Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

thermaltake armor or antec 900?

Last response: in Components
Share
December 20, 2006 12:12:31 PM

this is it, the wife (she who must be obeyed) has allowed me to get my new system but I am still dithering between two cases. I was going to go for the antec 900 but then saw the review on xtremesystems that someone here linked to pointing out how horrendous it looks with all the cabling without modding the case.

my second choice therefore is the thermaltake armour.

what do people think on this one?

being unable to see either case before I buy, I'm having to rely purely on reviews online.

I must admit, I'm a bit wary about a case that reverses layout . ie antec 900 with the psu on the bottom when I've always had cases with the psu at the top.

consdering the size of the case, doesn't this present an issue over length of cables being able to reach the hardware to power it in the top bays?

also, regards PSU, I'm looking at Hiper 580W Modular PSU HPU-4B580 which in blue looks quite nifty.

what are peoples opinions here? I must admit, I'm a bit in the dark when it comes to PSU's the last time I bought one they just a grey lump with cables built in.

I'm looking at getting

Asus P5WB
intel duo conroe 2.4
2gb ddr2 dram
ati 1950 xtx

already have

4x250gb eide hard drives
1x250gb sata hard drive
2x dvd writers
1 pci eide 133 controller card
1 pci soundblaster 5.1 platinum soundcard + 5.25" bay inputs.

to cram into whatever case I do get.

would a 580w psu be sufficient for this lot?
December 20, 2006 12:35:37 PM

i just got my thermaltake armor with 25cm fan yesterday tho im waiting for the R600 2 be released b4 i start building but i was also looking at the Antec 900 VS thermaltake armor, i think i took the armor because the 25cm fan and with a tuniq tower 120 it would probably cool really good and the 25cm is silent so that did it for me. and im gonna go for a modular PSU anyway so cabling wont me such a big mess
December 20, 2006 12:45:02 PM

i was thinking about getting a TT Armor (and i did, but it isnt here yet) so i asked somebody who had the case what they thought about it

Quote:
Sorry I tooks so long to respond, long day...

I recently upgraded to the Thermaltake Armor about a month ago. I got the one with the 25cm side fan.

First off, the case is huge. It still fits on my desk, but it is huge. Its very wide too, you could probably use any CPU heatsink on the market with it.

I really like the front pannel system, its actually a decent quick relese screwless system, but you can add screws if you want. The front is very neat and tidy, I couldn't ask for more.

Mounting the motherboard was fairly easy as well, they give you lots of working space, although it doesn't have a motherboard tray like my last case, which was really handy. All the holes were clearly marked, very easy to install. It came with a whole bagfull of screws for every application, I still have over 90% of them left. They really went above and beyond here.

The PSU mount is actually fairly nifty, having it on its side. My PSU has dual 80mm fans so it works perfect, although a PSU with a single 120mm fan would probably work just fine as well.

The case came with all the fans needed as well, all the fans have a quick relese system that works fairly well.

It has one 80mm in the top pushing air out through a grate in the top panel. The holes where the fan is are actually quite small, which is nice because it stops me from dropping stuff into the fan blades. It also has a large opening around the fan with a larger size mesh. Keeps the hot air from building up in the system.

The rear panel has 2 fans one 80mm that is mounted beside the PSU to aid in discarding the heat build up at the top. It also has a 120mm directly beside the CPU heatsink of my ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe. This fan moves a lot of air.

My case has the 25cm side fan option, and although you may think that that would be loud, it's actually the quietest fan in the whole system. It runs at 800RPM and feeds fresh air to the the top half of the motherboard.

The case also has 2 removable HDD bays, on for the front and one for the rear, up beside the PSU. I choose to use the front one, which converts 3 of the full sized drive bays into HDD/floppy bays. The front one also hold the front 120mm fan on it, which moves a decent amount of air even though its pulling through a dust filter. It also has room for 2 more floppy bays, one with the front panel and one other that is a single version of the front HDD bay, although it doesn't look like you can mount a HDD in it (only floppy screw holes, but that can be fixed).

