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Thread: Thinking for a better system.. Help needed!

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate l1nk's Avatar
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    Question Thinking for a better system.. Help needed!

    After a operating system reinstall my system started to go slow.
    Everything seems to be ok now and all is working well but I feel it slow!
    Ok, it was not a flash of lightning and I was already thinking to change it with a better one because of processor speed and the integrated graphic card that is really poor!

    Just to summarize, this is my actual system:
    MB Jetway Hybrid J7F2WE1G2E with
    integrated VIA C7 1.2GHz Fanless Processor,
    512MB RAM (64MB shared for video),
    80GB 2,5" SATA Western Digital HDD,
    M2-ATX Intelligent Car PC DC-DC Power Supply,
    ELM327 OBD2 interface,
    USB GPS receiver,
    silabs usb radio and
    CD/DVD slot-in slim recorder.

    The HDD contains a 60GB partition completely full of mp3 and a 20GB system/programs partition.

    I'm using Roadrunner as frontend with crystalblue skin.
    I was never able to run flash skins like freedom ultimate and I had to remove the flash spinning logo / timer from the crystalblue skin because of video/processor speed problems .
    I cannot run any game because of limited cpu/video resources and I never saw rrearth running decently; it works but in an unusable way!

    Apart from that, I can listen mp3 music, the radio (very poor reception if compared to the original HU with the same antenna), see videos and dvd (with a lot of adjustements to the quality settings..).
    I was never able to have a phone interface running properly because, I think, of my bluetooth interface that I buyed on ebay with poor or no confidence with bluetooth interfaces.

    After the new install, I have a lot of delays in RR also if only change from one page to another .
    When I press the button to leave RR I have to wait also 30 seconds before I can see the confirm exit page and when I go to playlist to choose another album to play, it takes forever!
    Ok, I simply have to do some adjustement on my system; I have something wrong but... I decided to change my system at all!!

    So, I need your help!
    I'd like to do the things I described above with no problems, running flash skins and animations, some game, have a quick and responsive interface also if I'll have a 250GB full of mp3, instead of 60GB!
    Just to give you an idea I'd like to play games like nfs most wanted or something like unreal tournament also with low resolution (640x480), I don't care; my home pc with integrated intel 945G runs these games smootly even if it isn't the best of quality!

    Obviously, I have powering problems because of a little car (P206 you can see in my avatar) and I'd like to listen music or watch movies for some hour when parked with engine off without drain my battery!
    So I need a powerful system but with no more power that I need

    I think I'll need a new dc/dc converter with more power and I was thinking on a core duo system but really... I don't know!
    I don't wanna repeat my previous error, buying something that doesn't match my needs!

    So, thinking more concretely, I'm looking for a mini-itx (for room problems) possibly fanless MB, a good and fast (but power friendly!) CPU with a proper dc/dc converter, a decent integrated video card, an integrated audio card with at least 4 audio channels and a lot of usb (6 at least, better if 8!).

    I need suggestion guys!!
    I think there's a wide variety of carpc here with different performances so please let me buy the right system!

    Many thanks in advance to all

  2. #2
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    Take a look at the intel D201GLY2A board, it runs circles around the C7 processor. And best of all, it's very affordable $69-$75 and you don't have to go shopping for a cpu as it's integrated. To my surprise it was slightly faster than my AMD Athlon 2200XP+.

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate l1nk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStealth View Post
    Take a look at the intel D201GLY2A board, it runs circles around the C7 processor. And best of all, it's very affordable $69-$75 and you don't have to go shopping for a cpu as it's integrated. To my surprise it was slightly faster than my AMD Athlon 2200XP+.
    Thanks for your fast reply BlackStealth! I taked a look to this board this morning and find some benchmark too. I have a lot of doubts!

    The cpu is a lot better than my actual via c7 but it's a celeron, so my doubt: can this cpu run flash vector animations smoothly? Is there anyone that holds this card in his carpc and can confirm it have no problem at all with these kind of applications? I mean FU skin for RR and flash 9 applications.

