Car Wheel Computer Case Review: Barrow Speed from AliExpress

by birtanpublished on September 29, 2020

Hey Patrick can you bring me the case we're reviewing yeah anything can be a computer if you try hard enough a couple of months ago we ordered a product that got delayed for a global shipping delay caused by something we can't quite pin down it's the bear OCH wheel which is

Literally a car wheel except with some mounting holes and a motherboard tray attached and tempered glass because that's what makes a case these days we've seen modders build these out of actual car wheels but we want to

Emphasize that this is technically a computer case that's sold ready-made to house a computer no mods required and today we're gonna be building in the Barrows wheel as it's called to see how it does before that this video is

Brought to you by Thermal Grizzlies conduct a not liquid metal conductor not as what we've used in all of our liquid metal and delayed thermal tests capable of dropping CPU thermals significantly and replacing the stock thermal

Interface over CPU thermals don't just allow better overclocks but also lower noise levels because the transfer efficiency is increased the mix of gallium and indium makes for a thermal conductivity of 73 watts per meter

Kelvin outclassing traditional pastes significantly learn more at the link in the description below this is definitely an instance of yo dog we heard you like computers so we put a computer in your car except with this we

Could put four computers in your car well under your car but either way today we make the leap from becoming computer reviewers to car guys I think I think this is what it takes Jai is this what it takes before we

Start the review properly I need to get this case into the correct position so that I can film there we go that should just let me just get my wheel chocks in there if nothing else this case has been one of the most convenient to move

Around not to work with it sucks for that a lot but it's easy to move around from one room to the other and it is quite heavy in fact this wheel suggests that it can support something like 700 kilograms of

Weight we'll get to that later but this is in fact a genuine car wheel and it has in fact been adapted by a compute component company Baro to become a case and that's really all you need to know about the basics it's five hundred sixty

Dollars brand-new and with the current economy we're hoping that we can save up enough for three more of these wheels by 2022 so that we can build the full car made out of computer wheels in the meantime to ease the transition the

Wheel happens to come with a motherboard tray so this case is courtesy of Barrow the water cooling company either way we can't stress enough that this is literally a wheel it's the wheel in the rim it's a single piece you can have a

Healthy debate in the comment section about what you want to call it we've heard that the car enthusiasts community is just as healthy and alive as the computer enthusiasts community we're gonna use the terms interchangeably

Though and either way this is an item that was originally destined to be installed in a car it's not like they made this for computer first it's probably defect stock maybe it's got scratches this one does have a few or

Something like that and so for one reason or another a car company or a wheel company didn't want to use it as what it was made for originally and they sold it to Barrow as a computer case and the ways you can tell this is actually a

Wheel on the inner lining of the outer part of the rim here there's a rating for 690 kilograms it is an 18 inch rim and we couldn't afford 22s those are just too much for us although it would make building a lot easier

It's an idea for you barrow and it's also got the JW Alan J to ult markings to make everything clear so this is something that they've basically attached a tempered glass sheet to they've drilled some holes in the back

For mounting a motherboard tray too and then have supplied a motherboard tray separately which is functionally just a test bench tray except it's been fit inside of this Barrow is a brand owned by Joe Jones yeah Hardware Company

Limited and Barrow was the name of the northernmost city in the United States with an average memory temperature of minus twenty five point seven degrees Celsius and Barrow is a liquid cooling hardware manufacturer that seemingly

Names itself after this for its low temperatures something Barrow the company promises with its liquid cooling products Barrow the city changed its name back to who keye avec in 2016 but Baro the

Manufacturer chose not to follow suit for reasons which are not immediately clear Baro is an upscale sister brand of Baro with AC for China and an H for high end we're going to affectionately call them Baro CH rims are meant to be

Installed on cars if you weren't aware typically with a piece of rubber around them known as a tire like we said anything's a computer via try hard enough and no rim has ever been designed for the purpose of fitting a motherboard

Inside at least not by the wider market we've seen a couple mods online lately and they're pretty cool they might be better than this actually and they weren't they weren't sold as computer cases but professional case reviewers