The expansion slots feature a screwless solution as well. Better then some, but I chose to remove it and screw my cards in. All my cards fit great with the exception of the SLI bridge clamp, which didn't rech far enough down to lock in place on the bottom. This is also the area of the case I feel is lacking for the airflow aspect, although iv'e been told that 66C isn't that hot for a GPU. It would be difficult to mod the case for a fan to feed fresh air onto the cards from the side and it's quite a distance from the front. My cards are a single slot solution so they don't exaust any air to the back so the top card tends to take quite a beating. I was looking at those air intakes for my cards and that seems like a pretty good idea being that the air down there is relatively cool.

Overall for noise the system is quiter then my last one, although thats not really a challenge, but the loudest fan in the system is actually the coolmaster 120mm CPU heatsink fan.

Im sure the case has lots of special features I haven't found yet. i recently discovered a quick release for the entire front panel, great place to hide some front panel wiring big_smile Looks liek I got work ahead of me.

I would give the case a 9.7/10

Pros:
Huge
Great front panel system
Good fan placement
Good airflow
Room/predrilled for liquid cooling
Looks bad ass
Attracts roomates attractive female friends
Did I say it was huge?


Cons:
Mediocre tooless expansion slots
Ok, im out of cons.
Related resources
December 20, 2006 1:56:51 PM

I just picked up my Antec ninehundred yesterday, and put it together.
I had a Lian Li PC60 case before and the cabling was a dream in the Antec case compared to the Lian Li. I have an Enermax Liberty PSU.
This case so robust it is not even funny. Antec did a really nice job designing it. It is extremely quiet as well. The loudest thing in my case is my hard drive now. I also have an 8800 GTX card and 3 hard drives and 2 DVD writers. So i have a few cables to deal with. I did not organized my cabling yet and still have excellent air flow compared to the Lian Li case. My video card is running about 10 Celsius cooler than before, and all my case fans are spinning on the lowest setting.
December 21, 2006 12:30:18 AM

If you want to see the most complete picture galleries for cases on the Internet go to Newegg.com! They take the items they sell out of the box and take pictures of every view you can imagine. In most cases Neweggs pictures are better than the manufacturer galleries on their own web site. Check them out!
December 21, 2006 2:27:21 AM

krisz what cpu cooler do you have? thanks a lot.
December 21, 2006 9:07:53 AM

Quote:
krisz what cpu cooler do you have? thanks a lot.


I have a Zalman CNPS7000B-AlCu. When i turn my PC on in the morning the first 10-15 minutes the fan is not even spinning on the cooler it is just idling.
Thats how well the case is ventilated. I have an X2 4600 AMD dual core CPU S939
December 21, 2006 9:54:27 AM

I'm a big fan of the Armor! Yeas it is huge, but man the airflow is nice and the more the better! Also upgrading in the case is a snap! You don't worry about cutting your hands to shreads while working in this case. Also if your going the 8800 rought, remember these cards are huge and will not fit in just any ole case! it's also the only case recommended for AMD Quad FX...

Now there is the Armor Jr. if you don't ned all the space of the big boy!
And just to confuse you even more, there is the Armor LCS (Built-in Liquid Cooling System).... you won't sleep at all tonight :lol: 

I'm thinking my next PC that I build will be my entertainment center. Which will live in the living room, so it's got to look good next to the 47" LCDTV. So the only choice left is the Thermaltake Mozart 8)
December 21, 2006 10:23:27 AM

I second the Armor, one of the best full tower cases. Got the Kandalf version and it has plenty of airflow and space.
December 21, 2006 11:37:30 AM

Lancer, can I ask what other reasons are that you've limited your options down to these two cases? What drives will be going in the computer?

