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setting up a car pc with old desktop and LILLIPUT GL701-NP/C/T in-dash touch screen

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  • setting up a car pc with old desktop and LILLIPUT GL701-NP/C/T in-dash touch screen

    Ok well I am new to this forum, but it looks like everyone is very helpful here. So i was thinking about putting a car pc in my Pontiac Grand Prix GT 2001. I have an old pc that i made myself and i am looking to also make a new pc, so i though i could kill two birds with one stone by using my old pc for a car pc and make a new pc for home and gaming uses. The pc i would be using for my car pc is set up as follows:

    CPU - AMD Athlon x2 64 5000+ Dual core
    Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H
    GPU - NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT
    RAM - 2x1gb g.skill gaming ram
    PSU - Rosewill power supply
    *i don't know what model it is, but i think it is a 550w power supply

    I am looking to just use this pc for my car pc. To power my computer i wanted to use and inverter, but i don't know if i should get a 600w inverter because the PSU is a 550w or get a smaller one. I don't know how much power my computer uses but i used a power calculator i found online and it said i would use around 250w to power this computer. Is this correct? and if so would i be ok with getting a 300w inverter? Also how bad would this drain my car's battery? I also would like to have a DSSC but do not know how to go about doing that with an inverter. Any advice that you guys could give would be greatly appreciated. And if you notice something that i hadn't mentioned in this post that i overlooked please share with me as i have never installed a car pc before.

    Thanks in advance for all your help

  • #2
    1 - Inverters are grossly inefficient. A DC-DC power supply is a better way to go. However, based on your system specs, there is no DC-DC PSU that would meet your needs.

    2 - The general rule of thumb is an inverter should be able to output 1.5-2 times the max draw of all your components. Assuming you will not power anything else, 1000-1100w would be ideal for the PC.

    3 - Don't cheap out on an inverter. Cheap inverters are not only cheap in the monetary sense, they are usually cheap in the build quality and the components used. They don't last and are likely to cause problems.
    That said, a quality 1000w inverter won't be cheap.

    4 - Have you considered lowering your specs, specifically the 3D card? If you can reduce your power draw from the video by using the onboard video, you can use a higher-end DC-DC PSU like an Opus 320w or DSATX quite nicely, and not deal with the headaches of the inverter.
    A "smart" PSU also has capabilities of turning the PC on/off with the ignition, which would eliminate the need for the DSSC that you mentioned.

    5. Any device that's on when the car is not running will drain your battery, plain and simple. The greater the power draw, the faster it will drain the battery. Without measuring the power draw, it is impossible to say how quickly the battery would drain. The condition of the battery and how often you recharge it by driving also plays a part.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?

    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.


    • #3
      So you're saying if i remove the graphics card i would be able to use a DC-DC PSU that gives 320w?


      • #4
        So you are saying i can use a DC-DC PSU if i remove my graphics card? I looked for the 320w Opus but it was discontinued. Would this PSU work with my pc? I will be mainly using the pc for music and videos.


        • #5
          I would say that spending around $20 on a kill-a-watt meter might save you tons of money and headaches in the future. Since you already have the computer and can run it without installing it in the car, just plug in the kill-a-watt into the wall and the computer into it and it will tell you how much power you are pulling. Run it hard, do everything you can think of to stress it and then look at your power supply options. If it has a 550 watt in it now, at the 1.5 X rule, it is probably only using about 360 watts. After you try it, pull the NVIDIA and run your tests again and see if you can get it down around 150-250 watts and then look at all your options.

          Once you are done, the kill-a-watt is a nice tool to have around the house when you are fiddling with stuff, and the $20 might save you hundreds on inverters and alternator upgrades and batteries that you don't need!

          Just my 2


          • #6
            i bought a kill-a-watt meter and found that with the graphics card and wifi card attached the computer idled at about 140w and runs music and video at about 150w-160w. When i played a game it ran at about 190w-200w. It never exceeded 200w. Without the graphics and wifi card it idled and about 100w-110w and ran music and video at about 130w. Would i be able to get away with using a dc-dc psu with the graphics card? I know it would be pushing it but when watching videos the color is much better with the graphics card. Without the card there seem to be a blue or purple color around the edge of the people and cars that the camera is focused on. I could live without the graphics card in it, but i would much rather have it in.


            • #7
              All your calculations need to be done using the MAX POWER DRAW for your system.
              That means the optical drive spinning, HDD working, video card and CPU being used to their maximum and fans at their highest speeds.

              Then choose a PSU that will supply power at MAX POWER DRAW. That way when something happens and your PC is going at full tilt (either by choice or by accident), the PSU isn't going to simply give up.

              As far as the video card, lose it. You don't need it in the car. You're not going to be playing any 3D games. It will also lower your power draw significantly and give you a wider range of choices for a DC-DC PSU because the entire PC will use less power.
              Not to mention generate less heat, which is a killer of electronics. It gets pretty damn hot in a car, as I'm sure you're aware.
              Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
              How about the Wiki?

              Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.


              • #8
                So i worked my computer as hard as i knew how to and got it to max out at 130w without the graphics card. This PSU would work correct?


