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FAQ: How much do car PC's cost?

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  • FAQ: How much do car PC's cost?

    A frequently asked question by newbies is, "how much does a car PC system cost?"

    Naturally, the answer is "that depends." On what type of system you install, whether you use left old or free components, the level of fit and finish, etc. The range is wide, from under $100 to several thousand dollars but most members seems to be able to do it for around $1,000 give or take.

    So while there isn't an easy answer to this question, here is a poll answered by members on how much they spent on their car PC's and this thread by Hummdinger caused a lot of member to weigh in on their system costs. You may find the answers enlightening.
    Originally posted by ghettocruzer
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  • #2
    the answer is always too much, at least twice what you were going to spend
    Signature: [==||========] 20% complete


    • #3
      Well, I sourced my parts from the electroic recycling bureau in Dublin, the whole thing set me back about €80, or $100. The screen is the most expensive part, lol! More than thrice the cost of the PC, which is decent - 1GHz, 264MB RAM, 40GB HDD. Not over-the-top, but it's only a shell for mp3s! And I've just WiFi-ed the house and carputer (for when it goes in), as WiFi is great for downloading stuff IN the car!

      1996 Volvo 850 T5 CD - Eventually I'll start....


      • #4
        The basic components generally aren't too pricy, depending on what you want to do. But the wiring, the screen, and the "oohohh i need this next" is where it adds up. Also, working in a new audio system really takes it's toll on your wallet.
        My Carputer! (More Car Pics at the end)
        2 Kicker Comp 10"
        Epia M-9000, 256 MB DDR, 120 Gig HD
        Lilliput 7" VGA Touchscreen
        Check it out?!


        • #5
          I second that motion
          1996 Volvo 850 T5 CD - Eventually I'll start....


          • #6
            After tons of Ebay hunting, I found a new VIA EPIA M1000, Case, 512mb ram, CDRW/DVD combo for $300, along with a Xenarc 700 TS for $340. I expect to pay another $150 or so for a Power supply. I am doing my own install, so saving lots of cash there. I already have an operating system. Most interface software is free, but donations appreciated.

            How much you want to spend really comes down to budget. If you want all your equipment within a week, and pay someone to install it, You could have easily spent $2k on the above system, but if you are patient, do your research, you will get the best deal. Just do all your research before you make any purchases.
            Is this where the witty comment goes?
            97 Black pearl Mazda Miata MX-5 Carpc V2? maybee..


            • #7
              You can do a carputer really cheap but you end up with....something cheap
              If you want it done right you're going to have to spend money

              I tell people $1000-1300 for a good system but for a budget system it can be done $500-700
              2004 G35 Coupe project


              • #8
                About €700, which is about $1000 will get great one. Power supplies and extension cables and monitors are where is stings
                1996 Volvo 850 T5 CD - Eventually I'll start....


                • #9
                  try and order all at once - will save loads in delivery charges


                  • #10
                    Take the price that you think it will cost. Double that.

                    Take the time that you think it will take to install it. Now, multiply that by 5.

                    That should give you some what of an idea.

                    I figure I've got about a grand worth of stuff in mine (owned a lot of the hardware before, so I figured that in too.), not counting software.
                    Zen Fat Loss


                    • #11
                      having a strong computer background i figured it would be easy and not cost too much more than the computer itself but i kept researching and researching and now i realized to get the carputer all going it would cost around $2000 CAD maybe a little bit more for misc (believe me i included about everything). this is assuming top notch parts at their higher prices so i imagine that would be the max and would end up less in reality especially by the time i buy my parts. and then ill have to buy an amp or two or three (digital and maybe two analogs or two analogs, still researching) and speakers and such.


                      • #12
                        Car PC on the cheap
                        cheap older laptop with decent mhz = $300, more than likely already has OS
                        GPS USB $40
                        Screen $150
                        AC/DC Inverter $50
                        USB Sound Card $40
                        Extra Wires, Cabling $30

                        $610 then for something that does most of what everyone wants. Sure you can build a via system for around the same price but a laptop would be easier when dealing with power issues. You can ad or take away $100 o so and still be decent.

                        But no software is included in that.
                        My system on the other hand will be using a laptop. but The Screen Fabrication alone cost me $100, the screen was under 200, but i'll be spending good money on getting the sound integrated with my setup nicely.

                        When Im done I expect to have paid $1500-2000 total. Still have alot of stuff to get.
                        Good USB Sound = $200
                        ODBII $200
                        Sound Processor/Crossover/EQ ($700?)
                        Wiring/Power/Extra Fluff $150
                        Custom Fab Work for mounting everything $100
                        Car : 00' Chrysler 300M
                        Speakers : Rainbow Audio SLC 265 | Subs : Diamond Audio D6 12" Subs X2
                        Amp's : Hifonics ZXi 6006 AB | Hifonics BXi 1606 D
                        CarPC: HP Laptop AMD Sempron 3000+ | 1.5GB RAM | DVD+RW | 80GB 5400RPM HD | ATI R200 Video


                        • #13
                          I was aiming at spending around $500.00 usd or so...
                          im at $1,200.... err.. wait, i just bought some more cables... make that $1,226... no thats not right, factor in some tools i had to buy, and some bits and my times worth....

                          .... Oh!!! found another thing i want to add....

                          ... you get the idea. it gets crazy and expensive.


                          • #14
                            It's really not that bad! Definitely not $2,000 for me.

                            Here are what I've bought and how much they cost:

                            1. Brand new liliput touchscreen: $175
                            2. Used Dsatx power supply: $140
                            3. New 3.2g computer with 160gig hd with windows: $200
                            4. New 7.1 soundcard with internal routing for 4 way crossover: $25
                            5. Used gps receiver: $30
                            6. Misc. extension cables and such = around $30

                            That's pretty much all I need for now not including softwares, but for most softwares, you can find them for free.

                            In the end, my setup will end up with 8 channels of audio. Lots of audio processing that includes FIR, DRC filters (you can forget alpine h701, it won't even come close)

                            You can save on those overpriced cases by making your own (use plexiglass).


                            • #15
                              I found a very fast laptop from ebay with a broken screen see specs.

                              HP DV8230CA Laptop ( Got it from Ebay for $500 Cnd. )
                              Intel Centrino Core Duo 1.66
                              1GB 667MHz DDR2 System Memory
                              160GB (5400RPM) Hard Drive(f) Dual HDD- 80GB x 2 (SATA)
                              Dual layer lightscribe DVD+-RW drive
                              NVIDIA GeForce Go 7400 with 128MB discrete + 128MB shared
                              6-in-1 integrated Digital Media Reader
                              Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection
                              HP DV Remote (I love this small remote very useful)

                              I still have to buy a ts display probably another $300~?

                              It can get very expensive but I guess you just have to look around and find a good deal...
                              Subaru Impreza CarPc Progress [|||||-----] 50%

                              HP DV8230CA Laptop (Ebay $500 Cdn. LCD Not Working...See HP Site for Spec)

                              HP DV8230CA Remote Control (Power On/Off/Hibernate)
                              GPSlim 236
                              External GPS Antenna
                              Power Inverter