    Moreover I noticed it have a fan and this is not the best for me because I have the mobo mounted behind the dash, and behind the lcd, with no enclosure at all; I don't like to hear the fan buzz when parked watching some movie!
    Searching the forums I find this 3d http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/mp3c...rt-photos.html
    that shows the identical model D201GLY2 but with no fan at all and this could be solve my buzz problem!

    [edit]
    I've just found this article: http://www.exoid.com/?page_id=158
    It says "There is no way to run this board without a fan due to the extreme temperatures, unless you make some modifications." and this seems to be a problem :-( Any confirmation from you guys on this side?
    [/edit]

    And what about the northbridge? I read the http://www.sis.com/products/sis662.htm but I was unable to find some kind of benchmark to understand the real ability of this graphic adapter expecially for 3d games as those I mentioned.

    On the audio side I saw this mobo have integrated stereo only but I'd like, expecially for movies and maybe games, at least 4 channel output. I don't know if there's some cheap external audio card that can override this limit... Any advice on that?

  4. #4
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    If you want a uber system, then go with a core duo processor. You can not go wrong with that, it is overkill for a CarPC and will definately be really fast.
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  5. #5
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    Don't let the celeron name hold you back, as it's faster than some older pentium processors. The weak spot in the celeron is FPU operations, but I don't do use any apps that require a fast FPU.

    Here's a short comparative list.

    Celeron 220 1.2Ghz 533bus (512kcache) 19 watts
    6172 MIPS
    1821 / 2687 MFLOPS

    AMD XP 2200+ 266bus (256kcache) 57/62.8 watts
    5702 MIPS
    2860 MFLOPS

    Intel Pentium M 745 1.8Ghz 400bus (2MBcache) 21 watts
    5842 MIPS
    4361 MFLOPS

    Intel Pentium 4 2.0Ghz 400bus (256kcache) 75.3 watts
    4362 MIPS
    3752 MFLOPS

    ================================================== =========

    As you already researched, the D201GLY2 board has no cpu fan. Someone hacked their motherboard by reducing the cpu voltage to reduce the heat even more. The hack involved using a pencil and drawing. The graphite from the pencil modified the overall resistance, which in turn modified the voltage. Of course if you made a mistake, or wanted to undo this hack, just use an eraser. Google this for more info.

    Generally if you want a faster processor, it'll produce more heat, and you'll definitely need a cpu fan. So what you're asking is impossible, faster computer and no cpu fan.

    I'm currently using DFX3.0 skin inside Road Runner, including iGuidance, etc. No problems with my flash clock and flash compass. Other CPU loads are Girder interpreting infrared steering wheel key presses, Fusion Control, and GatsoHunterRR. CPU load is approx 20% with all this running.

    If you find the onboard graphics not good enough for your games, you do have the option to install a PCI graphics card.

    I have a USB Soundblaster 24 bit external ($50 at bestbuy) that I used to use on my previous carpc setups, but for now I'm satisfied with the 2 channel onbard sound card. If 4 channel sound is a must, nothing stopping you from plugging one of those in.

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate l1nk's Avatar
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    Thank you guys for the input.

    @HiJackZX1
    I was thinking for a dual core system but never investigated about the mini itx availability nor the needed power or produced heat.
    I have a big limit due to the little car's battery and don't want to modify the electric wirings on car or make things complicated. Someone suggest me to replace the battery with a bigger one (I also have the space to do it) but I'm not fully convinced that only this, with no other modifications (alternator?) can help!
    Moreover, I don't like to hear the buzz of a computer fan in my car so I prefer to have a fanless system... if possible
    Anyway, the next days I'll investigate more on these kind of systems for the application I need but the best would be having some feedback from a dual core in car system owner


    @BlackStealth
    I searched more on this motherboard and found some guy running quake 3 arena with a noticeable value of fps but... in software mode!!
    The cpu is really fast because it reported over 70fps@640x480 and about 40fps@1024x768!!

