SBM 3: High-End System

ATX Case And Cooling: Thermaltake Armor LCS

Frustrated by the heat monster released in our previous high-end build, we decided to go "full force" on this one and use liquid cooling. With its integrated water cooling kit, the Thermaltake Armor LCS grabbed our attention as a choice that could enable the majority of "not so mechanically inclined" builders to enjoy the benefits of this technology.

Many reviewers have high praise for the Thermaltake Armor case design, but to most of us it's "just another" high end case with a few cost-cutting features that would normally prevent it from winning any awards. Lacking any strong preference for the Armor's basic design, the only reason we chose this particular model is its integrated water cooler with huge 120 mm dual-fan radiator. Isn't that enough?

That isn't to say that the case's design was without merits before Thermaltake's addition of the water cooling kit. One major feature of its original design was a front panel with eleven 5.25" bays. The LCS version loses six of those bays to the enormous radiator, but Thermaltake tries to make up for it by adding a seven-bay 3.5" hard drive cage behind the radiator.

Of course, a big radiator would be fairly useless if it not for an adequately sized pump. Thermaltake rates its pump at 500 liters per hour, but doesn't list the pressure at which this mid-flow rating is taken. Also included are an LED-lighted water block with copper base, two bottles of old-fashioned Ethylene Glycol antifreeze (with water pre-mixed), hoses and attachment hardware (not shown).

Other features include 120 mm and 90 mm exhaust fans at the center and top rear panel, and another 90 mm exhaust fan in the top panel. The two 120 mm radiator fans act as intakes, directing air across the drives behind them.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.