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What is better for a carputer, a Laptop or Miini-itx pc?

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  • What is better for a carputer, a Laptop or Miini-itx pc?

    I am thinking of installing a carputer into my car but I am debating whether to just build a mini-itx pc from scratch or buy a lower end/used laptop. Many people on the board seem to build their own computers but doesnt it seem easier to use a laptop? What are the pros and cons?

    (Btw, i have built several computers myself so that wouldnt be a problem)

    Thanks

  • #2
    yes, in a way the laptop would be easier, but wouldnt it always be? Think about what clutter I could get rid of by getting rid of my huge tower and the 19" monitor and such at home, and swap it all for a laptop. But there again, (you know where im going now) it wont have near the same power or usability as a tower either. Laptops are a great comprimise, but for carpc, unless you have one already I would say build the ITX. If you have a laptop, just get a dock and your 75% done.
    2005 Ford Focus ST

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    • #3
      Quick question.....what if my spare laptop (Gateway solo 1150) did not ever have a docking station available for it? What other means can I use to power the unit? Is there anything that I can get that will not use the cigarette lighter (besides the Opus)? Could I possibly wire this: http://www.laptopparts.com/laptop-au...uery=Solo+1150 into the car so that it will not be so ugly? Thanks in advance!!!!

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      • #4
        Laptop is a good and cheap solution for car PC ONLY if you can get hold of them cheap.

        Such as buying a small laptop with a broken screen from ebay. Get one without FDD or CDROM onboard like the Compaq evo N400C. Most likely you will want the CDROM on the dashboard, the FDD you will hardly use anyway.

        It will save you money on OPUS, laptop will survive a crank easy...all you need is a small car-laptop adaptor as "Namirrem" posted above and a shutdown contoller.

        Remove the broken screen together with the top cover, remove the keyboard, touchpad, speaker and anything you dont need really. Then just cover it with aluminium sheet and paint it to match colour...you now have the base for car PC

        Up to you if you wanna go all into that trouble but less the laptop screen make your PC even thinner. You can be saved if you plan to place it under the pasenger seat.

        Just add the VGA screen, mouse and keyboard and you are basically complete.

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        • #5
          Quick question.....what if my spare laptop (Gateway solo 1150) did not ever have a docking station available for it? What other means can I use to power the unit?

          Docking station is too bulky just to power up a laptop anyway. Check if your laptop can be powered up through wake-on-modem or wake-on-lan. Do a search, it has been mentioned before. If your laptop doesnt support them then you can just solder 2 wires directly to the on/off button inside the laptop.

          Yes you can use those CAR-LAPTOP adaptor. Just cut the wire and connect it behind the dashboard if you dont like those cigarette plug.

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          • #6
            gospeed.racer,

            Do you really have a tower? a full tower even

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            • #7
              Docking station is too bulky just to power up a laptop anyway.

              I dont recommend the dock for that reason. The reason I like to recommend it is so that you arent making the laptop permenant and it can be taken in the house to download and update stuff. It will also provide the ps2 ports where the laptop usually has only one. All around, the dock is not by any means necessary, but definately tidys things up and makes plugging in the hardware nice. You just undock instead of removing all the individual connections.
              2005 Ford Focus ST

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              • #8
                Yes docking is good for a new laptop and its being used with its own screen.

                My idea was to get a broken laptop and mount everything permanent.

                Sorry I miss read I though you said you got a tower on your car

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                • #9
                  I like my regular computer in my car much better then the laptop I use to use. It's much faster, much more upgradeable, and much easier and cheaper to fix when things break. The only time I would use a laptop is if you had one laying around.
                  StreetDeck.com Developer (I am Chuck)
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ricky327
                    Yes docking is good for a new laptop and its being used with its own screen.

                    My idea was to get a broken laptop and mount everything permanent.

                    Sorry I miss read I though you said you got a tower on your car

                    No, no tower in or on my car....the stang is a little cramped. ITX all the way baby! But if I had a beter laptop than my 600e, I would probably go that way just to keep it simple.
                    2005 Ford Focus ST

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                    • #11
                      I noticed most poeple here use the Epia-M1000...how much faster or slower is it compared to P3 1GHz laptop?

                      How good is it with the graphics? compared to most standard P3 1GHz laptop?

                      Something is telling me that the laptop is still faster over all? or did I just miss something?

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                      • #12
                        I'm using a Dell C610 with a damaged screen, I have modifyed a docking station to turn the laptop on when power is supplied, once power is cut, the laptop goes into hibernation after 10 mins. It can stay in hib for 2 weeks. The docking station adds a extra 4 inchs to the back of the laptop. But having it made it easy to mod it for turning on by adding a couple of relays. Also it allows me to remove the laptop without disconnecting all the wires. The laptop hibernation time can be altered, so I can set it to 2 hours. Its got a wifi card installed in it, so if I extend it to 2 hours, I can then remote into it from my house and upload / fix any problems as its still turned on. I used a £20 dc-dc supply, this is now hardwired in. I think I need to add a fuse inline just incase. The laptop is only USB1 so I might get a PCMCIA usb2 card. This would allow me to run one single cable to the front to power mice / keyboard / touchscreen / bluetooth / dvdrom / mic .. infact most things you can get are usb powered. The only reason I would go for usb2 would be for transfer speeds for dvd. But this would only be a after thought as if I need any files sticking on, I either wifi network em on, or use the 128 usb pen I have.

                        The reason I went for the C610 Dell, was that it was cheap, its got a 16mb ATI video card and built in minipci wifi card. I dont really need a aerial for this as I get 11mb connection no probs from my office to the boot of my car, so no need to spend money where its not needed. The big bonus in my eyes is the battery, by the time you have added the cost up between a laptop against miniPC there quite similar. ie.. ok I agree laptops can be alot. Damaged screen ones are cheap enough.. say $450 for a half decent one. and a extra $30 for a dc charger for it. Thats it sorted.. Now if you start adding up the price of the pc components. .board / memory / psu / harddrive / cdrom .. your looking at $150 / $75 / $200 / $100 .. it all mounts up. I have put $200 for the psu.. this would be a opus as I think other members will agree, if you dont have some sort of shutdown controller then owning a carpc is a pain. So its upto you which you go for. What I would say is once you make you mind up stick with it.. Dont do what I did and go down both roads.. still not making my mind up and wasting money now on things I'm not going to use.

                        CdR
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ricky327
                          I noticed most poeple here use the Epia-M1000...how much faster or slower is it compared to P3 1GHz laptop?

                          How good is it with the graphics? compared to most standard P3 1GHz laptop?

                          Something is telling me that the laptop is still faster over all? or did I just miss something?
                          I feel that the M10K is faster, just for one main reason. It uses DDR RAM. At least from my experience, when you have 2 cpu together one using SD-RAM and the other Using DDR, the DDR will preform better.

                          The video on the M10K is prob better than most P31GHz laptops. Remember that most laptops of that vintage are still using 2X AGP instead of the M10K's 4X.

                          Also, I believe that the atual bus speed on the M10K is also atleast 2 times as fast as a laptop.
                          M10K= 266Mhz Bus
                          P31Ghz Laptop= 100Mhz (133Mhz if your lucky)

                          Hope this helps!

                          Peace,

                          Rafster
                          Post # 3000

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