Thermaltake Armor Revo Gene Case Review

Author: Roger Cantwell
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Thursday, November 29th, 2012
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/tt_armor_revo_gene/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.

Today Neoseeker gets to take a look at the latest Thermaltake case in the Armor series, the Armor Revo Gene. As a mid-tower, the Armor Revo Gene has a lot to live up to  I remember when I bought my first ThermalTake Armor case and fell in love instantly with it; as a matter of fact it is one of the few cases I own that I actually placed back in it's original box.  With aggressive styling and groundbreaking features, the Armor Revo Gene could deliver quite the second wind for the Thermaltake.

The Armor Revo Gene's new features include three 200mm fans pre-wired and connected to the integrated fan controller, along with the new CableClear cable management system allowing you to properly route all of those messy wires. Another sweet feature is the docking station mounted at the top that allows you to quickly and easily swap out both 2.5" and 3.5" SATA hard drives. That's just for starters.

Specifications:

Case Type
Mid Tower
 
Material
SECC
 
Front Bezel Material
Combination of plastic and high air flow mesh
 
Color
Interior: Black
Exterior: Black
 
Side Panel
Swivel Door with Transparent Window
 
Motherboard Support
9.6” x 9.6” (Micro ATX)
12” x 9.6” (ATX)
 
Motherboard Tray
No
 
5.25" Drive Bay
4
 
Ext. 3.5" Drive Bay
1
 
Int. 3.5" Drive Bay
5
 
Expansion Slots
7
 
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
 
Dimension (H*W*D)
510 x 252.0 x 550 mm
20 x 9.9 x 21.6 inch
 
Net Weight
7.8 kg
17.2lb
 
Security Lock
Kensington lock port
 
Application
Suitable for gaming, enthusiast, DIY and modding
 
Warranty
3 Years
 

ThermalTake's Armor Revo Gene is available in two colors, black and the Armor Revo Gene Snow Edition (basically white). Looking at the design of Armor Revo Gene, we have the twin wing-shaped front bezels that are the trademark of the Armor series. Another interesting addition is the headphone rest which you can use simply by flipping it down.

You may notice that the side window is a bit smaller than other cases in the mid tower category. While I usually prefer a larger window to show off the shiny hardware, I must admit I like the option of being able to place a 200 mm fan in the side panel here as it will offer enhanced cooling for the GPUs in the rig. Flipping the Armor Revo Gene around we can see that the left side panel is beveled outward, allowing for additional room inside for cable management.

 

 

 

Thermaltake has also provided a combo hot-swap docking station mounted on the top of the Armor Revo Gene that accepts both 2.5" and 3.5" drives. Located to the right of the docking station are the power/reset buttons along with the mic and speaker outputs with support for AC’97 & HD Audio. Jumping over to the left side you will find the 5V/900ma USB SuperSpeed 3.0 ports. The Armor emblem located on the front of the case fades in and out, almost giving the appearance that the case is breathing.

The Thermaltake Armor Revo Gene has a total of four 5.25" drive bays and a single 3.5" bay, with the Thermaltake logo down at the bottom. Flipping the Armor Revo Gene around to the rear of the case, we can see that the case is equipped with 3 openings allowing for the installation of a water-cooling loop. The 120 mm Turbofan is located in the upper portion of the case. The Armor Revo Gene features 7 expansion slots supporting 3-way CrossFire or SLI GPU configurations (depending on the motherboard). Located at the bottom is the power supply opening.

All three of the Armor Revo Gene fan intakes are equipped with dust filters, however you do need to remember to remove and clean them on occassion. Another nice feature is the ability to rotate the feet of the Armor Revo Gene to give the case a larger footprint.

Time to cover the interior of the ThermalTake Armor Revo Gene. At first glance the case seems a little short on space, but don't be fooled. The (non removable) motherboard tray itself has a large cutout offering easy access to the back of the CPU socket. This is one of the first criteria I look for when making a decision on an enclosure. This provides several benefits including being able to more easily swap the CPU cooler, which reduces the chance of damaging another piece of nearby hardware such as memory modules, or graphics cards especially if you run a CrossFire or SLI configuration. Let's not forget the time spent unplugging power cables and plugging them back in.

Another area that Thermaltake scores points in is the four cutouts for cable management, as each one has a rubber insert to protect the cables from accidental cuts and scratches. This provides an additional layer of protection against electrical shorts.

 

 

Moving on to the storage department, Thermaltake's Armor Revo Gene has five internal 3.5" drive bays (4 visible and one hidden). These drive bays use hard drive trays which holding the hard drives in place with metal inserts. You also have the option of mounting the hard drives without clips with the provided screws. The 5.25" drive bays are equipped with flip style retention clips for holding optical drives.

Pictured below is the hidden 3.5" and the 2.5" drive bays that I mentioned earlier. We've also got a look at the 200 mm fan mounted in the top of the case and the 120 mm fan in the rear exhaust position.

To test the ThermalTake Armor Revo Gene I will be utilizing the OCCT suite. I will run the test suite for 30 minutes, with both the case and graphics card fans set at their highest rotational speeds. Temperatures will be recorded using HWMonitor, and the highest recorded values will be used for the load test. For the idle portion of the test, the system will sit idle for 30 minutes allowing temperatures to stabilize; the lowest values will then be recorded.

Test Setup:

Comparision Cases:

Test Results:

The Armor Revo Gene's performance on average landed in middle of the pack. It placed first in the chipset test while coming in second for the CPU and hard drive tests, and ended up last for GPU temperature benchmark.

Thermaltake put some thought into the design of the Armor Revo Gene, and it somewhat follows in the footsteps of its predecessor. The Armor Revo Gene has an aggressive look and feel to it, but that's just the exterior. Installation of hardware inside the case was easy enough, however the supplied cable ties were somewhat difficult to work with and unfortunately will not always remain closed, allowing your cables to come loose. The ability to route your wiring is almost nonexistent, as while the four cutouts in the motherboard tray worked as intended there were no other openings available to run cables through, not to mention the standard cable tie-downs that are normally present on the backside of the motherboard tray are absent here in the Armor Revo Gene.  Another issue was the length of the header cables leading to the power and reset buttons. If they had been just an inch shorter they would have not reached the header pins on the test motherboard.

Thermaltake's Armor Revo Gene does have some strong points, however. The hard drive cage is well designed and doesn't restrict airflow like it typically does in some of the other cases I have looked at; the 200 mm fan pushes enough air through the cage while the top mounted 200 mm fan exhausts the heated air out at a steady rate. The redesigned retention clips on the 4 external drive bays work extremely well, enough that I saw no need in screwing in the other side of the ASUS DVD used during testing. Thermaltake's SuperSpeed 3.0 external ports also work extremely well. Although it is not part of our test suite, I wanted to see what difference the additional power supplied to these ports would make in charging my cell phone via USB. The ports were able to recharge the phone battery from completely drained battery to full in just over ten minutes.

Performance wise the Armor Revo Gene did well enough throughout testing, placing roughly in the middle of the pack compared to other cases of its size. Had it not been for the issues mentioned above, the Thermaltake Armor Revo Gene would have more easily come out on top. It will be tough to recommend the Armor Revo Gene over other cases in the same price range of roughly $118 USD.

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