ThermalTake Armor Case VA8003BWS

Author
Aron Schatz
Posted
April 4, 2008
Views
43737
ThermalTake Armor Case VA8003BWS
Cases aren't built like they used to be unless you get the Armor case from Thermaltake. This full size case lives up to its name and then some.

Page 1: Intro, Packaging, Exterior

Intro:

What happens when you need a full size case for a new build? Maybe you want the extra space for additional cooling or hardware support. Look no futher than the Thermaltake Armor VA8003BWS. We already know that Thermaltake is a big player in the cases and modding market. This case certainly fits its name. It is big, heavy, and tough.

Packaging:

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When the box arrived, I didn't realize that I requested to review a full size case. Imagine my surprise when the UPS guy almost broke his back coming to my door. The shipping weight is 40 pounds and it is pretty much all case.

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The case inside was well packed and even if it wasn't, it would survive the trip just by being built so tough. They don't call it Armor for nothing.

Parts:

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Needless to say you also get the case. These parts pictured above are the things apart from the case. You get some plastic standoffs, a dust rag (finally!), a huge amount of screws/mounts, the top exhaust fan, and a PSU support bracket. Keys are included to lock the side of the case.

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To give you an idea of what this case is made of, these are the thumbscrews that await when you work with this case. These are more than twice as large as the normal piddly thumbscrews given by other cases.

Specs:

  • Model Armor --- VA8003BWS
  • Case Type Super Tower
  • Side Panel Transparent side panel
  • Net Weight 15.78Kg
  • Dimension 530 x 220 x 560 mm (H*W*D)
  • Cooling System
  • Front (intake)
    120x120x25 mm, Blue LED Fan, 1300rpm, 17dBA
  • Side (Intake)
    250 x 250 x 30 mm fan, 600rpm, 15dBA
  • Rear (exhaust)
    120 x 120 x25 mm blue LED fan, 1300rpm, 17dBA
    90 x 90 x 25mm, 1800rpm, 19dBA
  • Top (exhaust)
    90 x 90 x 25mm, 1800rpm, 19dBA
  • Drive Bays 11
  • Front Accessible 10 x 5.25", 2 x 3.5"
  • Internal 6 x3.5"
  • Color Black
  • Expansion Slots 7
  • Motherboards Micro ATX, ATX, Extend ATX, BTX (BTX Upgrade Kits SRM / Rear plate) (optional)
  • Drive Bay Kits
    Relocate-able HDD & FDD rack
    3 x 3.5" HDD module with 12cm LED fan


If you didn't read the specs, this case includes a 25cm (that's 250mm) fan!

Exterior:

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As I say, first impressions are important. When looking at this case for the first time, a sense of largeness overwhelms you and for good reason. It has been a very long time since I've worked or even seen a full size case. I believe it was around the time when AT was still around that I saw cases that were built to withstand punishment. This case just looks tough and the name works so well. Armor, your computer is shielded by this piece of metal and nothing is getting through. The case is black with a matte finish with some glossy accents on the front trim. There is a silver model, but black looks much better.

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The front of the case reminds me of the »Antec Nine Hundred I reviewed earlier this month. It has a fully grilled face for each 5.25" plate. Each blank has its own mesh filter to keep dust out, but dust gets in from everywhere anyway. The side panels open to actually get to the drives and such. They serve little purpose but they do protect the front of the case from getting hit by protruding out so far. The top 5.25" bay holds the power and status LEDs. That is a fairly novel design to place it right in a bay. The lowest bay contains a slide out holder for items like CDs. The top left contains the Armor logo and the bottom right has the Thermaltake logo.

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Moving on to the windowed side, we can clearly see the huge 250mm fan that is attached to the side. This case is truly built for airflow. I know I said it before, but this case takes it all and then some. Aside from the large fan, the window has a branded Thermaltake insignia which I disdain. I like a nice and clear window, personally. The window is in three sections that cover almost the entire case including the drive bay area. This side also also includes the side panel locks. Really, this case is a blast from the past.

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The back of the case has some interesting features. The first is that the power supply is turned on its side instead of being mounted horizontally. The back is actually fully removable and modular. You can buy a BTX kit to convert this entire back to a BTX system. Very nice design. There are two rear exhaust fans that are visible in this shot.

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The bottom of the case has the feet. These aren't your standard rubber feet. These are monster feet that can turn into place. These feet give the base more width so the chance of the case tipping over is almost nothing. This is truly a home server case to me.

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The top of the case has the external connections for audio, USB, and Firewire. This is the only part of the case that feels a bit cheap since it is plastic. The top of the case is grilled for extra ventilation.
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