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Why aren't more people using SBCs?

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  • Why aren't more people using SBCs?

    I'm still working on my carputer, I'll probably never get it done, but I was thinking.. other than cost (people will gladly drop $600 on a transflective LCD) why aren't people using the small 3.5" Single Board Computers?

    The entire motherboard is as big as a 3.5" desktop hard drive. They take laptop RAM modules, have built-in pretty much everything and are very low-power.

  • #2
    'Gladly' is a slight overstatement. But yes, people will drop some bucks on their car PCs.

    I don't know that much about SBC's. How much do they cost? How do you power them? Are there compromises like speed or cooling issues? What about expansion cabability/USB/WiFi/ethernet?
    Originally posted by ghettocruzer
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

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    • #3
      Here's an Advantech board:

      •Intel® Atom™ D510 dual core 1.66 GHz processor Built-In and ICH8M Chipset
      •One 200-pin 667MHz SDRAM DDR2 slot can support up to 2GB
      •Supports Intel Dual Gigabit Ethernet
      •3 x RS-232, 1 x RS-232/422/485
      •2 x SATA, 6 x USB and GPIO
      •Multiple display: VGA, 18-bit LVDS
      •Supports 12VDC input power
      •Supports embedded software APIs and Utilities
      A bit on the pricey side at $294.
      http://www.advantech.com/products/PC...3BFCF3328.aspx



      Cooling isn't a problem as there is a heatsink attached to the CPU (no fan required).

      SATA, USB, Ethernet, Audio, extra USB headers.
      Compact Flash slot on the underside of the board so you can easily run your system from an industrial CF card. Much less room needed in your enclosure for a hard drive.
      A standard ATX automotive power supply can be used to power it.

      I suppose with nettop computers like the Asus eee and others there is little need for a full uATX or ITX computer in the car, but every time I see a spare tire well taken up by a massive computer I cringe

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      • #4
        Well, it's pretty pricey compared to other options plus it appears to run an embedded version of XP. People probably don't use them because they aren't commonly available at the regular consumer outlets. It's loads cheaper to take an old pc and throw it in the trunk and be done with it.

        I could see using that to try and build a double din sized computer system. It might work pretty well for that.
        Originally posted by ghettocruzer
        I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
        Want to:
        -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
        -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

        Comment


        • #5
          I think you hit exactly why people don't. Why would you pay for an SBC when you could buy an Atom based motherboard for around $85 that does the exact same thing? Transflective, you can see what you are paying more for. SBC... not so much. If you buy an SBC, you have to buy more expensive ram (notebook memory last I checked was higher than desktop), you don't get the ability to pop in an M2 and use a common shutdown controller, cases are hit or miss unless you build your own, etc. Everything needed for a mini-itx solution minus software would probably equal roughly the same as just the SBC board. So what's the benefit?
          Tidder

          Try RevFE
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          • #6
            The shutdown controller issue really isn't an issue. ATX connector for power (it's fewer pins but has the 5vSB and PS_ON connectors) as well as the standard soft ATX power switch connector.

            As for the OS, it doesn't require XP Embedded. I installed a copy of XP onto the CF card and it works fine.

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            • #7
              Well, if the main advantage is size and power, then the value for the extra cash would be for a system that is approximately 1/3 smaller than a Mini-ITX solution. Most people can find enough space for a Mini-ITX unless they're hiding it in the dash.

              Short answer appears to be that the Mini-ITX's are small enough. If the SBC's only drew a few watts at idle, they might be good candidates for always-on systems.
              Originally posted by ghettocruzer
              I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
              Want to:
              -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
              -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

              Comment


              • #8
                Don't be deceived, Bugbyte knows more about SBCs then he leads on to. He's the owner of a sheeva plug and an igepv2.

                That atom SBC isn't going to be much (if any) more power efficient than a mini-itx board of the same cpu. So at that price, all you gain is size (and lose features).

                If you want to go SBC, be a man and get a beagleboard or an IGEPv2 or something that's powerful, power friendly, costs less and are more readily available for us geeks.
                Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
                Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
                Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

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                • #9
                  Neither of those SBCs you mention Trip are even in the same universe as x86-based SBCs. If they can't run windows, I don't want to hear about it.
                  Tidder

                  Try RevFE
                  The best resurrected frontend I've ever used, period.