I tend to lean towards HTPC cases more and more nowdays, albiet not that compact ones. I want something I can toss a HD-DVD or Blu-Ray drive in, along with a tv-tuner card and use in my living room when it's too outdated for games. When I build a computer I also want it mobile...something you just can't really achieve with most full tower cases (speaking from experience I know the Armor isn't something you'll want to move around much).

I think having the PSU on the bottom is a good idea except that screws and stuff can fall into it. Make sure you get some sort of mesh cover for the fan, as you don't want a screw or hair or something shorting out your PSU or starting it on fire. Having the PSU on the bottom means excess wiring (even modular cables are extra long) won't hang down over your motherboard and get caught in fans and snagged so much on components. When they're laying on the bottom of the case it seems to me that it'd be easier to zip tie them or something. Give the Nine-Hundred a try, I don't think you'll hate it.
December 21, 2006 11:57:00 AM

why just the armour or the antec? fair question

basically because I've had a dull boring cream standard atx midi under the desk for 7 years. this case has had 3 rebuilds in that time and I want something big enough for the years ahead, cooling and looks good.

the antec and armour are two cases that have caught my eye, look quality, not cheap and generally seem to be well regarded

the armour seems to be edging it for me at the moment in relation to build quality and psu placement.
December 21, 2006 12:11:50 PM

I've never heard anything seriously bad about any of Thermaltake's more modern cases. I think they've listened to feedback and are computer lovers themselves. I have the Kandalf, basically the same thing. The doors on these cases make the case look nice, but they can be annoying too. Do yourself a favor and get a case like the Tai-Chi that has wheels on it, or modify it before you build. I'm saying this because moving the case with doors on it means they tend to flap and can get caught when you set it down. I met a guy at a LAN party recently, who broke the front of his case as he set it down once, so he just took the doors off. Which you can do. Full tower cases are great for builds, they're roomy and they have a lot of bays. It would be nice to see companies like Thermaltake make more stackable bay compartments to set on your desk though. I think it'd be awesome to have my DVD writers (provided they're quiet), fan controls, power button, and temperature displays on my desk. Connect them with a single thick USB cord or something. They'll get around a competing market segment of that sort someday here I'd imagine. Oops, should've just marketed it myself. Oh well.
December 21, 2006 12:14:11 PM

I hesitated for a while between these exact two cases.

To me it's gonna be the Armor case. It's even bigger, looks better also (at least to me 8) ) and you can add a 25 cm side fan.

Also, the construction looks more solid on the armor model. It's not that the nine hundred looks "weak", just not quite as solid as the Armor. And on a finishing note, the regular placement of the PSU makes for a easier/better building of your computer.
December 21, 2006 12:19:11 PM

If you get the black one, I'll sell you my matching side fan panel. I found that it's too far away from the CPU to help it much, as it disrupts all my front to back airflow. I've got 3 fans in the back and 2 in the front of the case pushing air right through. I switched out the orange ones for blue LED ones and my entire system is blue/black/silver. G15 blue-led keyboard, Samsung 215tw monitor with it's little blue on button, etc. I even got the Razer Copperhead mouse in blue (which I love). Anyway, the big fan disrupts this good airflow I've got going through my case, so for me it's a waste. I'd just buy the extra front drive cage instead if I were you.
December 21, 2006 12:19:20 PM

Well all i can say is that i am very happy with my Antec case. The armor is a nice case as well, but i would still pick the Antec over the armor. I love robust look of the Antec case and i can be care less about the falling objects into the PSU because it is pretty much impossible since my sound card is blocking the fan on my PSU. Also i think it is a way better design to have the PSU on the bottom so all the heat can exit on the top of the case, instead of get trapped by the PSU.

