Thermaltake Armor Revo Gene Mid-Tower Case Review
The Armor Revo Gene supports both air and water cooling in some aspects, but remains a better air cooling hybrid air-water cooling solution than for housing an extreme water cooling solution.
To take full advantage of air cooling, Thermaltake recommends adding two additional fans to the three included with the case - a 120mm fan in the bottom panel in front of the PSU, and a 200mm fan in the left side panel. Adding these two additional fans will give the case positive pressure which helps in keeping dust and debris out. Positive pressure is created in this case because more fan power is pushing air into the case then the collective fan power expelling it. With positive pressure on the inside of the case, air is forced out through the passive air holes to maintain equalized pressure with the outer environment.
For a liquid cooling solution, Thermaltake recommends replacing the rear fan with the cooling radiator (which should have one or two fans of its own). Like the air cooled solution, optimal air flow is achieved by adding a 120mm fan in the bottom panel in front of the PSU, and a 200mm fan in the left side panel. This again causes positive pressure in the case for the same reasons mentioned prior.
For this case, the only viable water cooling solution is using one that has the radiator externally mounted or internally mounted in place of the rear fan. As shown, the radiator and fan assembly do not inhibit the motherboard operation or side panel seating. However, you will need to remove the radiator from the rear panel prior to removing the CPU or motherboard if that becomes necessary. In testing, it was found that this was the only viable location for an internal radiator with the cases standard configuration (read that as un-modified). Because of the close proximity of the motherboard to the upper panel and the lip separating the upper portion of the drive bay from the fan section, it was not possible to mount a 120mm or 240mm radiator in the cases stock configuration. Further, bottom mounting of even a 120mm radiator was out of the question due to the proximity of both the PSU and 3.5" drive cage to the bottom fan mount location.
System Sound Testing
Sound measurements of the system fans where taken with the sound meter placed 3 feet away from the system with all other devices in the room silenced and all system panels in place. A Corsair Hydro H60 liquid cooler was used for CPU cooling during testing. The Sound Meter Pro applet on a Samsung Galaxy S3 mobile phone was used to measure decibel level.
In normal operation with the stock three fan configuration (140mm rear fan, and 200mm front and top fans), the case fan noise was barely audible measured at 38dBA (decibels). Chances are, any fans you add to the case or an air-based CPU cooler will be louder than the case is in stock configuration.