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advice on future setup

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  • advice on future setup

    my radio is about to die and i am getting ready to order some parts. i plan on using my netbook first for a lil bit as i am building the computer. i plan on getting a few parts now that i can swap over to the pc when its ready. this install will be going in my bmw e39.

    screen: samsung touch screen from the thread: Transflective LCD panel with res touch+controler for $101+$36
    gps: at least a 5hz receiver, have not decided

    temporary setup:
    gateway lt2104u netbook
    n470 processor
    2gb ram

    future setup
    frontend: centrafuse
    mobo: msi e350ia-e45/Gigabyte GA-E350N/zotac (not sure which one)
    debating between these
    ram: whatever is compatible w/ the mobo, either 4gb maybe 8gb
    hdd: from netbook

    audio is where i am a little confused. i notice that some people connect to their amps to power the speakers, i saw somewhere that some use a homemade amp? if and how does this work? for a radio tuner is there anyone that anyone can recommend? lastly will i need a dac?

    feel free to comment or make any suggestions

  • #2
    be prepared that a atom/zacate pc is going to be a little sluggish with centrafuse-- it uses the processor for everything.. most that want a snappy pc will look to using a core2duo, or i3 to keep a snappy interface.

    i really have nothing against msi, i am not crazy about gigabyte only because they like to change drivers in board revisions, and it is a headache for my job(a moot point when your only buying one board...), so i end up recommending zotac, as they seem to be a off-shoot of asus, and have always had very few problems with asus/zotac stuff.

    for the ram, i don't think any more then 2gb is needed--unless you plan on using the pc for multizone, and then the processor comes into question...

    for the audio questions-- it is easiest to just connect to some aftermarket amps using some 3.5mm-to-rca adapters.

    the homemade amps, are you talking about builds like nivanov's?

    i don't use radio, so can't comment on that..

    dac is litterally a sound card-- a high end sound card. most do not feel the need for it, and usually just use the onboard outputs, but it is personal preference..
    My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
    "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"

    next project? subaru brz
    carpc undecided


    • #3
      thanks for the advice. here a new setup that i was thinking about
      mobo: intel dh55tc
      cpu: i3

      im not sure what the nivanov amp is, i saw one on one of the bmw worklogs.

      is there a way to to connect to the speakers without running an amp?


      • #4
        stupid moderation que... i missed your reply..

        most prefer mini-itx over micro-atx for the smaller size(i wish they kept the same form factor comparison for all boards) primarily because it is easier to fit in teh car, but if you have the space, and that board has enough i/o for your needs, then it should be fine.

        i think you would be much happier with the i3 overall. for a power supply, i highly recommend the dsatx-- the recent support i needed went very well--they replied within a day to any email's. though the guys that use the i3 have said that the m2 psu will work fine.

        this is nivanov's thread:

        the only way to connect to the speakers without adding a amp is if you have a factory amp that accepts a low level audio signal.

        oh, or you can run the carpc into a aux input of a radio and use that.

        there is just no way to run the pc directly to the speakers...
        Last edited by soundman98; 08-09-2011, 10:53 PM.
        My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
        "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"

        next project? subaru brz
        carpc undecided


        • #5
          I'm running Centrafuse on Atom330/ION and it's pretty damn snappy at 800x480, even with transitions enabled. E-350 (Zacate) processors are way faster than old Atom dual-core, so I expect Centrafuse to fly on those, unless you are using high resolutions.

          You can use audio directly from the soundcard on your motherboard, unless you aren't satisfied with quality. At the end of the day, you just need a headphone jack or two to get the sound from.

          I used TDA7850 With Denoiser ($25 on Ebay) for the amp in my project. For the price, it's amazing - it gets pretty loud, the quality is very good and it doesn't run too hot as long as you give it big enough a heatsink.

          For radio, I recommend Directed HD (or Visteon HD - same thing) with Mitch USB cables. The unit is a standalone in-car radio, and it's communication port protocol has been reverse-engineered, so now it can be controlled from a PC. You'll need to hook it up to a Line-In port on your PC for Audio and a USB port to control the tuner. Overall, I think it's the best tuner you can get quality-wise and it's pretty cheap ($40 on ebay). The only downside is that it's somewhat big.
          My Project: All-in-one Double Din Unit