Articles: Cooling
 

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Performance

Idle Mode

There seems to be no need for any improvements. Everything is quite right as it is. The large volume of the case and the excellent ventilation ensure almost the same thermal conditions for the installed components as in the totally exposed design of the Shark. One note only: hard disk drives feel much better in the Thermaltake Armor. I even added another hard drive into the top cage to see how it would behave (it was a 160GB Barracuda 7200.7 from Seagate and is represented as HDD2 in the diagrams). There was almost no difference in the temperatures of the two drives. Generally speaking, hard drives don’t need intensive air cooling as much as they need free circulation of air around them which is provided for both drives in this system case.

Let’s see what happens if we load the central processor.

CPU Burn Mode

The temperatures can’t match the results of the Shark, but the difference is very small, so there is really no need to change or redesign anything in this system case. As for cooling hard drives, the Armor is beyond competition. The Shark had a 5°C lower temperature of the CPU, but the Armor has a 10°C lower temperature of the HDDs! This is a considerable advantage, so if you need a computer with many hard drives, the Armor may suit you well. Few other cases can offer the same functionality in maintenance of the disk subsystem and also keep both the temperature and noise of the drives as low as Thermaltake’s Armor can.

The results of the VGA Burn Mode are quite satisfactory, too:

VGA Burn Mode

The temperatures of all the components are acceptable, including the graphics card (74°C under load is quite typical for that graphics card model).

The results of the HDD Burn test are ideal, too, being 35°C and 38°C for the main and auxiliary cages, respectively. So, this system case can keep the hard drives cool even in hot weather.

The Thermaltake Armor is probably the best product in this review in the sum of its characteristics and test results. The only thing that may arouse your criticism is the design ideas of putting two aluminum wings on the sides of the front panel and the interface connectors on the top panel. Otherwise, it is an ideal system case for building a fast, yet quiet and practically cold computer.

Our Verdict: Thermaltake Armor

Highs: Good exterior design; massive chassis; originally shaped side window; excellent internal design with a lot of free space; the best cages for hard drives among the reviewed system cases; simple assembly; high quality of manufacture

Lows: Inconvenient “wings” on the front panel; interface connectors on the top panel

Conclusion: This is one of the best available system cases for top-end computers. It ensures excellent ventilation of each system component and features enhanced functionality and quiet operation. This is a good choice, if you agree with its rather high price

Average retail price - $190, without a power supply

 
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