 1 (600~800rpm, 13~15dBA) or 140 x 140 x 25 mm x 2 (optional) or 120 x 120 x 25 mm x 2 (optional)
Bottom (Intake) :
120 x 120 x 25 mm x 1 (optional)
Side (Intake) :
200 x 200 x 30 mm x 1 (optional)
|Liquid Cooling Capable||Yes|
|Liquid Cooling Embedded||No|
|Power Supply Supported||Standard ATX PSII Power Supply|
|Power Supply Included||No|
510 x 252.0 x 550 mm
20 x 9.9 x 21.6 inch
|Net Weight|| 7.8 kg
|Security Lock||Kensington lock port|
|Application||Suitable for gaming, enthusiast, DIY and modding|
Now that we have a good understanding of the core features we can move on and take a look at the retail sample Thermaltake provided us to review.
Unboxing the Thermaltake Armor Revo Gene
Thermaltake packaged the Armor Revo Gene in a full-color display box. The front and rear of the box both show a clear picture of the case along with a USB 3.0 badge and neat graphics.
One end of the box lists basic features in 13 different languages.
The other end shows a small picture of the case along with basic info and a UPC code in the bottom left corner.
The case itself is wrapped in a soft black cloth bag then enclosed in a pair of Styrofoam end caps to prevent damage during transit. The cloth bag is a nice touch.
Once the case is shed of its packing we finally get to take a look at it. The first thing you’ll see is the window with its protective plastic covering and the two front aluminum doors. Let’s take a closer look at the Armor Revo Gene now.
Externals: Thermaltake Armor Revo Gene
The Armor Revo Gene’s left side has a large sideways C-shaped window in the top and a filtered side intake and a small black box in the top right, but we’ll check that out later on.
The front of the case is fully meshed and visible are the Thermaltake logo which hides a 200mm blue LED intake fan, then an external 3.5” bay and 4 5.25” bays above that. The front aluminum doors are also removable if you so choose. Simply slide in the pins as the bottom and top of each door and remove it. If you want to put the doors back simply put them in place and slide the pins back out into the front panel.
The back of the case features 3 water cooling/cable grommets, a 140mm exhaust fan, 7 expansion slots with a special retainer panel and the standard bottom-mount PSU opening. There is also a cable security loop right above the I/O cutout for securing your goodies at a LAN party or something of the sort. You’ll also notice that the included 140mm exhaust fan is rubber mounted to help keep noise levels down.
The right side is plain other than a large square bump in the panel to aid in cable management on the inside.
The top of the case features a headphone and mic jack, reset and power buttons and a red HDD indicator LED on the left side as well as a pair of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports on the right. In the center is a SATA docking station that will accept either 3.5” or 2.5” drives.
The bottom of the case features a removable filter that not only filters the PSU intake but also the intake spot in front of the PSU should you decide to install a fan there. The case feet also turn to any position you desire and will each lock into one of eight different positions.
The little black box on the left side panel we looked at earlier is actually a flip-down holder for your gaming headset. This is a simple yet effective feature.
The intake on the left side panel is filtered. The filter can be a pain to remove as it’s held in with 4 small plastic push-clips. If you install a 200, 140 or 120mm fan into the panel expect to need to remove it to clean your filter as well.
Internals: Thermaltake Armor Revo Gene
With the side panel removed we get a good glimpse inside the case. The 4 5.25” bay slots are tool-free with a very unique setup (more on that in a bit) as are the 5 2.5”/3.5” internal drive holders. The external 3.5” bay is tool-free as well. Well, kind of, but we’ll get into that later on.
Here’s a closer shot of the tool-free brackets for the 5.25” bays. They also give you the option of installing screws into the rear holes which is nice for those who like to solidly-mount their devices.
To use the tool-free system all you do is slide your device in from the front. The clip will automatically move out of the way then snap into place when the device is installed fully. That’s it. No levers or switches to flip. Just slide it in and you’re done. To remove the device simply push the blue latch in then pull your device out. Once the device has cleared the mechanism it automatically resets. It doesn’t get much simpler than this.