Such as ourselves notice a couple of unique things that the average person might not we of course have the skills required to know that wheels are round sort of shaped like like this like a circle motherboards are rectangular like

This and typically these things might stop someone from installing a motherboard into a wheel it's a unique puzzle but barrage has figured out actually I haven't figured out how to solve it let's get into Patrick's build

Notes for the case and we'll talk thermals because this is not a good one for thermals and then we'll go through the conclusion of if it's worth it this is the most difficult to building case we've ever reviewed including all of the

Small form-factor ones like the cryo reg taku which was like building inside of an Ikea shelf assembling the test system took an entire seven hours off and on and we'll dig into the reasons why but let's just say this up front this case

Is only meant for water cooling open-loop and even that doesn't really work don't buy this case with the intention of using an air cooler or a CLC on either the GPU or the CPU don't even try it the accessory kit included

With the speed is mostly just the usual screws and washers but there's one unique item – heavy rubber cubes and adhesive pads these are literally wheel chocks for the case because without them the computer is

Free to roll off of the desk and onto a floor upon what should probably leave a wheel size hole in the floor because it's a car wheel if that wasn't already drilled in the speed case is comprised of four

Main parts the rim itself a front tempered glass panel an aluminum motherboard tray and an aluminum rear cover or radiator mount there's no reason to remove the glass panel from the rim so together they're essentially

A single part the product listing also mentions an alternate tempered glass rear cover to replace the aluminum one meant for use with air cooled systems but this isn't included for the case if it shipped after July of 2019 so we

Didn't receive one using the second glass panel would eliminate all fan and radiator mounts from the case documentation suggests that removing the inner nested motherboard tray and flipping it over on top of the rim to

Assemble the system then flipping the complete build back over for installation is the way to go that seems like an unnecessary gimmick at first but it turned out to be a good idea the rim reinforces the tray and keeps the legs

From being smashed down by the weight of the system almost every component in the system is attached to the motherboard tray nothing except the power button mounts to the rim and only the fans and radiators attach to the rear cover

Making it optional if air cooling is used in a sense it's a self-contained test bench that can be dropped into any appropriately sized enclosure and that enclosure just so happens to be a rim from a car we assume it's not stolen but

This would probably be an excellent way to fence your stolen car rims assuming you could station yourself outside of a nearby Micro Center that shares a parking lot with discount tire before taking the rear plate or the motherboard

Tray out of the rim we recommend clearly marking the edge of every piece so that they can be easily indexed with each other when putting the case back together although recommendations are pointless

Because not many people will buy this from our review with the motherboard tray out and balanced on top of the rim we began the process of building motherboard standoffs aren't something we ever put any thought into beyond the

Eternal struggle of guessing the correct thread count but the speed standoffs are bizarrely elaborate for no discernible reason they look almost normal but with small protrusions at the top that look like they should fit through the screw

Holes on the they do not instead a plastic washer is placed on top of the standoffs that's included the motherboard is placed on top of this another clear plastic washers place on top and then a spring

Tension to screw like the ones used in GPU coolers is used to fasten down the motherboard that's insane no one does that as far as we can tell the end result is exactly the same as if normal screws were used standoffs are

Only placed around the edge of the board so there's no support for the board at the center on top of this the motherboard tray isn't especially flat the motherboard didn't make good contact with all the standoffs until the screws

Were tightened down next up is the GPU because Baro CH chose to how is the PSU within the body of the case the motherboard tray is pushed very close to the glass side panel with minimal clearance for GPU and CPU coolers normal

With GPUs must be mounted vertically and there are no PCIe supports for anything else just ride your cables and a two slot vertical mount this is the first clue that this case is made exclusively for open-loop cooling even though they

Don't advertise it that way mounting an air cooled GPU with the fans pressed up against a glass panel is a terrible idea and it always has been as we've proven in the past numerous times with actual real ATX cases that

Insist upon doing so as always though the manufacturer couldn't resist posting some marketing images with their equal GPUs so this is a valid test of something that the manufacturer implied as a build approach the GP amount was

