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Thermaltake VA8000 Series "Armor" Enclosure Review

By: Mike Wright | Other Cases in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Mar 15, 2005 5:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 9.0%Manufacturer: Thermaltake

The Exterior



One of the first things you'll notice about this case is that the front does not have a normal door-type cover. This is a change for Thermaltake as they are well known for heavy front doors that help offset the lightweight designs of past models. They always seemed awkward when empty, but settled in perfectly once the system was installed. While balance wasn't an issue empty or installed, the new wannabe door design is purely aesthetic. Lets take a quick look with the panels opened up:



Kinda makes it look like the dentist told you to open wide and say AHHH.


While the half-door design will still protect from objects striking the case at an angle, it won't do much if something is coming inbound from the front and happens to be narrow in size. Not a problem for many of us, but then several enthusiasts (myself included) have kids in the immediate vicinity of the location where this thing is going to live. Just something to keep in mind for those with precious little ones around.


For those who have a sharp eye, you may have noted that there are far more than the usual 4-5 drive bays on the front side of this rig. In fact, there are a total of 11 openings on the front bezel and they all serve any number of purposes. Lets look at this in a bit more detail.



The top panel contains the power switch, reset button and power/drive activity lights. The next 9 bays have a dual purpose cover plate that allows use as either a 5.25" drive bay or a 3.5" drive bay. If you need external access, remove the cover or remove the 3.5" inset of the cover plate and you're set.


But what if you don't want the power switch at the top? No problem, just move it!


You heard right, these bays are totally interchangeable with each other so if you want to move the switch to the bottom or middle, just take it out and move it. Want the floppy drive above the optical devices? You got it...just move them wherever you want them! This design is totally customizable to your desires, not the desires of whoever happened to be the mastermind in creating the case.



I mentioned there were 11 bays but have only talked about 10 of them so far. The bottom bay consists of a small drawer that is the perfect size for CD disks in those paper covers. This is very handy for those commonly used disks that you're always wanting to grab on to, like game disks.


And like before, if you don't want this drawer at the bottom where it comes by default, MOVE IT!



For those who have heard me rant before about filtering, you'll be happy to note that every single cover that allows airflow (the 9 dual purpose covers) also contains a built-in filtering element. This filter element is similar to what you'll find inside your window-mounted air conditioner. It is flexible and easy to clean (canned air works great) and from past experience with this material, it lasts a long time too. This is a truly welcome addition to the Armor enclosure.


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