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Asus E35M1-I Deluxe Fusion Mobo & Thermaltake Armor A30 Review

In our last Fusion review we used the Element Q case from Thermaltake, which has been on the market now for quite some time. For our review today we were kindly supplied the latest and greatest media case from Thermaltake – the Armor A30.

The bundle is comprehensive. A well written multi language manual, speaker, mounting screws for all areas of the case and a handful of cable tidies in two sizes.

The Armor A30 is significantly larger than the Element Q, but it offers substantially more with the updated design. Firstly, the design looks a lot better with angular edges and an almost industrial ‘sci-fi’ like appearance. There is a large 230mm fan at the top of the case, a 90mm intake fan at the front  and two 60mm exhaust fans at the rear. Both 230mm and 90mm fans have subtle blue LED’s to enhance the appearance.

The front of the case has a USB 2.0 port, USB 3.0 port, eSATA connector and headphone and microphone input connectors. The Tt badge is placed centrally in the middle of the central bezel.

Both side panels have plastic windows mounted to give an overview of the internals. These panels incidentally are never removed, the top and rear sections slide out and off for internal access.

Dotted around the circumference of the chassis are thumbscrews which all need to be removed so various parts of the chassis can be opened.

The rear tray slides out easily, and both 60mm fans can be seen from the inside. They both require a molex power connector. Thermaltake haven’t cut corners here, we can see these are high quality units which only spin at 1,500 rpm and only emit around 18dBa of noise.

The top panel is slid backwards to expose the whopping 230mm fan, which is again a high quality unit spinning at only 800 rpm and emitting only 15dBa of noise. The front 90mm fan is also a low spinning model to keep the noise levels as low as possible.

With the rear motherboard tray removed and the top fan shroud out of the way, we can see the insides much clearer. Next we need to get access to the optical/hard drive area at the front of the chassis.

Two more thumbscrews need to be removed and then the optical drive section can be slid back and upwards, outside the case. It is a very clever system and the engineering quality is impressive. Additionally, standard ATX power supplies can be used with this case (one isn’t supplied).

With the top tray removed we can mount two hard drives in the tray below. We have fitted a 2TB Samsung unit for storage in the image above. This tray is held in place by a single screw. Again, we were impressed with the chassis strength and engineering quality, much better than the Armor A60 we looked at last year.

The system build took about 10 minutes in total and was easily one of the better small form factor case builds we have experienced to date.

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