Also our first encounter with another feature of the speed case there are hex head screws used throughout the case and not one not two but three distinct head sizes you might think that this was a mistake and that maybe some car parts

Got mixed in but now barrage hopefully includes three allen wrenches with the case as if taunting the Builder with the idea that not one thing can be easier normal the best reason we can think of for their universally bizarre screw

Choices including the motherboard screws that are actually GPU screws is that bare which is primarily to open-loop water cooling company names Baro so it makes sense that they have a bunch of standoffs meant for GPU Bachmann

And a hex head screws commonly used in water cooling parts for a case that costs more than $500 though we think they could have sprung for some normal case hardware you can buy boxes of it for literally pennies in SE ge market so

There's no excuse the screw holes for securing the graphics card are tapped directly into the aluminum motherboard tray so a gentle touch is needed to keep them from cross threading there's a zip tie pre looped around the mount as a

Crude replacement for a locking tab some credit is due for leaving an air gap around the edges of the circular glass panel but without any internal fans to circulate air or create a pressure differential the gap can't do much

Unfastening the glass and leaving it off entirely is a tempting option especially since dust filtration is already non-existent and the spokes of the wheel shield the internal components but every piece removed from this case brings it

Closer to being something that you could buy at autozone and modify with a drill and we're here to review a pc case not a wheel there's not much clearance to the panel even for open loop water cooling and these downdraft coolers are tall

Enough to be almost flush with the glass and there's not enough clearance for a tower cooler at all knowing that we opted to use a closed loop liquid cooler for our CPU this proved much more difficult than expected and it's the

Main reason this build took so long first off the fan and radiator mounts on the rear of the case are to 120 by 240 millimeter mounts placed side by side and they're only compatible with 120 and 240 ml parts 140 and 280 parts kind of

Fit if they're mounted sideways across the mount but don't count on it secondly this case does not support CLC's in any form radiators must be mounted on the rear of the case and cold plates obviously have to be mounted on the

Inside of the case on the motherboard so the CLC must have a pump and cold plate assembly that's thin enough to pass through one of the motherboard tray cutouts from one side to the other about three centimeters tops the tubes must be

Long enough to wrap all the way around the motherboard and to the radiator on the back of the case and above the power supply because the radiator mounts are directly above the PSU mount if a full ATX power supply isn't used there's no

Space throughout the tubes we were only able to get a CLC mounted by swapping in a small form-factor and her Maddox power supply judging by marketing images the intended configuration is to have a radiator

Mounted on the rear of the case with the barbs facing out and a bunch of right angle bends to get the tubes routed back into the case through one of a couple cutouts on the rear cover the power supply must be mounted with the fan

Facing out if you want it to get any air at all and as we mentioned the radiator mounts directly over the power supply therefore the only viable fan configuration is intake and you're either pushing or pulling air through

The radiator end into the power supply the case layout is extremely rigid in order to make a usable system without breaking the rules by altering the case or mounting things incorrectly you have to use an ATX power supply you have to

Use open-loop cooling you have to use a vertically mounted GPU and two radiators mounted Barb's out with the tubes routed through a specific cutout and fans range this intake is the only option for cooling modding the case is always an

Option of course and is probably what you should do with this products but for this price would be more economical against just by a literal rim and start from scratch you might even be able to do a better

Job with the mounting Barrow does make multiple mentions of air cooling support GPU air cooling support so forth on its product page but again it's a terrible idea in fact they had an entire part of the case that was designed for air

Cooled systems exclusively none of this would have been such a big deal if it were easier to replace part instead almost every change required completely disassembling the system if you want to change the liquid cooler for example or

Modify the block or whatever swapping CLC's involves removing the rear cover removing all the screws attaching the motherboard tray to the rim lifting the system out and flipping it unmounting and unplugging the GPU unplugging the

Power button on mounting the cold plate on mounting the motherboard to the thread the cold plate and pump assembly back through the hole in the motherboard tray and then repeating and reverse remember that all of the motherboard