                  I Wish I could ban people

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tidder View Post
                    Neither of those SBCs you mention Trip are even in the same universe as x86-based SBCs. If they can't run windows, I don't want to hear about it.
                    sounds like yet another limitation of Windows to me.
                    Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
                    Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
                    Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tripzero View Post
                      sounds like yet another limitation of Windows to me.
                      Or if you flip it, sounds like a limitation of the SBCs you mentioned. All of my machines I own, save the GuruPlug, can run windows, linux, FreeBSD, etc. All I'm saying is with SBCs, any x86 based I've seen are stupidly expensive, SBCs aren't an option for the masses. Now if you wanted to lose even more features including the ability to run windows, get an IGEP or sheeva or beagle board or arduino or...

                      Sebberry, have you looked at the FitPC 2?
                      Tidder

                      Try RevFE
                      The best resurrected frontend I've ever used, period.


                      I Wish I could ban people

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                      • #12
                        I'm in the market for a rebuild of my carPC and am looking heavily at SBC's. I want to build a complete enclosed system that will not fail due to temperature like my 2 Mini ITX boards did. The only problem I am having on pulling the trigger is power supply and HD audio. I can't find a pico/sbc setup that integrates easily into a power controller or has a pinout for 5.1 audio.

                        ---------- Post added at 03:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:57 PM ----------

                        Originally posted by Tidder View Post
                        .... have you looked at the FitPC2?
                        Hmm if I could get front and rear channels with a sub I would be all over one of those.
                        Click for my projects
                        2006 F150 with removable Nexus 7

                        2006 Mustang with indash CarPC (Retired)

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                        • #13
                          just use the onboard crossovers on the amps..
                          My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
                          "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


                          next project? subaru brz
                          carpc undecided

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                          • #14
                            I wanna know y ppl dropping all that money on a transflecting screen when they can just buy a anti-glare screen protector. DUHHH.

                            but yea SBC's are costly and not that expandable

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                            • #15
                              I'm still working on my carputer, I'll probably never get it done, but I was thinking.. other than cost (people will gladly drop $600 on a transflective LCD) why aren't people using the small 3.5" Single Board Computers?

                              The entire motherboard is as big as a 3.5" desktop hard drive. They take laptop RAM modules, have built-in pretty much everything and are very low-power.
                              Coming from an Industrial background, I exclusively use SBC's as Carputer boards.

                              Yes, they are pricey (and very relaible) and not for everyone, I agree. For me though, they are super.

                              If you'd like a very decent (propietary 5.25") passive cooled SBC system, look no further than the Lex Twister with 963A motherboard. I have one (Yes Boyz, it runs Linux too) and it works great. It's one of the best pieces of passive-cooled engineered cases I've ever seen, it is really well made. Goes for around $475 directly from Taiwan, chat to Leon Shu at Lex. You fit CPU, Ram, hd/ssd or CF or pcmcia device, and you're set.

                              I am actually designing a new Industrial process controller for our Company, and can confirm it runs Ubuntu/Knoppix et al all very dandy off a 300x Transcend CF card. PXE/GPXE boot runs fine (for Tripzero ), decent boot-device selections, and a host of other goodies. Probably only applicable to systems engineers like myself though. Soz, I get a bit excited, that's all.

                              Other than that, I have a Commell LS-573, Commell LS-373 (3.5"), 2x Zotac mini-itx, as well as 3x BCM mini-itx.

                              All are Industrial grade except the 2x Zotacs. And guess which ones are less stable

                              But, each to their own, you buy what you can (or can't, as in my case) afford.

                              I got those 3x BCM mini-itx boards, with T7200 cpus, of ebay for $100 each - from a US seller - there are great bargains to be had, this specific seller had 10 of them. I will any day take these BCM's with T7200 over any of the slightly more modern (but commercial) systems.
                              Last edited by mrbean_phillip; 02-26-2011, 06:40 AM.
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