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Thread: Upgrading CarPC - Thoughts on specs?

  1. #1
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    Upgrading CarPC - Thoughts on specs?

    Hey folks.

    Ok, so I admit, it's been a while since my first carPC -- but it's been holding me now for over a year. I've been out of the scene for a bit, but I've tried reading up on hardware/software, etc. Though like many I come asking for some thoughts on my setup that I've thought-up.

    I come having an arsenal of existing re-usable hardware, and a rough budget of $450.

    What I have (Will Keep) :
    Power Supply : M2-ATX
    WiFi : USB Dongle
    Bluetooth : USB Dongle
    OBDII : ELM327 USB
    Camera : Night-Vision
    GPS : Holux USB

    What I have (Will Replace) :
    Radio : HQTC (To Replace wth HD) (any taker$?)
    Case : hand-me-down, not worth mentioning
    Mobo/cpu : Not worth mentioning
    RAM : 1GB Dim

    For what I need, I have selected the following items, and listed prices.

    What I need :
    Case : MSC 4th Gen Mini ITX Case for Carputer Car PC with PCI Slot : $97
    http://mo-co-so.com/cart/products/4t...lot-61-23.html
    Alt: ?

    Mobo/CPU Combo : Foxconn 45CSX Intel Atom 330 Intel 945GC Mini ITX : $70
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813186184
    Alt: ?

    Ram : PQI TURBO 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 533 (PC2 4200) : $40
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820141239
    Alt: ?

    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 : Visteon HDZ300 HD Radio : $123
    http://tinyurl.com/visteonhd
    Alt: Directed HD

    PCI : ? HD TV ? Sound Card ?

    Total cost thus far : $395
    Goal/Budget : $450



    Parts Layout (Current and Expected) : http://mindlash.com/mp3car/images/carputer_20_build.jpg
    What say you?

  2. #2
    FLAC
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    u can find the directed HD kits on ebay for $50 shipped, and i wouldnt use an atom processor. get something with balls, not ovaries.

  3. #3
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    Haha. Thanks trader.

    So you feel an atom processor is underwhelming for a carPC ? Do you have any particular suggestions for a mobo/cpu combo that will fit this case that would be more ballsy ?

    I'm not trying to do anything crazy with my carPC -- no video games, no multi-monitor... just radio, gps, wifi, video, audio ...

    I appreciate your input. and Thanks for the tip for ebay -- for the radio.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by house98 View Post
    Haha. Thanks trader.

    So you feel an atom processor is underwhelming for a carPC ? Do you have any particular suggestions for a mobo/cpu combo that will fit this case that would be more ballsy ?

    I'm not trying to do anything crazy with my carPC -- no video games, no multi-monitor... just radio, gps, wifi, video, audio ...

    I appreciate your input. and Thanks for the tip for ebay -- for the radio.
    oh im sure it would work... but dont expect awesome boot times, and generally as you go on you will add more devices and software. think of the atom processor as about as fast as an old 1ghz celeron... its just not going to cut it in many areas.

    also, all those little things you want to do will end up being multitasked... again not something the atom shines in.

    but mostly the reason i dont like them is because for the same price and not a lot more space you can put a c2duo in there, or even like i have a newer 1.8ghz celeron. the conroe-L 430 is only a 35w chip, so it basically puts out no heat, and its a real cpu (its really the original intel core chip rebagged).

    now, if you can wait for one of the lazy manufacturers to actually make a am3 mini-itx board then you could go with the Athlon II x4 600e. now THAT is the ultimate carpc cpu. very low power for very high output.... if you went that route you can almost assure you wont need to upgrade until you buy your next car.

    also, im not sure what obd scanner that is you listed, but you might want to get one from obdpros.com

  5. #5
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    Thanks again for the input trader. Is there a particular mobo/cpu combo you would suggest in it's place then -- either one you've had personal experiance with, or one you've heard does well (in this particular case?)

    Also if you (or anyone else) has a suggestion on what to do with the additional PCI slot, I would be open.

    The OBDII scanner was off ebay, have it hooked up now, seems to work just fine.

    Thanks for the input again trader

  6. #6
    And then I was mod. Tidder's Avatar
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    I'm seeing boot times of under 25 seconds including post on my Atom based CarPC. That's from power on to playing music. I've used mine so far for internet, navigation, and music and it's not laggy at all. I have the D945GCLF2, which is pretty much the same as the Foxconn board you're looking at. It doesn't boot any slower than my Dual Core AMD CarPC before it. (Jetway JNC62K + AMD 4850e).

    Resuming from hibernation is also extremely quick, even with 2gb of ram, roughly 13 seconds. An atom system would be more than adequate imo.
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  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate DaveDog's Avatar
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    I would look at an ION based atom 330. Someone on the forum is getting pretty good post times with Zotac in particular.

    Also make sure your bluetooth adapter is compatible with Blue Soleil, that will give you the best flexibility when trying to connect with your cell phone.
    TruckPC - gutted, being used for test setup
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by house98 View Post
    Thanks again for the input trader. Is there a particular mobo/cpu combo you would suggest in it's place then -- either one you've had personal experiance with, or one you've heard does well (in this particular case?)

    Also if you (or anyone else) has a suggestion on what to do with the additional PCI slot, I would be open.

    The OBDII scanner was off ebay, have it hooked up now, seems to work just fine.
    its really up to you. if you listen to most people here at mp3car, they like their atoms. if you go to a normal computer enthusiast forum, the atoms get slammed pretty good for being too slow.

    however, the new ion setups do introduce good video chipsets to the atom, with offloads a ton of processing power- so i can see why they are working for people OK. again, my argument is that if the cost is about the same, it doesnt take up more space and it only eats up 30 more watts, why not put a regular desktop cpu in there and forget about your cpu needs? btw, i like the zotac boards too and here is the 775 equivelant it looks like- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813500035

    glad that ebay adapter is working for you, i have no idea if thats a real ELM scanner or not but if it works, cool.

    i use Wifi for the pci slot. i like it over usb because i can add external antennas, and is more stable then an adapter.

  9. #9
    And then I was mod. Tidder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveDog View Post
    I would look at an ION based atom 330. Someone on the forum is getting pretty good post times with Zotac in particular.

    Also make sure your bluetooth adapter is compatible with Blue Soleil, that will give you the best flexibility when trying to connect with your cell phone.
    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.
    Tidder

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  10. #10
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    Again, thanks for the input and slight board rivalry -- I went initially with choosing the ion 330 because of similar posts on boot up speeds, and overall performance as a CarPC -- I agree, if this were a HTPC then I wouldn't entertain the idea But for what I have now, this is far stronger... plus the case I think should be really good I like the idea of the RCA's

    Trader, I do not believe it's a legit Elm scanner -- the upgraded software seems to let me know that -- I wasn't aware there were knock offs, I just searched and grabbed it off ebay... but it works quite nicely in centrafuse.

    As for the wifi, the dongle I have now is usb, but also has the ability to remove the antena and replace with another -- which I've already been eye'ing some over at DX.

    So I guess then I'm fairly set with the board I chose in the begining -- unless someone else has input on why I should go with another (another Atom?).

    However I would love some suggestions on the available PCI slot. I'm tempted to go with a decent sound card (unless anyone has experiance with the onboard of this mobo, and likes it) ... At that point I'm back to research for a sound-card... sub $50 that performs well? -- does that even exist?

    Thanks everyone again for your time.

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