Stem huffs are also composed of a standoff two washers and a spring tension screw the thought of trying to get an open-loop arranged in this case is nightmarish and the biggest problem is that really to do it right you need

To have kind of a store or stockpile components that you can work with if you pre select stuff because there's no documentation on this it's not like it's a commonly used case online you're gonna have a hard time figuring out what

Precisely fits and what doesn't and so fitting everything is the biggest challenge and again if you have bins and bins of open-loop stuff and your name is J is two cents and you also on a Camaro then you probably do well with this case

But if you have to buy everything to start from scratch there is a good chance that you'll have some difficulty somewhere from Taiyo it's kind of fun on this one the speed has only one thing on front i/o and it's a power button that's

It no audio jacks no USB ports nothing other than a hole for the valve stem of a tire which isn't included moreover since the motherboard is buried deep inside the rim none of the rear i/o is easily

Accessible either display and internet cables must be plugged in before final assembly and an external USB hub is strongly recommended if you ever want to use the USB devices that are made accessible by your motherboard where you

Getting into the thermal section now and this can't fit our normal Tower cooler so we didn't build our usual test system in it therefore another results are comparable to previous test results for cases of any size for Hardware we used

An XY Sony master and the r9 3900 XQ by 5700 XT for 8 gigabyte 32 hundred megahertz g.skill trident ii RGB memory sticks the cpu cooler was an older 140 mil NZXT x41 cooler that we dug out of a bin in a desperate search for a cooler

That would actually fit and the power supply it was an animatic 650 watt revolution SFX because one of the highest wattage SFF power supplies that we had that wasn't being used again this case is built for full ATX power

Supplies but if we used or if you use a full ATX power supply you would either have issues with jury-rigging the cooler from the CPU or feeding air into or out of the power supply via the radiator next to it for the radiator we attached

A 2500 rpm EK furious Vardar evo fan it's a really high rpm fan and it's the only fan in the entire case so that's why we used it we kept the pump in case fan at 100% for testing for speeds and again that's about 2500 rpm the GPU fan

Was at about 55% so reported speed just over 3000 rpm this is a loud build further we attempted testing with GPU fans left on auto and that resulted in crashes it just wasn't good enough we might as well

Start with the worst thermals beginning with the air-cooled GPU which is again one of the build options marketed by the company we see the GPU edge temperatures four gigabytes at 5700 XT at about ninety degrees Celsius now delta T over

M it mind you just 90 degrees we're only measuring one thing so there's not much point doing Delta's ambient was about 22 degrees Celsius GPU junction temperature which is what Navi uses to throttle is hitting a 113 degrees Celsius and is

Past TJ Max TJ Max is 110 so not only are we experiencing clock dropping that will require a different chart for analysis we're also still above TJ Max the GPU vrm mosfet temperatures are at about 90 degrees celsius in this test

Equal in the GPU edge temperature that's what that I operate inspect technically but if the caps are approaching 105 see it's not very healthy we reviewed this card in our open air bench and the VM ran at about 73 degrees Celsius an open

Air and our review from last year with a slower fan speed so that's not good news for the Baro speed wheel Thane finally GDD our six thermals are at 100 degrees Celsius which is just five degrees away from TJ Maxx of the G six modules in our

Initial review of this card we found its G 6 to run at about eighty degrees Celsius with a slower fan speed for GPU frequency will switch over to 3d mark firestrike extreme 30-minute looping burnin testing for a better picture of

That as clocks don't enumerate normally infer mark for this one we can see the full effect of throttling the GPS starts out around 1860 megahertz but falls to around fifteen sixty six megahertz average with some dips nearing twelve

Hundred megahertz you lose most of your 3d performance with this system open-loop is a must but it's also not easy to fit and would require careful planning CPU thermals are our last four the 3900 X the torch our workload puts

TTI at about seventy five degrees Celsius max or about seventy three average peak for the heavier workloads note that we're not using delta T again for this video since there's no point for the comparative it's just

Temperature it's doing okay for thermals overall but only because the radiator is exposed to open air at the backside it's all the other components in the hot box that suffer like the VR and the GPU blender