Again picking a case is more of a personal choice than a technical one, and i fell in love with the way the Antec case looks
December 21, 2006 12:25:02 PM

One thing to note about that 900 case and the PSU placement is that a silent, fanless PSU wouldn't get the extra rising heat from components in it...so a silent option (if it's ever a good one) is more viable in a case like that. Who knows what the next year might bring in silent PSU's, although it's questionable if they'll continue trying to make them as they've been recommended against by so many people. I love the idea of a fanless PSU really. If they start using liquid filled copper tubes to help cool them to an external heatsink and actually produce some really good ones we may end up with an even quieter system. People say that some PSU's are "inaudible" but every vibration and noise adds up to an overall hum, regardless if you can hear them independently.
December 21, 2006 12:36:09 PM

Haha, you mean you stole it? I think you meant STEEL version. :-D At least you didn't stay steal virgin. LOL You're right though, the materials are different for the colors.
December 21, 2006 12:39:24 PM

Of these two - The Armor is probably the best. It is highly rated, has excellent airflow and has some solid engineering.

I still prefer my P180B - Nice Piano Black - no windows - and clean lines. I don't even mind the front door. Probably the best feature on this (or any case) is the built in washable filters. Simply pop them out - Blow air or rinse with water and dry - and put them back in. Stuff still collects in the case - but not as much as it would normally be.

Just my two cents - you have selected two good cases - and it is always a matter of preference. If you consider the P180 - keep in mind that the bottom mount PSU cables need to be a bit longer than most (as compared to top mount PSUs.)


Cheers.
December 21, 2006 12:54:30 PM

Quote:
Of these two - The Armor is probably the best. It is highly rated, has excellent airflow and has some solid engineering.

I still prefer my P180B - Nice Piano Black - no windows - and clean lines. I don't even mind the front door. Probably the best feature on this (or any case) is the built in washable filters. Simply pop them out - Blow air or rinse with water and dry - and put them back in. Stuff still collects in the case - but not as much as it would normally be.

Just my two cents - you have selected two good cases - and it is always a matter of preference. If you consider the P180 - keep in mind that the bottom mount PSU cables need to be a bit longer than most (as compared to top mount PSUs.)


Cheers.


I agree. Windowed cases can be nice to look at but have their down sides too. Scratches, lights can be annoying, easily broken with a chair or sharp furniture corner. I think washable filters rock too, we have cats and the hair gets stuck on the front bay covers on my kandalf, which of course is on the floor. I just whipe over it with my finger to get the hair, but dust still gets caught in the filters. If you get the Armor, and want to take the bay covers off use a small standard head screwdriver on the sides in the front to do it, pushing from the backside can break the plastic holding clips no matter how careful you are, and can also push the mesh out. Just slip the screwdriver in beside the plastic part of the bay bezel and pry outwards, they come out much easier that way.

If anyone's wondering, 4-120mm (12cm) fans are a lot quieter than 1 80mm fan. The nice thing about the Armor case is that the 92mm fan on the top could be taken out and the opening used to connect ductwork to your CPU fan, and even exited right out the back 92mm fan slot. You wouldn't even need to use a CPU fan if you connected the two fans through a good heatsink. :-)
December 21, 2006 12:54:31 PM

Quote:
If you get the black one, I'll sell you my matching side fan panel. I found that it's too far away from the CPU to help it much, as it disrupts all my front to back airflow. I've got 3 fans in the back and 2 in the front of the case pushing air right through. I switched out the orange ones for blue LED ones and my entire system is blue/black/silver. G15 blue-led keyboard, Samsung 215tw monitor with it's little blue on button, etc. I even got the Razer Copperhead mouse in blue (which I love). Anyway, the big fan disrupts this good airflow I've got going through my case, so for me it's a waste. I'd just buy the extra front drive cage instead if I were you.


It might be far from the cpu, bit I plan to put in a Big Typhoon fan. I've seen review of this fan with a side fan helping and it just crushed the competition in closed case but was loosing in open case. Actually, it was the only fan that perform better in a close case as oppose to the open one because of that exact fan.

Also, it'll bring cool air on my VPU before my "slotted" fan push the warm air out in the back of the case.

In your case :wink: I totally understand, but mine will have different airflow.