                Also, I live in Texas, so it is extremely hot. Would you recommend upgrading to a liquid cooling system? In particular, one of the corsair hydro series cpu coolers.


                • #9
                  1 - I don't know what method you're using to calculate power draw, but it's WAY off.
                  - The AMD Athlon x2 64 5000+ Dual core has a max power draw of 65w. (SOURCE)
                  - The NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT draws 197w in 3D mode under load and 120w in 2D mode. (SOURCE)
                  There is also power draw for motherboard, RAM, HDD, optical drive, USB devices, etc. that you need to factor in, although most of these are nominal. It does add up, however.
                  The power issue is the first reason to consider ditching the 3D card.

                  If you were to run the 3D card in 2D mode only, the M4 might work. I wouldn't recommend that setup, though.
                  As I said before, you want to calculate MAX power draw for ALL components when deciding on a power supply.
                  If you don'[t, you will have some component go haywire and start sucking down power. If your power calculations are based on average or typical power draw, you will have an unstable system. I don't think any one of us installs a system in hopes of having it not work right every single time.

                  2 - A liquid cooling system needs cooler ambient air to cool the liquid in the system. A self-contained unit like the Corsair hydro would work for cooling the CPU inside the vehicle with A/C going on a hot day. IF you plan on installing in your trunk, it would be no better than air-cooling.
                  The Corsair Hydro doesn't address cooling that 9600GT video card, though. I know how much heat those cards generate, and when in a hot environment, it will fail.
                  The heat issue is a second reason to ditch the 3D card.

                  A third reason to ditch the 3D card: SPACE.
                  Have you put any thoughts into where you[re going to install this beastly PC? How well will a case that can accommodate a 3D card fit? Have you taken any measurements?

                  A fourth reason to ditch the 3D card: VIBRATION
                  Expansion cards can wiggle themselves loose under road vibrations. I promise that a PCI-X video card coming loose while driving down the road would make you a very unhappy camper.

                  You do whatever you want. You have my suggestions based on my experiences.

                  Good luck with whatever you decide.
                  Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
                  How about the Wiki?

                  Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.


                  • #10
                    you could do a water cooled setup with spare ac, or trans cooler on the front of the car..

                    though, you do not need the graphics card at all.. 90% of the time, onboard video does fine in car, so it is really just wasting power..
                    My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
                    "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"

                    next project? subaru brz
                    carpc undecided


                    • #11
                      I think the Dark one mis-read your post. Your measurement of 130 WITHOUT the graphics card seems reasonable. I would advise that the liquid cooling would only be necesary in an old car with poor air conditioning. Typically, if you are confortable in the car then the computer will be comfortable. If you are putting it in the trunk of a black 63 cadillac, then you should put a digital thermometer in the trunk with a min/max recording and see just how hot it gets. I live in SE NM and it gets HOT here. Like scorching 120 8%humidity for a week hot. I am building a passively cooled dual core atom system. Again, My AC works and works well, so I'm not worried about it. Less than 5 minutes with the AC running will bring the temp down to less than 80.

                      You are very close on the power supply, but you do not need the HV version. The difference is that it is designed for High Voltage systems, you should be able to use the M4-ATX.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cmcd2820 View Post
                        I think the Dark one mis-read your post. Your measurement of 130 WITHOUT the graphics card seems reasonable.
                        I did miss that. Thanks for the correction.

                        I apologize for the diatribe.

                        130w without the 9600GT card is decent. An M4 would power that quite well, I would think.
                        Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
                        How about the Wiki?

                        Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.


                        • #13
                          ok. i'm a little confused on how my calculations are way off. would you explain?

                          i ran my computer WITHOUT the video and wifi card just like i would if i installed it into my car. i then inserted a music cd to make the cd-rom spin, afterwards i ran a defrag and pasted about 3gb of music to my drive from a flash drive. i then ran about six different programs and continually used them. I got my wattage from a kill-a-watt meter and read the highest wattage being 127w. I don't know how much harder i can run my computer. If i'm doing this wrong please correct me. I no longer plan to use the video card. I understand the cons and how unnecessary it is.

                          as for cooling goes, i plan to keep my current air cooler (thermaltake spin q heatsink) and just add a fan or two to get better air circulation.

                          I'm sorry i don't quite understand what you meant by way off. i was just reading what the meter told me...


                          • #14
                            sorry if my previous post posted. i didn't get the chance to read the second page. and no problems. i was just a little confused because i didn't know what else to do. Well thanks for your help. Its been greatly appreciated i think i'm going to use my system without the graphics card and use my current heatsink. hopefully i can get this system up and running. and this has been a great help. If i have anymore questions i'll just post and there seems to be plenty of more competent people than i on the subject so i'm sure to find a good answer


                            • #15
                              i guess i'm back again, but i have had this question for quite some time just keep forgetting to post it. How would i go about mounting the new PSU? i honestly don't want to purchase another case seeing as i would purchase a better one for my new computer and this one would go to waste. I have plenty of trunk room for it to fit there. I'm just not sure how the M4ATX would mount in my case if its possible. I have not purchased the PSU yet, so if that would be in the instructions i would not know. Just something i wanted to know before i went out and ordered it. Thanks again for all you help. you guys probably saved my the headache of running a car battery and frying my system