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Building high-end carputer - AMD, P4, what?!

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  • Building high-end carputer - AMD, P4, what?!

    OK, I have read here and a lot of other forums, and I'm just getting more and more confused, since no tests really tests what I need to know. A bit about what I'm going to do:

    I'm gonna make a high-end carputer, but on a certain budget (around 400 dollars for the motherboard and CPU). I want to be able to play MP3 music at the same time as I output three different (hard drive ripped) DVD movies (DiVX or similar formats is not going to be used) to three different monitors (not as crazy as it sounds, my Centrino 2.0 notebook manages 2 movies at the same time without any problems at all), so my wife can watch one movie in the front seat and the kids won't have to fight about what to watch - Barbie (that's Lisa) or Star Wars (that's Kevin). That would need full DX9 compatibility, since I have to use VMR9, not overlay. Which is why I first looked at the Asus P5RD1-V. That board has a full DX9 compatible built-in graphics card (ATI chipset with a Radeon x300). But it doesn't support Dual core, according to the website. Which is very strange for a pretty new board, isn't it? In addidtion to the built-in graphics card on the mobo the computer will have one of the midrange ATI X cards (probably a Radeon X1600PRO 256MB), so Kevin can play games with a gamepad when they're not watching movies. These car screens are not hughe (12"), so we're only talking a max resolution of 1024x768, perhaps even 800x600.

    So what type of CPU (AMD/Intel) would give me most bang for the buck with these requirements, and what chipset would be good? I'm very much allergic to crashes, so I regard stability as a very important factor.

    A P4 3.0 or something does of course look best to me, I'm old (40) and I am used to more mHz being better. But I don't really know much about dual core. I have read that the 2.66 mHz dual core D 805 is very easy to OC on stock voltage, quote Neoseeker: "multiplier to 18, and the FSB to 800 MHz at default Vcore - just worked. No muss, no fuss ... A core clock of 3.6 GHz with an 800MHz FSB is nothing to sneeze at... " Sounds pretty good to me.

    Remember the usage: Playing DVD's and music at the same time, or playing games and music at the same time. Also power consumption does matter a bit, this is going to be powered by a 300 watt PSU, but I can add an extra PSU if necessary. So maybe an AGP card with external power to the graphics card would be a good idea? Heat matters little, the computer is going to be in a very open case. But of course VIA won't do, and mobile solutions aren't really interesting either, they are expensive and hard to get i Norway.

    Thanks in advance!
    Tor - The MediaSUV

  • #2
    ok, I don't have a precise solution for you, but here's some food for thought:

    Matrox PARHELIA do a triple head card. this may save you some power consumption and confgiuration. Otherwise you can use a dualhead agp card, and a PCI card. it would be better to get the PCI card running the front and a dual for the rears. that way, in the bios you can set the primary card to be the pci card. once widnows is up, the drivers should be launched and you can gain control of the other cards.

    The gaming aspect will be the most cpu expensive part of this. would it not be better to get an xbox in there? saves you a hell of a headache and money. you can wire that up either through the pc's video in (so you can control which monitor it gets displayed on) or through h/w switching (perhaps the monitors have multiple inputs?)

    Procesor wise, I have a hyperthreading processor (home pc) which I have set HT to disabled. this means I get 1x3.06GHz processor. with HT on, I get 2x1.8GHz processors. If you offset the gaming to a games console, then you can eaily get away with a lowish hyper threading/dual-core processor to do movies and gaming together. I have a 2.8GHz P4 in my carputer and can try to run 3 movies at once for you to see how well it can handle it.

    have you thought about how to give each person control over their terminal? some aircraft have solved this problem though I have no idea how! my guess is that it's some terminal services type setup, where a server provides instances of a workstation to each terminal. you could do something similar, here's how:

    If you install VMWare, it will allow you to install an operating system, within your operating system. if you install 3 of these (or just 2), it will allow you to run a front end for each user. this may be a bit CPU intensitve and you'll have to do some tests to see if it's viable. no matter what anyone thinks. you won't know if it's acceptable until you try it! I've run 3d games using a linux vmware at very acceptable framerates. it meant having the right drivers etc but the point is, performance was good.
    Current:
    [BMW E46 ///M3 Convertible]

    Previous:
    [BMW E31 850CSi]|[BMW E39 535i]|[BMW HVAC Research]|[IBUS Scrolling Text]|[BMPuter]|[Velocity]|[TomTom]|[Vision]|[Space Navigator Driver]|[Super Fast Boot]

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    • #3
      Thanks for answering! The Matrox are out because of the gaming. And an X-Box is out because of the price of games. We don't have any consoles, the kids only play PC games.

