Thermaltake eSports Armor A30 mATX LAN Case Review

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Conclusion & Final Thoughs on the Armor A30

Thermaltake eSports Armor A30 Lan Box mATX Gaming Case

The Good

Thermaltake has brought this case to market with a design for gamers and I think they did well in regard to the aesthetic design. This is the kind of case I know a lot of gamers like. Construction on this case is also great; it’s very rigid and the plastic bits have almost no flex in them. Thermaltake also has this case for sale at an attractive price of $109 with a 3 Year Warranty. Thermaltake also offers spot on results for their fan specifications, making this case incredibly quiet. Which would be great if the case were for HTPC use.

Spacing for parts and sections on this case is also rather great; your standard power supplies will fit fine with room to plug the cables into your ODDs, along with plenty of space for even some of the larger 135mm and 140mm fan PSUs.

Ventilation points are also rather well implemented design aspects, as they use the case’s negative air pressure design to pull air onto the graphics card section, and over the hard drives, which do not have direct airflow.

The Bad

LED Light Bleed is a big issue with this case, as LEDs shine through the cracks easily.  This really is a problem that ruins the aesthetics of the case. It makes it look cheap even though the construction is not. Lack of cable management or an appropriate place to store cables is a big flaw of the case. It makes it look like sections of it are a rat’s nest.

A big flaw in this case’s design is that it adapts the original Lanbox design to the new age of higher heat components. I think if Thermaltake were to come back with a new Armor series mATX case they should most likely try another route using larger diameter fans for the intake, and an overall redesign of the case itself to avoid such problems in the future. The Lanbox frame is simply one that is dated, and that shows on the Armor A30.

The Mediocre

Airflow in the case is poor for most gaming setups. Even though this case claims it can support a long graphics card like the HD5970, I suspect that this case would cause such a card to heat up rather quickly. With the limited CPU cooler height you do not have many options for coolers, so a high end processor like a Phenom II x6 or a Core i7 would not allow you much overclocking headroom at all.

While I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad point, it is definitely a point that begs a concern; the ventilation. While the added airflow from all of the vents is a nice point of the case, none of these vents feature any air filtration besides the front panel of the case. What this means for the end user is that frequent cleaning will be needed on the case and the included components.

A final thought is that this case does not include any handles to make it easier to carry around. While it’s not a huge concern, the original Lanbox had it and Falcon Northwest made a similar case called the Fragbox with a handle as well.

Other Thoughts

While the Armor Series had a revamp in both design and styling, I cannot say that I am a fan. Though this does not really affect my judgment of the case as aesthetics are not really a “performance” factor. The angles and mesh styling of the case are some that are loved and hated. If you’re on the fence about the design but you want a case that is quiet and can fit some large hardware, this is probably one of the better cases for you. An added thought is that without being able to easily purchase fans to replace the included ones, I feel that upgrading the airflow would end up being more trouble than it’s worth.

Another thought for Thermaltake if they make an updated Armor A30 is to consider two models, one being a “lanbox” like this one, with my concerns addressed. The other I would like to be a tower style case, for as one that frequents LANs, I like to keep my case up on the table where most people use towers. I feel it’s more dangerous to have a case on the floor, which is where most cube cases end up.

Legit Bottom Line: The Armor A30 is a quiet small form factor case that just doesn’t quite live up to the needs of the intended market.

Thermaltake eSports Armor A30 Lan Box mATX Gaming Case
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