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How much CPU do I need?

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  • How much CPU do I need?

    I'm new to all this. I wanted to pick up a mobo/cpu and a touch screen and piece it together on the bench and get this mostly figured out before I start installing the hardware in my car. At this point my list of duties I plan the the carputer are:

    1.) playing music (I'll be using flac files so I don't have to bother converting my entire music collection)
    2.) GPS navigation (this could be of significant importance as I'm relocating to Tampa from the Toronto area so it's going to take some time to learn the new area)
    3.) reverse back up cam (afaik has nothing to do with the carputer as it goes directly to the touch screen)
    4.) record dashcam
    If anyone has anything to add to this list though I'd like to hear it so I can maybe plan out my hardware a little better.

    I won't be playing any videos and my car has blue tooth which I plan to preserve it's functionality. I was thinking on a e450 due to miniscule power usage but I'd like to make sure it has enough horsepower.

    Thanks for any help!
    Ryan

  • #2
    I started out with an old Via C700 (1Ghz x86 processor), and it was too weak for my uses. It stuttered at times with MP3s, and video was not playable at all.
    Video was not a killer for me, but I did want it to work. The screen slides in Centrafuse were poor too, and doing NAV and playing MP3s under Windows was too much.

    I ended up replacing it with a i3-550 (on-chip video) and have never had issues since. Of course, my system now takes 4-5A just for the PC/screen/devices, so I pay for the power.

    If you are like most of us (I suspect), you'll spend a ton of time putting the system together and making it work. My advise is to buy a new, good MiniITX pre-built setup. Believe me, It'll save tons of frustration.
    Zotac H55-ITX w/ 802.11n WiFi, i3-550/3.20GHz, 8GB DDR3 1333MHz, 120G Intel SSD, P2140,
    7" pseudo-transflective resistive TS, Win7-64, Centrafuse 4.3, Elmscan Compact 6, BU-353, Rear camera, Trailer camera

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    • #3
      I think the e450 would be fine for what you plan on doing, the only real cpu intensive thing you listed is video rendering from the dash cam. In fact, its probably overkill, but that's not neccesarily a bad thing. Always build for the future add ons, not just today's feature requests. You save money in the end that way
      mp3Car.com Senior Tech Blogger (Want a product reviewed? Contact me.)
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      • #4
        Originally posted by Zephrant View Post
        If you are like most of us (I suspect), you'll spend a ton of time putting the system together and making it work. My advise is to buy a new, good MiniITX pre-built setup. Believe me, It'll save tons of frustration.
        What do you mean by "the system"? The PC shouldn't take more then a few hours (depending on cable management issues) to put together and get to installing the OS. I am assuming 90% of the time spent on this system will be getting the software (carputer front end) setup properly and debugged. I've been into HTPC's for a few years so I've been through this sort of thing before and know getting everything working slick takes a lot of reading and tweaking of settings. I don't see how buying a premade ITX box would alleviate any of that. However I admit this is all new territory for me so I could be way wrong!

        Sonicxtacy02, Thanks for the reply. I was hoping the e450 would fit the bill... I suppose if it doesn't I can repurpose it to another HTPC, also I've wanted to get a NAS going anyway. I'd read somewhere else on this forum that someone wanted the dash cam and was considering an i3 setup, another poster warned that an i3 may not be able to handle it and an i5 was probably a better option. I don't want to go calling the guy a liar but that doesn't seem realistic to me. The fact that you say the e450 is probably overkill and future proofing a bit is good to hear. I really like the look of the Asus e45m1. Although it is a bit pricy but looks like a pretty slick solution though physical footprint size really isn't too much of a concern for me as long as it's thin.

        Thanks!
        Ryan

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        • #5
          Sounds like you have the experience to build your own system. I've had no "slowness" problems with my I3-550. Plays MP4 video fine, runs the CF CAM app fine with my rear camera, etc...
          Zotac H55-ITX w/ 802.11n WiFi, i3-550/3.20GHz, 8GB DDR3 1333MHz, 120G Intel SSD, P2140,
          7" pseudo-transflective resistive TS, Win7-64, Centrafuse 4.3, Elmscan Compact 6, BU-353, Rear camera, Trailer camera

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          • #6
            I'm always one for overkill but an i5 is more than just overkill for this use. An i3 will be plenty, especially if going the sandy bridge 1155, it's an excellent chip.

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            • #7
              FWIW I ordered some E350 boards. Found a price of $70 each plus a $20 MIR, so I took 2. The comparisons I found vs. the e450's were marginal. If it doesn't keep up for what I want to do here I'm sore I'll find a use for them. Sounds like the video recording is going to be the biggest issue though. Thinking about using a video capture board, not sure what the CPU overhead would be but I'd hope the proper choice of card would handle most of the load. An i3 would be nice but I'd like to see what I can make these do given the miniscule power requirements.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Randallflagg View Post
                "an i5 is more than just overkill"
                What does this even mean?

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                • #9
                  it's like using a porsche in heavy traffic. it costs more for a little extra power that is rarely going to be used.
                  My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
                  "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


                  next project? subaru brz
                  carpc undecided

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                  • #10
                    I think a dual core atom is efficient.
                    My CarPc Blog (<This is outdated. I have updated to a fully running Carpc System)http://acurafuse.blogspot.com

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                    • #11
                      Wow, you get to size your system based on your needs.
                      Old school example. In the early days of car PCs being used for mus1c and that is all a classic p3ntuim cpu would do the job. I know because that was my answer for years.

                      As hardwar3 costs dropped the p0wer of the CPU in cars went up... oops we ran out of a good way to p0wer them, now the supply side of p0wer is very good and almost any current production CPU is more than enough for vid and mus1c along with GPS and cam3ras...
                      Last edited by TruckinMP3; 07-18-2012, 04:03 PM. Reason: stupid linked words messing up the format
                      TruckinMP3
                      D201GLY2, DC-DC power, 3.5 inch SATA

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