The trays for the drives are tool-free as well and equally simple to use. To remove the tray simply pinch the tabs and it slides out.
The 2.5” drives will mount with screws through the four provided holes in the tray while the 3.5” drives mount via metal push pins that go through rubber grommets to dampen drive vibration noise.
The expansion slot setup is the same as that we first saw on the Level 10 GT. You first remove the single thumbscrew and plate, then remove the thumbscrews for the covers you want to remove. Reassembly is the same. You’ll also notice the hole to the right for the Kensington lock if you so choose/desire.
The included 140mm exhaust fan is Thermaltake’s Turbo Fan that runs at 1000rpm and is rated for 16dBA. This spot will also accept a 120mm fan (or radiator) as well.
The top exhaust fan is a 200x30mm unit that’s black in color. You can remove this and install 2x120mm or 2x140mm fans in this location as well if you so desire.
Thermaltake included a 200mm blue LED intake fan that’s situated behind the front panel to draw cool air into the Armor Revo Gene. The front panel simply pops off with a tug with no wires to worry about. The front intake is also filtered to help keep dust out of your system.
Now back to that tool-free external 3.5” bay. I say kind of because the tray itself is tool-free as you simply pinch the tabs and pull it out. You do however need to remove the front intake fan to get the tray out, which makes this setup not-so-much tool-free.
The motherboard header connectors are all black cables and connectors. Thermaltake chose to make the power LED connectors 2 separate pins rather than either a 2-pin or 3-pin connector. Motherboard manufacturers need to set either a 2-pin or 3-pin standard for this, or all case manufacturers need to make two single pins like Thermaltake has done here.
Thermaltake has included a ton of accessories with the Armor Revo Gene. Included are reusable cable ties, a case speaker, extra stand-off, spacers, and 3 bags of screws to fill virtually every hole in the chassis.
Thermaltake has also included a user’s manual and a Thermaltake warranty booklet which clearly explains their warranty policy in several different languages.
Installing a system into the Thermaltake Armor Revo Gene
Installing a system into the Thermaltake Armor Revo Gene was simple and quick. The tool-free bays and drive trays made component installation a snap and the cable-management grommets made routing everything easy. The grommets were plenty large enough and were held solid in the motherboard tray. Not one grommet came out on me through all of the cable pulling they were subjected to. I wish I could say the same for all case manufacturers (I’m looking at you NZXT!).
The tool-free mechanisms in the 5.25” bays worked flawlessly every time. This system BY FAR is THE BEST tool-free system I’ve used in any chassis to date. It’s not over-complicated and it just works, period.
The anti-vibration mounts were typical of what most case manufacturers are including these days. They’re relatively simple to install but trying to remove the metal pins is a hassle. Luckily Thermaltake included screws you can use in place of the metal pins (that still utilize the rubber grommets) that make drive installation and removal much simpler.
When powered on the front armor logo is backlit very lightly with a blue LED. So light in fact that it’s hard to tell if it’s on in good light. In the dark it’s just enough glow to give some character without being overpowering. The HDD activity LED is also adorned with a red LED that is just bright enough to notice.
Final Thoughts and Conclusions
Thermaltake really has a winner with the Armor Revo gene. For ~$130 shipped this case is jam-packed with features normally seen only on higher-end cases.
The inclusion of the headset hook is a great touch. It’s something so simple yet solves a problem for almost any gamer.
The fact that Thermaltake included 2 separate pins for the power LED shows that they were thinking about many possible setups as some motherboard manufacturers use a 2-pin power LED header while others use a 3-pin. Why this hasn’t yet been standardized I still don’t know.
The unique backlit armor logo doubles as the power LED and gives just enough glow in the dark to perfectly accent the case.
The Thermaltake Armor Revo Gene is selling for only $112.15 plus $15.98 shipping over at Amazon.com for either the Black (VO800M1W2N) or Snow (VO800M6W2N) versions which is a bargain price for a mid-tower that’s as feature-packed as this model is.
Legit Bottom Line: Thermaltake hit a home run with the Armor Revo Gene. It combines a wealth of features and great styling at an awesome price point. Be sure to put the Armor Revo Gene on the list for your next build.