Hot on this one at about 76 degrees Celsius we'd expect a good air cooler that's quieter to perform around here but the restricted air pathways for the radiator are driving up the thermals it's hard for it to get rid of the hot

Air because it's just feeding it straight into a wall as for fire strike TDI for that one is in the mid-40s which is actually overall acceptable the reduced workload is easier for the radiator to manage even with the

Restricted air exhaust or intake depending on your config now of course thermals will be benefited on the highway where this is likely to be used so we've simulated a real-world test to try and see how the thermals will

Perform in so concluding then the decision to put the power supply inside the body of the case was a gutsy decision and so was the decision to technically support full-size ATX everything the ATX motherboard ATX power

Supply we admire Barrow ch's dedication towards trying to fit every component of a full-sized system inside of a wheel it's a cool idea it hasn't really been done at a wide scale before we won't say it hasn't been done because certainly

This has been done in the modding community for a while not sure if Barrow did it first or not but we're pretty sure there's a case motor out there somewhere who probably did this in the 90s so either way this

Is something that's unique to the retail ready environment it's not good though but it's still a cool idea this would be a lot better if they allowed the rear of the system to project further outside of the wheel there's no rule that says the

Entire computer has to literally be within these thin walls of the rim and it's not like you're mounting it on a car although you could or not with a computer in it it wouldn't survive but you could mount it to a car but there's

No reason to maintain that specification for something that's clearly meant to be a case so they should allow the board to project further out that allow more room for open-loop components things like that the motherboard instead ends up

Trapped behind the power supply and the drives which are trapped behind the radiator and the fans and the reservoir and everything else is fighting for space so whenever you have to change literally anything in this system yes

Literally anything you have to take the entire computer apart so it's just it's not easy to work with and if you ever have a component failure you're gonna have a long day trying to get everything back together so it's all fighting for

Space you know what's that is square pegs don't fit in round holes something like that well I guess it's a sufficiently large round hole and I well whatever but anyway if the both pricing for rims on Alibaba is anything to go by

It's hard to imagine that machining down the inner surface of a wheel fabricating an aluminium inner structure and buying a circular tempered glass panel would bring the actual manufacturing cost anywhere close to five hundred sixty

Dollars Barrow made very few of these if all the limited-edition hype is to be believed and we think it is this one's number 33 and the seller online on Aliexpress was out of the original wheel that we asked for us we had to get this

Colour instead so there aren't many of these but we also don't feel bad for calling it a novelty with poor cooling which is what it is for those who like the idea of a PC inside of a wheel or a car parts in general you should do some

Google searching around if you're particularly handy with tools or modding or you know someone who might do the project with you it may be better to just try and do this yourself we saw literally days ago as we were in

The middle of writing this review we saw someone on reddit post something that was up at the top and it was a build inside of a wheel and when I saw that I was like oh no what reviewer got to it first and I saw no it was just a user

Who modified a literal wheel into a build and honestly in a lot of ways there's looked better than this and this is a retail product this is something that's been home brewed for cases for years the features Barrett offers that

Would be difficult for a modder to fabricate themselves might just be the tempered glass and compact aluminum insert and that probably about it but otherwise this primarily markets to people who want something unique and

Cool and related to cars which might be their other hobby but also who don't have either the time the ability or the experience to mod and a wheel a rim into a computer case that's really all it's targeting so anyway 565 we wouldn't say

It's worth it it absolutely sucks to build and it's cool its unique and it kind of goes along with probably out of the shot but the cute pet yes tin case in terms of being something genuinely different and that's exciting and we do

For that reason like the idea a lot but the execution is pretty poor so this is something that could be improved without ruining the approach by extending the motherboard tray out the back and potentially going with a larger wheel

Size that would probably increase the cost but you get the idea so that's it for this one thanks for watching a lot of fun if you want to help us with projects like this go to store doc here in Texas net and pick up some of our

Stuff like mod mats or you can go to and access to get behind-the-scenes footage and we'll see you all next time

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