    Unfortunately the integrated video adapter is not so performant with 3d applications
    Anyway I cannot find any test on some more recent game like unreal tournament 2004 or some need for speed (underground, most wanted or carbon).
    I'm not a big gamer and I really have no time to play games but I use a lot my car and sometime I spend hours in there, parked in some strange place... Usually I have not enough time to watch a movie so, as I like the games I mentioned, I'd like to play these in my car
    It's quite a little to justify a dedicated graphic card and I have not enough room to mount any standard card on the motherboard!

    So you have this motherboard?
    The fan version or the fanless one?
    Never tried some 3d game on it?
    How much memory are your running and what frequency?

    On the soundcard side I'd prefer to have a 4 channel mainly for movies; I'd like to have full sound around me also with games but really I don't know if it is possible and supported by standard multichannel soundcards!
    I have a 7.1 integrated also in my home pc but never tried to connect nothing more than stereo because I don't like to have a mess with cables and speakers.
    In car it's simpler because I have all the speakers already in place, driven by a 4 channel kenwood KAC849 amplifier and a little bazooka that make me feel in a real theater when watching dvd movies
    I'd like to try a multichannel pci solution but only if I can find an extremely low profile card (because of limited space behind the dashboard). Suggestion on this (maker, model) are welcome

    Thank you for the CPU comparative list, it really cleared my mind on that cpu!

  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate JimmyFitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by l1nk View Post
    After a operating system reinstall my system started to go slow.
    ...
    The HDD contains a 60GB partition completely full of mp3 and a 20GB system/programs partition.
    ...
    I need suggestion guys!!
    I think there's a wide variety of carpc here with different performances so please let me buy the right system!

    Many thanks in advance to all
    A nearly full hard drive will cause a windows pc to slow down unbearably. Try making some space on both of your partitions, or upgrade to a bigger drive.
    ~Jimmy

  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate galvitron's Avatar
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    There are some Core 2 Duo Mini-ITX motherboards that will draw less than 40 watts (CPU, RAM, MB, laptop HD). The mobile 45nm CPUs (like the T7500) are very economical when it comes to power consumption (30 watts at full load).

    You will probably want at least one small, quiet fan for all but the most wimpy CPUs...

    But these are all more expensive parts, of course. You didn't mention a price cap.

    If you want good integrated graphics, look for Intel 965 or Q35 chipsets in mini-itx form (or smaller). They both have the GMA X3100 which is about as good as it gets for mobile motherboards unless you add a graphics card. Second best would be the GMA X3000 which comes on the 945 chipset.
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  9. #9
    Constant Bitrate l1nk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyFitz View Post
    A nearly full hard drive will cause a windows pc to slow down unbearably. Try making some space on both of your partitions, or upgrade to a bigger drive.
    Thanks for your suggestion, I'll try to free some space the next days... waiting for the new system

  10. #10
    Constant Bitrate l1nk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by galvitron View Post
    There are some Core 2 Duo Mini-ITX motherboards that will draw less than 40 watts (CPU, RAM, MB, laptop HD). The mobile 45nm CPUs (like the T7500) are very economical when it comes to power consumption (30 watts at full load).

    You will probably want at least one small, quiet fan for all but the most wimpy CPUs...

    But these are all more expensive parts, of course. You didn't mention a price cap.

    If you want good integrated graphics, look for Intel 965 or Q35 chipsets in mini-itx form (or smaller). They both have the GMA X3100 which is about as good as it gets for mobile motherboards unless you add a graphics card. Second best would be the GMA X3000 which comes on the 945 chipset.
    Thanks for your post galvitron.
    I didn't mention a price cap because I don't want to buy a system that yes, it's cheap but don't fit my needs!

    I don't want to spend a lot of money for my new project but this isn't the first and more important thing

    I was now looking at this thread
    http://www.mp3car.com/wiki/index.php...Celeron_boards
    considering a solution based on pentium M that seems to be a powerful and energy saving CPU.
    I saw this motherboard "AOpen i915GMt" but cannot find power consumption reference for this mobo nor graphic performances benchmark.

    As usual, the best would be having some feedback from a motherboard owner!
    For the moment I'll continue my search on it and on your advices for dual core systems

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