      As for control that's not a problem at all. Everything will be controlled by Girder and NetRemote (with personal remotes starting and controlling video), and the front monitor will triple as video screen for the front seat passenger, NetRemote screen and rear view camera (parallell parking a Chevy Suburban can be a pain in the ... sometimes!).
      Tor - The MediaSUV

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      • #4
        yeah, I've driven a yukon before!

        it will interesting to see what you finally get going. good luck
        Current:
        [BMW E46 ///M3 Convertible]

        Previous:
        [BMW E31 850CSi]|[BMW E39 535i]|[BMW HVAC Research]|[IBUS Scrolling Text]|[BMPuter]|[Velocity]|[TomTom]|[Vision]|[Space Navigator Driver]|[Super Fast Boot]

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Mastiff
          Thanks for answering! The Matrox are out because of the gaming. And an X-Box is out because of the price of games. We don't have any consoles, the kids only play PC games.
          What games are you playing that the Parhelia doesn't handle? DOOM3? I've had a Parhelia since they first game out and it seems to take pretty much anything I throw at it.. but then I don't play the latest and greatest 3d games. Depending on the monitors you're putting in your setup, you won't have to run high-res anyway.

          You'd be better off with multiple cards though. I think the parhelia only supports two overlays, not three, for one point. Plus some games / software may or may not recognize the second and third outputs as individual 'cards'. I've seen some software that does, some that doesnt. If you want to guarantee it will work, get multiple video cards.

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          • #6
            Once video card is solved, how about sound?
            2004 Matrix XR A7N8X-VM/400 AMD XP-M 2500+, DS-ATX
            89 Supra Turbo P3 [email protected]/Abit BE6 II, Alpine M-BUS Car2PC.
            Y2K Accord Dell GX150
            RoadRunner is the best FE PERIOD
            EmoRebellion is a SCAMMER

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            • #7
              USB soundcards?

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              • #8
                Jahntassa, Doom 3, Quake 4, Elder Scrolls Oblivion, Half-Life 2 are amongst my son's favourites. Edit: Oh, and Call of Duty 2.

                And the built-in sound card is one, I will have at least one PCI card (depends on if I wind up with a M-ATX with built-in graphics card or a full ATX with a PCI graphics card in addition to the PCI Express). If I have a full ATX mobo I'll go for two PCI cards, so I have one card each for the kids in the backseat and one card for the headunit. That's the way I have been running my carputer for several years now, since J.River Media Center came with multi-zone audio support. The sound is the least of my problems.
                Tor - The MediaSUV

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                • #9
                  I think I'm closer to an answer: Pentium D 930 65 nm "Presler", which runs cooler than previous CPU's and actually can be overclocked from 3 gHz to 4 on stock everything, according to Neoseeker! They are now down to around 300 dollars. A few weeks ago they where almost twice as much! So for maximum durability (when I build a carputer it takes so much time, both in thinking and in programming the rather advanced Girder setups) I may go with that. Gonna be interesting to see what my 300 watt PSU can do when I get it in a few days.
                  Tor - The MediaSUV

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                  • #10
                    Mobo, CPU and RAM probably decided (if I don't get any wild objections): Intel Pentium D Model 930 (3.0GHz Dual Core), Asus P5WD2 (Intel i955X) and Corsair TwinX 2x512MB (DDR2, PC5400 DDR675). The graphics is going to be a midrange Radeon PCI Express for the back seat, maybe an X1600 Pro, plus one very high end Radeon 7000 PCI for the extra monitors, where gaming isn't an issue. Except for my wife doing a bit of solitaire on the front monitor, perhaps...
                    Tor - The MediaSUV

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                    • #11
                      Let's see what our new spammer friend, Carputer_miniPC, has to say, since I know he's viewing the thread.
                      If his past actions are any indicator, he's going to try to sell someone hardware from his website.

                      Let's see....
                      Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
                      How about the Wiki?



                      Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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                      • #12
                        Well, this thread is actually obsolte for my part! I changed my mind totally and went with this motherboard for the Pentium Core Duo (this is mobile version, not the same as the Dual Core P4), and I'm gonna get a T2400 and clock the living daylights out of it! Three monitor independant video, here I come!
                        Tor - The MediaSUV

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