Thanks for the input by the way.
December 21, 2006 1:01:20 PM

No problem. Yeah the 25cm fan is great for cooling SLI or crossfire. I have an SLI board but haven't used it yet, waiting on pricing to make it worth my while. I might never use it. =\

The 3-120mm fans, along with the 120mm PSU fan and the 1-92mm fans provide so much front to back flow it's not even funny. The top 92mm fan doesn't seem to do much, as the tiny vent holes on my Kandalf hardly allow any air through. I actually took the top plastic piece completely off for a little while and it made the fan more functional, the case still has a wire mesh over the fan for protection. This double layer though makes that fan rather worthless. The vents on top help dissipate any trapped air in the top of the case, although with all the venting front to back I think it probably sucks air in through it. :-D I thought about trying to output through the front cages instead of inputting air. I don't know. The front bay fans are great because they blow cool air over my hard drives, eliminating the need to buy hard drive coolers.
December 21, 2006 1:03:29 PM

Oh and hey Nightly, Antec is selling their big (20mm?) fan off the nine hundred on the side, so buying a non-windowed case and custom adding the fan in the side would work great too.
December 21, 2006 1:22:56 PM

How LOUD is this case by the way?

I want to know if I'll need to add some sound dampening padding on my fans to reduce the sound they create.
December 21, 2006 2:12:20 PM

It's a big, solid case, which helps to dampen sound. All cases act like resonating chambers though. The only thing that's made any noticeable noise for me are my doors rattling a bit. The fans are quiet, the case is quiet. It depends on how quiet you want it to be. If you want to make sure your drives are tight, screw them down. The plastic quick latch system isn't enough to keep them from moving. Needless to say, the loudest part of the system is my video card. This is followed by my CPU fan, my drives, and my hard disks. I can't hear any of the individual parts over the quiet hum of all the fans when the case is closed though. I can hear a slight difference from the Cool and Quiet feature though when the system ramps up or idles down. If you ask me, the cool and quiet feature is kind of silly, since you don't tend to notice the hum until it fluctuates.
December 21, 2006 2:14:29 PM

These big thermaltake cases are an investment. You will probably use it for at least a second build (transferring your old one to a cheap or HTPC case) if computers stay with the ATX format for years to come.
December 21, 2006 2:26:28 PM

Quote:
These big thermaltake cases are an investment. You will probably use it for at least a second build (transferring your old one to a cheap or HTPC case) if computers stay with the ATX format for years to come.


And even better, their is always the BTX transformation kit that doesn't cost too much. Well, at least it cost less that a new case of the same quality :twisted: .
December 21, 2006 7:52:40 PM

cool, I bet you were well chuffed when you found out you were in the rig of the month section on Nvidia's site. You must be proud. :D  :p  :D 
December 28, 2006 2:03:32 PM

huh, bloody typical.

I finally decided what case I wanted.

lo, it will not fit under my desk. it's too deep and too long.

so now I must hunt again and I immediately think of the armor jr midi tower.

it's cheaper it looks just as good

BUT

there's always a but

some online reviews criticize the rail design for mounting the PSU. they say its awkward to get your PSU in without fuss. the tool free design is criticized as well but that has never bothered me because tool free has existed for years and the case the option to screw the items in anyway

now, in addition,

I'm going for a asus P5W64 WS Pro motherboard. my understanding is it is quite big, I'm assuming it will fit in here.

same goes for a 8800 GTS.

I'm presuming there is enough depth to the case. most people say that its only the 8800 GTX which is extra long while others say not.

which is it? I thought the GTS was normal length.

so if I was going for a thermaltake armour full tower, then the armour jr should be a good second pick?
December 30, 2006 9:51:09 AM

Just going by the looks of it, there should be plenty of room for longer vid cards. It fits standard ATX mobos, and these cases usually come on the larger side of tight fittings so you should be ok. Although I can't guarantee all your components will fit as I have no experience with any of the three parts you mentioned, I think the Jr. SHOULD work and is a nice choice if you like the looks. :-)
!