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Thread: Upgrading CarPC - Thoughts on specs?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tidder View Post
    The performance is no different unless you're doing something special with video. The GMA950 works just as good as the ION if you're watching YouTube vids, even some light gaming.

    Are you referring to kev000's Ion? He's getting some decent boot times, but he's also running LinuxICE, based on ubuntu 9.10. The post times between the zotac and the D945GCLF2 are no different.

    EDIT: On the other hand however, as an HTPC, the zotac would make a wonderful base for running XBMC with 1080p output, I built one for a buddy and it's awesome. No lag, no hesitation, the perfect board.
    The zotac uses dual channel ddr2 800 which helps. But the main difference is in boot times because the zotac ION's bios is a bit snappier to start booting the OS.

    Other then those differences, the graphics are going to be the only thing that's an improvement over the D945GCLF2.
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  2. #12
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    since its only an alc6*** series audio on that motherboard you listed in your first post, an audio card might not be a bad idea. honestly though, that board is somewhat outdated.. its a couple generations behind now. i would seriously consider getting a video chipset that can playback a good amount of video formats, like the 8 or 9 series nvidia, or the ati3200 or above. or the intel 4500HD or better....

  3. #13
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    As Tidder explained, the atom hardware is very capable, it's the software choice that is the biggest factor in boot times. AFAIK, Tidder sits on the top end of the windows modifications with his boot time. Most everyone else boots slower. Linux is faster, but can be a pain when you run into difficult spots and you aren't familiar with any of the internals of the OS.
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  4. #14
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    Interesting feedback...

    Ok, based on that, the boards are easily twice as expensive as the one I was looking at... however if the sound on these boards are far better, I can justify getting the onboard and not getting a PCI sound card... which in turn allows me to cut out getting the MSC box I have listed, and get the $20 cheaper box that doesn't have a PCI spot..

    Do any of these boards make sense then to get?

    ZOTAC IONITX-D-E Intel Atom N330 Dual Core 1.6 GHz 441 NVIDIA ION : $159
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813500030
    (this one also has integrated WiFi with antena (one less USB item)


    JetWay JNF76-1G6E-LF VIA Eden 1.6GHz VIA VX800 : $149
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813153139
    (Can't seem to find max ram... would like minimum 2GB)

    JetWay J7F5M2H-VDE-LF Embedded VIA C7 2GHz / 800MHz FSB Processor VIA NanoBGA2 VIA CX700M : $149
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813153147
    (er... wait, 1GB max? ... hrm is that right?)


    JetWay JNC63-330-LF Intel Atom 330 1.6GHz Dual Core NVIDIA ION : $169
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813153161
    (max 4GB ram)

    Just with this list above, and helping me justify which to use is CPU performance as a CarPC, Integrated sound being Good (good enough not to have to purchase an additional one)...

    Am I headed in the right direction guys?

    Thanks again

  5. #15
    And then I was mod. Tidder's Avatar
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    Definitely stay away from the VIA cpu based boards... you WILL see performance degradation from that. They are definitely not up to par with the atom.

    The Zotac board is awesome. That's the same board in my buddy's HTPC, with a full 4gb ram. You can assign up to 512mb ram to the vid, make sure to take that into consideration when deciding on ram amount. Also, iirc the wireless is ath9 based, and very dependable, plus linux compatible if you ever wanted to make the plunge.
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  6. #16
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    Thanks Tidder...

    I'm making the Zotac my top choice then at this point. Can your buddy chime in on the audio quality by chance?

  7. #17
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    We've only used digital out via HDMI, and it's perfect.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tidder View Post
    We've only used digital out via HDMI, and it's perfect.
    Even more interesting... Is this applicable in car? -- I currently have 1/8" jack going directly into my Alpine amp... What type of device could/should I use to then convert the HDMI audio over to RCA input...? Or is that possible (sorry if this sounds silly.. i'm out of my league when it comes to HDMI -- other than I know I use it with my TV/DVD/Cable box


    Ok, here's my updated 'What I Need' list based on feedback... (THANK YOU ALL SO FAR!)

    What I need :
    Case :
    MSC 4th Gen Mini ITX Case for Carputer Car PC : $75
    http://mo-co-so.com/cart/products/4t..._PC-60-23.html

    Motherboard :
    ZOTAC IONITX-D-E Intel Atom N330 Dual Core 1.6 GHz 441 NVIDIA ION : $160
    Built-in Wifi, Max alocated Video Ram (512MB), Sound Quality (?)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813500030

    Ram :
    OCZ Reaper HPC Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) : $84
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-267-_-Product

    HDD : Seagate Momentus 7200.4 ST9250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s : $65
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822148375
    Alt: ?

    HD Radio : Directed HD 1000: ~$50
    Ebay? (Anyone have this for around $50'ish? - Does this go by another name...)

    Running Cost: $434 -- Just under my budget, so this is working out well...


    How are we doin?

  9. #19
    And then I was mod. Tidder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by house98 View Post
    Even more interesting... Is this applicable in car? -- I currently have 1/8" jack going directly into my Alpine amp... What type of device could/should I use to then convert the HDMI audio over to RCA input...? Or is that possible (sorry if this sounds silly.. i'm out of my league when it comes to HDMI -- other than I know I use it with my TV/DVD/Cable box
    Well, the Zotac also has coax and optical digital audio jacks. It'd be much easier to use one of those I'd think. Search around this forum for RedGTiVR6, her system had some digital to analog conversion going on if I remember correctly.
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  10. #20
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    for car pc use, you will get conflicting reports on the best processor-- some want ultra lower power consumption, others want large amounts of power....

    for basic carputer duties, i think that a atom is fine-- i ran a intel 945 atom board for a while, but have outgrown the odd problems plagued by that board (certain usb devices do not agree with the motherboard, and take almost 15-25 sec to post...). overall, i used it for audio playback and processing, and it seemed to do most of what i wanted it to, but was lacking at certain times when i wanted more processor heavy audio control...

    i have not heard to many negative comments about the zotac lineup in my time on the forum-- most of the people that use them have very few problems. so, so far, i would higly recommend them.

    the new build that i am working on is a zotac board with a pentium dual core processor(overkill for most, should do the trick for any audio processing i want...)

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